Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Choosing your Valentine from a Value investing standpoint

The most important decision a man can make is arguably his choice of wife. A wrong choice can ruin his happiness for the rest of his life. If he tries to regain his happiness by getting rid of the wrong wife, he risks financial ruin because of the huge cost of divorce. At least women gain financially when they divorce. Therefore, it is very important for men to put very careful thought into the screening criteria for potential wives. 

ALL men, including me, start off on a wrong foot when we look for wives. We are immediately turned on by a gorgeous hot babe. Naturally, we get instantly turned off by this other babe (click here).

Like value investors with a contrarian streak, we should not dismiss too quickly what makes us feel uncomfortable. Often, it is the unpopular and neglected that yields value.

Physical beauty is the most over-rated attribute among the qualities that men seek in women. It is so desired by men that we bid up prices of beautiful women in the marriage market to stratospheric heights and yet, is beauty really that important? Have you ever heard of parents advising their sons to get a hot babe who performs well on the bed so that he can receive good sex? To parents who know better, it is always about good character and someone who is respectful to them. Physical looks appeal to our basic animal spirits but in the ultimate scheme of things, they do not matter that much. Besides, all women, however beautiful, must become ugly some day. Aging is inevitable. Postponing the inevitable costs lots of money. Is that good value? Instead of paying up for a depreciating asset, should we men not focus on the more enduring assets like good character, mutual love, great communication, matching interests, good financial habits? It will be ideal if a gorgeous hot babe also possess these enduring assets. However, if such a woman comes along, she most likely will be very expensive to acquire. She will probably be spoilt by rich suitors who treat her with expensive dinners and gifts. The poor and middle-class simply cannot compete. For the richer ones, it will still cost a bomb. Why get yourself embroiled in a bidding war? On the other hand, if we were to place our bet on a value babe who possesses the enduring good assets but looks like a pig, she will not only be cheaper to acquire but the probability of success is also higher. Money spent on wooing girls who reject you yields zero returns. So, place your bets on higher-probability ones where there are no competing bidders.

Alright, I know I know. It is madness to expect men to settle down with a pig-like value babe. Just as investors should choose a style that suits their temperament, men should choose a wife that does not look too abhorrent to their taste. A plain-looking Jane with 2 eyes, 1 nose and 1 mouth should do fine.

If you are a cheapskate on the prowl for value, ugliness presents the opportunity for mis-pricing in the wife market. An ugly woman does not make a bad wife. In fact, it may be a blessing in disguise for her. I have a theory that men who marry beautiful women have a higher chance of straying. They marry for beauty. Unfortunately, the aging wife's beauty fades with time and when that happens (with 100% certainty), they look for a younger and prettier mistress. The ugly wife, on the other hand, is on safer grounds because the husband will hardly notice that the aging wife has gotten uglier because it cannot get any worse. Besides, if the husband really cared about beauty, he would not have married her in the first place. It may not be a bad idea for a man to get used to an ugly wife right from the start since she is going to become ugly one day anyway. This reduces the risk of him womanizing which is financially disastrous even for the rich because of the cost of divorce. Unfortunately, boys will be boys.

Since men are expected to foot the bill on dates, we should think of ways to minimize this cost. The most cost-effective way is to find a wife during your school days. As students, it is fair to expect both parties to go on Dutch since both are not earning an income.

Dating women near or slightly above the marriageable age yields a higher chance of landing a wife. When a woman gets older, she will start to worry about being left on the shelf. Older women are more serious about getting married. Therefore, money spent dating older women is more likely to yield returns than on younger women. The older age is a catalyst that will shorten the time for one's investment to bear fruit. Younger women who are not so keen on marriage will keep the poor man waiting and spending. To minimize your cost, keep your expenses on dates to women who are serious about marriage. The ideal case is to marry the first girl you date and kiss. This is not only cheap but the relationship is also healthy as it is free from past emotional baggage. This advice is not applicable to swinging bachelors who derive pleasure from switching girlfriends and having fun with lots of partners. This is just another freedom of choice for one's lifestyle, although it is a very expensive one.

For men who are thrifty and aim for financial freedom at an early age, it is very important to find a thrifty wife. It is hard to save if one party earns and the other spends. It is hard to fill a leaky bucket. Opposing financial habits in a couple can kill a relationship. The European crisis is an example of such a union at risk of breaking up because of the mismatch between thrifty Germany and spendthrift Greece.

From my personal experience, a good way to evaluate whether a girl is of wife material is to observe how she treats her own family. How she treats her family today is an indication of how she treats you when you become family tomorrow. If she is not a filial daughter, drop her. If she cannot get along with her siblings, find out why. If she loves her family very much and showers them with great care and generosity, she will probably be a good wife to you, a good mother to your children and a good daughter-in-law to your parents. Such a wife, even if she looks like a value babe, should bring happiness to the man who marries her.

22 comments:

  1. hyom,

    Happy CNY!

    Interesting article!

    While reading, I can't help but smile and nod my head in agreement that's how an engineer or scientist would write about love or valentine ;)

    Clinical, analytical, breaking things down and putting them back together, etc.

    As a romantic (tip: people who self-proclaim so is usually not romantic in reality!), I would like to chip-in from a Arts student or right-brained perspective.

    The biggest mistake man make is to confuse Love with Lust. The former is you enjoy being with that girl; the latter is you just want to sleep with her. Period.

    And how I know the difference is by the "feeling" I get while holding hands.

    It's more a "chick" thing. Some women know by how a man hugs her; how a man looks at her the right way; how he "listens"; etc.

    In a ideal marriage or being in love, there is no You or Me. There is only Us.

    And that's psychological; not material like in dollars and cents. Perhaps that's why romantics are not "rich" in the financial sense? And why some rich people have trouble finding true love and true friends?




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    Replies
    1. Hi Jared,

      Happy Chinese new year to you too!

      The biggest mistake man make is to confuse Love with Lust. The former is you enjoy being with that girl; the latter is you just want to sleep with her. Period.

      That is very true. Hot-blooded teenage boys talk about love at first sight when it is really lust at first sight.

      The kind of love between girlfriend-boyfriend and husband-wife is different. From strangers to partners, it starts off as a form of business transaction. If the guy is not rich, no money no honey. If the girl is not hot, don't waste my money. Conditions are attached for love to continue.

      After marriage, that's when true love gets a chance to develop. Even if the wife falls sick and becomes a back-breaking burden, the love from the husband for his wife is strengthened and not the other way round. Read how Fandi Ahmad took care of his wife.

      http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Health/Story/A1Story20130211-401430.html

      If the girlfriend gets struck by a debilitating disease which requires long-term care, it is likely that the boyfriend will simply look for another girl. This will not happen if real love is present between husband and wife. This will also not happen between parents and children which I find is even greater because parents simply love their children unconditionally even though children are nothing but trouble during their first year of birth. Who else can stand people who only knows crying and shitting except parents?

      Delete
  2. hey hyom,

    unique pov. just wanted to enquire: are you married or attached?

    cheers, t

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am married. Just in case my wife happens to read this post, I would like to say she definitely looks prettier than a value babe.

      Delete
    2. haha yes. I'm pretty sure she will be less than pleased if she found out that u picked her cos of a "market mispricing"

      can't help but feel that the way u reduced love to an equation is very guy centric. women, in your equation, are rather static entities and evaluated for how much yield they give for the effort utilised in chasing them, or to put it crudely, how much bang for your buck. bit sad really.

      I do hope this post is written with tour tongue firmly in your cheek. its a fresh take, I grant you that, but ultimately rather depressing if we reduce love to such base valuation techniques.

      cheers, t

      Delete
    3. Haha. It is certainly written with tongue firmly in my cheek. Do you think such a calculative man could ever find a wife?

      There are some things that go beyond cost-benefit analysis. I have more than 1 child despite knowing that they are almost sure-lose investment, at least in Singapore. Before I had my first one, I already had this suspicion. After having my first one, it confirmed my suspicion. I went on to have another one.

      In the wooing stage, it is always about cost-benefit analysis. After marriage, couples stick through thick and thin till death do us part, hopefully. It takes time to build true love. Although boyfriends spend more money on their girlfriends on Valentine's day (today!), their love is never as deep as between husbands and wives who have been through thick and thin across decades of adversity. 一日夫妻百日恩,百日夫妻海洋深。



      Delete
  3. hmmmmmm... i think it is not nice to say that it is ok to marry a woman who looks like PIG, just as long as they have good values. Everyone is created special. He/She may look like a PIG to you, but to his/her parents, he/she is beautiful. Although you may find it funny and I understand your viewpoint, I hope you can give some thoughts on the description used to describe women in general ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wife also hate it. I have changed the vulgar word "PIG" to value babe. A value babe is plain on the outside but golden on the inside. Her gold does not shine outwardly because it is all on the inside. Hence, it is easier to acquire her on the cheap. It is like buying gold at copper prices.

      Delete
  4. I appreciate the articles you write, they are very thought provoking if this is what you are trying to achieve.
    I have not read every article, but I hope to read through them, every single one, as i just chance upon your blog today.

    I agree with your wife, that she hates it, cos you are like saying it straight in her face.

    Anyway, please keep writing.Cheers!!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouraging comments. I am glad someone reads my articles so that I have not wasted time writing them.

      Delete
  5. Younger women who are not so keen on marriage will keep the poor man waiting and spending. To minimize your cost, keep your expenses on dates to women who are serious about marriage. The ideal case is to marry the first girl you date and kiss. This is not only cheap but the relationship is also healthy as it is free from past emotional baggage. This advice is not applicable to swinging bachelors who derive pleasure from switching girlfriends and having fun with lots of partners. This is just another freedom of choice for one's lifestyle, although it is a very expensive one.

    I think you lead quite a deprived lifestyle when it comes to women. I guess you do not have much fun with women. There are men who lead a happy life switching girlfriends and sleeping around. True, they spend a bomb on dates. The money is not spent for nothing. To be blunt, they get pleasurable nights in return. I guess this is hard for stingy people like you to understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whether deprived or not is subjective. Leading a sexless & woman-less but financially free lifestyle can be as happy as any another. Some prefer to spend money on women to be happy while others feel that spending money on the needy is part of the self-actualization.

      Delete
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