Sometimes work doesn’t go so well. Sometimes a day at work goes so poorly that you end up going home early, and you never go back. This little phenomenon is known as getting fired. Some people deserve to get fired, and other people don’t deserve to get fired. One way or the other, I’m pretty confident that in each of these little stories to follow, someone deserved to get fired, and someone probably did. Each of these stories also had a real dollar cost associated with them, and we will translate that dollar cost into silver cost to make a financial point.
Silver Cost And Career Ending Errors : Everyone Is A Winner!
Back in 2007, a Honda dealership was looking to drum up a little business. Since car dealers are not known for their creativity, the sales team tried a tired old tactic, but this time, there was a surprise ending.
The dealership contracted with a local direct marketing and promotions company to send out a mailer. Included in the mailer was a scratch off ticket. The contract was to send out 50,000 of these mailers with one $1000 cash winner. As you may expect, that is not exactly what happened. After the promotions company sent out about 30,000 of these mailers, it came to their attention that all of the tickets were $1000 cash winners, thus creating a $30,000,000 mistake that could have potentially been a $50,000,000 mistake.
Just so you know the outcome, the Honda dealership apologized to the public, and offered to redeem the $1000 winning tickets for a $5 Walmart gift card. I’m sure there were a lot of disappointed winners, and I’m sure that there were also some people that started spending the $1000 before they found out it was only $5.
Ultimately, we have no way of knowing what the real costs and lost sales in this situation totaled, but we can use the $30 million to $50 million numbers because we know what the mistake could have cost. And, let’s be real about the situation, if you are being fired for a mistake, you get just as fired for making a $30 million mistake as you do for making a $50 million mistake.
The average price of silver in 2007 was about $13.00 an ounce. $30 million / $13 = 2,307,692 one ounce silver coins and bars. If we take the high number of $50 million / $13 = 3,846,153 one ounce silver coins and bars. Maybe the only winner in this story is Walmart.
Silver Cost And Career Ending Errors: Troubled Travel.
Back in the pre-internet days of 1988, business happened a whole lot differently. There was a book called the Yellow Pages. If you wanted to go somewhere, you couldn’t just Priceline or Orbit your trip, you needed what was then called a travel agent. Travel agents would pay to list themselves in the Yellow Pages book.
Most of the time this system worked out well, but one time it didn’t. A particular travel agency that specialized in “Exotic Travel” contracted with the Yellow Pages for an ad, and was dismayed to see that its ad had been printed and delivered advertising “Erotic Travel” services. Today, online advertising errors can be rather easily corrected. In 1988 correcting this advertising error meant reprinting and redelivering every phone book. Yellow Pages declined to reprint and redeliver, so the travel agency was inclined to sue, and sue they did.
The travel agency was awarded $18 million in damages since they could prove that the 80% decline in business they suffered was directly attributable to the incorrect Yellow Page advertisement. In fact, part of the problem generated by the erotic ad was the number of prank phone calls and heavy breathers that started calling the agency right after the ad was published, causing the business difficulty while it still had clients.
Back in 1988, the price of silver was about $6.50 an ounce. If we divide $18 million by $6.50 we get 2,769,230 one ounce silver bars and coins. When you consider that the difference between exotic and erotic is changing an “x” to an “r”, we may all be one keystroke away from being rich or poor.
Silver Cost And Career Ending Errors: Mariner Space Probe.
On July 22, 1962, NASA detonated the Mariner Space Probe so that it would not crash into a populated area. Apparently NASA knew things were going very wrong very quickly and they hit the self-destruct button. After everything was said, done and reported NASA traced the whole unfortunate scenario down to a single hyphen, or lack thereof.
A forensic investigation of the coding that was controlling the trajectory of the unmanned space probe revealed that there was a hyphen missing in the software that caused the probe to make a series of bad course corrections. Being that this was a government program, costs are very hard to pin down, but the numbers range from about $ 18 million to $150 million.
The silver cost in this equation is very simple to figure out. Back in 1962, silver was $1 an ounce. Silver Dollars and half-dollars, quarters and dimes were made of silver. So, $18 million dollars was 18 million ounces of silver, and $150 million was 150 million ounces of silver.
Silver Cost And Career Ending Errors: Even Worse.
Perhaps even worse than being fired, is working, amassing savings, and then losing those savings due to bad investing or market losses. Owning silver gives you a way to diversify out of risky markets and away from possibly having to help absorb losses from multi-million dollar typos.
When currencies and economies falter and fail, gold and silver prices spike on a mix of demand and currency devaluation. Don’t confuse silver prices and silver cost. Buy silver now while prices are low. Not owning silver could be the costliest mistake you ever make, and one of the easiest to fix.