Juicing Your Portfolio
Ever since my memoir Juiced became the bestselling book of all time, fans have been approaching me at my many, many book signings, which are always crowded, by the way, and asking me how I am managing all the millions of dollars that I’m making from writing such a massively successful media sensation. Folks, I’ll tell you this -- it hasn’t been easy.
Back when I signed up with the Oakland Athletics to earn literally thousands of dollars each and every time I chose to flick my massive wrists at a hanging curve and send it sailing out over California's nearby Himalayan mountain range, I was a foolish steward of my finances. I spent lavishly on fast cars and fast women, and clothed myself in the finest silks and purest gems. I looked good, I'll give you that. But my carefree spending days are behind me. Now, at the request of my pals at Baseball Tonight, I am here to share with you the tips that have led the Standerd & Pore’s check-cashing store on Miami's luxuriant Biscayne Blvd. to deem me one of the most credit-worthy individuals to ever walk the earth. But enough about me. On to your queries!:
Q: Jose, I’m not sure how much money I should be diverting to my 401(k) each month. My human resources department has told me to max out my contributions so I can earn the maximum matching funds, but if I whittle my take-home pay down too much, I’m afraid of a liquidity crunch. What are your thoughts?
-- Donald R., Colorado Springs, Colo.
JC: Donald, I don’t care how many strikeouts you have -- whether it’s 401 or 401,000. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. I recommend that in order to insure that you will be able to maintain your standard of living once you reach retirement, you write a gripping tell-all account of the rampant use of performancing-enhancing drugs in your company’s accounts receivable department. But if you run into liquidity problems I recommend you head down to your company trainer's office and ask for some Depends.
Q: Mr. Canseco, in recent days I’ve been wondering whether I should hedge my exposure to fluctuations in the foreign currency markets by buying some credit derivatives. A co-worker of mine has suggested that perhaps LIBOR-indexed Treasury strips are the answer. But I'm wary of investments where my losses are potentially unlimited. What are your thoughts on derivatives?
-- Judith K., Ann Arbor, Mich.
JC: Woah, hey, check it out. I just noticed my initials are "JC!" Draw your own conclusions from that, folks! Ha ha. Anyway ... Judith, I’ll tell you what my agent told me when I started writing Juiced -- don’t worry about being original, just worry about telling your story. But being derivative isn't necessarily a bad thing. For example, some critics might complain that the awesome psychedelic rock band Dungen nibbles overmuch at a buffet of influences from their early-70s forbears. But I say this is rubbish. Ta Det Lugnt may not be entirely original, but it rocks all the same. There is no shame in being derivative if it yields good results, Judith. Hope this helps!
Q: Jose, I’ve been trying to figure out whether now is the right time to move from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a traditional fixed-rate home loan. With interest rates likely to rise, I’m worried about my payments shooting up. Is now the time to abandon my ARM?
-- Laura C., Treasure Island, Fla.
JC: Laura, there is never a good time to leave your arms behind. First, getting rid of your arms could only be painful, and even if your company lets you go on the 60-day DL to recover, the complications could be very serious. Second, how could you get anywhere in life without your arms? Speaking from my own experience, your arms can be among the most important assets you have as a working person. I never would have hit all those home runs without arms! The same is true of other trades: You just need arms to do them. Period. Can you imagine trying to be a tollbooth attendant or a typist with no arms? It wouldn't be easy. What about being a fisherman with no arms? Tough stuff. Clearly, arms are important to your economic well-being.
Alright folks, unfortunately, those are all the questions that I have time for -- I’m off again to the road for another stop on my world-wide book tour of domination. Keep those questions coming!