Many of you may already be aware of the term the “dumb” tax, but until last night, I had never heard of this concept. My supply chain management professor was going over shipping processes (which can be extremely complicated and boring). He mentioned that it’s important to know what you’re doing so you don’t make a mistake and pay the “dumb” tax. According to him it’s a real estate term used for someone that is new to a process. They make a mistake, which loses them money, and therefore they are taxed. If they would have been better EDUCATED on the topic they could have avoided the extra tax.
Now I thought this concept was hilarious. It may be a little insensitive, but I loved the name. The dumb tax, HA. What makes it even funnier, I can look back and recall many times I have paid this tax. I mentioned a few examples in my blog post 4 Mistakes I’ve Made So You Don’t Have To. Almost every transaction I made when starting in the stock market could be used as a perfect example of the dumb tax. The one thing that really stands out to me though, is when I bought my first car. I started out by only wanting to spend $5k on a car. Once I saw I couldn’t get much for that I pushed it all the way up to $10K. I knew I wanted something all-wheel drive, but I wasn’t really sure what else to look for (or avoid). I ended up deciding I wanted a Subaru WRX (turbo). Once I put my mind to it, I had to have that car. In my area, Reno-Nevada, there weren’t many WRXs around. When I finally found one I was so excited I rushed to go buy it (private party). I checked her out. She looked nice enough; after all she was a WRX. So I bought her! Seriously, I worked just like that: I looked at her and two minutes later I bought her. When I look back I wish I could yell “YOU IDIOT! GET THE CAR CHECKED OUT AND DON’T PAY TOP DOLLAR!” I rushed, and I paid the dumb tax big time. I was new to the process of buying a used car, and instead of learning about it I hurried through it and paid the price. After I bought my WRX I found out she needed at least $3K in work done to her within the next 10K miles and she needed new tires. So I ended up paying $14K for a car that was maybe worth $9K. I wish I would have taken the time to educate myself instead of taking a kick in the shorts.
Since the car debacle, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of having patience. When you make a $14K mistake it’s bound to teach you something. Whether you’re a new investor or buying a new television service take the time to educate yourself. If you’re unwilling to do that then find someone you trust who knows SOMETHING about the topic. I think it’s funny how we all complain about taxes, but the amount of a single tax can be minuscule to the price you pay for paying the “dumb” tax. From now on I’ll take my time to learn about a topic before I make a purchase and skip the dumb tax all together.