I have been very remiss in my stoicism of late. And while there are many facets to stoicism the one that I have been most tardy addressing is that of dying well.

Death box.jpg

I don’t necessarily want my death to be a messy, chaotic affair. It might well be… after all I don’t really get to be in full control over that particular event. What I can control however is the aftermath of my demise.

In lieu of this, I have created a Death-box(tm). Its less exciting (or indeed pandor(a)-ific) than it sounds. Its basically a black shoe box that will sit in my drawer at home waiting for that eventual moment to become useful.

It contains all the important ‘stuff’ that… well… someone else needs to wrap things up for me, all located in one convenient location.  At the top of the pile is a quick how-to-guide to access my trading account and close all my open positions. Trading futures… and then suddenly expiring… well… it could be REALLY bad. This needs to be done pretty quick post event… unless of course they are all doing amazing well (which they probably all will be because… well…. I’m dead)… in which case… *thinks* actually just close them.

While I plan on adding a map with the location of the treasure of the infamous pirate, One-eyed-Willy, I spent my weekend redoing my Last Will and Testament and getting that fine document in order first. That’s probably quite important… and it is/was horrifically out of date.

Also… while there is a fair amount of legalize… I did allow for at least some whimsy. (an element lacking in most wills and testaments I feel). Case in point…


On what should happen to my remains…

I wish to cremated. And then, if viable, have my ashes shot off into space. (preferably in a rocket capable of escaping gravity) but if not… I am happy to become orbital debris, a navigation hazard and otherwise deadly object to future spacefarers. Assuming this is not viable (or exorbitantly expensive, more than $1000.00)… cremate me and scatter me some place nice. I’m not picky. I am after all dead and unlikely to care what happens to my remains. Obviously, if the situation is thus that I am likely to be venerated or that my remains will become a focal point for pilgrims… then… do what you have to do. Statues or monoliths that need to be erected in such an event should not come from my estate by rather by some measure of crowd funding.

But first…

Please harvest and donate all my organs that are deemed still viable for transplant. Transplant only though, I do not want my body used for any scientific experimentation or learning. I feel weird about being sawed and hacked at by first year medical students.


My death is going to be awesome. Well for some.

Inverted yield curves

Every time yield curves go ‘inverted’ people start to spew forth a lot of garbage. And by people I mostly mean financial journalists and commentators… and really, in my mind at least, there is some debate on whether you can classify these as actual people or something you should rather be trying to scrape off  the bottom of your shoe using the pointy edge of the curb…

But I digress.

Let me try break it down Barney-style. There are a couple of ‘financial’ markets. The Stock market is the one your hear about most often. Its the one where people buy and sell stocks or shares in a companies. (condescending enough?) The stock market is also complete bullshit. I mean that in a nice way, but really its a layer cake of psychology, imperfect information and nebulous hoo-ha which is given some weird holy cow legitimacy by people in suits who front themselves as having some sort of divinely ordained ability to interpret the chaos machine. The stock market while a good indicator of sentiment for where you are at, isn’t necessarily a great litmus test for whats happening in real life. In fact if stock prices were accurately portrayed in a perfect information kinda way traders wouldn’t know how to make any money… in this gig you make money by playing the other player, not playing the game.

In any event, other markets include the Bond market. Which is… less spurious and MUCH more important than the stock market (imo). Bonds are thingamajigs that big companies and governments use to borrow money. They say to the market, buy this bond-thing and hold onto it for x-period of time and then after x-period we will give you your money back plus a little extra for your trouble. That little bit extra, is called the yield.

Main case in point. US Treasury bonds. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You are lending the US Government money for 3 months or two years… or ten years. The yield that the government is treasury bond is usually compensatory with the time period. Ie. If you lend the government money for 10 years they will pay you a bigger yield than if you only lend them money for three months. Which seems fair, I mean a lot of things could happen over a ten year time period.

Investors put A LOT of thought into their bond purchases, because you need to crunch A LOT of asymmetrical information that could affect your their money. The company or government you are lending your money to could go bankrupt and you could lose some or even all of your money, countries and companies with riskier lending profiles obviously offer higher yields to entice people to buy their bonds. That whole risk versus reward chestnut.

Recently something uncommon happened. The yield curve became inverted. Which means that short term bonds (3 month and two year) were yielding a better return than the longer term bonds (10 year). Wait… why… would… that happen…

Well there is a perception that in two years… there will be more… lets call it uncertainty… and so there is demand for bonds at the higher end of the spectrum which causes the yield to fall. People start loosing their minds because the yield curve inverting is seen as a precursor to a recession. (I think an inverted yield curve has appeared before every US recession in the last 50 years…  or something like that… cbf to look it up right now)

Yeah. *shrug* So what.

Which I realize may sound flippant because recessions cause a lot of hardship for people. We want the good times to last forever. It’s a weird phenomenon that we can appreciate in something like the seasons and weather, spring eventually because winter. Sometimes the winter is mild… sometimes its not. Our ancestors prepped for this eventuality by storing food, maintaining the homestead and stacking up the firewood. When this happens in the economy its an unmitigated disaster because we kinda expected summer to last forever.


Well… that’s not entirely true, because in modernity we don’t see ourselves as having to survive cyclical events. We work for a company…we get paid a salary for the work we do… its the companies job to worry about that… you know… economic stuff. I’m just here to fill out my TPS reports. Super unfair if I get punished for something I have no control over… the government should be taking care of that area for me. And they do try… sorta… they try and stem the inevitable with interest rates cuts and printing more money and stuff… but eventually… a cycle is gotta do what a cycle has gotta do.

Now is the autumn of our discontent. (I didn’t want to say winter is coming… but you know, the Starks know eh… knew stuff). Actually… the thing is, it might actually not be autumn yet. It might still be summer. Its probably not spring anymore.  But who knows? And therein lies the rub. No one fucken knows. The world is full of dickheads who want to be right all the time and predict the turning point.

But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into…

Which I think is Matthews way of telling us about firearm ownership right? The bible is so confusing.




Monopoly car


This a series of posts I’m doing for my kids. In case I die (ie. Go Darke) and am not around to to teach them (personal) finance when the time comes. Its mostly stuff I wish someone had taught me when I was sixteen. You can find more posts like this… 


Trading misconceptions

I’m sure there is way more conjecture and misconceptions about (day) trading. These are the ones I’ve thought about… Candles

You can start (day) trading with a small amount of initial capital

This is likely the one that makes me suck the most air through my teeth. Yeah… you can…  Someone who has a significant amount of day trading experience under their belt (and doesn’t have to eat and pay any bills) could, theoretically turn $1000 into $10,000 in *thinks* a month or two. *and then vacillates* Lets say three months. I can sorta envision this as possible (albeit quite challenging…) even without having to resort to something dangerous… like the killing field that is the USD/ZAR (or similar).

Can a n00b trader do this with three months trading experience? Hm. Color me skeptical. Let say the odds are likely stacked against you.

The problems as I see them is that with such a small war-chest from which to wage stock-market conflict, your stops have to be super tight, which means you’re likely to get stopped-out quite easily, which means you need to make very solid trades that need to head (almost immediately) in the direction you envisioned. Then because the amount that you’re allocating to each trade is likely to be quite low, you have to be able to do this consistently. Which I realize is what you’re (broadly) doing with bigger amounts anyway, but your margin for error is a significantly bigger with more resources, which gives you some breathing room to get it wrong every now and then. Alternatively adjust your expectations. With $1000 if you can get to $1300 by month end, I think that’s pretty darn good. $300 is not going to cover rent, groceries though… oh yeah and TAX.

In any event, having more capital when you start out is preferable to having less. Which means I suppose you have to have made money in order to get into day trading. Which, begs the question, if you have money and are making money, why do you want to trade? If you have no money, you either have to borrow money with which to fill your trading account, or you have to save up. Neither of these circumstances speaks to your financial proficiency. Sorry. First get your house in order. Either through austerity or earning more. Then maybe look at investing. Or entrepreneurship… And then maybe trading.

You only have to work two to three hours a day… and then you’re done

Um… I suppose this is definitely possible. Although, I think this is only really claimed (and posited) by people who make Youtube videos about trading. I suppose this is broadly personality and likely also trading tactic dependent. Personally I would prefer five trades that make $200 a trade than one trade that makes $1000. In order to make those those five trades a day I need to be present. The tactics I employ to make money trading only ever really suggest four… or five solid opportunities to trade during the course of the eighteen hours a day that I’m awake. Which means I’m always near my computer. There’s a lot of waiting involved.

I usually wake up at 4am… the first thing I do is reach for my Macbook. For example, I like to trade the EUR/USD when it is range bound ie (when, in my timezone, the US markets are still closed and Frankfurt, the first real significant exchange in this pairing hasn’t opened yet)… which usually means I’ll take a trade before 6am if my prerequisites are met. 

I guess you’re either a full time trader… our a part time trader. Both come with their own significant environments.

As a full time trader there are some serious downsides to working from home. It is a lonely existence and one where you are wholly dependent on your own skill and acumen to survive. There are no co-workers to back you up. No one to bitch to when things aren’t going well. No one to blame. You’re going to have to take responsibility for all your own actions. Also the anxiety of having your fiber go down mid trade is unparalleled, ha ha. (Have an LTE backup)

If you’re trading as your side hustle… *long exhale*… well… you’re splitting your attention between two jobs and likely both are going to react adversely to this…. which sorta leads into my next point…


You can learn this stuff quickly and just be immediately good at it

My fall back example is always grappling. It took me forever (okay, like ten years) to become truly proficient at Brazillian Ju-jitsu. Training every single day, two hours a day. And I’m still learning stuff, still getting tapped out.

When it comes to trading we (for whatever reason) think we can be proficient after three months and we can already envision ourselves earning $100,000 in our first year.

There are undoubtedly outliers than can do this sort of thing. But I imagine its a rare skill-set/personality disorder.

Its better to learn how to trade when you don’t need the money. Needing the money because you’re broke or you think this will solve some perceived deficiency in your life, adds a lot of extra stress into the equation. And stress is the mind killer… or was that fear? In any event…

Learning to trade while trying to do another job… is also, really hard. Likely your current employer will take a dim view of you Alt-tab’ing between your trading account and your CRM system in your little cubicle when your should be filling out TPS reports (or whatever corporates actually do). Which means you have to either switch out to longer time frames and/or trade after hours.

After hours trading, can be… weird. Markets react differently under conditions of volume. It can be like splashing around in three inches of water. You think you’re doing well and so you move off to the big pool where your feet don’t touch the bottom…

Or longer time frame trading… which means you’re not… well imo, cycling through your trades fast enough to train your brain in that trading ‘muscle memory’ that is required to start identifying good entries and exits. I may be a bit bias here, because I’m (kinda) swing trading/scalping my way into profit, so I generally look at the longer time frames with suspicion.

If mastery is 10,000 trades. (I’m not sure I believe this, but lets go with it) +/-10 trades a day on a 10 or 15 minute chart… will get you there in… 5 years or so. 1 trade every other day on a daily chart… well… its going to take significant longer.

Like with grappling, spending time on the mat wrestling a variety of opponents is the only real way to get better. Sure you can read books on grappling, watch Youtube videos, practice sprawling and arm-barring a dummy… but nothing compares to actual mat time with someone who wants to triangle choke you into unconsciousness.

I can trade ANYTHING… its all kinda the same thing.

Woah… woah…. woah. It really isn’t. Stick with like… three things. Maybe even two. One thing might even be the best actually. I am always amused when I see all these traders with… some of them have a ridiculous number of screens in front of them. I have NO idea what they are looking it.


Take this guy. Youtube guy. Lol. (and actually there are loads of people with way worse than this) That’s a lot of charts. I suppose maybe… if you’re trading stocks… and you’ve got your four that you’ve identified as potentially interesting for the day… and you want to… I dunno… I’m reaching here. Really, you need a laptop. And maybe another screen. All this other stuff is just vanity, consumerism and really, totally superfluous.

I suppose I should point out that I don’t trade individual stocks. I find them overly reactive to asymmetrical threats. I like boring stuff. Like stable pairs and indexes. Maybe you do need more screens trading stocks? My instincts still says no. *shrug* anyways…

Lots of people want to flip-flop between currency, crypto, commodities… (I wanted to alliterate more here)… cannabis! I feel like you should stick to a couple of things and get really good at those specific markets.


Trading is glamorous


Its actually a lot like grinding for trophies or loot when you play a video games and you’ve already won. Also if you had any existential crisis about your previous job being meaningless (in the grand scheme of things) trading will definitely not fix any of your psychoses. (apparently that is the plural of psychosis. Looks weird to me)

But you know… if you’re successful you can pay for therapy and fill your abode with shiny knick-knacks that can help deaden pain somewhat. Also people will like you. If you’re not successful you will feel like a complete failure who just sucks at EVERYTHING. Also you will be broke.



Monopoly car


This a series of posts I’m doing for my kids. In case I die (ie. Go Darke) and am not around to to teach them (personal) finance when the time comes. Its mostly stuff I wish someone had taught me when I was sixteen. You can find more posts like this… 



Spending free money

What should I do with my dividends?

I don’t think there is necessarily a right or wrong answer to this. This is largely personal preference. Some people like to reinvest it in the thing that gave them the dividend, be that more of the same company or more of the exchange traded fund or whatever. You can even use that money to buy yourself something nice (and shiny). Cue the sound of every financial adviser and FI(RE) enthusiast sucking air through clenched teeth. But really, fuck ’em. Its your money.

I can only tell you what I do…

I like to have a visual representation of the dividends I have accumulated so far over my life time. If you buy more of the same or blow it on stupid shit I find I lose that feel good sense of satisfaction that comes from being incredibly austere. Ha. Trading and investing is mostly about psychology and I like that tiny hit of dopamine I get from seeing my dividends separated out and working independently from everything else. Free money making more free money. There is something incredibly gratifying in watching that happen, for me at least. I suppose it depends on how your brain works…

New york skyline.jpg

No matter where my dividends come from, it all gets dumped into my trading account and from there I will always buy the same (relatively boring) Property Exchange traded fund. Some brokerages have wicked (and evil) charging mentalities (so be careful here, you may want to let your dividends pile up a bit before committing yourself to a purchase lest you dilute your purchasing power with fees)

I will ONLY use dividend to purchase this fund and so the running total is always more or less what I’ve earned in dividends, less expenses, and plus or minus whatever profit or loss the fund has made so far.

So why a property ETF? Well… I wanted something that was a little bit asymmetrical to normal equity, in so far as property has its own schitck and doesn’t necessarily track the stock market. (also) When I decided to start doing this property was in a deep dark hole and relatively cheap which made it even more attractive, that and in terms of a balanced portfolio I was a little lite on property generally. But really you could do anything with your dividends…


You could even buy some venture capital or penny stocks or crypto or even cattle futures[1] should you feel so inclined. If the route you’ve chosen fireballs in spectacular fashion, well, its only dividends…  and theoretically, it could turn into something amazing. Unlikely sure. But the percentile chance is not zero.

I like to separate my investor brain from my trading brain, or even I suppose my speculative brain, so this isn’t really my thing. Dividends fall solidly into my investment ideology and so (generally speaking) I try and do reasonable and considered things with this money. But that’s not say you should do what anyone else does, as long as you accept personal responsibility for your decision and appreciate that you’re taking on substantive risk with less established asset classes.

[1] These are all things that I don’t really understand appreciate and so they tend to occupy the bottom tier of things I would throw money at.



Monopoly car


This a series of posts I’m doing for my kids. In case I die (ie. Go Darke) and am not around to to teach them (personal) finance when the time comes. Its mostly stuff I wish someone had taught me when I was sixteen. You can find more posts like this… 







Business books

Dear twenty year old me.

Given the shortness of life, there are two types of books you shouldn’t waste your time with. Business books. Also known as books that should have been a nine hundred word blog post but weren’t.

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche*

*I sometimes get the feeling Nietzsche didn’t follow his own advice…

The other is ‘Life advice’ books, or really any book some person feels compelled to write to ‘help’ you sort your life out. *Joey makes a horrible gurgling sound, before pointing a finger at his head and figuratively blowing his brains out*


Chances are your life is not shit. Its just marketed to you that way. Stop letting these fuckers profiteer from their optimal morning routines, nutrition efficient smoothies, meditation rituals and personal hygiene habits. Don’t let anyone ever suggest that what you are doing is sub-optimal or inefficient. Fuck them.

If you must read a book about entrepreneurship … these are the three that you should read. They are short, punch above their weight and are loaded with goodness that you can mull over in the bath. (or on the toilet, or really wherever your do your philosophising/entrepreneurshipping)


  1. REWORK (by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried)


2. Anything you want (by Derek Sivers)


3. The War of Art (by Steven Pressfield)


In my experience (so far)… Pretty much everything else… read a summary. Or a blogpost




Monopoly car


This a series of posts I’m doing for my kids. In case I die (ie. Go Darke) and am not around to to teach them (personal) finance when the time comes. Its mostly stuff I wish someone had taught me when I was sixteen. You can find more posts like this… 




I remember the first time I got a dividend payment. It was from Compagnie Financière Richemont. One day in the mail (actual real life mail) I got a thick wad of super-complicated foreign exchange forms (the dividend was in Swiss Francs) and a thick glossy catalog which also doubled as the company financials. Shiny! Before then I’d only ever traded commodities (which gives you nothing, except sadness and acid reflux). I’d perused the forms, briefly. And then decided it was waaaaay too much work for the paltry amount they were giving me, unpaused my game and went back to killing stuff on Playstation.

Screenshot 2019-04-13 at 12.47.54.png

The second time I got a dividend it was infinitely more exciting than the first. Post event I decided that maybe I liked this dividend thing after all. Money sorta just appeared in my account and I didn’t have to do anything. Who doesn’t like free money?

Wait… what exactly is a dividend?

A dividend happens when a company makes sooooooooo much f’ing money that they don’t actually know what to do with it. Like when they sell a pair of shoes that cost them 20 rupees and a small government kickback imposition to make but what they’re actually selling is a fictional narrative for $165.  At some point during the year the head honchos all get together and, after strippers, blow and some self-congratulatory back slapping, they ink out a corporate strategy on the back of a napkin and then decide to distribute that money to shareholders. 

I jest. Sometimes they do this in a smoky walnut paneled room at a country club. 

I suppose it depends on what sort of investor you are. Or maybe how you feel about how you make your money. If you even care. I tend to flip-flop between liking dividends and then (usually by the end of the day) not liking them anymore.

Declaring a dividend, for me at least, is often either a sign of a late stage business with nowhere left to go, or of a poor management team. I use the term poor quite loosely. I mostly mean people so devoid of imagination or work ethic that instead of reinvesting that money in the company they would rather just give it away. It underscores a huge problem in the higher echelons of the corporation. Generally speaking when you’re at the pinnacle point in a management environment you are also nearing your expiry date. You need to make hay while the sun shines and don’t necessarily want to rock the boat with adventurism and entrepreneurship. Also you don’t really care about what the minority stockholders want.

And so, companies pay dividends. It’s a double edged sword. Sure I like that ‘free’ money. But I would also like it if the company I owned a share in took that money and did something constructive with it. Ie. Diversified its income streams to be a more robust earner, bought back some of its shares, bought a competitor or even just saved so of that money for a rainy day. But that’s just me. Ultimately we as stakeholders live for the day and we would much rather eat the cupcake now than have the promise of two cupcakes later.


As with all things, be suspicious of anyone advising you how to invest your money. Even advice that seems free (like a podcast, twitter feed or indeed a blog) is fraught with personal preference, survivorship bias and perhaps most importantly colored by the ego of the dispenser. (Yes, even me, I am inclined to believe in my own infallible awesomeness) Besides the only person who can understand your risk appetite and personal circumstances is you, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Take some responsibility for understanding what you’re doing with your money. And if its too complicated… walk away!

Personally I like (at this point in my in life) to have several pokers in the fire. And one of those is boring companies that pay regular dividends. In an ideal circumstance you bought these guys before they developed into these late stage behemoth corporations as part of your buy-and-hold-until-you-die strategy. I tend to be quite wary of getting into companies that pay regular dividends later on in their lifespan (because… well… they tend to be expensive). Unless of course there is a market correction and they go on sale. The bigger the overall the drop, generally, the more cheerful I get. These guys are robust and have survived this long for a reason… usually there is less risk picking them up at a discount… than say more recent entries into the market. The trick is to have money that is not in the market so you can buy the stocks during the fire sale. But that is likely another another blog-post for another time.




Monopoly car

This a series of posts I’m doing for my kids. In case I die (ie. Go Darke) and am not around to to teach them (personal) finance when the time comes. Its mostly stuff I wish someone had taught me when I was sixteen. You can find more posts like this… 






Perpetuating the imperfect system

My heading for this blog post was going to be, ‘Saving for retirement’, but considering how I feel about the topic, that seems disingenuous at best. Also a reader may mistakenly surmise that this is a post about personal finance (It mostly isn’t).

I should probably mention that I have nothing against the word ‘for’. As a preposition it is totally functional and relatively useful. ‘Saving’ is also fine, as a stand-alone concept. I think everyone should try it at least once. But ‘retirement’ is an awful, malignant word. Grouped together these words form (more or less) the basis for everything that is wrong with the world…. ok, I will grant you some notable exceptions. Like… global warming and short people. Debating however, why such things should be allowed to exist is to question the divine. (which is another blog post)


Saving for retirement on the surface seems like a very reasonably exercise. But really it’s an elaborate form of masochism. Emphasis on the word ‘Saving’. I have far less issue with building a flexible income generating asset base that can last into perpetuity (through something like entrepreneurship).

Having a lot of money when you choose to retire is obviously really nice. And having more cash when you retire is obviously better than having less cash. But have you really ever considered what retirement actually entails? Besides sitting around and counting down the hours before your inevitable foamy, gurgly demise in some (cheap) palliative care facility your kids picked out for you.

Why do you want to retire anyway? Doesn’t this mean you’ve bought the program? They sold you the kool-aid. And you drank deep. You’re on step eight of your ten-step life! Next stop… smelling like the soon to be deceased and death. Some people like to imagine step nine is travel and Caribbean cruises… but its not. It’s a weird musty smell… and having suspicious looking growths zapped off your wrinkled, sun damaged skin by a dermatologist and penciling funerals into your diary every weekend as your friends and family kick off. Sounds awesome, I can’t wait. Basically I have to save and invest for my whole entire life in anticipation of this event? Seems like a great way to spend the time allocated to me.

How many happy retirees do you know personally that are getting after it? You know… living the dream? Count them on your fingers. I’ll wait… I’m willing to wager less than a handful and that’s only if you move in impressive circles. Would you swap your life currently for their life? They have money after all.

Let’s segue into something else and ramble on about science for a bit, because science is awesome. And finance is just okay. When it comes to retirement we are (mostly) using outdated models and concepts that were struck in the fifties. Expected life span. You see we all have just one lap. Lets say its four hundred meters… only half way through the race someone in a white lab-coat has changed it to 800 meters.


My expected death is age 78. Statistically speaking. I’ve just turned 40…. Which feels $%#^@& ancient. Some days I wonder how people who are 50 get out of bed in the morning without painkillers.

Only my life expectancy is probably not 78. It’s probably closer to 100. Mind you for the proletariat its still 78. In fact probably less. I’ll probably be in a position to afford the miracles of science that are coming. The nano-machines. The new organs (with modifications). The rejuvenation clinics. The implants that tell me three days in advance that I’m going to have a heart attack (just enough time to pop down to the clinic and have flawless robotic surgery and a flat white). My two daughters will likely live to be 120… maybe longer. And for their children death maybe something that only happens to poor or unlucky people. Death is unlikely to be egalitarian forever.

Imagine at age 60 you’re going to have live another… 40 years off your retirement funds. That’s a really long time to be running down your assets. Sure, you might have a metric-fuck-tonne of money, or be an adherent of some or other ideology (like the 4% rule) or you might just conjure up a dystopian future where we trade cigarettes and blowjobs for dirty brown water and blighted potatoes, so really, what’s the point?

Round about now you might imagine this rant is against investing and pro-Epicurism. Let’s work forever and blow our money on whiskey, cigars and the experience economy. Let’s consume to the point where we need a self-storage unit to contain our ever burgeoning collection of stuff.

Its not.

My issue is more about how we look at our lives. We get these social norms and this corporate nonsense pumped down our throats as soon as we’re born. This is your life!

  1. Get born. 2. Go to school. 3. Get a degree (get into debt). 4. Get a job. 5. Work nine am to five pm 6. Buy a house (you can’t afford) 7. Buy a car (you don’t need) 8. Breed. 9. Retire. 10. Die.

Instead of retirement shouldn’t we be punting a concept of designing our lives better? At the moment the way we use our money doesn’t make any sense. We kill ourselves to hoard our money away for a period in our lives where we can’t really make full use of it anymore. Or we blow it all and use whatever we earn to finance our debt. Perhaps I am decrying the lack of some middle ground alternative.

Is this just some terrible burden we’ve all taken on where we actively try (and very often succeed) to defer our lives. Money (and by association our investments) should be the scaffolding we use to build our lives around, not some weird end game strategy.

I used to believe in the whole retirement fairy tale. I mean it’s worked for my old man. (hasn’t it?) He sits around, reading, pottering around in his workshop, annoying his offspring, bickering with my mother and watching hours of network news. Slowly he is trickling down his funds to zero or close to that…  a fuse burning down towards the great white light and the acrid burning smell of litigation (when his children will murder each other for the scraps of his estate)

We imagine free-form days as the ultimate reward after a long hard trek through life. But in reality nothing is more frightening (and potentially dull). When did being old and rich somehow morph into something to aspire to?

Young and rich would obviously be better. And middle aged and rich would be the compromise position between the two extremes. In reality none of those outcomes are very likely, although we are constantly told that outliers in this field can be studied and emulated (just buy our book). In our post-industrial revolution lives we are more like cogs in a very big machine, all grinding on in the same direction on some predetermined path unable to alter our destiny.

This is not a blog post about solutions. Besides, who am I to make any form of judgement call about anyone else’s life and how they plan on spending it? For the most part I’m just wondering out loud about my own unique circumstances and a system that I’ve decided is stupid. Or maybe this is just long form justification for a (mostly theoretical) lifestyle decision that I a trying embrace.

In any event I do think it’s something worth thinking about. Broadly this post is about future proofing yourself. (you know for when the robots come). And not being complacent in our assumption that the status quo will simply continue ad infinitum.