Would you runaway?

The news about the New Zealand couple running away with several million had spread all over by now.

Interestly, there seems to be quite a bit of support for the runaway couple. There are even two Facebook groups created that support them – Go Leo Gao – Go You Good Thing! and We Support Leo Gao and his 10 Million Dollars – Run Leo Run.

The question I ask is not whether this is right or wrong or if you support is. The question I ask is…

If you had also gotten the money from the bank, would you choose to runaway?

For me, it is obvious that it is not worth it. First, there is the risk of getting caught. It is not likely that one can get away with something like this so easily. Secondly, even if I manage to get away at first, it will mean that I had to play hide and seek for, at least, an extended period of time if not my entire life, and that means I cannot even enjoy the money. Lastly, the instant money would not be something that I had earned myself and that simply takes away the entire enjoyment factor of earning it and thus no longer can I enjoy what I earn.

What about you?

Originally posted 2009-05-22 21:45:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Partner/Rivalry on Quest of Personal Finance

Okay, I’ve been studying too long and want to take a break and scribble something on my blog. I have been reading many personal finance blogs lately, and I came across a post from Make Love, Not Debt:

A few weeks ago I was out having a few drinks with few coworkers during happy hour. One of my coworkers (CW1) noted that in a few weeks he will have been at the company for six months. Another coworker (CW2) remaked that he was then eligible to participate in the company retirement plan. Both of these coworkers are my age, maybe a little younger. The conversation went a little like this…

CW1: Hey, I’ll be at the company for six months in a few weeks!

CW2: Yeah dude, you’ll be eligible for our 401k. (but we have a SIMPLE IRA…or am I just being nitpicky?)

CW1: Yeah that’s cool.

Him: Yeah, I was thinking of rolling over my SIMPLE IRA to a Traditional IRA because I don’t like our investment options. I won’t be eligible to do that until May, though.

(blank stares)

CW2: Yeah, my boyfriend works at Morningstar, so he handles all of that stuff for me.

CW1: I don’t have a clue when it comes to that stuff.

CW2: Yeah. You guys watch Battlestar Galactica?

Sigh.

Although I haven’t begun my real professional career YET (being 2 months shy of graduation), I look around my peers, where a majority are older and/or full-time employees, and somehow I feel similar to the author here… Unfortunately I’ve heard more about young people not wanting to contribute to 401k because of how it reduces their paychecks, and NO young people who wants talk about personal finance and investment, etc around me.

As the title suggests, I would love to have a partner or even a rival to help push and/or encourage each other in learning these personal finance matters. But where can I find them? Makes sense? Oh well, it’s so late, I don’t care anymore.

That being said, I’ve been using a lot of excel for a class lately, and for fun I came up with a very rough, simplistic, interactive model to look at the growth of asset/net worth/whatever to put things in perspective a bit, with an initial asset that grows at a constant annual rate along w/ an annual contribution to the asset that grows by a separate constant amount. It actually makes future looks kind of hopeful. :P

excel_future.jpg

Feel free to download the excel file and play with it, modify it. It’d be great if someone comes up with something interesting or a much more realistic model and send it back to me :)

Alright, back to study, ciao.

Originally posted 2006-11-07 04:13:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Weight Loss Bullshit New Year Resolution – Stop Talking and Just Act

It’s the time of the year when all we hear people talk about is new year resolution (I’ll type NYR from now on).

I hate it. There, I said id. I hate it.

I don’t tell someone to shut up if they do talk about it… I simply smile and nod.

The most talked about topic for NYR is losing weight. Probably the first on most people’s list.

But here’s what I wonder, if every year we are saying we are going to lose weight… that means people didn’t do it. And if people just don’t do it every year, why do they keep talking about it?

It’s like lying to yourself.

A lot of people just talk and won’t achieve it. Here’s what I propose:

Stop talking and just act. Achieve it, then talk.

You may argue “well, people lose the weight and then gain it back over the year…” And this takes me to my 2nd point…

Losing weight is probably not such a great goal after all!

Fine, you can set “losing weight” as an initial goal. But at some point on your way to it, you should switch that goal to something less ephemeral… A better goal would be…

“Staying healthy.”

There is no excuse around this one. It means for us to stay consistently healthy and it also includes working on the mind, the body, and the spirit.

Staying healthy is all around wellness. You monitor yourself. Everyday you’ll watch want to feel your body. Everyday you’ll monitor yourself the mental and emotional state. You learn to see and feel your body and mind so you act to stay healthy.

You’ll know when you feel toxic emotions. And then you act.
You’ll feel when your body’s worn and stressed. And then you act.
You’ll see where you stand in life. And you act to improve it.

You’ll learn that you need to act in all facets including balanced diet, exercise, and lifestyle to maintain this health that involves more than your physical components.

Staying healthy is a continuous process. If you make that your focus, you’ll always end up studying a lot and will learn a balanced diet means, a healthy fitness style that suits you, and your own approach to react to whatever your body tells you. You’ll learn to maintain this health that involves more than your physical components.

This is so much more than weight loss because weight loss is a shallow goal.

Forget weight loss and figure out what it means to stay healthy.

Stop talking and just act.

And one last tip, be consistent.

Originally posted 2013-01-07 00:44:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Financial Industry Extracting Values from Us

Financial industry, if we shall even call it industry, as it is now, does less than contribute values to the general community. That much is clear.

I am not saying they cannot turn a profit. I really don’t mind them making profits, even off from me. We all need to make a living after all because money buys us food, shelter, and all. But moderation is always the virtue and what they had done and are still trying to do is by no way reasonable.

What is a concrete example you may ask? Well, look here.

trans_fee

This is the result of a transaction through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (oh what a long name) that I must use in order to deal with company’s restricted stocks. Instead of one reasonable transaction fee, we got Commissions, Other Fee, Transaction Fees, and Service Fee. And this is not including the Proceeds Delivery Fee of $25 if I had chosen to do a wire transfer to my own bank account. Instead, I choose to be patient to receive the proceeds by mail.

My question is, why all the fees? And commission with service fee on top? How much did they do for me? We all know all these are done electronically now. Sure, you need to pay people to maintain the systems, but instead of being sensible charging one single reasonable transaction fee, we have all these. And this is exactly what our financial industry, our banking system does. On top of interest, they charge all sorts of fee for all sorts of occasions and transactions, or just about any time money passes hands, to drive up profits unreasonably and forever.

But we all know perfectly well that nothing in this world can go up and grow forever.

This is exactly what has driven the market to the ground. In a nutshell, the banks and investment firms make billions off transaction fee for creating/underwriting CDOs ranging from 1-1.5%. So they went nuts to lend out mortgages, and then hype up the demand and price of CDOs backed by these [unreliable] mortgages (bubble) to sell and exchange a shit load of them so then they get those fee. In between, banks and companies add financial products such as credit swaps and insurance for these derivatives which result in even more profits through fee while providing them the illusions that they are protected from the CDOs’ risk… But finally they run out of people to lend mortgages, plus unreliable lenders start defaulting, plus themselves and others realizing this cannot go on forever and BAM. (I may not be fully accurate and politically correct with these terms but this is the gist of it.)

Until CEOs, bankers, and all these investing “experts” and “gurus” and “managers” learn to be reasonable and sensible, or be replaced by ones who are, we are in it for a turbulent ride where they will do anything and everything to hoard and extract money.

I say in this blog title that they extract values not simply because they hoard money. They extract values from society because:

  • They are hoarding money beyond enough for themselves, meaning either they have little to no values or they are destroying them in process of hoarding.
  • To hoard, they would make others not have enough money, and how much energy, time, and money can people afford to develop values when they are preoccupied about surviving.
  • Eventually, they would have destroyed money, wealth, values, and lives for everyone including themselves.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, beyond a certain amount of money for food, shelter, other life necessities, and perhaps some indulgence, what more do you need money for?

These are things that will never be taught or promoted by mass media, social institutions because as of yet, our so-called economy is kept alive by irrational and excessive consumption. Enough and reasonable be damned. Intelligent populace aware of how everything works and are inter-connected be damned.

Originally posted 2009-12-16 01:27:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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