Tax identifier - Possessing a unique tax identifier, such as a social security number or national insurance number, is key to correctly paying your taxes. A tax refund isn't a bonus nor a reward, it was you providing a low interest loan to the government by paying too much tax!
Address verification - Opening bank accounts, seeking credit, or dealing with governmental authorities all require address verification. Easy for most, challenging for some, a key step on the road to financial freedom for all.
Identity verification - The first step towards mastering your time is establishing proof of identity. Acquire an official copy of your birth certificate so that you can pass identity verification checks.
A life half lived - Realising that I am likely more than halfway through my life was confronting. Had I led a life half lived? Focussing on the things that don't change, while triaging anything that won't take me closer to my goals, should ensure a life fully lived.
Concise writing leads to clear thinking - Wealth is measured in time, not money. The reader donates his time and attention, in return the writer must give him something worthy of this gift. Concise writing promotes deeply understanding a topic and communicating it effectively.
How to make $1 million in one hour - Ever wondered how to make $1 million in one hour? Read how fully utilising your tax-advantaged savings account limits, and invest the balance in a low-cost index tracker fund can generate $1 million with as little as one hour of elapsed effort.
How to unitise your portfolio - Deciding to unitise your portfolio allows you to consistently track and compare investment performance, regardless of capital flows. The formula to unitise your portfolio is: [Unit Count] = [Initial Portfolio Value] / [Initial Unit Price].
Star Trek Economy - In the Star Trek economy technology had replaced scarcity with abundance, making money redundant, and removing the need to trade time for money. Financial freedom achieves the same thing, freeing people to better themselves, have adventures, and explore the unknown.
Apple Pay Experiment - Do you have any budget or spending tracking black holes? I did. The Apple Pay Experiment helped me solve that, using something as simple as contactless payments instead of cash.
Bank account - Everyone needs a bank account. It is very difficult to effectively navigate the modern economy without one. They are all much the same, good ones are fee free. Beware the costly extras, and periodically validate if your current choice remains the best one.
Lasting value - What lasting value have you derived from investing portions of your life in the projects at work? What can you point to and honestly say “I did that, that exists because of me”?
Are you an analyst, a budgeter, or a tracker? - Are you an analyst, a budgeter, or a tracker? Budgeters are optimists, a budget is a work of fiction! Trackers are realists with perfect hindsight. Analysts listen to the story that numbers tell, and make well informed decisions based upon that knowledge.
How to adjust for inflation - The formula to adjust for inflation is: [Real Amount] = [Nominal Amount] * ( [Later Period Index Value] / [Earlier Period Index Value] )
Study abroad - The opportunity to study abroad is something every student should pursue. Tuition fees for international students can be very expensive however so select the country, institution, and course wisely.
Geographic arbitrage - Parents who can’t afford private school fees shouldn’t feel compelled to bet a year’s wages on geographic arbitrage within a catchment area, just so their child stands a long shot chance of gaining admission to a good school. This behaviour creates an opportunity for residential landlords however.
Buying financial freedom - A budget is an empty promise of hopes and dreams on the road to disappointment. Plotting actual expenditure against actual income allows evidence based analysis. Buying financial freedom means your income generated from sources not requiring your physical presence exceeds your expenses.
Individual Savings Account - A Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) is one of the most powerful tools in the successful United Kingdom investor’s toolbox. Any investment income or capital gains generated within one are completely tax-free without being locked in or age restricted like a pension account.
You have to live somewhere - Housing costs could be making money for your landlord, or it could be accumulating equity for yourself. Well located real estate can generate significant wealth for the owner, and remember you have to live somewhere.
How to calculate a compound annual growth rate - Calculating an average rate of return over time provides a useful method of comparing the performance achieved by different firms or assets. The formula to calculate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is: [CAGR] = ( ( [Final Value] / [Inital Value] ) ^ ( 1 / ( [Ending Year] - [Starting Year] ) ) ) - 1
In the long run - John Maynard Keynes once said “in the long run we are all dead”. Isaac Newton asserted "what goes up must come down". This article examines 758 years worth of economic data to determine what "normal" really looks like.
Money epiphany - My money epiphany occurred at 8:21am on a Thursday. It is good to be the boss, making money for me not for somebody else. Over the last twenty years that one decision has generated me more wealth than any other.
The long game - Elon Musk had a dream of going to Mars, as most 7-year-old boys do. Unlike the rest of us, he played the long game and developed a collection of complementary businesses that generated the required income streams and technology necessary to achieve that dream.
Smarter spending - "Spend less than you earn”, but for that spending apply these smarter spending tips to reduce the cost of purchasing things you were going to buy anyway.
Self harm and own goals - Darwin awards celebrate humanity's ability to invent new and unique ways to harm itself. Every choice has consequences, not all of them obvious. Make considered choices, while doing what makes you happy. Try to avoid self harm and own goals, and receiving the next Darwin award!
From struggletown to sorted - One of the great things about being a parent is we each get to fuck up our children in our own unique special ways. Maintaining a grounded baseline of what I consider "normal" has helped me to get from struggletown to sorted, and financially free. I am instilling that same approach in my children.
Own the engine - It is easier to convince a C-level executive of something than an 11 year old child. Own the engine that others pay to use? Why would anyone want to do that? It is better to be famous than rich!
Personal Finance is easy - Personal finance is easy. The FI/RE blogosphere’s collective wisdom could easily be printed on a t-shirt. Financial Independence removes the financial imperative behind some of your prioritisation decisions, but much of what you dream of doing you could be already be enjoying today.
Trust, but verify - Critically assess any advice you receive. Be selective about whom you seek advice from, and ensure they are qualified to provide it. Identify how advisors make their money, then ignore the hypocrites. Always "trust, but verify" what you are told.
Stakeholder Management - My student job taught me more about stakeholder management than any role I have held since. Treating everyone with respect, being honest and upfront , and that it doesn’t cost anything to be nice were just some of the valuable lessons learned. And most importantly, other people’s problems do not have to become my own.
Revenue based taxation - Imagine a world of revenue based taxation, rather than the profit based taxation approach we have today. An individual or corporation’s self-interest would determine if a job were worth doing. Capital allocation and investment decisions would improve. Tax deductions would no longer be required.
Life tokens - Everyone alive has the exact same number of hours in their day. Each hour is represented by life tokens, that we can invest in whatever activities we choose to undertake. Invest them wisely, they can't be stored or recovered!
Sheep herding and cattle rustling - "Trust, but verify" is hard when the expert advisor is really a salesperson. This conflict of interest reduces financial services adviser job descriptions to sheep herding and cattle rustling, rather than providing objective professional advice to those seeking it.
Reputational harm - Reputations are hard won and easy lost. They provide marvellous opportunities to those who treat people fairly, and do what they say they will do. Reputational harm will certainly hold back those who troll, gloat, boast or generally treat people shabbily.
Debt Recycling - Selling and debt recycling are options available to an existing owner occupier who wishes to redeploy accumulated equity in their home towards a higher performing cash flow positive investment.
Simple choice: Adapt or die - Workers must invest in themselves to ensure they maintain marketable skills relevant to their chosen living locations. Dinosaurs and Dodos became extinct for a reason. Workers who fail to maintain their relevance should suffer the same fate. It is a simple choice: Adapt or die.
Financial Planning: When self-interest and bad advice collide - I once toyed with the idea of turning my interest in financial planning into a career as a financial planner. When the time came to change career directions and make the leap into the world of financial planning, I blinked. I couldn’t reconcile the fundamental conflict of interest that existed.
Property Investing - Where you choose to live is a lifestyle decision. Whether you choose to buy or rent where you live is an investment decision. The two are very different decisions. Property investing is not limited to the city or country that you choose to live in.
It's all in your jeans - Time investment decisions are all about opportunity cost. It turns out calorie consumption decisions are the same. A random tale about the history of Levi's 501s, family conspiracies, and establishing a data driven dietary decision making framework.
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