PIE Tunes: An Awesome Festive Medley to Warm your Savings World by the Yuletide FIRE

Ho! Ho! Ho!

See what I did there with the blog post title….?

Mr. Santa PIE here with another dose of musical ramblings to get you rocking around the Christmas tree.

You see, it does not take much to get Mr. PIE in the mood for the holiday season. Spending each day doing sophisticated technical analyses of potential new scientific breakthroughs by smaller biotechs, Mr. PIE is often drawn to music to bring him back from the reality of such (ahem…) “innovation” that often resembles a scientific steaming pile of horse manure.

Without further ado, let’s grab those old dusty cassettes, crank up that 80’s boom box, sit back, relax and marvel at the festive musical genius about to unfold.

Alternatively, scan quickly through the post to find something vaguely amusing and send Mr. PIE an awfully rude comment for putting together even more horse manure. After all, tis the season of sharing, isn’t it?

  1. Fairytale of New York (The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl)


Full disclosure here. Mr. PIE’s favorite Christmas song. Ever. Just ask Mrs. PIE who has to listen to it being played SIX times over when the PIE Family Christmas tree goes up

Second full disclosure. Mr. PIE saw The Pogues in concert at the Glasgow Barrowlands in 1988. Although it might have been 1987, the years (or whisky….) in between are taking a heavy toll on the neurons. Yes, he is an old bastard who is still hoping to retire early.

If you listen to one song in this post, make it this one.

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

The raspy voice of Shane MacGowan to his partner reveals his investing strategy. Now, don’t you be laughing at speculation! An eighteen fold return on investment is not be sneezed at, not at all!

Good luck finding those diamonds (we’ll come back to those later) in the rough of the myriad of funds in the equities market.

18x increase in investment? Ah, Bitcoin, I hear you cry! OK, point taken.

Mr. MacGowan did indeed get on a lucky one. His Bitcoin bet came in, big time, just in time for Christmas. A better time does not only lie ahead, it’s here right now. The Christmas stockings are stuffed with sparkling jewelry, iPhone X’s and other expensive shit. Their dreams will come true. But you know how this story ends for most when jumping on the BitCoin bandwagon, don’t you. Sorry, it ain’t no fairytale.

  1. Merry Christmas, I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight (The Ramones)

The Ramones remind us of the tension created by money matters manifesting at the worst of times. The season of joy and giving invariably can end up as screaming and yelling with a partner who may not be on the same page financially.

Merry Christmas, I don’t want to fight tonight
Merry Christmas, I don’t want to fight tonight with you…..

……I love you and you love me
And that’s the way it’s got to be
I loved you from the start
‘Cause Christmas ain’t the time for breaking each other’s heart

It also reminds Mr. PIE of how getting on the same page is hard for so many. Case-in-point with two visionary world leaders who are doing their very best to keep the global economy stable through open dialogue, harmony and the loving friendship of two Angels. Their Christmas game-show like spats at the moment don’t seem to be having much of an effect other than getting the creative juices flowing of various cartoonists.

Come on guys, show us some holiday season love. Look, you are under the mistletoe. Aww! That’s sweet, a big fat smooch! Beautiful!

  1. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (Elmo & Patsy)

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe

She’d been drinking too much eggnog
And we begged her not to go
But she forgot her medication
And she staggered out the door into the snow…….

Grandma’s increased allocation to eggnog clearly did not help her portfolio. Even worse, the low cost medication she was on through Medicare, after years of paying expensive premiums on the ACA, was left on the mantelpiece by the fire at home as she staggered out the front door into the teeth of a Nor’easter.

There is some good news, however. Grandpa did not have to worry so much financially, as he pondered the funeral costs and paying the mounting stack of bills. He remembered they had canceled the life insurance policy nearly three decades ago when he and Grandma became financially independent. Financial Independence! Woot! Woot! He could breathe a huge sigh of relief in his time of mourning. With his financial house in good order, he was able to sleep a bit easier and have the occasional bit of fun watching football, sipping a few cold ones and fondly reminiscing of happy times spent with Grandma.

Now we’re all so proud of grandpa
He’s been taking this so well
See him in there watching football
Drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel

  1. Christmas in Hollis (Run DMC)


It was December 24th on Hollis ave in the dark
When I see a man chilling with his dog in the park
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my god, an ill reindeer

But then I was illin because the man had a beard
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o’clock had neared
So I turned my head a second and the man had gone
But he left his driver’s wallet smack dead on the lawn

I picket the wallet up then I took a pause
Took out the license and it cold said “Santa Claus”
A million dollars in it, cold hundreds of g’s
Enough to buy a boat and matching car with ease

Some say the first million is the hardest. Unless you find a shit-load of bills inside a wallet on the snow-covered sidewalk of Hollis, Queens, NY. (Editorial note – that would have to be a very fat wallet or bills with large denomination). The boat, the car, hell two or more of each come next with ease. Hedonic treadmill, anybody….?

But I’d never steal from Santa, cause that ain’t right
So I’m going home to mail it back to him that night
But when I got home I bugged, cause under the tree
Was a letter from Santa and all the dough was for me

But Joseph Simmons (Run DMC front man) would never steal from Santa. No siree! His dreams of a great Christmas would not be compromised by sketchy moral values. That wallet of swag was going to be mailed first class to the North Pole right back into the hands of the owner. What a surprise though, the good intentions were handsomely rewarded when he got home.  That first million was achieved!

Lesson here – do something good this Christmas time. In fact, do something good any time. You just never know what could happen as a result of a kind act.

  1. Eight Days of Christmas (Destiny’s Child)

On the eighth day of Christmas my baby gave to me
A pair of Chloe shades and a diamond belly ring

The last (only) time I checked, a pair of Chloe shades and a diamond belly ring would set you back over a grand at least.

(Editorial note from Mrs. PIE – “Why the heck are you checking the price of sparkly belly rings, Mr. PIE. I don’t need that naval nonsense this Christmas or any Christmas for that matter.”)

The spending ratchets up further. Beyonce is not content with sparkles and cool sunglasses. Holy shit, she gets a bloody shiny Mercedes, sitting in the McMansion driveway, upon opening the curtains on Christmas morning. Whoah, baby!  That is one spendy sugar-daddy!

On the second day of Christmas, my baby gave to me
The keys to a CLK Mercedes

Thankfully, the spendy ways of the flashy sugar-daddy does not continue. And Christmas becomes a time to reflect, spend quality time with each other, wishing the season would never end.

On the first day of Christmas, my baby gave to me
Quality T-I-M-E

“You can buy pretty much anything but you can’t buy everything”, as Paula Pant teaches us.

You certainly can’t buy time.

And those who are well on the road to financial independence or retiring early know there is no value you can put on time. Time to do what you want, when you want, where you want. Time is NOT money. Please think of that if you are considering dropping a few g’s on gifts this holiday season.

Beyonce, however, does not need to worry about such things like time. With a net worth approaching $350M and a conservative SWR of 3.25% in an 80:20 equities to bonds portfolio, she is able to incinerate $11.375 million each year and not worry about pesky annoyances like capital depletion. That’s a lot of sunglasses, sparkly belly rings and shiny cars. Kaching $$!!

  1. Merry Christmas, Kiss my Ass (All Time Low)

 Mr. PIE includes this here just for the hell of it.

Wouldn’t the title of the song be the most succinct and best resignation letter ever to wrap up your career just before the holidays and kick-start your awesome post-FIRE life?

Oh, and the video to this song is hilarious. It includes some pointers of what not to do at the office holiday party. You don’t want to start your FIRE life too early and be whacked for bad behavior, sending you out the door before year-end bonuses are paid.

Be careful out there folks at the holiday party. Be good girls and boys. Your savings rate will thank you for it.

  1. Walking in the Air (Aled Jones)

Gather up the family, get cozy under a blanket and watch the movie The Snowman. It will warm your heart as the snow gently falls outside.

What has this got to do with our financial world, Mr. PIE? Where are you taking us now, goddammit?

  • Since November 2016, the SP 500 has had 12 consecutive monthly gains.
  • The index has not had a down quarter since the third quarter of 2015.
  • CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings) ratio currently sits at 32.45

We are not walking in the air. We are walking in the equities market equivalent of rarefied air.

  1. 4 Carats (Kelly Clarkson)

Well Santa I’ve been thinking
And I’m just in need one thing
You to bring me, something shiny

Like diamond ring
Just a little something from Tiffany’s
Or a big ruby
You know that has always looked good on me

No, Kelly is not looking to leave four carrots for Rudolph and the herd as a token of thanks for schlepping Santa and his sleigh full of presents across the globe. She is looking for something much grander in her stocking.

That $46K, not spent on a 4 carats, but invested in the SP 500 index since 2000 instead, has grown to  a whopping $118,000. That’s a lot of carrots and a very healthy portfolio.

  1. Driving Home for Christmas (Chris Rea)

It’s gonna take some time
But I’ll get there
Top to toe in tailbacks
Oh, I got red lights on the run
But soon there’ll be a freeway yeah
Get my feet on holy ground…..
……Driving in my car
I’m driving home for Christmas
Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories
 A thousand memories!! Bah!!

How about 384,000 miles, the total number of miles that Mr. and Mrs. PIE have commuted to/from their respective work places over the past 19 years working in the US. Using the IRS standard mileage rate for business miles (54 cents per mile), that adds up to $207,360!!

Ouch! Think of that as about 3 years of living expenses for the PIE family in early retirement.

The cost of working is significant, no doubt and these numbers are jaw-dropping.  Still, 384,000 miles (memories) provide substrate to allow Mr. and Mrs. PIE to fondly reminisce about their commuting hell. Merry Christmas. Bah! Humbug!

There you have it. Turn the karaoke machine on. Sing it loud in the comments.

A fantastic holiday season to y’all! See you in 2018. It’s gonna be an exciting year.


  1. Brilliant!! Half of these songs I’ve never heard of until now. But my life is now filled with more joy. I don’t know if that’s these songs or the image of Mr PIE with a diamond belly ring!!

    1. My goodness, that image is a scary thought. The belly ring would be drowned in beer!!

      There are a number of massively popular British Christmas tunes in there. e.g. Pogues.

  2. Awesome! I don’t know some of these either but I must check them out.

    Below is my absolute favorite “radio” Christmas song. The video is pretty funny. (My absolute favorite Christmas song is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and my absolute favorite Christmas carol is “O Come All Ye Faithful” — TMI?)

    Dominick the Donkey

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas to you Mrs. G!

      The small PIE’s love Dominick the Donkey also!
      If I had an “ass” of a boss called Dominick, this would have made it to the editing room for the post!

      And nice choice of favorite tunes / hymns!!

    1. We think alike Mr. G. (You should actually be very worried by that…..)

      Had it not been for an annoying WordPress glitch yesterday with other embedded links in the post, this would have made it to the public eye!! You probably heard me cursing at my lap-top all the way down in NC

      “Don’t give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
      Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy
      We don’t want a jigsaw or monopoly money
      We only want the real mccoy”

      Yep , no monopoly money here either!
      Crisp greenbacks only, my friend ! But not too many of those $’s, a too heavy cash portion will eat away at the overall portfolio value over time….

  3. OMG, where do you come up with this stuff, Mr PIE? Hilarious!! I love the connections you make between each of the songs and FIRE. Too funny. And did you really figure out how many miles you’ve commuted over the past 19 years? Depressing, my friend, and I thought you were trying to put us in a good mood for the holidays!!

    Merry Christmas – thanks for the smile this last week of work before the festivities begin (just be careful at that “Holiday Party”!)

    1. Hey Fritz,

      A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Glad you liked it. The goal was to bring smiles and laughs

      Regarding the miles, YES, I ran the numbers. In fact there is much more material for a blog post all on its own. It’s grim, I tell ya! And bloody expensive! Mrs. PIE had the brunt of the commute for 19 years and has had her fill of crappy I-90 from western suburbs into Boston.

      Now go have yourself an extra beer to cheer up after all these glad tidings from Mr. PIE. In fact have two. Cheers to 2018!!

  4. This is one of the most hilarious posts I’ve read in a while, Mr. PIE! Thanks for making me laugh. There are interesting messages here, some worth really heeding to. Hope your new year is off to a great start!

    1. Thanks for swingin by TFR. The intent was to make the readers smile.

      If I made you laugh, then job well done for me!! (proceeds to place gold star on his lapel…..)

      Happy New Year to y’all at TFR!!

  5. I don’t know how I missed this post over the holidays, probably because I was checked out from everything non-family related, even emails. 🙂 Great PIE tunes Christmas edition and thanks for bringing out some new songs I’d never heard of.

    Hope your New Year is starting well and you’re not getting too affected by the “bomb cyclone”, minus working from home with the cat of course. 🙂

    1. Ha!ha! The only bomb cyclone is in my brain.

      It is hard to stay mentally focused at work with all the excitement playing out in our life with the early retirement timeline of July or earlier. Suddenly, as the new year turned, it is all happening very fast with so much still to get done. I will have to work very hard to not “mentally check out” from work too soon. It will actually disappoint me greatly if that happens.

      Sitting here in San Francisco for a partnering meeting to kick off the Pharma business year and knowing that it is likely the last big partnering meeting of my career is mind blowing.

      Fun, fun times!!

    1. Hello Tristan,

      Great to hear from you. We have been quiet on the blogging front and commenting around the place. Congrats on the new addition. Fantastic news! So much excitement and things to do when they are so young. We hope you have a wonderful 2018 and all the best with parenting. Fun, fun times!!

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