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Should We Only Learn from "Nice" People?

Some of the folks I have learned the most from are not what most people would call "nice"....in fact....pretty much no one would...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please Mr. Twitter....Don't Let Google Buy You



Perhaps it is a little bit risky....well maybe a lot risky to speak so boldly....it is Google after all, who
gives me this beautiful little blogging platform ....and all for free no less....

However, what fun would blogging be if you just couldn't speak your mind?

So today, I just wanted to say.... I really really really really really don't want Google to buy Twitter.

Why you may ask? Because Google already owns so much information about all of us.....Twitter would just give Google yet another access point into our lives and minds and everything that we really value.

If any of you have read "The Numerati" by Stephen Baker (if you haven't.....it is a MUST READ....in my humble opinion)   ...... you will admit that we are literally getting virtually sliced and diced and our data sold to the highest bidder whenever we use any internet platform that Google controls/owns. All that juicy info about our lives is very uber valuable to those who want to figure out how to sell us more stuff. Google makes billions of dollars out of chopping and packaging and then reselling data about our lives to massive corporations who just want to get an edge to figure out how to get us to buy their products. Not only do corporations want us to buy the products they already are selling to the public....they want to have a "pre-emptive" strike in anticipating what we will want to purchase next week, next month and next year and yes, five or ten years from now.

The internet just gives corporate marketers soooooo much data about how we live and what we value.

Well, I feel like I'm talking in a circle, so I'll stop my rant. But for those of you who might have an influence over the possibility of Google buying up Twitter.....please make it stop. Google has more than enough data about all of us already....they really don't need to buy up our tweets.....

And yes, you may re-tweet this post ")

Carla

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2. Experimental Facts of Life









If you are in the market for some brain stretching....take a chance and listen to a free class

offered by M.I.T  via their free course sharing venue called "Onlinecourseware"....

I am merely suggesting that sometimes it's wonderfully liberating and inspiring to listen to something that is completely outside of your usual frame of reference....

Take a giant step out of your comfort zone....you just might discover something very cool.

Peaceful productivity,

Carla

Synopsis Of Tony Robbins: Money Master the Game

I've kept listening to various CD's and youtube recordings of the audio book ofTony Robbins' new personal finance book entitled "Money..Master the Game". Tony's new book is hot in demand at all of the local libraries.

As I review what I've gleaned so far I keep trying to pinpoint what precisely it is that I have learned.

So, permit me to jot down a few ideas that Tony seems to promoting in this book:

1. Mutual Funds are hurting a lot of Americans by charging tons of extra fees many of which their buyers are not even aware of. One point seems to be that Tony is advocating Vanguard "Low Cost" Index Funds as an "ideal" investment vehicle. Why Vanguard? Tony's perspective is that Vanguard seems to be taking the "low fee" moral high ground versus a plethora of other mutual fund dealers who are robbing their clients through outrageously high fees.

2/ Financial advice, is often not very objective in the  USA with many investment advisors having obvious and not so obvious conflicts of interest because they often receive monetary incentives for convincing their clients to purchase certain investments versus others. Therefore, Tony advises folks to use "fiduciary" advisors, which are supposed to cling to a higher standard and act more altruistically in the best interests of their clients. Tony also advocates using "fee only" advisors instead of those who charge ongoing management fees that take significant chunks out of folk's investment nest eggs.

3/ Tony unashamedly promoted two financial/investment companies namely STronghhold Financial as well as High Tower. Without going into much detail...one or more of these companies can be accessed through links that Tony mentions in the book, and provide "no cost" analysis of your current investment portfolio. I have not accessed any of these online tools that Tony promotes, but I am wary....because in the long run, they will for sure be promoting the use of these companies as paid financial "handlers" or "advisors". Businesses are in business to make money...and this book is not a food bank type of social service. Tony wants to promote the financial services of those who have treated him and/or his company well over the years. Can you blame him?

4/ There was a significant amount of time spend "name dropping" supposedly to inspire us to believe that if these finance/investment success stories figured out how to make it big....then maybe we can too. However, it was difficult for many of us to relate to the "larger the life" investment "icons" such as Ray Dalio or
Carl Ichan. However, I have yet to read through all his "real life" testimonials...so perhaps there will be a few that I can relate to.....

5. Tony advocates a simplistic ideology when it comes to how we plan our finances. He calls it his "bucket" method. He says our "security" bucket should included those investments that have a low level of risk and a high level of "guaranteed or "can't lose" type of investments. He also mentions another bucket...which Tony labels as a "risk/growth" bucket.  This kind of simple ideology is actually quite effective in helping regular folks to get a grip on their own risk tolerance and to help them implement good financial planning techniques.

6. There are some specific investment vehicles which Tony mentions, perhaps more for inspiration, not because he is qualified to compare one vehicle over against another investment vehicle. For example Tony talks about a product called "T.I.P.S" which are actually called "Treasury Inflation Protected Securities".
I could not find a verifiable source of these in Canada....so either perhaps they don't exist in Canada or maybe I just don't know the right place to look. What I found attractive in this type of investment vehicle is that it protects the investor from the formidable threat of inflation, which is a worrisome force for any long term investor.


Well that's it for now....I still have not made my way through the entirety of the whole audio book.....I've been what you might call literary "grazing".

One youtube commenter made the bold comment asking "What precisely can  you actually learn from this huge book?" Well, although the answer is not too obvious, I would say that there is merit in this book, but it meanders about and isn't set out in a straight forward manner. The ideas are not hiding in plain sight. Tony uses this book to air his thoughts....both his rants and raves and financial aspirations and actual portions of his financial history for us to pick through and rejoice in what nuggets we can glean. He allows us, quite candidly to learn from some of his mistakes and take inspiration from some of his victories. But that being said.... Tony doesn't act like he's "arrived"....financially. He comes across quite humbly as a student of many of these titans of personal finance like Carl Ichan and Ray Dalio, among others. Tony's attitude is something many of us can learn from in and of itself, even without any factual tidbits to sink our teeth into. Why do I say that? Because coming from a perspective of respectful "studiousness" and being willing to learn quietly from the big wigs is a remarkable skill that can catapult many of us from obscurity to prosperity faster than we think.
Having a great attitude puts us in tune with like minded individuals who possess what we may be lacking in our ladder to success. We all need mentors...and we attract more helpful interactions with our mentors when we have a great "confident, friendly and still humble and teachable" attitude.

Bottom line.....I'm still not done the entire audio or hardcover format of his book yet. So I will refrain from commenting too freely until I feel that I have given the book it's full due diligence.
Frankly, I still find that there are not enough personal finance books on the market...to which the common man/woman can relate. So I do appreciate that Tony has even attempted the feat...albeit with some mixed
results.

Tony's gift is his personal charisma....and you can hear it come shining through in how he wants to help empower us to feel like we can tame this dragon called "financial planning" with confidence, vigor and a fearlessness that puts a wee bit more bounce and joy in our steps. I am grateful to Tony for the courage and friendliness that comes across loud and clear in this book "Money...Master the Game". Even if the book is blatantly promoting some finance/investment firms over others....it is still done in a professional and pleasant manner. Thank you Tony, your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla