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Vera

@vera_18

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Good investing: Protect yourself from FOMO

Most good investing is about keeping your investment for the longest time possible. If you want to buy an investment just because its price went up, you probably don't know why it went up and will sell when it goes down.

Refrain from the need to own whatever goes up the most. Someone will always be richer than you, and that is okay.

@vera_18

Five Investing Powers · Collaborative Fund

collaborativefund.com

Investors on the same field often play different games. Even investors who think they're playing the same say have widely different goals and risk tolerances.

Most investing debates reflect investors playing different games and missing each other in conversation. Investing power is knowing what game you're playing without being swayed by people playing different games.

Two truths:

  1. Every asset goes through temporary out-of-favour periods.
  2. The world continues to change, and some things will fall permanently out of favour. Investing strategies that have worked for decades will stop. Industries will go through typical cycles, then they die.

While patience is vital in investing, you should not use it blindly in every situation. While some behaviours never change, the composition of the economy does.

It is therefore essential not to mind when your investments hurt you at times.

  • Losing money can make you gloomy.
  • Your investment success may not have come solely from skill.
  • There will be doubt among your investors, co-workers, spouse, friends, and self during underperformance.
  • Realising all the risks you never considered can make you miserable.

A rare skill is to align your peak-wealth years with a generational collapse in interest rates, the Fed becoming comfortable with quantitative easing, and falling marginal tax rates.

Also, the ability to understand the historical context of what it was like in other times will help you appreciate what's possible.

Traditional Budgeting is Up In Smoke

A person who has a conscious spending plan is all about having positive spending habits and not banning yourself from spending altogether.

If you've ever tried to put yourself on a budget and fail to stick to it every couple of months so, then you should definitely switch to something else. Traditional budgeting fails because they are unsustainable, focuses entirely on needs and ignores wants, and keeps you stuck on a cycle of looking backward.

Conscious Spending Plan: Budget by Looking Into the Future

iwillteachyoutoberich.com

There are three steps to creating a conscious spending plan.

  1. Categorize your current spending
  2. Set up an automated system
  3. Keep track of your spending

Budgeting is about knowing that you're about to spend on something that matters to you. It shouldn't deprive you of having fun altogether.

Categorizing Your Current Spending

It's important to have an overview of your money and where it's being spent. It's possible to fit your expenses into these four categories:

  • Fixed Costs (Rent, Bills, Loans)
  • Important Investments (401k, Roth IRA)
  • Financial Goals (Home Payments, Vacation Fund)
  • Guilt-free Expenses (Dining out, Happy hour)

When you break down your current spending even further, you will be able to keep yourself sustained with this method because it doesn't take away the fun.

Automated System for Fewer Worries

Since you now have an idea where your money goes and how much goes out of your account, it's good if you set up an automated system because you won't have to worry about your checking account not having any money in it when you direly need it.

As long as it works for you, then you're on the right track.

Keep Track of Your Spending

Whether it may be through a spreadsheet, an app, or a small notebook, tracking your spending is a surefire way of making sure you stay within the parameters of your spending plan.

Emergency funds

Having some extra cash is helpful when the world falls apart. But emergency funds, while great in theory, are very difficult to put into practice. That is why so few people get around to saving one - most people have more urgent financial demands.

However, one should learn how to multitask with your money, moving between short- and long-term priorities.

How to Start an Emergency Fund

thecut.com

Write down your expenses from the past few months (look at your debit and credit card bills, your bank statements, etc.)

Next, see what is essential to support your basic needs and what you can cut if you had to.

Calculate the minimum amount you could survive on if things got tight, then multiply that amount by three. That is your starting goal for your emergency fund.

Eventually you'll want to save enough to live on for three to six months if you had to.

Try to transfer your debt onto a zero-interest credit card (also known as a balance-transfer card). It will give you a limited time window where your debt won't accrue interest and allow you to get rid of your debt faster. But ensure you can pay it off within that window, otherwise the interest rate will skyrocket again.

  • If you're confident in your ability to pay your debt off, you can start saving at the same time.
  • If you are still paying a high-interest rate on your current credit card debt, then wait until your debt is paid off.

Once the debt is gone, put that same amount of money toward your emergency fund instead.

Some people are disciplined enough to manually set aside "leftover" money at the end of every month into a high-interest savings account. Others take the decision-making out of the equation and automate the entire process. Most banks have a feature that allows you to set up recurring transfers from your checking account into your savings account.

Saving up three to six months' worth of expenses could take years. That's fine. Just keep at it.

Black Friday has two relevant meanings
  • In history, Black Friday was a stock market disaster that happened on September 24, 1869, when, after a period of uncontrolled speculation, the price of gold crashed, and the markets crashed.
  • The contemporary meaning refers to the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which has been a holiday itself for many employees. It is known as a day full of shopping deals and heavy discounts and is considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Black Friday Definition

investopedia.com

  • Retailers may spend an entire year planning their Black Friday sales. They use this event as their chance to offer special prices on overstock inventory and discounts on seasonal items, such as typical holiday gifts.
  • Retailers also offer significant discounts on top-selling brands of TVs, smart devices, and other electronics, tempting customers in the hope that, once inside, they will purchase higher-margin goods.
  • Consumers often shop on Black Friday for the hottest trending items, which can lead to stampedes and violence in the absence of adequate security.

There is a theory stating that, when it comes to "Black Friday", the term "black" refers to being profitable, which comes from the old bookkeeping practice of recording profits in black ink and losses in red ink.

Retail businesses should be able to sell enough on this Friday (and the ensuing weekend) to put themselves "in the black” for the rest of the year.

The term was made-up by the overworked Philadelphia police officers.

  • In the 1950s, crowds of shoppers and travelers flooded Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Philadelphia stores hosted major sales that day, but the city also hosted the Army-Navy football game on Saturday of the same weekend.
  • Because of the crowds, traffic cops were required to work 12-hour shifts, and they were not allowed to take the day off.
  • Over time, the annoyed and fatigued officers started to refer to this dreaded workday as "Black Friday."
  • The term became popular and spread to store salespeople who used "Black Friday” to describe the long lines and general chaos they had to deal with on that day.
  • Black Friday become the shopping phenomenon event it is today in the 2000s when Black Friday was officially designated the biggest shopping day of the year.
  • Until then, that title had gone to the Saturday before Christmas.
  • Today, Black Friday is becoming an increasingly lengthy event: a Black Weekend
  • For online stores, a similar tradition to Black Friday has arisen on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is seen as the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping season.
  • The idea is that consumers return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, ready to start shopping.
  • Online shops often promote their sales prior to the actual day in order to compete against the Black Friday offerings at brick-and-mortar stores.
  • In terms of sales, Cyber Monday has proven to be a success among shoppers.
  • The sales registered on Black Friday are frequently seen as a litmus test for the overall economic situation of the country and a way for economists to assess the confidence of the average American.
  • Those who follow the Keynesian hypothesis​ that spending drives economic activity view lower Black Friday sales figures as a harbinger of slower growth.
  • Some investors and analysts look at Black Friday numbers as a way to gaugemeasure the overall health of the entire retail industry.
  • Others suggest that it only causes very short-term gains or losses.
  1. Lifestyle Expenses: eating out, vacations, entertainment etc.
  2. Protective Expenses: health, car and house insurances or emergency funds.
  3. Productive Expenses: things that improve your life for the long term -  investing in your education or career.
  4. Destructive Expenses: the bad boys of the group -  nasty habits/vices, credit card debts, memberships you never use, and anything taking money without giving anything back in return.

4 Types of Expenses (But Only 1 You Need To Cut!)

budgetsaresexy.com

Buying endless stuff

Before the internet, we had to set time aside to walk and browse a physical store, which was only open for a certain number of hours.

Now, it has become effortless to buy things online from anywhere, anytime and for a very good price. We do it without a second thought. And in the process, we are accumulating a lot of stuff.

'We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things'

theatlantic.com

According to research, we get a dopamine surge from buying stuff that causes us to want more and more.

Delayed gratification when the order arrives a few days later also makes is more physiologically rewarding than shopping in stores.

Some online shops have made it especially easy to shop with a one-click buying process. Most major retailers offer free shipping, and only one in ten consumers return stuff they've bought online.

Americans are also taking up more space with all the stuff they are amassing. Self-storage units are rapidly increasing too.

Opting out

Not everyone is part of this hoarding culture. Some people can't or don't shop online because they can't make ends meet or because they don't have credit cards. Some people are part of the zero-waste movement.

Demand  and consequences

As consumers demand cheaper clothing and other goods, manufacturing is spending less to make them, while the quality inevitably suffers. While some stuff can be recycled, often it ends up in landfills.

At Michigan State University, students leave so many packages of unopened food and toiletries behind, that the university started a program to get students to donate when they move out.

Kipple, a phrase coined fifty years ago, refers to "useless objects" that accumulate in a house.

Except, our modern-day "Kipple" does not just multiply by itself, we grow it ourselves and buying more of it, because we can.

Income and happiness

Scientific literature points out that money tends to make people happier, but not always.

An unstudied aspect of money is how our income and wellbeing relate to hope - how people think about the future.

Income is tied to happiness and hope for the future

bigthink.com

A new study found a positive connection between money and well-being, but it is subject to various other factors.

Those making more money tended to report higher levels of life satisfaction and hope. However, the effect didn't exist for those making less than $1800 a month - this is around the poverty line for a multi-person household with children.

A higher income may cause people to be hopeful and improve their level of life satisfaction. It could also be that optimistic people make more money due to them already being hopeful.

While having enough money to live is necessary for happiness, by itself it is not enough. It appears that it is what people do with their money that increases their wellbeing.

The Start Of Online Shopping

While online shopping was huge enough before 2020, it has become truly mainstream due to the push provided by the pandemic.

  • It started in Gateshead, England, when an old lady used the Videotex system, an interactive computer terminal connected to the TV, to order for groceries (margarine, cornflakes and eggs) using the remote control, back in 1984.
  • In 1994, the first online marketplace was set up, and was called NetMarket, and even had advanced encryption.
  • The first purchase in cyberspace using technology similar to the present was an audio CD of the artist Sting.

The curious origins of online shopping

bbc.com

  • Pizza Hut started selling pizzas online in 1994, using a flat, grey website to take the addresses and phone numbers of pizza-hungry customers.
  • Amazon.com too was launched in 1994, when we could only buy books on the site and is now the biggest online retail store, making the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people on the planet.
  • By 2017, Smartphone usage hit 80 percent worldwide, and online shopping apps became a common thing to use.
  • Since then, online shopping has been topping every sales chart, with Shopify providing the worldwide sales figure of USD 3.5 trillion in 2019.
  • A majority of stuff ordered online included electronics, books etc., with groceries not a huge priority, until this year.

The watershed year made the world go back to basics, with people ordering groceries and essentials online.

The increasing adoption of e-commerce as well as new technologies like 5G, click-and-collect and many more is bolstering the use of online shopping. The ongoing pandemic is changing the demands and needs of the consumer, with companies adopting hybrid models to stay relevant and useful.

Time is not money

Even if these two share some connections, time isn't money. Time is energy, money is a thing. And they each have power over our lives.

Money is infinite but time is not. You can always get a part-time job or start a side gig, but you’ll never be able to get back this moment or this day. Equating the two I think diminishes the value of time in a way.

Time Is NOT Money | We Need To Change Our Thinking | Time > Money

millennialmoney.com

Investing and passive income disrupt the time-money relationship.

To make money without having to trade any of your time frees up your time to ultimately do things that are more important to you.

  • Make as much money as you can
  • Keep your expenses low
  • Invest the difference
  • The more you invest, the faster your money will compound and bring you more money
  • Sit back and earn money with no effort. You are no longer trading your time for money.

Our work culture promotes the ideas that time is money.

And we end up managing our money poorly so we end up wasting our time. We also trade more of our time to make more money, but if we would use that time to do things that make us happier, we would live happier lives.

The challenge is how do you make money and use the money to live a life that you love.

Maybe this translates into moving from full time to part-time job or moving to a different city, and in a less stressful job.

Fantasy and economics

Underlying our fears of robots stealing our jobs are more basic anxieties about money. We're using fantasy to confront fears

Sci-Fi has become a measure to assess what's happening in the real world to see if we should be concerned. It doesn't take us away from our problems but allows us to identify what's wrong.

How Science Fiction Helps Us Understand the Economy

slate.com

  • The Hunger Games gave us a neo-Depression dystopia where media-obsessed elites torment the starving lower classes.
  • The Expanse is about class warfare.
  • The 1950 Foundation series was partly about saving the galaxy with sound economic programs.
  • The 2012 novel Three Parts Dead, was a mythical reimagining of the 2008 financial crisis. The author, Max Gladstone, said you couldn't tell a story like the financial crisis with realism. You need fantasy to explain it.

The “dark” kind of science fiction deals with the foundation of economics, which is scarcity. There is a fear that poverty will come faster as automation continues to devalue human labor.

People are experiencing scarcity or are afraid of it on a regular basis. Writers are turning to economists to make their financial worlds more plausible.

By incorporating ideas of economists, science fiction can explore a future of automation.

For example, how easy it would be to slide backward into the savagery of a slave economy. By incorporating ideas of a working economist, readers can be offered a believable thought experiment about real-life dangers.

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