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NetWealthNanny

Mark Edwards
28-07-2005

Those of you with children may be familiar with a piece of software called NetNanny. Its purpose is to prevent minors accessing sites with adult content.



In a similar way, I think we need a piece of software called NetWealthNanny to prevent adults from accessing sites that are harmful to our money.



The first thing I guess you would think of when I mention sites harmful to your wealth would be scam sites and online rip-offs. However, these are not the ones I have in mind. There are sites far more dangerous to your wealth than this.



The sites I am thinking of have names like:

www.vuitton.com/

www.hermes.com/



Recently, there was a perfect example of this in the "Life and Leisure" liftout published in the weekend Financial Review.



Pages 10 and 11 featured a spread entitled "Resort wear". Combining what the young female model was wearing into one poolside ensemble of La Perla bikini ($495), Jimmy Choo shoes ($950), Louis Vuitton necklace ($1970), Louis Vuitton sunglasses ($1700), Karen Walker ring ($1929), Hermes bag ($8,275) and Louis Vuitton towel ($1,000) would set you back a staggering total of $16,319.



Our perception of people wearing such higly priced items is that they must be very wealthy. However, research by Stanley and Danko in their book "The Millionaire Next Door" shows us the truth. The vast majority of people who buy these luxury items are not wealthy.



For someone willing to borrow money to buy these status symbols, acquiring them is easy. However, funding champagne tastes on a beer budget is a recipe for long term financial underperformance.



Unfortunately, I don't think that NetWealthNanny would do that well. The advertising message that you should look like a millionaire before you get the millions is far too strong.

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