Greatest Financial Hits – Volume 1

Do you ever find yourself listening to music and your mind wanders to something strong that it stirred inside you?

Perhaps a previous romance, a song from a high school prom or memories from a vacation to remember.

Music provides comfort in times of need, a different place to go to where we can get lost in ourselves. It can do wonders for the soul and it also can impact our financial mindset and how we live our lives.

What ARE you bloody talking about Mr. PIE? Have you lost the plot completely? Should we call a doctor?

OK, grab a coffee, beer or your favorite drink. Put the headphones on and let’s listen (with tongue firmly in cheek) to some of the fine music Mr. PIE owns in his outdated collection.

And before we get into it, a special shout-out to the EscapeArtist who provided inspiration with his very eloquent ramblings on music that are infinitely better than anything I can conjure up. I tip my best British top hat, good sir. Please go check out his blog, some absolutely marvelous stuff over there.

  1. If I had a Million Dollars (Barenaked Ladies)

From their album Gordon, the eclectic alternative rock band from Canada tell us all about their wishes if someone crossed their palms with a million bucks. And it is interesting listening for sure as my analysis tells me they are not on the path towards FIRE. Oh no!  Those Canadian chaps just wanna spend, spend, spend. [Sorry Tawcan, I know you guys north of the border don’t all behave like this with money.]

If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
I’d buy you a house (I would buy you a house)
If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
I’d buy you furniture for your house
(Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)

Money is thrown straight into real estate – and clearly not SF, NY or London- you’d barely get a fixer up condo at those prices in these cities. Not content with plunking their wedge of cash on a palatial home, they appear to have a strong inkling to filling it with useless stuff like a deep buttoned quilted leather sofa (the Chesterfield) or a type of couch with neither a back nor arms (an Ottoman). On the latter point, methinks the good folks from BNL don’t have a brain cell in their head if this is where they seek to invest their dough.

But wait, there’s more. It gets even better.

If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
I’d buy you a fur coat (but not a real fur coat that’s cruel)
If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
I’d buy you an exotic pet (Like a llama or an emu)

Their desire to spend knows no bounds and off to the mall they go. A visit to Macy’s snags a faux fur coat. I do like their attention to preserving the wildlife on our planet though.

And then a search of Yahoo to locate an exotic pet. I did a search of the interwebs this morning and emus ain’t cheap. Apparently a pair of emus (this has the inherent assumption that you wish to have them mate and grow the nest egg – pun absolutely intended) will set you back nearly $20,000 each and close to $40,000 for the pair. Gulp! And that’s not even counting where you house the damn things. I guess on the 20 acres of lawn that comes with the $1M home, assuming it is in rural Kentucky where you can actually buy a castle with 20 acres for that amount of money.

Don’t get me wrong, there can be much happiness derived from living in a home that is well within your budget. Please however consider the following advice – If your loved one reaches over and whispers in your ear that they are considering investing in an emu fund (EMUX), run for the hills. They are likely not the type of partner that is compatible with your penchant for saving money towards early retirement.

2. Good Riddance (Green Day)

An iconic song, often played at weddings, graduations, high school proms has many different messages in the lyrics.  For Mr. PIE, it has nothing to do with kicking his financial advisor out the door or moving on from that high expense, low yielding mutual fund. I would add though, if you are faced with either of these two vexing situations, ACT ON THEM NOW. And crank up some Green Day directly thereafter. You will be amazed how good it feels, I guarantee it.

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

It was Mrs. PIE’s favorite aunt who provided some sage advice to her many years ago.

“Life is not a dress rehearsal”

Time is fleeting and it is best to use it wisely no matter what life throws at us. Head to the beach, the mountains, reach for the moon – any direction of your choosing. As Warren Miller of epic ski movies fame tell us – “You will only be a year older when you do”.  Have that time of your life now and don’t wait for the clock to turn at FIRE to start living life to the fullest. As Maggie from Northern Expenditure says, “The future you is still you”.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality

Ahh, the genius of Freddie Mercury. The lyrics get at the individualistic bohemian in all of us and the romantic ideal (rhapsody) we may aspire to. In that powerful opening five-part harmony, the boys from Queen question whether we are able to escape the reality of our situation. But we know better, it is upon us to shape our own destiny and if that means escaping the clutches of the workplace, that is what we will do.

The introduction continues and reminds us to chill out, smell the roses and stay the course.

Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I’m easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me.

The stock market winds blow high, blow low. But that doesn’t bother us in the slightest. We stay the course with a smart “buy and hold” investment strategy. The song is most likely a look into the demons that Freddie faced. I actually prefer the meaning offered by the band drummer Roger Taylor who said the meaning to the song was “fairly self explanatory with a bit of nonsense in the middle”. A bit like life itself, don’t you think?

4. Tub Thumping (Chumbawumba)

You know the song, if not the title.  Released in 1997, it topped the charts in multiple countries worldwide. Did you know that Chumbawumba were once offered $1.5M by Nike to include the song in a World Cup advertisement?  They turned it down! Strong morals indeed.

So what the heck is “tubthumping”? Apparently, a phrase used to describe a politician (or person) who jumps on the bandwagon with a populist idea. I guess the masses who have fled actively managed funds and turned to passive, low cost indexing could be seen as “tubthumping”. Or Fidelity who are now looking to significantly lower their cost structure with their fund offerings to compete with Vanguard. All good. And tubthumping to boot! Who knew?

The catchy jingle is perhaps a metaphor for the S&P 500 as it marches relentlessly onward and upward. Come on, loosen those vocal chords and join me in belting it out….

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down

5. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson / Jimmy Buffett)

You may wish to insert a different number depending on the hour of the day that that your employer has you slaving towards. Of course very few of us are regular 9-5 ‘ers but you know what I mean. We all feel this on a regular basis. A crappy meeting, a snippy retort from your boss, perhaps another unrealistic deadline to meet. Images of a chilled Margarita on the rocks float by before we are jolted back to reality by the ping of yet another e-mail alerting us to the fact that something more important than a cocktail needs our undivided attention.

The sun is hot and that old clock is movin’ slow,
An’ so am I.
Work day passes like molasses in wintertime,
But it’s July.
I’m gettin’ paid by the hour, an’ older by the minute.
My boss just pushed me over the limit.
I’d like to call him somethin’,
I think I’ll just call it a day.

Pour me somethin’ tall an’ strong,
Make it a “Hurricane” before I go insane.
It’s only half-past twelve but I don’t care.
It’s five o’clock somewhere.

“My boss just pushed me over the limit. I’d like to call him (her) somethin’. I think I’ll just call it a day.” Yes, yes and yes. Never a truer set of words has been said in just three lines and before 9.30am. The final lines below remind us that five o’clock comes for us all. And when that time (date) hits, the plans we have made and our investments will take us somewhere. Whether that involves pouring a Margarita or Hurricane doesn’t matter one bit. Just. Somewhere. Else.

All right. Well, it’s five o’clock. Let’s go somewhere.
I’m ready, crank it up.
Let’s get out of here.
I’m gone.

6. The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)

No, we are not admitting defeat and joining the ranks of the Chickens of Doom (Naysayers) who would argue that investing in the stock market is akin to gambling your life away. That thesis just doesn’t wash with Mr. and Mrs. PIE or our financially savvy readers. However, there are some lessons for us in the chorus that I would like to bring to your immediate attention.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

Mr. PIE would urge you to exercise some caution in putting too much faith in the aforementioned lines.  Timing the market (knowing when to hold AND when to fold) is actually a fools game. You all know it is time IN the market that will grow your wealth.

And there is even more to watch out for as you crank up this song in James Corden Carpool Karaoke style during your long commute to work.

You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Here Kenny Rogers urges us to not obsessively check Personal Capital or Mint every hour of the day. And especially not when driving in your car singing along to this tune on your local Country FM station. [Editorial note added from Mrs. PIE – “Mr. PIE, you would be wise to heed this advice you are providing to the readers”].


7. Find Yourself (Brad Paisley)

This song is particularly relevant for us. We would have to listen to it about a thousand times (at least it felt like that) when we played the movie Cars for the small PIE’s when they were small(er). It may also resonate strongly with other bloggers with young families. As we motor our way through the fast lane of working life, Brad Paisley offers philosophical musings that the journey is not always laid out neatly on a map. In times of struggle, whether it is the workplace or finding a way out of debt or searching within yourself to define your purpose, don’t be afraid of taking a different turn. Just make sure it is not in South Boston after midnight.

When you go through life
So sure of where you’re headin’
And you wind up lost
And it’s the best thing that could have happened
‘Cause sometimes when you lose your way
It’s really just as well
Because you find yourself
Yeah, that’s when you find yourself

Mr. PIE also also asks you not to take this advice too literally. He is not a card-carrying therapist after all. Although you may feel like taking a left on the way to work when you need to take a right, Mr. PIE does not want you to be late for that critical meeting and putting any plans for FIRE at risk by losing your job. Still, that may be the jolt you need in which case Mr. PIE takes full credit for urging you to wind up lost.


So there you go, a little medley of musical fun to start your work-week.

Everybody has that point in their life where you hit a crossroads and you’ve had a bunch of bad days and there’s different ways you can deal with it and the way I deal with it is I just turn completely to music.

The previous paragraph is courtesy of Taylor Swift, not Mr. PIE. She looks, sings and dances a whole lot better than Mr. PIE.

Any song resonate with you? Which one are you going to be singing all day? How are your groovy moves on the dance-floor? Sing them out loud in the comments below.


  1. Gotta love #1.

    “I’d build a treefort in our yard. You could help. It wouldn’t be that hard.”

    “I’d buy you a monkey. Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?”

    Yup. It’s in my head.

    1. Yes, not content with an emu, they went on to finding a monkey. I guess bananas from Aldi are a fairly inexpensive grocery item for those dudes.

      I hope I have not distracted you too much today. Please watch those dosages.

  2. I’m not supposed to check my finances when I’m driving? Lol
    Could you imagine telling the police well my stocks went up 100 percent today but I couldn’t see the car stopped in front of me.

    1. Doug, I assume you are not a police officer, by the very writing of this note.

      Yes, please drive safely and find other avenues to check Personal Capital – the bath, the beach, those dreadful meetings that populate our calendars…..

      With your stocks going up so much, you would be able to pay the repair damage and the fine for dangerous driving quite easily though…. ?

  3. Hi! Your page design has changed. Looks very sharp, indeed!

    To the list of financial hits, I would add Gwen Stefani (source:
    “If I was a rich girl
    Think what that money could bring
    I’d buy everything
    Clean out Vivienne Westwood
    In my Galliano gown
    No, wouldn’t just have one hood
    A Hollywood mansion if I could
    Please book me first-class to my fancy house in London town”
    OK, at this point I’m worried that she might go over the 4% rule (or 3%, which I consider safer). But then, fortunately, she redeems herself:
    “All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
    All the riches baby, won’t bring what your love can bring
    All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
    Don’t need no other baby
    Your lovin’ is better than gold, and I know”
    Very good point!
    But don’t make me dance to this!


    1. Thanks for the compliment on the new look blog!

      Glad to see Gwen brings a nice element of balance to her lifestyle. Smart lady.

      “Lovin better than gold”. Along with five thousand other investment choices that are better than gold, I think you would agree….

      I have this image of you dancing through the office today as you go about your business. Now that would get colleagues talking, wouldn’t it?

  4. Ha, I love the fun post! Greenday – Good Riddance is always a good song to play when you are about to make a transition in life. Glad you dumped the high priced financial advisor and moved on!

    And finally I know the meaning of tubthumping! Better late than never, Fidelity!

    1. Thanks GS.

      I actually wish I could have cranked up the song when I had the final phone conversation with our former advisor but I was at work and the offices next door to me might have been upset with my hollering and dancing.

      I have to say it was only in my research for this article that I learned the meaning of tubthumping.

  5. That’s a great write-up! I did a post a long while back on “If I had a million dollars” and how quickly they’d blow through it. 🙂

    “…I’d buy you a green dress, but not a real green dress that’s cruel!” hahahahaha

    My other fav that plays well into FIRE situations is Neil Diamond, “Forever in Blue Jeans”.

    “Money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk. As long as I can have you here with me, I’d much rather be, forever in blue jeans!

    Of course, that pairs well with Zac Brown and “Chicken Fried”

    “And its funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most
    Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes…”

    So many lyrics, so little time to list them all. 🙂

    1. Ah ha. I get a glimpse into the music collection of Mr. SSC. Fun!

      My parents would certainly approve of Neil Diamond as of course would millions of RedSox fans who are all well acquainted with the great Sweet Caroline.

      My goodness, there is so much in music that connects to FIRE. I agree completely. I wil see how the response to this post goes before deciding whether to release volumes 2, 3, 4 etc on PIE tunes….

      I had so much fun writing this post. Although the kids looked at me at times with that look which says, ” Get your music collection updated, please daddy!”. Mrs. PIE had much of the same feelings.

  6. Great way to start off my Monday morning. I love that Green Day song and it’s really a great reminder to think about the big picture – enjoy the present (take the mental photographs) but keep in mind that it’s going to pass by very quickly. I’m always cognizant of the balancing act that is my effort to live life and works towards our awesome future.

    1. Good morning Harmony. Glad to help start your week off with some harmless fun.

      You nailed it right on with the Good Riddance interpretation. Your mental photograph description reminds me how much I get irritated with people who spend all vacation roaming with a selfie stick. Eh, how about just soaking in what is around you instead?

      Thanks for the comment and checking out my crazy ramblings….

  7. Ha! Great read! And a great lineup of music, too.

    Queen’s got lots of great stuff that could be added. But, in the interest of musical diversity (though not necessarily quality), I’ll mention the classic(?) from Danzig, “Mother,” which I guess can maybe be interpreted to suggest the value of going one’s own way rather than following the herd:

    Tell your children not to walk my way
    Tell your children not to hear my words
    What they mean
    What they say

    Like I said – diversity. Not necessarily quality… 🙂

    Thanks for this great read!

    1. Mr FL,

      I did have to Google that song and band to find out what they are all about. A band with some history I see. I could imagine a lyric or two from their songs as not being suitable for our small PIE’s.

      Like our investment funds, we do however love the diversified musical tastes in our readers. All good!

      And as you say, I could have written a whole post on Queen songs. Perhaps Volume 2 will be released with such fare, assuming I have not bored the readers to death already…..?

  8. If I had a Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies is a classic. 🙂

    I also like the Green Day song a lot. Can’t go wrong with Queens either. Have to say I’m not familiar with #5 and 7.

    1. Indeed, can’t beat the guys from BNL. Great, fun band.
      Regarding #5 and #7, an opportunity to diversify your music collection!

      Thanks for swinging by!

  9. Ha! I love it. And I’m also glad I’m not the only geek listening the radio thinking: “REALLY?! What a terrible plan for your money!” PS – Barenaked for the Holidays is my favorite Christmas album ever. I love them. 🙂

    1. BNL are also a favorite with us. They do a good kids jingle CD also which was played a million times when our kids were small PIEs.

      It is funny how we think about song lyrics in often the some ways yet it takes others to point it out for us and realize we are not crazy!!!!

  10. Nice list Mr PIE, sadly most are a bit older than me! Fun lyrics though. One song that makes me cringe about personal finance is the world-famous Katy Perry. Lyrics include:

    Big hoops, and maroon lips, my clique hoppin’ in my Maserati
    (This is how we do)
    Santa Barbara, chique, at La Super Rica, grabbing tacos, checking out hotties
    Now we talking astrology, getting our nails did, all Japanese-y
    (This is how we do)
    Day drinking at the Wildcats, sucking real bad at Mariah Carey-oke

    And this next one is classy AND great PF advice.

    This one goes out to the ladies at breakfast in last night’s dress
    (It’s how we do, straight stuntin’ like that)
    Uh-huh, I see you
    Yo, this goes out to all you kids that still have their cars at the club valet and it’s Tuesday
    (This is how we do yeah straight stuntin’ like that)
    Yo, shout out to all you kids, buying bottle service, with your rent money

    She is one of the biggest role models in the world 🙂


    1. Ah, I do feel a tad older with that kind of comment. Ha ha!

      ” This is how we DON’T ” save would be a better title for the ditty from Ms. Perry.

      Clearly she is still finding her way through her spendy wild days…..

  11. Bohemian Rhapsody is now earwormed in my head. I love me some Queen.

    While not directly related to money, whenever I am stressed for some reason Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie pops in my head.

    “Pressure pushing down on me
    Pressing down on you
    No man ask for”

    Once again really great post. Had a ton of fun reading it!!!

    1. Bowie and Freddie. Both left our midst way too early. What talent!

      We can for sure feel the heat of the market headwinds at times. And pressure to stay the course when there is a strong urge to sell. I can relate to that.

      Thanks for swinging by MSM!

  12. Lovely post Mr. Pie. Sincerely enjoyed reading, listening and watching it. Kind of cool you diversified into country as well. Maybe you have been in the States a bit too long 😉

    1. Thanks for the kind words Team CF. Glad you enjoyed my ramblings.

      Disclaimer – I don’t actually own any Alan Jackson. But the song seemed appropriate as I do kinda like it.

      Living in the US has indeed changed some habits such as embracing that thing they throw around on a field and call football. And driving on the right hand side. And getting used to closets you could actually house a whole British family in. And saying things like “kinda”…

  13. Love it! I should have guessed by now your taste in music would be eclectic. And Mrs. Pie’s aunt – “Life is not a dress rehearsal” – live that too! Now you’ve got me wondering if she’s like Auntie Mame.

    1. I am not familiar with the aforementioned Auntie but some cursory searching of the interwebs has me in a tizzy to read that Auntie Mame could well have been related to the outspoken republican nominee.
      “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death”, is something I expect to see flash across CNN as I waste an afternoon coffee away by gazing at more utter drivel on my high quality news feeds.

      Mrs. PIE would have some other description of my music collection and it would not be so kind as eclectic.
      I will raise a glass, filled with an adult beverage of course, to your “5 o’clock everywhere” when it happens. I will be sure to keep my Twitter feed awake as your countdown clock approaches 5.

  14. Had to go to Youtube in the middle of this post and listen to Good Riddance by Green Day. I just love that song and that was my favorite analysis that you did! I’m a huge proponent of maximizing time to maximize happiness!

  15. This post made my day Mr.Pie!
    What a great collection of music and that in particular first song in the list
    ‘If I had a million dollars from bare asked ladies. 🙂

    If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
    I’d buy you a house (I would buy you a house)
    If I Had $1000000 (If I Had $1000000)
    I’d buy you furniture for your house
    (Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)

    Keep posting great stuff like this Mr.Pie, have a good day!

  16. I absolutely made myself a playlist for my office once I opened my business. Many iterations of the song “F you, pay me.” So many folks want my services for free. I sing the song and show them the door.

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