I hope you’re dumb.

Being dumb is legit. Since home ownership is on the horizon for the Ninja family, I’ve been bouncing my thoughts on the process off of one of my good friends. He knows a ton about the real estate and mortgage industry so I always find myself asking for his two cents.

Sometimes our conversations are pretty straightforward, often discussing things like mortgage interest rates and what communities we think will grow over the coming years. But sometimes our conversations hurt my head. The other day we were discussing buying houses on a 5, 7, or 10 year ARM loan with the goal of paying off the mortgage before the rates adjusted. He was busting out excel spreadsheets. I was crunching numbers in my TI-83. And we ran through a bajillion different “what ifs” Needless to say, it was pretty nerd-tastic. It was geeky, glorious, and educational.

Okay, enough about my boring mortgage conversation. What I really want you to take home from today’s blog post is this… Being dumb is awesome! No really it is. If I didn’t have friends that were smarter than me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. This particular friend knows more about money than me, so when I have a question I run things by him.

I’m seriously obsessed with surrounding myself with people that know more than I do. Books are great, but personal interaction is even better. When I graduated college I had to learn how to be an adult. Things like cooking, paying bills, and working a full time job were all foreign concepts. I decided I should be mentored through the post-college transition and signed up for life coaching. It was freakin’ incredible. For one year, I spent a few hours each month talking with my mentor and establishing goals and plans for my future. We covered six different areas of life; family, health, finances, faith, and priorities. The insight and wisdom I gained during those coaching sessions was priceless.

Take a minute and think about the company you surround yourself with. If you are the smartest person in your circle of friends, you got a problem. You should be interacting with people more knowledgeable than you on a daily basis. Make “being the dumb one” a positive thing. Grow from it, so that one day, you can be the teacher and not the student.

Really all I’m trying to say is stimulating conversation totally rocks my face off! I think it would be really fun to hear what each one of your most recent stimulating conversations was about. Was it about relationships? Money? Faith? Mine was about the real estate market, what was yours?

21 thoughts on “I hope you’re dumb.

  1. This past weekend’s World Domination Summit. Really great conversations with people doing really freakin’ amazing things.

    Came home all jazzed and stuff 🙂

  2. Entrepreneurship. I have a couple friends who have successfully (after several years of hard prep work) started businesses that support them with real salaries. I also have a few friends who a serial start up employees. Talking with these guys about business and entrepreneurship is always fascinating and fun.

  3. Mine was politics. Though it was a conversation with family I hadn’t seen in a while and they are very intelligent. Much more educated on the topic than I am. My sister, for example, has also done the life coaching thing – actually she’s completed the training and I think is also qualified to be a life coach. It’s always nice to visit them; I always gain new insight. 😉

  4. Work with me here, but it was about Dr. Kevorkian and whether or not he violated his Hippocratic Oath throughout his years as a physician. The conversation took many tangents that included topics such as philosophy, medicine, psychology, and personal beliefs/values. A wacky topic spawned by reading CNN.com, but an intense, challenging, and intellectually stimulating conversation!

    Also, I’m always thrilled to talk money with anyone who will listen. I seek out those better versed in investments as that’s my next frontier (aside from my current retirement portfolios, I really don’t have much other investments and I need to change this).

  5. One of my colleagues at work got me started reading about and discussing options. Now I am absorbed by the topic and enjoy it immensely. There is always an opportunity to learn something from someone. You just have to be willing to keep an open mind and take what the other person is offering.

  6. Hi, I’m new to your blog, but I actually have had a LOT of stimulating conversations recently, so I just had to chime in. My fiance (newly) and I sort of had a discussion about real estate, but it was more about how and WHY certain areas tend to become more racially-concentrated than others. Even though segregation is illegal, we live in NYC, so we’re surrounded by racially-concentrated areas, and as we were talking about what areas on Long Island we *might* like to consider eventually house-shopping, we were talking about why certain areas have high crime rates, etc. At one point, we talked about gang-related crime (which unfortunately is a real issue) and why some areas have such a high rate of them. He’s a social studies teacher to underpriviledged (and deeply disturbed) children who are hospitalized. He teaches them on the hospital grounds. He couldn’t understand why some kids ever get involved in gang life and I said, “Sometimes, it’s all they know.” He didn’t buy that argument, but he brought up the fact that it’s been proven that the development of an area itself often contributes to crime. Under-lit, under-developed areas breed crime, because it’s harder to get caught. He argued that if these areas could make themselves less attractive to commit crimes in, those rates would probably drop. I agree with him, however then the discussion went in the direction of how development costs money and causes the area to become less affordable for those living in it… and then they feel pushed out and resentful… and then they might not have a place to live. So, it was a very interesting conversation.
    C.M.C @ twentytwomonths.blogspot.com

  7. I actually chatted with my boss who is here from Singapore working in the US. It was really interesting to hear her take on how the US work culture seems to her. She also gave me a great insight into Singapore and just how different her life was growing up. Learning new things is a must for me……

  8. I am the token dumb girl in my crew of friends. They say things like, “You’re pretty,” when I finish talking. Haha! But I agree, having friends with an intellectual advantage over you is a great way to brainstorm.

  9. Have you guys considered purchasing a house with a garage apartment in the back? A duplex, and living in 1/2 of it? Buying a small (rent-sized) house, with a plan to upgrade to a bigger house when your family size demands it?

    I know housing prices are stupid whack in your area of the country, but $350Gs seems crazy! (my first house in Texas was $126K and it was in a nice neighborhood & has a garage apt and is only 7 mins to downtown).

    I was just wondering if you were going to stick to the typical 3/2/2 house in the surburbia neighborhood?

  10. First, I would like to point out that you mention discussing six important areas of life with your coach, then list five. Thanks – just had to get that out.

    My fiance and I have been having some major discussions about life and plans. I’ve started taking a great interest in retirement planning and we’ve discussed different accounts and what we will do with the money once we are both retired. We’ve been planning a vacation for this summer as well, so conversations about having fun are taking place daily.

  11. I did that with our mortgage. I refinanced to a 7-year balloon with a really low interest rate and adjusted the principal payments to pay it off in 6 years.

  12. I completely agree – having a well-balanced group of friends is essential. I have a friend who is very into fitness, and can give me sound advice every time I ask “How do I tone this?” and “How do I get rid of this?” My entrepreneurial friends are also some of the most interesting and self-disciplined people I know, which keeps me on my toes. I find that surrounding myself with people who are more successful keeps me striving for more, just to satisfy my competitive streak. Recently, I spoke with a friend about the quickest way to get rid of my student debt. Learning more about planning my finances is always a plus 🙂

  13. It’s funny, I was thinking about options even before I read the comments. Long conversation, where a friend was telling me about options, puts, calls, spreads, butterflies, all that stuff. Too scary for me to risk my money at (if I had any money, LOL) but fascinating how people can study and comprehend all the details of these complicated strategies.

  14. I think it was on the future.

    You are right, stimulating conversations rock but they don’t only have to be from people smarter than you are, anyone with an opinion and a legit reasoning behind it can create stimulating conversation.

  15. I have such conversations at work every day, which I hadn’t thought much of until you mentioned it in this way. I suppose that’s why I like my career path in academia, the days are filled with mentally challenging projects, and I constantly feel undereducated around these people, since most of them have PhDs and MDs and are twice my age. I also have a lot of political discussions with my family; my dad is a political science professor, so he’s always there to school me on something!

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