Blogging Does Not Cause Marriage Problems, Lack Of Financial Sense Does

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-07-2629

There’s a right way and a wrong way to manage your debt and credit.

If you want to buy a house while hoping to get the best financing rates, then you should focus on improving your credit score. Don’t follow Casey Serin’s example. In case you’re not familiar with Casey, he’s the guy who’s been sadly branded as the “most hated blogger” and the person behind the blog. His Wikipedia profile tags him as a real estate speculator who also does a lot of blogging. He owns both real life and online properties. But he’s best known for representing the real estate boom and subsequent crash as he overextended himself and eventually lost all the houses he invested in (all eight of them) to foreclosure. He also decided to publicize his story and immediately earned quite a notorious reputation.

Seems like some bloggers, including myself, have received the same mass email message that Casey Serin has sent out to his contact list. This message reveals his latest plans.

Casey Serin, I Am Facing Foreclosure

About that mass emailing: I was a letter recipient since I somehow made it to his presumably far-from-short contact list after corresponding with him a little in the past as I prepped for my “bad money moves inspired theme week” — a week that I spent on posts discussing mortgage fraud, real estate debt lessons, bankruptcy topics and the like.

I actually feel badly for Casey. I think behind all the mess he’s generated for himself, he sounds like a well-meaning person. He just seems to be quite misguided and lost and is more than a bit over his head with all the stuff that’s transpired in his life lately. It’s obvious he’s a media whore but one who’s very impulsive, naive and flaky altogether. Could we be mistaking his lack of financial sophistication and ignorance for criminal behavior and intent? Are we reading his stubborn incompetence as something much more sinister and despicable, like maybe his moronic behavior is really just a facade for something darker underneath?

Sheesh, why do I spend so much time writing about this guy anyway? Because, yeah, I feel kind of sorry for him. How can I not feel a shred of sympathy for someone who’s passed me what seems to be a heartfelt message. Since he’s such a public figure, I figured he wouldn’t mind if I shared his thoughts here:

I’ve been labeled “The World Most Hated Blogger” on CNet because of the large following of “haterz” that developed overnight. These critics want to stop me from “profiting from my crime”, give up on my entrepreneurial dreams, give up trying to pay back “every dirty penny”, get a job and lay low. (However, I think a lot of them deep down want the best for me, but are simply frustrated by my choices. And I appreciate that.)

Well, instead of stopping, I enjoyed negative publicity because it added to the controversy and traffic. I always felt there is gotta be a way to leverage all this and do something positive.

Any publicity is good publicity. Right?


My marriage and my family has been affected in a big way by my actions and this toxic exposure. The internet could be a cruel place and I am the one who put myself and my family out there. If I knew things were going to get this bad I would have done investing and blogging in a much different way.

Now I may lose my wife over this.

The blog and publicity is just the tip of the iceberg. Underlying is my desire for financial success and “passive income” and also being known for something and having recognition. The love of money and pride. I fell into the trap. It’s all my fault. I blame no one else.

I have always believed fame and money is NOT worth broken relationships. But my actions in the last 10 months of blogging and the last 3 years of marriage have been sending the opposite message.

So now I am pulling the plug on EVERYTHING…

I commend him for realizing his mistakes and trying to resolve his relationship issues. However, there’s something wrong with this picture, in which he further laments his plight:

There is nothing wrong with any of these things but not in the WAY I was pursuing them – making financial success my idol. It’s NOT worth losing my wife over it and hurting my friends and family. I must put my financial goals aside and focus on what is truly important in this life. I will only get back into business in the future if I can do it in harmony with my relationships. If not, then I’ll be content without.

Though he acknowledges that “that there’s nothing wrong with desiring money and fame”, it still seems like he’s blaming his pursuit of success and the financial goals he’s set for himself as the reason for his marriage and other family problems (could marriage counseling help?). He’s also blaming his blog for all the trouble. I say bull. You don’t get into this situation because of your desire to improve your financial well-being. It’s the way you approach those goals and how you manage your life altogether that make or break you. Casey’s problem has been execution all along, in my book. Again, I see a lot of good intentions behind his convoluted story of failed business and real estate gambles. In the end, if you want to get rich, there’s a way of doing it right without having to sacrifice or destroy your relationships, your family and all else important in your life. It’s actually a GOOD thing to have ambition, desire and drive to make something of yourself and to want to succeed financially. You CAN have a blog, and financial success and a happy family life as well. It’s about balance and priorities.

Unfortunately, the route Casey has taken has brought him down a dark, unpopular and lonely path that is now causing him great heartache. Blogging could have been a good thing for him if he didn’t make himself so detestable. It’s just another tool and platform to get yourself heard and if you want to generate negative publicity you can’t blame the blog for the mess that it makes. You can only blame yourself.

Still I say, for what it’s worth: Casey — keep your financial goals alive. Just go about it a different way. Yeah, get the job first, invest prudently and honor your commitments. Before long you should be able to clear your name. I personally hope you do. I’d hate to see an entertaining blogger and a seemingly driven person like you bite the dust.

Image Credit: Casey Serin’s Flickr Photostream

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneymonk July 26, 2007 at 8:36 am

I think his marriage was a strain since the foreclosures and lack of money began. Blogging may have added more gas to the flame. On a positive note, he is still young and I think he has no children so it’s best to make your financial mistakes while you are still young, he can learn from them and prosper while into his 30s. Maybe he can become another Dave Ramsey. Write books about his losses and teach people what not to do.

boomie July 26, 2007 at 8:46 am

Casey and the housing market today is what ‘Casey-like’ and the dot-comers were back in the late 90’s and early 2000. Every season has it’s financial pitfalls, like the junk bonds of the 1990’s, the gold rush of the 80’s, the stock market crash of 1987, gas lines, runaway inflation, the dot-com disaster and now the housing market. I’ve lived through all of them and I have LEARNED from them. What is wrong with everyone else? There is NO quick buck to be made. There is no fast route to wealth. I’ve learned that, why hasn’t everyone else? Must each youthful generation make the same mistakes over and over? Can’t they read a book on the past to plan for the future? Can’t good financial management be taught in grade school? Why does each generation think they can kick the system? It’s a simple formula: expenses must be lower than income in order to make a profit. PERIOD!

Jeremy July 26, 2007 at 9:37 am

You can’t fix stupid 😀

Purva Brown July 26, 2007 at 10:11 am

Excellent post – one of the most balanced and well-written I have seen on the subject.

mapgirl July 26, 2007 at 10:44 am

Casey doesn’t seem to understand that financially and legally, it’s in Galina’s best interest to divorce him and get away from the debts they incurred while married. There’s some CA statue which will allow her to do this, or at least limits her liability for all the debt he incurred in her name.

Do the crime, do the time. It’s that simple and realistically, at most he will get 5 years in jail and time off for good behavior. I predict he’ll be out in 3 years.

Jasper July 26, 2007 at 11:03 am

“Could we be mistaking his lack of financial sophistication and ignorance for criminal behavior and intent?”

Casey definatly had a lack of financial sophistication. But there is no evidence at all pointing to him being ignorant.

In fact, the available evidence very clearly and in no uncertain way, points to him not being ignorant.

Here is what I mean: Casey has admitted, both on his blog and during interviews, that he knew when he was lieing on his loans that lieing on loan documents was illegal. Now, of course, it is true that he does have all sorts of rationalizations for why he lied. He claims “everyone” was doing it; he compares it (“it” being lieing on mortgage applications)to speeding; he claims the gurus told him the lenders knew everyone lied on these no-doc loans and expected no-doc applicants to lie.

Oh yeah, Casey has rationalizations and excuses to no end to justify why he did what he did.

But the fact is that he does not deny lieing on his applicatioans and, furthemore, he has clearly stated that he knew lieing on these documents was illegal.

Tough to claim ignorance when the guy comes right out and says that he knew what he was doing was illegal.

Lazy Man and Money July 26, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Ever think that this is probably another publicity stunt? If it was genuine, wouldn’t he just stop sending updates to his “short list” triggering articles like this one? Wouldn’t he just show his wife that he’s deleting all the contacts (including yours) go back to his regular job (for at least a little while) and work on the relationship? No, he decides to add more fuel to the fire. “Feel bad for me some more. Write about me some more.” I wonder if his wife isn’t in on the whole act.

Tim July 26, 2007 at 11:57 pm

I agree with Lazy Man. i think casey has called wolf too many times for people to take him seriously. i would call anyone who feels compassion or sorry or believes in his next statements rather naive at this point.

at one point he goes negative publicity is still publicity, yet he contends that the haterz are against him “profiting from my crime”. give me a break. if he was serious he wouldn’t have been drinking starbucks in australia.

if he loses his wife, who really cares. he did it to himself.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 27, 2007 at 12:31 am

I realize that Casey is the biggest attention hog there is but he’s obviously already paying for the bad publicity he’s conjured. Also, I do agree that the numerous times he’s cried wolf have now tended towards the pathological. Don’t worry though, he’s not supposed to be around for very much longer and when he switches off the light on his blog for good, y’all can rejoice. We’ll see if THAT really happens.

One other thing though, don’t mistake compassion or sympathy for naivete. Big difference. I try to see both sides of the equation and look for lessons in every story. Including the most terrible ones.

P.S. I don’t believe Casey’s contact list is short. Quite the contrary. 😉

mapgirl July 27, 2007 at 7:48 am

From what I understand, the risk of losing is wife is quite real and she has considered a separation from him. I don’t think this is a mere publicity stunt for a fresh wave of sympathy. I actually do feel bad that his wife has been sucked into this. By all accounts, she is a nice person who didn’t deserve this to happen to her. She’s not in on the fun and is working hard.

Chief Family Officer July 27, 2007 at 8:41 pm

Interesting take on the issue. I think the bottom line (and what you’re saying) is, you have to establish your values and live according to them.

Grodge November 26, 2007 at 4:46 am

Some people work for a living, others don’t.

This guy, a scurrilous self-promoter, falls into the later category.

Forget about him.

Relationship Expert February 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm

He shouldn’t give up entirely, just work to get back on his feet and get back to normal (as a working guy). Everyone goes through some bad times and everyone makes mistakes. In a few years, he’ll look back at this time in his life and hopefully, he’d have learned from his mistakes.

Fris Arvz May 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I agree with money monk. Its not yet too late for him. He can still correct his mistakes and be successful one day.

marriageman May 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

I’ve seen money ruin marriages and many times the couple doesn’t even have a clue that money is the cause. They say that they don’t get along but the reason they don’t get along is because they argue over how to spend money and are so stressed out because they’re broke that they constantly attack each other.

Plus if one spouse thinks the other spends money irresponsibly then he/she will lose respect for the other person. Lack of respect leads to constant bickering.

So money can be the root cause of many marriage problems. Good article!

Abooc August 2, 2009 at 5:58 am

Forget about him.

Contractor NJ September 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Excellent post. Very balanced. I originally decided to read this post because the title amused me to some extent, but after reading it I just pity the poor bloke.

Kristain June 3, 2010 at 4:12 am

Every couple on earth faces trouble handling their relation at some point of time. In such situation, it is necessary to sit back and communicate with each other. Just going apart from each other is no great solution to the problem. People seek consultants for their relationship problem advice. But many times, these consultants give a different outlook to the problem. This complicates the troubled mind of couples. Instead, it is better that both of you sit and sort out the problem. When two individuals are involved in any relation- no one can understand their feeling towards each other relationship problem advice expect them. They know each other the best and hence it is better to let them handle their problems. Involvement of friends and well wishers complicate the problem.

Jim June 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

I agree to a certain degree. You have to remember there are all kinds of communication levels between couples when issues like this cause tension. Couples can get to the point where they just aren’t talking anymore. If the two parties just aren’t talking, I think then a 3rd party can help, as long as they are partial, objective, and skilled at doing so. Otherwise it can make it worse.

Kitty's Affair August 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

I love when he refers to his blog as passive income. When I started blogging I had a similar idea that it would be a relatively easy and enjoyable way to make a few bucks. Little did I know how much time and work I would put in to it. My husband also blogs otherwise I think we would have some major problems just because of all the time I spend on the internet. I’m an addict!

Elle @ He Cheated on Me December 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I’ll admit, I’m not too knowledgeable in the realm of Casey’s blog.

However, based on what you’re saying, it does sound like he places the blame on blogging, but moreso in terms of how he executed it and made it more important than his marriage or relationship. Overall it was his actions which created any issues with his wife.

I agree that he shouldn’t can his blog, but perhaps work on restructuring the way he does things so that, even if hated, it is a profitable decision. I doubt his wife could care how much he’s hated as long as he’s taking care of home in more ways than one.

JOHN ALLEN LEWIS December 10, 2010 at 5:17 am

Thank you for your insights on blogging and if it were a disease i’d be out of business!

Patricia August 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

It is a combination of mistakes we make and poor decisions that usually lead to problems such as this. Hindsight is great. Lack of communication affects many relationships as does too much public communication sometimes. Good luck to Casey for the future.

Sticky September 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Grade A stuff. I’m unquestionably in your debt.

Jay Perry @ December 19, 2011 at 12:39 am

Wow, the author is sooo right about this guy – he has his head twisted on backwards! He failed in business because of greed and the fast track to riches and followed the herd mentality off the cliff! Well, the bubble broke and all collapsed, including his relationships. He needs to understand what the author said – pursuit of money is good – it’s how you do it… His ways did not reflect good business practices and his relationship woes are from lack of money – not driving himself above and beyond. He better wake up and change because remember what they say: “History repeats itself” And this is especially true of fools….

Leave a Comment