LBS (Little Bitch Syndrome) is a not so well known ailment that plagues many people of all walks of life. It preys on the ignorant and so by simply reading this, you are arming yourself in defence of its rather nasty effects.
LBS comes in two forms; Type I and Type II. I myself have recently recovered from Type II and have personal experience with Type I. In order to raise awareness of this terrible malady, I have broken down both types below so that all are aware of the devastating consequences it can have on our very own lives and financial goals.
Type I LBS
More commonly known as ‘hating’ or simply ‘hatin’ ‘, Type I LBS has affected us all in some way. Symptoms include rebuking others’ ambitions based upon the subjects’ own insecurities, and excessive use of the word “can’t”*.
My most recent encounter with a Type I LBS subject was while having a discussion with a friend on how they could use Money Trees to become financially independent. Enter an LBS sufferer (a complete stranger at that) who proceeds to state that’ “you can’t realistically live off of interest alone! What about inflation? What if your circumstances change with kids or health issues! What if there’s a recession and you lose your income?!”
After resisting the urge to inform him that he was a LB, and should seek immediate professional help I decided that this may be a good way for my friend to see what Money Tree policy truly means. I therefore swallowed my own LB-esque retort and proceeded to explain that the evidence suggest that is is extremely difficult to loose money on the stockmarket over the long term. I informed the LB that over the last 10 years the FTSE has risen 11%, which doesn’t sound great, but when dividends being reinvested are considered, you have a return of a whopping 58% which comfortably beats inflation! Adrian Lowcock, head of investing at AXA Self Investor backs this up with a study to show that there is only a 6 out of 120 ten year periods between 1996 and now where you would have lost money on the FTSE. For example, the study would take a look the consequences of investing £100,000 in the ten years between Feb 1996 and Feb 2006 and only reinvesting the dividends. They would then do this for March 1996 to March 2006 and so on until today and the only period when money would have been lost is between January and June 1999 and January and June 2009 – from the dot come boom to the recession.
I then answered his questions on my circumstances by stating that he had failed to take into account that I am perfectly capable of pivoting and changing my spending to cope with my out goings in the same way that I would if I had a job. Furthermore he assumes that post-retirement, I would not work another day in my life, part-time or otherwise.
LBS type I subjects will also show a failure to accept that they may be wrong, as this particular subject demonstrated. If you experience this DO NOT ENGAGE IN ARGUEMENTS as you will be wasting valuable time that could be spent growing Money Trees!
Type II LBS
Type II LBS is far harder to diagnose as its symptoms are far more subtle and less overt that that of Type I. Symptoms can be seen in those with substantial** incomes but suffocate their cash flows with things like payday loans, unnecessary credit card purchases or acquisitions on finance – the first sin of the Money Tree way of life. Subjects proceed to constantly complain how they never have any money.
Self-diagonosis of type II is usually more socially acceptable but a good friend would do well to inform an LBS type II subject that they may require attention as soon as possible to increase the chances of a full recovery. Having personally recovered from type II, I can say that it took the Money Tree Lady and a good close friend a long conversation to snap me out of it and do something to remedy my situation.
I will be referring to LBS quite a lot as the different way of living that this blog promotes tends to evoke dramatic reactions in LBS subjects. What have been your experiences with LBS? Do you feel that you know of other ‘types’ yet undefined? Let me know in the comments below.
*The subjects may also find that they have excessive use of another word, similar in sound to the word “can’t”…
**I will not presume to stipulate what constitutes a “substantial income” as peoples’ situations all differ. I will say however that most (not all) may find that they have far more than a “substantial” amount