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TheCouga

MotownSports Fan
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TheCouga last won the day on December 11 2018

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About TheCouga

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    MotownSports Fan
  • Birthday 12/21/1980

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  • Location
    Philadelphia, PA

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  • Interests
    Baseball, jiu-jitsu, electronic dance music.

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  • Occupation
    Attorney

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  1. Might want to hold some of your cash in Yen just to mitigate some risk.
  2. Wow, this thread's been quiet lately. I've been searching for ways to explain this goofy stock market lately, and I found this. The Great Asset Bubble: I could have never guessed that the Fed's money printing could have caused such a spike in stock prices. I got out of the market a while ago thinking that prices couldn't go higher. Obviously, they could have. But I'm glad I have cash now. There was an asset bubble even before COVID, so the fact that stocks have rebounded to their pre-COVID highs, despite record contraction (yes record, even worse than the Great Depression) of GDP, is a sign of how crazy asset prices are right now.
  3. I'm super cheap with my monthly expenses. I pay $60/month for my cell phone, but get unlimited data and a 10 gig wireless hotspot. That's enough to provide me with home Internet, too, especially because I cast my Netflix/Hulu through the 4G connection and not the hotspot. It's actually $70/month when you add up all the taxes and the $1.25/month phone lease (lol), but most people are paying more than that for just home Internet. I do my grocery shopping at Aldi--especially now that we're in corona quarantine. Sometimes I've gotten too lazy to go out grocery shopping so I've went back to local delivery for a few days. All this home cooking lately has made me realize that I'm a better cook than most restaurants, so what's the point of paying $20 for one Grubhub meal when I can eat for 3 days on that with Aldi food. I own my car outright, so I have no car payments, and I barely drive it anyway. Even when we were not shut down, I took (free for me) public transit to and from work. Outside of rent, I'm paying less than $500/month for food, gas, utilities, car insurance, and phone. I'm both maxing out my 401k this year, and aggressively saving for a down payment for a condo (I've got enough now, but a little more won't hurt, especially with city condo prices expected to drop over the next 12 months). I don't like the idea of paying HOA fees, but I also really don't like the idea of taking care of a lawn or all the fix-it problems that come with a home. I know a bunch of people making more than me and somehow they have nothing to show for it. It's amazing the stupid stuff a lot of people blow their money on. I did get a very late start on my 401k though, so I feel like I'm making up ground rather than getting ahead. Too much school is a bad idea.
  4. I spent about $35 on the phone I have now, and unless it had a manual keyboard (which you can't get anymore anyways), I couldn't be happier.
  5. What a crazy time. Unemployment is still bad, the bankruptcies are starting to roll in, and yet the market's doing fantastic. Where is all this demand going to come from to pump up these profit expectations that are baked into stock prices? Or do stock prices simply have nothing to do with profits anymore?
  6. I've been busy at work this week, but I'll give it a read this evening. I never expected the market to act like this, so I don't feel too much like investing any time soon. This is casino-level stuff. You can't smartly invest when the market is driven by political engineering and not economics. I'm still maxing out my 401(k) contributions for the tax benefits and the partial matching, but as for my cash account, I'm just going to live with whatever high interest savings gives me for the time being.
  7. Especially if you're a hot woman for medical/pharma rep. But then you have to put up with all kinds of sexual harassment from the bosses/clients.
  8. That sounds like the ever-elusive "Midlaw" gig that everyone would prefer, but few get. Going to U of M probably helped, as it's a Top 10 school--and was ranked even higher than that 30 years ago (Top 5). There are about 200 law schools in this country, so that should give you some kind of idea on how over-saturated this job market is. Even if we cut that number down to 100, there'd still probably be too many law grads. The career trajectory of most lawyers resembles losing at the Hunger Games. I mean, if Biglaw only really hires from the top 20 or so, most of the class at the remaining 180 schools eventually resigns itself to ****law, bartending, or even document review (which is a whole nother hilarious yet depressing attorney career outcome that I could write pages about). Despite paying less than Biglaw, the number of jobs in Midlaw are far less--these are smaller firms, and there's far less openings. It's very rare to get a Midlaw job straight out of law school--these firms don't have the resources to train fresh grads, and they need to hire people with good experience, which you only really get at Biglaw. In fact, the people getting these jobs are mostly people who burned out of Biglaw. They can pay anywhere from $60,000 to up to $200,000 per year in rare instances, but I think the average salary is somewhere around $100,000/year. Their clients are usually smaller, more local businesses that can't afford Biglaw rates. You still have to bill your weekly hours, but you're usually not forced to work 80 hours per week and forced to miss Thanksgiving or Christmas because some partner wants a third set of eyes on a stack of 100,000 documents at the last minute. But like I said, these jobs are mostly unattainable by normal law grads, because they go to people who had a good enough resume to get a Biglaw job in the first place. Or in your relative's case, graduated from an elite law school.
  9. Two of my five best lifelong friends are engineers. They're both killing it and 0 school debt (although both had their parents pay for their undergrad in full). My dad's also an engineer. He's doing fine right now, but earlier in life, when I was a kid, he took some major financial risks (trying for years and going deep into debt to start his own business but failing), so I'm not used to having money. Based on how much you make versus how much schooling you need, it's probably one of the best professions out there.
  10. And as much as my Silicon Valley coding friends make, they could have been doing exactly what they're doing right now, without the $200,000 of college loan debt and three lost years stressed out and burying your face in nearly meaningless books studying for subjectively-graded essay exams.
  11. I went to a top 20 law school, and plenty of people I graduated with never found attorney jobs at all, despite scoring in the 98th percentile or higher on the LSAT. I graduated in a bad year for the legal economy, but still. These are smart people, though. One of them landed a Senior Data Engineer job at Netflix, and another (one of my better friends) took a year off from his legal job search, taught himself to code, and now is a Software Engineer for Google. A couple of others went directly into finance, and seem to be doing ok. Another handful seems to have just vanished off the map.
  12. ****law firms are constantly struggling for nuisance cases, constantly screwing things up, and avoid malpractice suits only because their clients are usually brainless drug addicts trying to sue Burger King because they slipped on a puddle of pee in the bathroom, or their jalopy car got rear ended by a semi-truck or something, and they don't know any better when their attorney screws up their case, and are usually happy to get $10,000 out of whatever they file. ****law firms also do a lot of family law--which is mostly convicts fighting their deadbeat ex-spouses for visitation rights. If you're lucky, you'll get an upper-middle-class divorce case where the spouses hate each other so much that they'd rather pay their lawyer $100,000 in attorney's fees over 3 years than give one red cent to their ex. But most people don't have that kind of money, and a lot of times, these people won't pay up on the meager bills they generate, so you gotta get paid in advance, otherwise you'll quickly go out of business. And I say ****law not to be derisive, elitist, or snooty. I started out in ****law, but ended up doing really well for myself. I'm the rare bird to escape the aviary. Everybody in ****law knows they are in ****law, and they all make jokes about how bad their life is, how they're one more deadbeat client away from suicide, etc. It's the only way you can stay sane. Most of these people are alcoholics, too, and have psychotic ex-spouses who married them at an earlier stage thinking they were going to be rich. My advice to everyone out there is to avoid this industry and law school.
  13. I don't know that it's companies preparing for bankruptcies or going through bankruptcies that are causing the tightening of the belts--but I'm sure there's probably some of that, especially in the retail industry--as it is people just being much more conservative with their budgets all of a sudden. Also, keep in mind that these Biglaw firms have bankruptcy practices themselves, so a spike in bankruptcies will help offset their losses in other areas. As for the smaller firms, they struggle even in good times. There's really only two types of law firms out there: Biglaw and ****law, and there's not really much in between. The ever-elusive "Midlaw" gig is hard to find, but desirable by many because the hours are better and the salaries are at least solid. The average solo practitioner makes around $50,000 per year, and that's highly variable depending on the year. If you're an associate at a smaller firm, you're most likely starting out at around $40,000-$60,000 (Biglaw associates start out at like $120,000 to $190,000, but Biglaw will only seriously hire from like the top 20 or schools in the nation, and even then, pretty selectively, so these salaries are out of reach for all but a few law grads). And most of these people still have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of school debt hanging over their heads.
  14. I don't follow it as closely as most lawyers, as my employer can simply print money to pay me, and doesn't need to rely on clients. But I do know business has slowed down drastically among the country's largest firms (almost all of which are corporate civil defense firms (tort defense, employment defense, antitrust defense, securities fraud defense, etc.) or corporate transactional firms (mergers & acquisitions, private placements, corporate bankruptcies, etc.). In the industry, we call this "Biglaw"--it's a certain type of firm/business model that has offices in downtown Class A office space, has offices across the country, pays starting salaries 2-3 times the market average, has sleek websites where all the attorneys, even the associates have professionally done photos, the clients are almost exclusively large corporations, and most of the work is done defending them and billing by the hour (instead of initiating cases on a contingency fee like most smaller plaintiff's shops), and the billing rates for partners range from $350-$1000/hour. If you watch Better Call Saul, HHM is a small, regional version of this, and Howard Hamlin is only about a "4" on a scale of 1-10 as to how big of a stick the partners have shoved up their ***. Despite the pay, the average shelf life of an associate at these firms is about 3 years--no amount of money can make you want to work for these people once you've made a serious dent in your student loans. If they don't fire you for misplacing a meaningless comma first. These firms are hurting pretty badly, as their corporate clients in just about every area are tightening their belts. Both of the major cases I have been working on right now (one for the past year and a half, one has been going on long before I got here) have just settled. Clients right now want to erase liabilities from their books and don't want to pay continuing legal fees to defend themselves. In most cases, these corporate clients are liable and they know they're liable, but they'd rather drag the cases out for years to avoid paying out a settlement--even if it means paying a ton in legal fees to their own lawyers. But now all of a sudden, they are settling, which means no more fees for the Biglaw firms that defend them. Almost all of the nation's 100 largest firms have either laid people off or cut salaries, or both. Some firms have handed out 30% pay cuts almost across the board. The partners are giving up their monthly draws. "Summer associates," who are essentially law students in the summer before their last year of law school, who these firms have already hired for when they graduate, are getting no-offered or at least having their summer programs dialed back by a few weeks.
  15. I typed up a long reply post to Screwball, but for some reason, it's not letting me post it here. I can make shorter posts, though. When I paste it into the post editor and click "submit," it leads me to an error page that says "page not found." I also tried editing my post above to paste the content in, and it won't let me edit because it says the editing period has timed out. But it did let me edit to add in another "test." Very weird. I wonder if it will allow this post to go through.
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