PRN: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12

New Yorker

You may have been wondering whyit's been so long since I've done acolumn on humor and money. It's notbecause we don't need a laugh ordon't have a lot to laugh about. Therejust doesn't seem to be much humoravailable, thanks to our white-knuckleeconomy. But months of gleaning havefinally yielded a group of observationsworthy of a chortle or 2 from even themost scarred investor or HMO-bedevileddoc. A tip of the hat to DavidBrenner, Woody Allen, Sophie Tucker,Jon Clements, the and theever-popular Team Anonymous.

• Misers aren't fun to live with, butthey make great ancestors.

• Having money is better thanpoverty, if only for financial reasons.

• Money won't buy friends, but itwill get you a better class of enemies.

• I've been rich and I've been poor.Rich is better.

• The 15% tax bracket may be anice place to visit, but you wouldn'twant to live there.

• As a nation, we may be spendingour children's money, but at my houseit's the other way around.

• Commencement speaker: "Graduates,faculty, parents, creditors?"

• Fantasy will reading of investor:"Being of sound mind and disposition,I blew it all."

• Wall Street CEO optimist: "It sure ishandy having my broker here in my cell."

• Two fat cats talking: "As far as I'mconcerned, they can do all they wantwith the minimum wage, as long asthey keep their hands off the maximumwage."

• "Kids, your mother and I spent somuch money on health care insurancethis year that instead of a vacation,we're all going in for elective surgery."

• Two docs, after discussing theeconomy, the stock market, and theirHMO contracts: "Winning the lottery iscrucial to my retirement planning."

• Tombstone epitaph: "Born 80Dow. Died 9000 Dow."

• The key to retirement is to savemore than your fellow baby boomer.Remember the story of 2 hunters runningaway from an enraged bear?"We'll never outrun the bear!"screams the one. "I don't have to," saidthe other, "I just have to outrun you!"

• I used to think that when I retire Iwould have nothing to do, but now Irealize my days will be filled, on thephone arguing with my HMO.

• In the Israeli desert, 2 archeologistswere looking at some newly discoveredbones. The first says, "Thisman died of heart failure 3000 yearsago." The second says, dubiously,"How can you tell that?" "It's easy,"replies his friend, "He's holding apiece of paper that says ‘10,000shekels on Goliath.‘"

• And finally, I've decided to sharewith you the 2 universal rules forfinancial success:1. Never tell them what you know.

Jeff Brown, a partner on the

Stanford Graduate School of

Business Alumni Consulting

Team, teaches in the Stanford

School of Medicine Family

Practice Program. He welcomes questions

or comments at