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67 STASHED IDEAS

What is a Passport?

A passport is issued to a country’s citizens for international travel and identification.

  • A passport is used to verify one’s country of citizenship. If traveling outside your country, it is used to regain entry into your country of citizenship.
  • Passports include your photo, name, birth date, gender and physical characteristics.
  • Diplomats and government officials are granted different passports than what's given to regular travelers.
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What is a Visa?

A visa is an endorsement placed within a passport that grants the holder official permission to enter, leave or stay in a country for a specified time period.

  • The most common visa types are tourist, student, work and transit visas.
  • Depending on where you are traveling, a visa can be valid for single or multiple visits.
  • Some visas require an application to be filed prior to entering the country and other visas are granted upon entering the country.
  • Certain countries require an interview or medical screening prior to applying for a visa.
Minimalism

The 'less is more' term is applied to many philosophies, products or lifestyle choices.

The definitions are broad, from intending to reflect on the damage we're doing to the world to Marie Kondo method that helps people live meaningful lives with less. Marie encourages people to declutter and only hold on to the possessions that 'sparks joy.'

Critics point out the irony of the Minimalists' output - it just adds to all the stuff. But minimalists believe that it is not just about decluttering and simplicity. It is about making room for more time, peace, creativity, experiences, contentment, and freedom.

This makes minimalism a growth industry, as the "stuff" they throw out is piling up.

Kyle Chayka, the author of The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism, reminds us that minimalism started in the art world and was about finding beauty in unexpected things, such as industrial materials.

Throwing out all your stuff might seem to be against consumerism, but you still have to buy the right new things to follow a fitting austere aesthetic. Owning minimal and having white walls and floors can become oppressive and empty.

The roots of modern minimalist philosophy reach some 2,500 years back with Diogenes. Born around 412 BC, Diogenes decided he didn't need a house and lived in a felled rainwater pipe. All he possessed was a cloak, a walking stick and a leather pouch. He discovered happiness through self-mastery and self-sufficiency.

In the 3rd Century BC, Stoicism's philosophy informs a minimalistic lifestyle by adhering to simple living ideas and focusing on the self and community instead of possessions.

In the context of a happy life, people feel more energetic and focused when they deal with the clutter.

John Pawson states that it takes discipline to reduce until you can't further subtract. But not having anything can make spaces uncomfortable to be in.

A sustainable competitive advantage

Warren Buffett states that if you aren't willing to own a stock for ten years, don't even think about owning it for ten minutes.

Human nature is most concerned with short term loss aversion, not long-term gain seeking. Because we are so short-term oriented, it's an enormous advantage if you can operate on a longer time than the competition. Having a ten, twenty, and thirty-year track record of ethical behaviour is a very defensive career position.

It is an important skill to see the world as it is and not as we wish it should be.

None of the risks you take daily are likely to lead to death, but we act as though they would. An accurate understanding of reality is essential for producing good outcomes.

Future and Past for successful investors

“The future will not be as good as the past but it doesn’t have to be.” This statement from Charlie Munger summed up his thoughts on public markets. Public market in the U.S. will not repeat the success of the late 90s in the 21st century.

Successful investors seem to focus on smaller, private markets, where it's more difficult to invest and where there's less competition. It's worth noting that advances in communication technology and the huge amount of capital created in the second half of the 20th century have created a more competitive public market.

Researcher Robin Dunbar says, on average, we can only maintain a trusted social group of one hundred and fifty people. We can change which people, brands, and ideas we trust, but the number stays the same.

We are exposed to an increasing number of brands each year, but with no more trust and attention to hand out. The result is a shift in how companies grow and how marketing works. Warren Buffett shows a change from "push" marketing to "pull" marketing. We are entering a trust shortage. The individuals and brands which are "long trust" will win.

Charlie Munger once commented that "in order to disagree with somebody you must first understand their argument better than they do."

The most common way people lose money is to overestimate how clever they are and how much they know. Even after a fifty-year investing career, both Warren Buffett and Munger read over 500 pages a day and still limited themselves to a small circle of competence where they can explain the other side's argument better than they can.

Not many people have knowledge in their head both through a long life and reading widely, and across private industries, government, etc., to be able to form a broad perspective.

Taking your money and starting from the perspective of how to make a better tire will yield a very different result to asking "how do I maximize returns on capital?"

Bitcoin was born from a crisis

In the middle of the 2008 banking crisis, a group of anarchists, libertarians, and other tech-savvy true believers created digital cash.

In August 2008, bitcoin dot org was registered as a domain. On Halloween the same year, Satoshi Nakamoto put up a whitepaper describing a decentralised system of electronic transactions that did not involve a financial institution.

  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer money network. You don't have to pay a fee to a bank when you send money to another party.
  • Bitcoin is finite. There can only be 21 million bitcoin in the world. More than 17 million have already been mined while the rest will be released at a predictable mining rate.
  • Anyone can access the public parts of the ledger of transactions or "blockchain." If you can keep your wallet anonymous, no institution need to know who you are.

Bitcoin highlights how fundamentally bizarre money is. Money is a value token that makes exchange easier. It isn't real in a tangible way. But it's real enough that people fight and die for it.

Bitcoin's ideology is that of a specific distrust of financial institutions. In 2009, many people were looking for alternatives to the mainstream financial system that had disastrously failed. Bitcoin was the first successful attempt for an alternative financial system.

In order to make your investment in bitcoin worthwhile, you have to convince others that the investment is valuable too.

The most significant community for early bitcoin was dark web marketplace Silk Road, founded by Dread Pirate Roberts (Ross Ulbricht). The idea was that anything could be traded, regardless of whether the state viewed it as legal. The trade included marijuana, fake IDs, etc. In 2013, the US government seized Silk Road. The seizure included 144,336 bitcoins that belonged to Ulbricht.

Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange (Mt.Gox) launched a bitcoin exchange in 2010. It let people buy bitcoin and sell using bank transfers.

The early years of Mt.Gox revealed that online currency meant new risks, such as hacks, outages, and a run-in with the US government. In 2014, clients complained that they couldn't withdraw their bitcoin and Mt.Gox filed for bankruptcy. Later it was discovered that an attacker had slowly been draining all of Mt.Gox's bitcoins. Mt. Gox was responsible for 70% of all bitcoin ever traded as of February 2014.

Despite Mt.Gox and the Silk Road, bitcoin continued to enter the mainstream. At the end of 2014, Microsoft began accepting bitcoin payments. In 2015, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum - also based on the blockchain - began to emerge.

Ethereum changed the focus from bitcoin per se to blockchain as a technology. Using the blockchain, Ethereum lets users write applications and make money from their work. The most known application is the "smart contract" - a technology that bills itself as a way of replacing lawyers.

  • Ethereum was the most meaningful of the ICOs (initial coin offering). Many other companies followed, such as NXT Neo, Spectrecoin that were often tied to specific businesses and products.
  • In 2017, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the money police) announced that financing events for digital currencies would be regarded as securities under some circumstances.
  • But bitcoin left behind its original community of true believers, and in 2017, the price surged more than 1,000 percent.

On January 3rd, 2009, a few months after the publication of the original whitepaper, the first lines of code were committed to the bitcoin blockchain by Satoshi Nakamoto. But Nakamoto vanished. No one has discovered who Satoshi was or is, though many have tried.

The initial idea of bitcoin was to work without trust. As the bitcoin's price has risen, it became another investment vehicle for the financial system. The biggest winners from the new bitcoin era may be the people the system was designed to bypass - the institutional investors and banks.

The Garment Loved By All: Jeans

Cowboys, supermodels, farmers, Presidents and housewives have one garment in common: Jeans.

Jeans are comfortable, durable, attractive, cool and easy to own and wear, hence have a wide appeal among all sections of society.

  • A pair of jeans first appeared in the late 19th century when a tailor in Nevada, Jacob Davis, engineered trousers that were made sturdier by the use of rivets. Davis soon took the help of Levi Strauss, then a fabric supplier in San Francisco.
  • Levi’s patented the trousers, realizing that the strengthened denim version would sell really well. Other players like Lee jumped in the manufacturing in 1908 when the patent expired for Levi’s.
  • Many people liked how the fabric changed as it aged, with the washed colors fading in a unique way.
  • During The WWII era, the pair of jeans, mostly worn by American Western states, started being a symbol of coolness and rebellion, which many movies in the 50’s captured with the help of James Dean and Marlon Brando.
  • A subversive counter-culture was created, symbolized by the pair of jeans, and the establishment ended up banning them in schools, something which added to the frenzy.
  • The 60s saw many middle-class college students wearing them as a symbol of solidarity with the working class. The trend caught on overseas too, starting with Europe.
  • Jeans were from the beginning affordable, extremely durable, relaxing and looked good when they were new and also when they were torn or worn out. There wasn’t a need to wash them that often, and ironing was optional too. Women loved the way they fitted without the need to be tailored professionally.
  • Jeans offered a sprinkle of authenticity and individuality, even after it turned into a commodity. The tone and color became a foundational, neutral fabric to be matched with other fabrics and colors.

The appeal for Jeans, apart from the fact they weren’t complicated, was that it was a four-dimensional material. Time changed how it looked, and that became an added attraction.

Traditional, unadorned jeans still looked and felt special, and the eternal appeal of jeans matched with life in general.

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