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Commodities of Depreciating Value

February 17, 2010

This Craig’s list post/conversation came to my attention, via my Investment Finance Prof:

Girl Asks What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy. I’m not from New York . I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 – 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

– Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?

– Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?

– Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows – lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

– How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults – I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them – in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

The Guy Replies We would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful” as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way. Classic “pump and dump.”

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.”

I am too dumbfounded for words. But some ideas running through my mind:

-how does the woman not even consider the possibility that the marriages between the “plain janes” and their millionaire joes might be based on something like…love. or if that’s too far fetched, similar values, interests, companionship, goals, laughter…..almost anything other than looks.

-an extension of the above: why do relationships in her mind operate as a transaction?

-and another possibility I am considering: was this post a joke? could anyone truly be that….way?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Grant permalink
    February 18, 2010 2:08 AM

    I’ve seen enough posts like this on various message boards to think that at least some of them must be serious. Also, just watching people’s behavior I think a lot of people act as through they relationships as transactions to maximize their social position. I guess it shouldn’t be as surprising as it is when someone is honest about that in a forum where they can be anonymous.

    Come to think of it, I’ve definitely heard a few guys discuss relationships in these terms. It seems like it’s more taboo for women to state similar views, or at least to state them as directly, so maybe that has something to do with why it comes out in anonymous forums like that.

    I mean, I’m not opposed to a business as a metaphor for a relationship. Each partner is the other’s client. You have to meet the clients’ needs and make them feel good about dealing with you if you want to maintain a business relationship–otherwise your clients will start complaining and eventually stop coming to you and start looking to meet their needs elsewhere. But there’s a difference between using transactional language as a metaphor and actually viewing the relationship as a transaction. It makes me sad when people think the metaphor is actually a perfect description, but I’ve seen it enough places where I don’t really think it’s a joke anymore.

  2. February 20, 2010 7:54 PM

    I believe that this is honest because I personally know many women that will not even consider dating a man unless he makes a certain income. Here is the thing, money can take you places and open you up to new experiences but it can never ever replace love.

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