9 Nov 2016, 8:14pm
rant
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  • Trump-o-calypse turns into a stock market Meh

    Looks like we’re with stupid, then. Yeah, I’m one of the college educated Remoaning cheese-eating surrender monkeys that the majority all hate, and in the last few remaining moments of freedom I have before The Donald makes America Great and Brexit makes Britain Great I’m going to sneer. I don’t know who the hell I am walking amongst, but they don’t think like me and I am the minority. Shit. Brexit could be considered an aberration, and doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, now we have a great big dose of the same old shit in a different way coming from the same motherlode. A group that’s been Cock of the Rock for years isn’t any more, and they want the 1950s back. That Obama geezer called out the problem in a State of the Union speech five years ago. Unfortunately he didn’t give DARPA enough money to invent a time machine to rewind history 60 years.

    At least in America you now get legalised weed whereas I don’t even get to apply for EU citizenship after my fellow countrymen arranged to strip me of it. So following Stephen Covey’s principles of the Circle of Concern I will change the things I can. I will follow 3652days lead and configure my affairs to subsidise it as little as possible.

    Because they got their country back, and I sure as shit ain’t paying for it.

    3652 days

    Anyway, this is about something bigger, though oddly enough opinion is divided even there.

    Stock markets to Trump-o-calypse – “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”

     

    Mr Market sauntered on by, doing a Rhett Butler to the passionate heaving bosom of the punditry that had called a win for t’other side. And the ermine was poised to snap up some US stocks, hell, even to sell some gold to do it, because I have been light US equities because they have been overpriced for years. Obviously good old TD direct had a hissy fit and went titsup in the morning, though they’ve got over their fit of the vapours now. Hargreaves Lansdown and Charles Stanley weathered the storm, I guess you get a better class of big iron for Hargreaves higher annual fees. Trouble is, there’s not much difference in VUSA since yesterday. So I will leave it be. I am regularly buying a L&G dev world exUK fund monthly so I was buying the S&P cheaper for most of this year. Particularly before June…

    Looks like the experts lost out this time too. Maybe that slimeball Gove was right. Experts were experts in the old world but then the magnetic poles shifted or the flying spaghetti monster got crushed by an asteroid and now they always come up with the wrong answer. This Ohio report reminds me of the barmy summer day of the Brexit vote and I went to the polling station in the day 1 and saw loads of a particular demographic with a creepy grin from ear to ear and a spring in their step, it was like being on the set of the Stepford Wives and their retired colonels.

    Let’s look on the bright side of this, shall we? Mebbe the gimlet-eyed Mr Putin won’t feel quite so pissed off about whatever deep childhood tragedy makes him such a nutcase, because he has a more congenial nutcase on t’other end of the hotline. Sod it. I’m with Vlad, too, HRUB has almost come to parity, although I think that is more to do with my bodacious band of buccaneering Brexiteers dreaming of imperial glory to thank for that, by making everything foreign dearer 😉 But what the hell. Make Britain Great, Make America Great. Perhaps Vlad is Making Russia Great. If we all pull up the drawbridge, thump on our chests maybe the cargo cult dreams will come true. The US cousins of the people with the creepy grins who stole my EU rights seem to be voting for Trump.

    Millions of people voted for his promise to achieve an improbable reversal of the decades-long structural decline in American manufacturing. By November 2020, the voters of Mahoning County will expect results.

    “I want him to bring America back,” said Smith, the carer for disabled children. “Bring back the jobs, bring our country back.”

    Good luck with that, lady. The 1950s ain’t ever coming back.

    Notes:

    1. because being a retiree means I can
    2 Nov 2016, 4:37pm
    living intentionally personal finance
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  • Sick of the daily grind but can’t wait for FI? Try a new angle from Andy at Liberate Life

    Many of us in the financial independence/retire early space want to get financial independence because we want freedom from the Man taking over all our time. However, attaining financial independence takes a long time and it’s a tough slog. Retirement Investing Today has reached the finish line in his early forties after nine years of this. RIT even asks himself is he an outlier, I would say he is. I am less of one, but I went three years with no holidays and working hard and spending as little as possible to get out in my early fifties. What you have to go through to get to being able to retire early isn’t fun before, though it is afterwards 😉

    It also concerned me that a lot of the narrative on here isn’t very widely applicable to people starting their working lives now – after all I started work thirty-five years ago. I think Andy has a lot to offer this cohort, because while work has changed, it isn’t all adverse change, and some of his ideas may help play that hand better in the modern world. Andy challenged me in the narrowness of my vision regarding work – his persistence in the face of a curmudgeonly and stuck in it’s-ways Ermine can be seen in this comment thread

    Getting to financial independence is about earning and saving, and it pays to get that right, both in terms of earning as much as you can and saving as much of that as you can, but I’d say that more than half the battle is getting control of your headspace, knowing what you are doing and why. The younger Ermine was called out as a spendthrift wastrel and compared to many in the PF scene he was, although he avoided the general category error that is consumer debt which dooms many to a life of wage-slavery.

    Andy is offering a different take on this. More choices open up when you separate the requirement for independence from financial independence and retirement

    Andy has looked at the financial independence/retire early (FI/RE) scene with fresh eyes, and he observes a lot of independence can be had before financial independence. He is an inspiring example of someone in the FI community who isn’t working in finance 1 in London, but is getting freedom of self-determination and control of how he spends his days. Andy is in his early thirties and lives with his charming wife and two delightful young children in the beautiful surroundings of Devon near Dartmoor.

    Andy from liberate.life with the rolling Devon countryside in the background

    Andy from liberate.life with the rolling Devon countryside in the background

    In particular, he is of the view that many of us miss the point in focusing on the distant goal of financial independence. You can get a lot of independence and a lot of resilience from The Man by looking at working and earning a living in a wider way.

    So I decided to find out more, and visited him down in Devon, on the way to looking at some prehistoric stones on Dartmoor. The rest of this post is an interview with Andy about some of his ideas on life and work.

    An Ermine interview with Andy from Liberate.life on how he separates independence from financial independence.

    The title of Andy’s site says it all – his aim is to liberate life from the limitations of working for The Man on one side, while at the same time not deferring all gratification until he is as grizzled as an Ermine, because his kids will have become adults by then and he’d have missed them growing up.

    Changing your thinking patterns is never easy, and a lot of how we think about money and work was set quite early on. In the interview I ask Andy about his vision of what a good life is, and he talks about how mastery of his destiny is important to him and what he has changed to get closer to that, and his different take on financial independence.

    More ideas from Andy on how to liberate your life

    Andy’s website liberate.life is both about the how and why, but he offers more targeted way to help you make the changes:

    a free email six-part course on how to quit the rat-race in 18 months*

    one on one coaching* on how to become more entrepreneurial, and how to test new business ideas so they show whether they are likely to succeed sooner rather than later.

    Andy can help you liberate your life with his one-on-one course, if you are open to new ways of thinking, and have the talent and drive to make changes. He is open about the scale of the challenge and the rewards. Andy’s approach is to steadfastly challenge limiting beliefs about work and earning, so you can use your ability to add value to other people to the full. Hell, he has even got the grizzled Ermine to think about doing some kind of paid work, just for the fun of it 2

    He’s even more persistent in delivering the message in person. Resistance is futile – the world of work has changed, and agility and lateral thinking in the face of change are what helps get ahead now IMO.

    What did I learn from Andy?

    I should acknowledge I haven’t done his course, but we did talk for a long time. I’m not his target audience because it is too late for me. I had to solve the financial independence conundrum on my own. And yet it’s clear that both my limited history and the nature of leaving the workforce left large regions of limiting beliefs:

    Limiting belief 1: A view that selling is a sleazy occupation and I have never done it and have no place in it

    This is as a result of my limited experience- I have only ever worked for four companies, and three out of the four were very big firms. I was far removed from the front line. Selling is an essential part of making any enterprise work, and my concept of sales and marketing was a combination of Arthur Daley, Spanish boiler-room telephone sales scams and used car vendors.

    Now if I look back at my career I have sold ideas and strategies to people, but if we ignore that as lost along with the career, I then looked at designs and services I have sold to people outside my main job. And discovered that because I had always conceptualised sales as the spoken word, I had ignored sales I had made through the written word – a few thousand pounds on articles (ignored because I have been reading journalists decrying the death of print for years), and also a few pieces of equipment sold because people had chased me down to buy equipment after I have published technical articles on new opportunities and techniques.

    In particular, because outside work I generally influenced through the written and not the spoken word I missed that I had already been selling through widening influence in the way of writing technical articles, even if I did make my customers chase me down and articulate their requirements as a request.  I am clearly of the Ralph Waldo Emerson mousetrap school of thought here 😉 If I wanted to take this further I would carry on in that line, using influence by contributing original articles to special-interest organisations and getting sales from that. I had missed seeing all of this because selling is done verbally in my beliefs. It is theoretically possible that using social media I could expand this, although I don’t have to. I use Google to publicise my articles 3, and by choosing to specialise in niche areas it works for me. I don’t SEO or all that malarkey – write decent stuff about technology I am interested in and choose small pools. Decent writing matters. I’m never going to win the Booker prize, I am wordy and not always focused. But in these small pools I am competing with engineers, not with Shakespeare, JK Rowling or even Dan Brown. ’nuff said.

    Limiting belief 2: Quite serious blind spots regarding working and earning

    These came around because of the way I reached FI, running away from something rather than towards it. You shouldn’t do that generally in life, and I was saved from the boredom that afflicts many who retire to get away by the return of an inquiring mind. That exit left marks from the experience that work hurt a lot at a particular time of weakness, and this was generalised. In fact it was the absence of control that hurt, if I had been in a position to turn round to the boss who tried to shaft me and say

    “Quite frankly, if that’s how you feel then you can f**k right off and stick your performance management where the sun doesn’t shine, if you want to do things in such a stupid way then be my guest and find some other sucker to cover for your failure to look ahead”

    I probably would have felt fine and dandy about the whole thing. Obviously I would then still be working, arguably wasting precious time of my life to earn money I didn’t need so it’s perhaps best that it happened that way.

    So I ended up with the feeling that the whole principle of selling some of my human capital for money ends up as pain, as opposed to the specific example at that specific time did. I inferred the general from the particular, and you shouldn’t really do that from one data point, it’s bad epistemology.

    I am sure there are other limiting beliefs, but I’ll vouch for Andy’s tenacity in hauling those out.

    So there you go, particularly for younger cohorts for whom the journey to FI looks very long and hard. As the man says – Sick of the daily grind but can’t wait for FI? Take a look.

    *Disclosure – Andy contributes to the Ermine’s beer fund for signups through here, but this won’t cost you any extra. I never promote something I don’t see real value in, I scrapped Google Ads from Simple Living In Suffolk years ago when they flashed offers of Wonga et al to unsuspecting readers. Having met him, Andy seems to play a pretty straight bat, judge for yourself.

    Notes:

    1. I have nothing against people working in finance in London. But you’re a breed apart because of the pay levels, and the rest of us need hope and inspiration too 😉
    2. Note: I am interested in the research field and it benefits people I care about. I am not The Returned 😉
    3. this blog is an exception, I don’t really know how people find this, though I am glad you do, and I tip my hat to fellow bloggers who I believe are the main route
     
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