Happiness will not come to you. Happiness can only come from you.
There are lots of books, TV shows, podcasts, and blog posts that purport to tell us how to be happy. Some focus on the practical aspects, some on emotional states, some are spiritual, and some others are religious. Personally, I wouldn’t give much weight to anyone with religion telling me how to be happy, because it will always involve God, (in one way, shape, or form).
God and I went in different directions some time ago.
There are also lots of pithy inspirational sayings about happiness.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Not everyone would agree with Roosevelt.
Therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, priests, and inspirational speakers can most likely give us a host of things we can do to improve our happiness. From; building a growth mindset for happiness, to being optimistic, to ending negative thinking, to taking breaks from social media, to trusting in your higher power, and having a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle sounds like a good start to me.
Another good start to greater happiness, that comes both before and after having a healthy lifestyle, is dealing with your addictions. I have yet to meet an alcoholic, problem drinker, drug addict, casual drug user, chronic gambler, someone who often has casual sex, or anyone with an eating disorder who was happy in any way shape or form. Addicts and people who go against their inner beliefs always live with inner misery.
In fact the list of people who live in utter misery is both long and heartbreaking. The very sick, the starving, the poor, people living on the streets, those who have recently lost a loved one, refugees, and anyone who abuses their body, mind, and spirit are likely to enjoy little real happiness.
However, some say that you only need 3 big things to be happier;
- Work. Most people don’t like or enjoy their work, which is sad and bad. Those people should bite the bullet and find a better job for them. But being out of work means you’re going to be broke and miserable, and work gives you money.
- Money. Money can’t buy happiness, but try living flat broke in modern society to know what misery is. Having just enough money will make you happier than being broke.
- Marriage ~ or a stable long-term relationship. This gives you things like friendship, security, and sex. People who live alone for too long are usually miserable and can become mentally ill.
It’s much more complicated than that, but I guarantee that if you don’t have all of those three things you will be very unhappy, probably depressed, and perhaps even suicidal.
Some say that money can’t buy you love. And that sex without love is just a meaningless mechanical act. All I know is that for a healthy person to live without sex and companionship is almost the definition of misery.
friendship, companionship, and sex may come in many different forms
Should a guy always pay the tab in a fancy restaurant?
Following my ‘Shipping Forecast’ post earlier today, I have been roundly disabused about what women want. A close friend of mine has told me, in no uncertain terms, that most women do not want ‘guys who pick up the restaurant bill, arrange the vacations and buy the tickets, and who will go to wild parties and pretend to enjoy them……’
Funny, she could have fooled me, because where ever I have been with her, whatever great road trips we have been on, whenever we have been to a nice restaurant, or called at a cool bar ~ I have always paid for everything. And, from the first time I met her she has expected me to always pay for everything. (With the exception of a few drinks, or a meal once in a while…..)
Also she has expected me to enjoy meeting her family and friends at various lunches and get-togethers. Quite frankly I don’t want to get to know her family and friends. We don’t have that kind of relationship.
As it goes I don’t mind always picking up the tab, but I object when she says that’s not what she wants, and that it’s not what most women want.
Or, have I got things totally wrong, again?
the end of a great road trip
Easy Lifestyle Changes Could Save You A Small Fortune.
There some very basic things you can do which, added together, will save you a great deal of money. These changes to the way you live your life are not difficult, they’re not complicated, and they will not take up a lot of your time. In fact, all of these things are what my granny used to call; ‘basic common sense’. Get on with it, smell the roses, save yourself some money, and live a better life.
- Pay off all your credit and store card bills. The average interest rate on credit card debt is around 16%, with some banks charging as much as 79.9% per annum, this is just extortion and usury. Far better to borrow elsewhere, at a cheaper rate, and pay off your plastic.
- Use the internet and find cheaper providers for your gas, electricity, water, mobile phone, (cell phone), land line telephone, internet, cable television, and car insurance. Switch to the cheapest provider because customer service will always suck, no matter who you are with. And, by the way, do you really need all those rubbish TV channels?
- Lower the temperature of your heating, and raise the temperature of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees. We all pay far too much for heating and cooling our homes.
- Lower the temperature at which you wash your clothes. There is a 30C setting on my washing machine, (about 90F), and most of the time that’s what I use. This gets rid of most dirt and stains, but it does not get rid of germs, and it’s not hot enough to get whites clean. So, I still always wash my bed linen and whites at 90C, (about 200F). Mind you, I always use biological washing powder which works well at lower temperatures.
- Always make a shopping list. Far too many people go into a store and come out with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t really want or need, while forgetting the important thing they went in for. Make a shopping list and never, ever make impulse purchases.
- Try own-brand goods. Very often the own-brand products are just as good as the more expensive named-brands. Quite often own-brand products are made in the same factories and on the same production lines as named brands. Stores always try to make you buy the most expensive, premium goods.
- Never buy ‘designer labels’ ~ don’t be a logo whore, and who wants some other guy’s name on their clothes and shoes anyway? It’s pathetic.
- Learn to do DIY. I hate contractors, repair men, decorators, gardeners, with a passion. If it needs doing then 90% of the time I do it myself. Learn to decorate, put up a shelf, fix a leaky tap, (faucet), and save yourself an absolute fortune.
- Make your travel arrangements early and do it on the internet. Always shop around for the cheapest deal. Always pay by credit card. Get a brochure from the travel agent for information and to give you a comparison.
- Learn to drive properly. Almost everyone I know is a crap driver, especially women. Almost everyone I know drives too fast, races between the lights, uses the accelerator hard and the brakes hard, and sits in the wrong gear. Drive a little slower and learn what anticipation means and you will not only use less petrol, (gas), there will be much less wear and tear on your car.
- Don’t always buy the newest, top-of-the-range car. A low mileage used car, or the basic model in the new car range can save you thousands. Remember, the biggest cost of owning a car is depreciation. Most cars will lose between 50% – 60% of their value in the first 3 years. (Just don’t buy an Edsel ~ people will laugh.)
- Walk, don’t drive. If you don’t have far to go and don’t have much to carry, don’t drive, walk instead. That won’t only save you money, walking will do wonders for your health and fitness.
- Give up smoking / vaping. Both will seriously damage your health, both can kill you, and both will cost you a fortune. A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost you about £7 in the UK and about $7 in California, (USA prices vary by state). So, a 10 a day habit will cost you about £1,300 per annum in the UK and $1,300 a year in California ~ a lot of money for a disgusting habit that’s killing you.
- Cut down on your drinking. Too much booze will make you fat, ill, and temporarily or permanently stupid ~ it will eventually kill you. How much booze is too much? If you drink a bottle of wine a night, or 4 bottles of beer, or a quarter of a bottle of spirits, then you are drinking far too much. Decent booze is hellishly expensive.
- STOP GAMBLING. Gambling is exactly the same as throwing your hard-earned money in the trash. Gambling is an addiction, and all gamblers lose heavily over time, always, with no exceptions, (not even the Cincinnati Kid).
- Never, ever, join a gym, and if you have gym membership, then cancel it. Most people with gym memberships don’t go often enough to get their money’s worth. Gyms are poor value for money and bad places for most people to exercise ~ you’re breathing stale air, being made to listen to loud music, and you’re indoors under artificial lights. Nasty. Exercise for free instead.
- Plan ahead and buy stuff in the sales, at discount stores, and in thrift stores.
- Claim all your tax and other benefits. Use the internet at learn what you can really claim.
- Never use pay per view TV or TV services such as Netflix ~ this is just stupid. Do you really need to dumb down so much as to sit in front of the TV, and pay extra for the privilege, over and above whatever stupid cable subscription you are already paying for this crap?
- Never, ever buy extended warranties on things like a car, new washing machine, or television. These warranties are scams, not worth the paper they’re printed on, and cost a fortune.
- Stop buying expensive pre-prepared, ready meals. Learn to cook instead. ‘Ready meals’ are full of unmentionable crap, and are terrible value for money.
Remember, when you want to save money, when you want to stop wasting money, the internet is your friend. You may think you don’t have the time to spend on internet research, trust me, you do have loads of spare time, it’s just that you waste that too. Stop ruining your mind by watching hours of drivel on the TV, stop ruining your health by spending time in your usual sleazy pub / bar, and stop making excuses.
Never, ever, sign anything you don’t understand. Never, ever, trust a salesperson.
Most People Don’t Really Manage Their Money.
After more years in Banking and Finance than I care to admit, I can remember very few people who took responsibility for, and properly managed, their personal finances. In my bitter experience, most people lived from one month to another without knowing where their money was going, or what they could really afford, or what was totally outside their budget.
If it comes to that, very few people have a proper, written, up to date, personal and household budget. If you can put your hand up and say that you do, and that it is actually written down, (or on a spreadsheet, or otherwise on your computer), then you can skip the rest of this post and award yourself a gold star.
The point of having a budget is that it stops you being caught out by unpleasant financial surprises. A budget also lets you plan ahead, for the rest of this year, next year, for the next two or three years, for a wedding, your kid’s college, for your retirement…
These are the steps you need to follow if you are going to create or revise your budget.
- Make a list of all the money you owe. Before you save anything, before you make any investments, you should work towards paying off any and all loans and credit cards balances you have. And, you can’t plan to pay off your loans early if you don’t have a proper budget.
- Make a list of all the regular payments you have to make. These will range from your mortgage, property taxes, utilities bills, right through to charitable donations, cable TV, and gym membership…
- Make a list of your usual necessary expenses that you pay as you go along. How much petrol do you put in your car each month? How much do you spend on groceries, clothes, shoes…
- Make a list of how much your usual discretionary purchases are costing you. These are things you don’t actually need. How much do you spend at your local bar or any bars. How much does eating out cost you each month? What do you pay for cigarettes / vaping supplies each month. How much do you waste on gambling and booze.
- Write down anything else that you buy on a regular basis, and how much it costs you. Add in an amount for contingencies; all that stuff you can’t remember buying, and those weird impulse purchases.
- Put all these lists of the money you spend into order of importance.
- Turn all these lists into a monthly budget, which might look something like this;
Obviously your numbers will be totally different, and you may have some different categories, for example; health insurance, pet care insurance, cigarettes, booze, sports club membership…. (And as it goes, the example I’ve shown is poorly ordered, for example Transportation should be above toiletries and grooming.)
This kind of budget lets you begin to do some real financial planning.
Look at your budget, the most vital things should be at the top, and the things you could really get by without should be at the bottom. It should fit with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (albeit turned on its head)
If your monthly total is less than you earn, all well and good. Don’t save or invest your spare cash, use it to pay off some of the money you owe, like your mortgage. Saving or investing while you owe money elsewhere is stupid money management.
If your monthly total is more than you earn, you’re in trouble. You need to cut your spending, and you start by cutting at the bottom of your budget, not at the top. Spend less money in bars, buying cigarettes, eating out, gambling, buying booze, being the member of a gym…
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery. ~ Mr Mcawber, by Charles Dickens
Don’t even think about saving, investing, buying a new car, or building your pension fund, if you don’t have a proper realistic and honest written budget, one that you can stick to. You know it’s good advice, the kind of advice George Bailey would give you.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
There has been much talk about the fall in the value of the Pound Sterling against the United States Dollar and the bastard Euro since Britain voted to leave the European Union. Without getting into the politics of it, what’s all this about, and what does it all mean?
To start with; the exchange rate, or foreign currency exchange rate, or Forex rate, measures the value of a base currency, (your own currency usually), against a foreign currency. Thus the $ / £ rate is currently about 1.22, which means one pound sterling gets you one dollar and twenty-two cents. The exchange rate is the price of one currency against another. Some people also use movements in exchange rates to measure the strength of a currency’s underlying economy. This is like measuring global warming by looking out of window at today’s weather. It’s a
piss very poor gauge.
However, long-term trends do tell you something ~ like the recent fall in the value of the pound could have been predicted years ago because of the amount of UK debt sloshing around. The fall in the value of the pound has very little to do with Brexit, and a lot to do with the UK government printing too much money for years, and years, and years…
A weak economy is the sign of a weak economy, and a weak economy is the sign of a weak nation. ~ Ross Perot
Ross Perot doesn’t know much about Forex either.
What does this mean to you and me? Well, for a start, the exchange rate tells you very little about how much your savings / salary / holiday money is worth in your preferred destination. For that you need to know about purchasing power parity. What this theory says is that my money still goes a hell of a long way in Orange County, California, USA. As an example, car rental and the price of petrol / gasoline, is still cheaper for me in the USA than it is in England. So is the cost hotels, eating out, and etc. I have suffered a potential windfall loss in the change in the price of the USD against GBP, but on the scale of things does that worry me? Nope.
Worrying about movements in currency exchange rates is a lot like worrying about what the weather is going to be like next week. It’s interesting, but pointless.
Forex rates do have an effect on people, but not in the way you’d think. Forex rates, interest rates, purchasing power, inflation, government fiscal policy, all these factors kind of mush together to create an amorphous mess that hardly anybody understands. So let me break it down for you.
- The man in the street and small businesses. Forex rates hardly affect you at all, in relative terms. When it comes to the cost of your vacation abroad the movement in exchange rates is a tiny proportion of your overall spend. Here in England stuff you buy at home may get slightly more expensive, but that’s really down to lying politicians and the bosses of big businesses using exchange rate movements as an excuse for price hikes. If exchange rates had gone the other way do you think things at home would get cheaper? Of course not.
- Businesses buying and selling overseas. Here the sterling / dollar / euro / yuan exchange rates actually mean something. It means stuff you sell in pounds sterling has become better value abroad, while product you buy abroad in foreign currency has become more expensive. So what? That’s what management is all about, and if you don’t understand Forex, why are you dealing in foreign currencies anyway?
- Multi-national companies. Forex rates affect the big multinationals not at all, it’s merely another variable in their international treasury management operations. When a multinational like Unilever says they have to increase their prices to UK supermarkets because of the fall in the value of the pound, they’re lying.
What really impacts on everyone is this purchasing power parity thing, and that’s a lot more complicated than just exchange rates. For example, the national minimum wage and cost of health care has a lot to do with purchasing power parity.
As far as governments, central banks, and politicians are concerned, they could care less about Forex rates. They may talk a good talk, and wring their hands from time to time, but they really, really don’t care.
What should you do about movements in foreign currency exchange rates?
- Don’t worry about it, because it’s as pointless as worrying about the weather.
- Don’t create translation exposure. Pay for stuff in your own currency, and if you’re selling abroad, then sell in your own currency ~ (if you can, if not consider forward currency cover). Don’t ever borrow money in a currency you don’t earn. Also, don’t save in a currency you don’t want to spend.
- Don’t buy complicated Forex products, (if you don’t understand it, don’t buy it), or pay for advice on exchange rates. In fact never, ever, pay for financial advice of any kind.
- Shop around. Buying or selling foreign currency is the same as buying and selling anything else. Spend a little while looking for the best deal. But beware, there are more crooks in this market than there are in the used car business.
- Forget exchange rates and look instead at purchasing power. If I can buy the exact same thing on Amazon.com in $ as I can on Amazon.co.uk in £ which is going to be the better deal? You know what? 99% of the time it depends on where I want it shipped to.
The true currency of life is time, not money, and we’ve all got a limited stock of that. ~ Robert Harris
Mostly, movements in foreign currency exchange rates are simple ~ they will affect you in ways you cannot understand, cannot predict, and can do nothing about, so forget it. For some people, foreign currency exchange rates are frighteningly complicated and dangerous animals, but given that these people usually work deep in the research engine rooms of the world’s biggest banks, it’s safe to let them get on with whatever it is they do, which is not a lot.
A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted
In 2001, an ordinary man called Paul Walton had a small pension fund. Paul listened to a
financial adviser salesman from one of Britain’s top wealth management companies, St. James’s Place, and entrusted them with his money. Lo and behold, 15 years later, when Paul checked on his pension it hadn’t grown into a nice nest egg ~ it had all vanished. St James’s Place had taken so much in fees and charges that there was nothing at all left of Paul’s pension, in fact Paul owed £37.32 ($60) in unpaid fees. George Bailey would be horrified.
People often ask me how to make the most of their money, thinking I’ll give them advice on savings accounts, or the stock market, or property investments… Usually there isn’t much point in that. What most people really need is sage advice on how to stop throwing their money down the drain. Most people don’t need more money, what most people need to do is stop wasting the money they’ve got, each and every single day of the year.
No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February. ~ Suze Orman
Paul threw his money away because he didn’t take responsibility for his own financial well-being. Practically nobody I know is willing to really take full responsibility for their finances, or anything else in their lives if it comes right down to it. And, it isn’t rocket science, your grandmother knew all the right stuff.
The more you are willing to depend on your own ability to think and act, the less you will rely on experts, consultants, doctors, contractors, and
advisers salesmen. These days everyone has a vast library of knowledge at their fingertips, it’s called the internet.
- Formulate your own ideas for a sound retirement plan before speaking to a financial consultant, and do not take their word as Holy Writ ~ they
maywill have more of an eye on their own commission, fees, and bonuses than they do on your financial future.
- If you have a really bad headache, make a list of the possible and probable causes of your headaches, and then visit your doctor.
- Work out exactly how much the used car you’re thinking of buying is actually worth, what’s likely to be wrong with it, how much that will cost to repair, and how much it’s going to cost to run ~ and only then visit the lot and speak to a used car salesman.
Someall car salesmen will not tell you anything like the whole truth, and they will rip you off, especially if you are a woman.
- If you’re thinking of moving home, fully research the market, property values, taxes, location, crime rates, amenities, how long it will take you to get to work, & etc., before ever speaking to an estate agent / realtor. Realtors are
mostlyinterested in selling property, not whether the home they’re talking up is a good place for you to live.
- If you have to employ a contractor, never leave them alone in your home, or you may come back and find it’s flooded. Never employ a contractor without getting, at least, a couple of quotes and personal references.
- When you need a loan, thoroughly prepare before you talk with your bank. Work out exactly how much you really need, what a reasonable rate of interest would be, how much you can afford to repay each month, (and if you can save that amount for a few months before you ask for the loan, so much the better).
Practically everyone, (including me in the past), throws thousands of $ £ € away every year just because they are irresponsible, lazy, intimidated by ‘professionals’, trusting, naive, weak, and overly dependent on others. Too many people take the first offer instead of looking the gift horse in the mouth. Too many people think the answer is in programmes, courses, workshops, seminars, and motivational speakers/ authors. It isn’t.
Workshops and seminars are basically financial speed dating for clueless people. ~ Douglas Coupland
If you want to have more money for the good things in life, do yourself a favour, and do the hard work up front, during, and after you make a deal. Whatever happens, it’s always your responsibility.
Financial freedom is available to those who learn about it and then work for it. ~ Robert Kiyosaki
Don’t trust anyone because everybody lies, and never, ever, pay anyone for advice, financial or otherwise. If you want to have more ready cash, take responsibility and stop throwing good money after bad.
these views are mine and mine alone.
Be fit and healthy ~ stop eating wheat
This is not about food, this is all about money. Wheat has been all about money since the dawn of agriculture in about 9,500 BC. In fact for a long, long time wheat and bread took the place of money, being both a store of value and a medium of exchange. The builders of the pyramids were paid in bread and beer, both by-products of wheat. Every American consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, and this consumptions pays for the powerful business and political empires that go along with modern agriculture.
Modern wheat is very bad for you, and so are wheat products; flour, bread, cakes, cookies, biscuits, pasta, noodles, tortilla, wraps, pizza, pancakes, flapjacks, doughnuts, soups, beer… The wheat and it’s products that we eat now is the end result of genetic research and long way from the simple 14 chromosome Einkorn wheat plant we ate 10,000 years ago.
Wheat is basically the worst of the worst carbohydrates, and even a modest exposure to the starches in wheat is enough to increase the appetite, raise blood sugar, induce fat accumulation, initiate inflammatory processes, increase bad LDL cholesterol, and cause high blood pressure. Celiac Disease is described as far back as 100 AD, but wheat problems aren’t restricted to people with celiac disease.
Cutting wheat products in my diet, in particular, proved a dietary turning point that reduced my appetite, accelerated weight loss, and just helped me feel clearer, more energetic, and happier than I’d felt in years. ~ Dr. William Davis, Cardiologist.
Wheat is full carbohydrates and some very bad proteins; gluten, wheat germ agglutinin, and amylase trypsin inhibitors. These proteins irritate your gut, and cause inflammation and bloating. This irritation causes a problem called intestinal permeability which is a contributory factor in autoimmune diseases. Wheat germ agglutinin exacerbates this leaky-gut problem which allows all kinds of nasty things into your blood. The gluten in wheat also messes with the friendly bacteria in your gut. All of this makes you prone to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, along with diarrhea and or constipation, heartburn, bloating, farting, and other gut problems. Wheat is also a contributory factor in brain fog, depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, and other mental health problems. For good measure the gluten in wheat will mess with your skin making you feel itchy and leading to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. The thing is, everyone is gluten intolerant to a greater or lesser degree.
Wheat makes you fat.
- The super starch amylopectin A in genetically modified dwarf wheat that makes great bread and cakes will spike your blood sugar just as much as eating pure refined sugar. There is no difference between whole wheat and refined white flour, both are equally as bad.
- Dwarf wheat gluten has twice as many chromosomes as the gluten protein found in ancient wheat plants, as well as a lot more gluten in general. This gluten will make you sick and fat.
- Dwarf wheat contains a super drug which will make you crazy, hungry, and addicted. Your body turns the proteins in wheat into polypeptides called exorphins, which are exactly similar to the endorphins you get from a runners’ high, which are exactly similar to opioids. People will binge on cakes and cookies because of this super drug, but people never binge on broccoli.
So why do we eat wheat and other grains? One reason is that wheat and other high carbohydrate grains are addictive. The other reason is that we are all subjected to endless propaganda encouraging us to consume more and more of these nasty foods. From the tempting counter displays in supermarkets to pronouncements by official bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom we are constantly encouraged to consume wheat, barley, oats, rice.. all of which are bad.
There is another reason wheat has become highly toxic in recent years. It is common practice in the USA, Canada, and Europe to drench wheat and barley fields with a herbicide called Roundup a few days before the combine harvesters start work. Killing and desiccating the grain plants like this allows an earlier, easier, and more efficient harvest. Roundup contains the deadly chemical glyphosphate, and it’s residue in wheat and barley also kills the good bacteria and contributes to leaky-gut syndrome.
Roundup is made by the giant chemicals company Monsanto. Monsanto is set to merge with the Giant German chemicals company Bayer. No politician or regulator is going to want to annoy Monsanto or Bayer. It is all about money. The production and consumption of wheat and other grains has nothing whatsoever to do with good food, it’s all about money.
Do yourself a favour and avoid wasting money due to ill-health, stop eating wheat and it’s products for six weeks. Then see just how much fitter, healthier, and more alert you feel. I gave up wheat on the 9th of June this year, and today I feel so much better than I could have ever believed.
It’s one o’clock in the morning, summer in England, night in Palm Springs, and wherever it’s getting light already, and the rain is probably hammering down. Not when you’d want to think about money, unless you are flat broke. However, if you are lucky and sensible you have a little money put aside for a rainy day.
What should we do if we have some spare cash? Given that we are not going to rush out and buy a Porsche. But why not buy a sports car? Why put your money in the bank at all?
Take it from a man who has worked in banking and finance since God was a boy, the last thing you should do with your hard-earned is give it to a bank to look after. Basically banks, financial advisors, and money managers are parasites, living off the cash you have legitimately earned and offering
fuck all not very much in return.
Right now any money sitting in a bank account is just wasting away. The $1,000 you put in a bank today will, in real terms, be worth a lot less than $700 when you come to take it out again in ten years time It’s all down to inflation, which is the biggest confidence trick Governments and the Finance Industry have up their incestuous sleeves.
There are a few things we can do to make our money work for us.
- Pay off every single debt you have.
- Add to your pension fund.
- Property / real estate.
- The stock market.
- Start a business.
- Have fun.
I have no ambition to be the richest corpse in the cemetery, which means I ignore rules 1 and 2 above, (sort of, but then I know what I’m doing). However, making your money really work for you means that you have to take over responsibility from the blood-sucking banks and financial advisors.
So, do not sit with debts to your name, work at a company with a good pension plan, do not rent where your live, buy your own home. Over time, done wisely, buying your home is the best investment you can make. However, realtors, estate agents, property firms are another bunch of useless parasites, but I’ll go into that in a week or so.
Never, ever, pay anyone for doing something you can do for yourself. And do you know what? Over the years I have discovered that most folks can do anything they put their minds to, including financial management.
Buying into the stock market is a big issue. And I will cover that next week. In the mean time, you worked damn hard to earn your money, don’t neglect it now.
Money ~ we all have the same problems. How to get money, how to get more money, and what do we do with it when we’ve got some money? Trust me on this one ~ MONEY IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT.
My best guess is that most of the people who read my blog don’t have 30 years in the money trade, or have a Masters in Finance, and another in Banking, along with a shed-load of other qualifications, so we’ll start working on 1.01 Money. (If you are a money expert, please feel free to comment, and disagree with whatever I say, but you better be damn right or I will make you look stupid.)
Money by itself is worthless. Money only has value by the nature of the things you can do with it. And mostly you can do 3 things with money.
- Money as a medium of exchange. Money is an intermediate in the exchange of goods or services. You go to work for money, and then you swap the money for the stuff you actually want and need. You don’t want the money, you want what the money can get for you.
- Money as a measure of value. The amount of money you have determines what you can get for your money. If you have a lot of $ or £ or whatever, you can get a lot of stuff. We know how much stuff we can get because everything is conveniently priced in money. The value of your time is also measured in money. (there is a price for everthing, up to and including sex)
- Money as a store of value. Instead of buying more and more stuff you don’t need right now, you just keep money in expectation that you can buy the stuff you need at sometime in the in future.
Money is a
piss poor very bad store of value, especially right now. Just how bad depends on how you warehouse your money. The worst store of value is lending money to a friend, at 0% interest, on the expectation that you will get it back. Next worst is actual cash, then various types of bank accounts, and then managed funds and so forth…
ALL Money Loses Value Over Time. Thinking that your money will be worth just as much, or more, in the future is the biggest confidence trick that Governments and the Finance Industry have ever pulled. However you keep your money, from cash to in your pension fund / 401(k), the amount of stuff you could have bought with the money you have put in, over time, will be a hell of a lot more than the stuff you can actually buy when you eventually come to take it out.
Why Store Value In Money? So, why bother with a pension / 401(k) / managed fund? Why not just buy stuff right now, and keep it for when you need it? There are a couple of reasons:
- Security. Unless your money is in a very dodgy bank, the chances are it will still be there when you need it to exchange for stuff. You can’t really say the same for anything much else, including the value of your home. (Insurance is another topic, for a future date.)
- Liquidity. You need some money that’s easily got at. So, what if everything you own, every last penny save for the few dollars in your purse, is invested in your home? The snag is, what if you need money next Monday? Money is very liquid, while all other assets have lower degrees of liquidity. In general terms, the less liquid your assets, the more likely they are to increase in value over time.
So what does that mean to the poor working stiff?
- Don’t have a lot of cash on hand, or a lot of money in the bank.
- Have some cash, some assets you can confidently sell in a few days ~ without having to have a fire sale. Also have some long-term secure assets, and here, property has traditionally been the best long-term way to hold your wealth.
- Do not ever pay for financial advice. (up to and including from me.)
Please also read my post Money. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
Next Monday’s post will be about some ways the average working stiff can make their money really work for them ~ instead of the other way around.