Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wealthsimple's Super Bowl commercial gives me a severe case of the Sads

I can really relate to this confused, harrassed individual.  He's got a high-paying job and a nice house in the suburbs but he's having nightmares and his head is spinning because he can't decide how to invest his excess money.  And the world sure isn't doing him any favors, offering him unsolicited advice everywhere he turns.  He can't even enjoy a nice soak in the tub or a relaxing breakfast in front of his flatscreen without being tortured with thoughts that he isn't turning his pile of cash into a bigger pile of cash more quickly.  Oh woes.

I wonder how many people watched this ad and thought it was cute and/or clever but also had absolutely nothing to do with the reality of their lives.  Every year a larger percentage of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, carrying credit card and other debt from month to month as part of the normal cost of living.  "Investing" means possibly buying a house you can borrow off of and perhaps sell when it's time to retire- if you're lucky enough to hit retirement age during an upswing in the real estate market and not one of the all-too-frequent "corrections."   "Retirement Funds" means "Social Security" and not much else to more people every single year- and that's not because investing is "complicated."  It's because stagnant wages and the death of pensions have made surplus income at the end of each month a fantasy.  Figuring out what to do with wealth isn't the middle-class problem it used to be, Wealthsimple.  For a whole lot of us, there's already a creditor out there waiting for every bit of it we can- briefly-get our hands on.

So pardon me if I don't shed a tear for anyone who gets dizzy at the dizzying buffet of investment options.  BMWs come in different colors, too- that doesn't mean I'm going to sympathize with anyone struggling to make that choice.  The guy in this ad is going to have to look elsewhere for a tissue or a shoulder to cry on. 

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