All posts by Eric Hammer

I’ll never forget the first time I heard those immortal words – Greed is Good! Hey, like any kid of the 1980s, I watched Gordon Gecko getting all the hot girls and all the glitter and fame and I knew I wanted it all. I was raised to be a good American and a consumer. Heck, after the 9/11 attacks our president told us to go and shop till we drop. It’s the American way after all. Except that consumerism is killing us all. Mind you, I’m not the sort of person who is particularly interested in being a minimalist. … Read More >

Why the US Dollar is Screwed

by Eric Hammer on October 18, 2016

The US Dollar – sure it seems as if it’s accepted everywhere and that’s because it is. However, there is a real possibility that very soon all that could change. The fact is that with the way things are going in the world, we could very soon be looking at piles of worthless pieces of paper stuffing our wallets. It’s all because of a decision made around 75 years ago in New Hampshire. The World’s Reserve Currency There’s a good reason why Great Britain is called that – it’s because until fairly recently, Great Britain was pretty great. It was … Read More >

I’ve got to say – I got on the silver train long before all the trendy, beautiful people did so. For me, I was always in love with the color and luster of the metal, never mind that I always knew what others are only now realizing – silver is an amazing investment. Here’s why: A Bit about Silver I know what you’re thinking – that Eric is cracked and that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Gold is the standard. After all, there’s a reason that the US was once on the Gold Standard, right? Well it’s true … Read More >

I admit to being somewhat conceited as a New Yorker. To me, New York is the center of the universe and everywhere is just a little less than my hometown. And this is coming from someone who has moved 18 times and who has lived on three continents. There’s no place quite like New York. Except, apparently, for Toronto. Toronto? Really? Toronto Real estate is going crazy, or so I’m told. Toronto? Really? My friend Yasir Khan, the owner and creator of Wealth Kept mentioned this to me recently and I just had to check it out for myself. I … Read More >

Can you believe we might actually have a President Donald Trump? It’s true – Trump is going to be the nominee for the Republicans. To hear the media and professional pollsters tell it, he doesn’t stand a chance against Hillary. Then again, these are the same so called professionals who said he wouldn’t last a week in the primaries. But just who is The Donald and how did actually become rich anyway? The Really Old Fashioned Way Many people may not know this but The Donald became rich initially through the really old fashioned way – he inherited it. His … Read More >

Sorry to burst your bubble but the answer to this question is a big fat no. It’s a common trope amongst the Occupy Wall Street crowd that the rich are able to get away without paying taxes but it’s a myth. The fact is that the so called 1% do indeed pay taxes and many (though not all) pay a very high percentage of their income in taxes. But there are people who do pay zero taxes, just not those you think. The Difference between the Merely Rich and the Ultra-Rich Let’s start by pointing out that there are a … Read More >

You know what’s downright pathetic? I mean really, really pu-thetic? 63% of Americans can’t handle a surprise bill for five hundred bucks. I’m sorry, but that is just not right. I’m sorry if you are one of those people but if you are, listen up because all that is about to change. Americans are terrible savers and we need to do a better job of saving for emergencies. The Bush Doctrine – Spend ‘Til You Drop We can’t really lay the blame for this on the American people. We’ve been trained for years to spend every penny we have coming … Read More >

One of my favorite films when I was growing up was called The Toy. It was about a spoiled super rich kid named Eric (hey, he’s my namesake, of course I like him already). In the movie, the kid ‘buys’ a black man, Richard Pryor as a ‘toy.’ No, this isn’t a movie about slavery – it’s a movie about the question of what does wealth mean? Pryor is a poor writer who is behind on his mortgage and is about to lose his house but who for some crazy reason thinks that playing hoops with his buddies and dreaming … Read More >

One of my favorite movie lines comes from the move Fiddler on the Roof. Perchick, a revolutionary who wants to overthrow the Russian Tsar meets Tevya, a poor milkman. Perchik tells Tevya that money is the world’s curse. Tevya reacts perfectly by saying, “may the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!” But the fact is that there are problems that only rich people have. And Alexander Wept for There Were No More Worlds to Conquer Hey, what do you know? That fru-fru MA I got in the Humanities is good for something after all. It reminded … Read More > Buying a car shouldn’t have to be super complicated but for some reason it seems to be. I remember years ago when I bought my first car – it was a little Hyundai Accent which today I would never dream of buying. I thought I’d done my homework though – I went online and found average pricing for the car and came prepared to haggle. Of course, I didn’t think about other details. Stupid I know, but I was young once too. Financing or Paying Outright I’m not a real big fan of financing a car. I get that … Read More >