Scott Adams wrote an interesting piece today about how investments, in general, suck.

What does a rational, employed person with some extra money do? I think consumer spending is on the verge of spiking as high-income people decide they’d rather buy some nice things than lose money in sketchy investments. In other words, the horribleness of the economy is the very thing that will make it self-correcting. I could summarize the idea as “Screw the stock market. I might as well buy something.”

There’s a “capitulation stimulation” coming soon. In this context, capitulation means investors give up on investing, or at least love it less, and decide to spend more money on new cars, furniture, phones, and that sort of thing. If you buy a new TV, you have something you can enjoy. If you invest, all you end up with is less money. When being an investor starts to look irrational, overspending becomes the new rational.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Savvy investors can make money in any sort of market. But those folks are the exception. Your average doctor and small business owner aren’t that clever. Their money is piling up in bank accounts with no place to go. I think the dam is about to burst. Spending on high end items is about to explode.

With 9% unemployment and a general slowdown of the economy, half of the country has no extra money to save or invest. But the folks at the top have plenty. And they have no idea what to do with it.

Although I’m certainly not amongst the “folks at the top”, I completely agree with this– particularly the sentence “If you invest, all you end up with is less money.” I have some money I’ve saved over 15 years of working, but it’s not getting me any closer to the retirement I’d hoped to secure by age 40. In fact, I have less money now than I did a few years ago, and I’ve been conscientiously putting money aside into savings all along. It feels like for every step forward I take in my savings/retirement plan, the market pushes me two steps back. It’s frustrating, and it’s contrary to what I learned when I was younger: work hard, save some money, enjoy the fruits. That’s no longer true. The rich (corporations) get richer, and the rest of us kind of wallow in the middle somewhere, never able to fully reach the goals we planned for a decade or more ago.

Maybe I should be going on more elaborate trips with my family, spending that hard-earned money on creating memories instead of throwing it into the gigantic trash heap we call the stock market. I don’t know, but it’s definitely something to think seriously about.