The beginning of 2009 started auspiciously.  Cadillac had gotten a new job, running the LA office of a NY broker-dealer that was set to open.  Finally, we thought, finally the last 8 years or so of hard, underpaid work was going to pay off.  Yay!

The firm’s main investment product was going to be this one offered by an established firm. The product had been sold before, unregistered, and now they were going to offer it as an approved item.

Then Cadillac got a call.  The product guy was getting investigated by FINRA.  At first, they thought this was good.  Once FINRA approved the product, it would be good to go.  So his boss told Cadillac that he would get paid, but that the office had been delayed.  Cadillac thought it would be all right, as long as the guy fixed the stuff Cadillac pointed out was wrong.

Fast-forward six weeks.  FINRA said no; apparently there were too many problems.  Cadillac got laid off.

This sucks, we thought.  What sucked even more: the NY company said they were gonna pay Cadillac thru the end of February and then did not.  Then unemployment messed up Cadillac’s Social Security number, and being the vast government bureacracy they are, are slow to take action.  Therefore we, family of five, have not had an income since mid-February.

But then, THEN, my friends, I got this emailed to me:

A Sherman Oaks money manager accused of spending millions of his investors’ dollars on a lavish lifestyle and high-profile charitable contributions agreed Tuesday to let a court-appointed receiver manage his companies’ assets.

The man? Bruce Friedman. The company? The same one that was working closely with the one that had hired Cadillac.

Sometimes things really could be worse.

Another benefit of our new poverty: we applied to SDG&E for an Energy Efficiency Makeover. Our utility bill, they said, was unusually high. With no income, we suddenly qualify. Someone’s coming to our home and installing new lamps, sealants, insulation(!), inspecting the heater, and maybe even giving us a new fridge (!!)