Monday, August 23, 1999

Of Kings and Golden Handcuffs


Fools have no fear. We are, in a sense, too simplistic to fidget over the soothsayer's spiritless predictions. We jump through life with all bells ringing. Laughing out loud and confident that we understand this kingdom and our place in it. We love our King and put away at least 10% of our earnings for the long term.

My King is especially generous. He lets his royal entertainers save a percentage of our salary, tax free! He also matches whatever we save! Our King wants us to stay. There are a lot of other rulers beyond our borders who have heard how great our Empire is and would love to whisk us away to help them improve their own realm. Even if we wanted to leave, it would be hard. You see, our kingdom employs "The Golden Handcuffs" otherwise known as stock options.

The handcuffs are enchanted. We are helpless and drunk with satisfaction as long as they remain on our arms. The Kingdom is doing well, thanks to our hard work, and the King has plans to take us public. We can buy our options at a measly $1.00 per share. So, for example, if a subject has 50,000 shares at $1.00 each and the Sovereignty IPOs at $22 per share, the subject now has $1,100,000 with a cost basis of only $50,000. I am sure you have heard the tales of regular peasants from the Lands of Microsoft or the Dominion of AOL magically becoming royalty.

More important than investments and your financial health is the level of joy in your life. Happiness should always come before money. Make sure you are happy with the King you work for. If you are not happy, find another royal personage that meets your criteria -- one that is exciting, keeps you ablaze, and respects your personal growth and happiness. Really take the time to look around. Travel to far away lands and study the writings that deal with your field. If you can narrow the field down to three or four wondrous empires, the final decision will be easy to make.

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