A long time ago, before Windows, there was DOS.  An equally long time ago, before there was Quicken, there was a software package called Managing Your Money that some of us still use.  Never mind that it was orphaned 28 years ago.

It was so fun cajoling the geniuses who built that program into doing what I wanted it to do.  And yes, I mean you, Jerry Rubin (and you, too, Steve Wagar, Spencer Martin, Jim Russell, Beth McLain, Mike Starkey and several others whose names time has buried too deep in my brain).

Could it print checks?


Could it download stock prices directly at the end of each day?

Could it sort your stocks by Symbol, Value, Dollar Gain, Percentage Gain, Annualized Gain, and Purchase Date?


Could it estimate your life expectancy, tell you how much life insurance you need, guide you in buying it and give you a place to record all your policies including auto, homeowners, and umbrella?


A built-in word processor?  A financial calculator?  A retirement planner?  A button to print out a report for everything your heirs would need, in their grief, upon your demise?  An income tax estimator?  A calendar to keep all your appointments?  A “rolodex” that’s STILL better in some respects than Outlook?

Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep . . . all they ever said was yes.

How about handling “return of capital” distributions?  Hypothetical portfolios?  Stock splits?  A guide to getting out of debt?  Budgeting?  Buy-versus-rent analysis?  Mortgage refinancing?  Rental property analysis?


Could it print an amortization schedule?  Adjust it for pre-payments and interest rate payments?  Help you reconcile your checkbook?  Keep track of accounts payable and receivable?  And all your loans, borrowed and lent?

You get the idea.

I long ago switched to Outlook for the PDA functions, but still use MYM for lots of other functions, including the section where it tots up your Net Worth.

I’ll admit it.  I like to keep track.  Over the years, with ups and downs (and now I’m looking at you, PRKR), it has grown.

Each time I, or any MYM user, pressed F6 to update our Net Worth, extracting all our assets and liabilities from elsewhere in the program, it would whir for a few seconds, and then display Your Net Worth, your “debt/equity ratio” and offer some text elaborating on your situation.

It seemed to me this could be a place to have a little fun, which we tried to sprinkle throughout the program, and so I asked the geniuses if we could tack on a sentence or two . . .

. . . following the verbiage about their contingent tax liability . . .

. . . to put their Net Worth into context.

For example:

If you liquidated everything and converted it to $20 bills, you’d have a stack 32 feet high.

Or . . .

You know the expression “If I had a nickel for every time one of you kids left the screen door open?”  If that’s how you accumulated your net wealth, we can assume your kids left the door open 378,219 times.  You better get a door that shuts by itself!  Wait, that’s Managing Your Mosquitos.

There were lots of these, which appeared more or less at random, with a few programmed to appear rarely (if memory serves). so you never knew for sure you’d seen them all.  (And each year, we tried to add a few new ones.)

I came upon one just now I hadn’t seen in a long time, and that’s what triggered this morning’s self-indulgent nostalgia.  Here it is in full (except not my real numbers):

We have your tax bracket as 35% from Tax.

Here’s your tax liability on realized gains so far this year: $33,085.15.

Here’s your contingent liability on the net UN-realized gains in your taxable portfolios: $114,222.91.

Taking these into account would make your net worth: $1,414,208.62.

Quick!  Press Alt-D (for “dream on“) and we’ll double it!

Then, if they did in fact press Alt-D:


That was just a test, to see if you were interested.

Now say the magic word and we’ll double it for real.

(Hint: it is a very rare word, you must pronounce it exactly right, and loud enough for us to hear it.)

Needless to say, no one ever guessed the word; or, if they did, said it loud enough for us to hear.

What relevance has any of this to today?


Basically, I’m just holding my breath until tomorrow night’s hearing.

To kill time, and perhaps help save democracy and the rule of law, I’m dunning assorted friends and passers-by for the DNC.  Have a great day.



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