Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Making You Mad? Just might be the right choice...

When I was a teenager...I couldn't fathom even the most simplistic financial books. It wasn't that I couldn't have understood them with time and was just that I really couldn't care less about that subject matter. I had  many other fish to fry....and finance, economics or the stock market wasn't on the list. The calmness and patience required to read through a heavy economics hard cover sounded like death by a thousand pages.

Then 2o years or so passed by....marriage, children,  jobs, spirituality and philosophizing. I began to forage my way through simple books about the economy, personal finance and the stock market. I read authors who made me laugh. I also read authors who made me steaming mad. Yes, foot stompin....tear your hair out...pacing the floor kinda mad. It was the authors who made me mad who kept me learning....kept me problem solving until I made sure I understood the point that was being made. I may not have agreed with that writer, but at least I could say that I understand his/her line of thought.
Being a hugely vital human need. Writers need us to understand what they are trying to say....even if we don't agree with them.

I began to wonder about economic visionaries. I began to see so much untapped potential amongst my beloved Canadian populace. Folks who were highly intelligent, were not requiring anything significant of the blessed brains they had been given. Some folks I know well, with keen quick intellects allowed their minds to....begin to atrophy. When you don't have a challenge to rise up to meet, you begin to step fall back to the lowest common denominator.....which for some....means beer, pizza and worrying about who is wearing what or driving what.
 Boring boring boring.

When you can do more with your life....why not do it? Why not try?

And so, because I at least had the confidence to acknowledge that God had given me a mind that deserved further development, I began to select books that pissed me off. I began to select books written on levels and layers way beyond my ken. I stopped beating myself up for dropping out of university. I began to watch online classes from M.I.T via Online courseware, just to see if my mind could swim in their leagues. I may have been doing the doggy paddle in those oceans of higher learning, but at least I was in the same body of water. I was a student again...with no tuition fees and no visits to a fussy registrars office. I became a happy clam again.

I write often about reading and it's importance in my life and in my self led educational journey. I like to post lists of my fave authors. I like to toot the horns of bloggers that I have come to trust over the years.

But rarely do I talk about how I pick the those authors. Sometimes I choose authors that make me so very frustrated....that seem to talk above and beyond me in such a tantalizing way that I simply must rise to the occasion and at least try for a good few weeks to figure  out  what all their fussing is about.  As Seth Godin would say....I try to get the joke.

Then, after a season of bad hair days , coffee spilled on overdue library books  and one too many coffee cups gathered around my computer...I rest. I am content. I actually got the joke. I rock.

How you craft your self led learning journey is one thousand percent up to you. It is not for me to tell any body else what they should be learning. That would defeat the point of calling it
SELF led learning.

SELF led learning....means to it's very essence, that you alone must choose. You will hunt and gather those epic books. You will scrape the dusty corners of the net for some forgotten genius who frustrates and inspires you, that you just can't get out of your mind. You will find that novel idea that was inspired by God to propel you your next your destiny.

Don't give up on the journey because you don't hear anyone telling you what your next step should be...... The silence is indeed golden....  It is your empty room. Your blank page.
No need to be hasty. But do push forward. Push ahead.


The Fuss About the Consumer Price Index

I keep bumping into commentary about the inaccuracy of the way the Consumer Price Index ( CPI)
is calculated in our modern times. Apparently during President Obama's reign, it was not permitted to include the cost of food or the cost of gasoline in the calculations of the CPI....hence making the economy appear more "consumer friendly" than it actually was.
(see pg 163 of Second Chance, the book written by Robert Kiyosaki)

What is your take on this? Do you feel like the Consumer Price Index is a reliable metric by which to measure how our economy is doing and how it affects the "average" citizen?
Do you think it is measured differently in your country as compared to Canada or the USA?

If some of the commentaries are true, then the investments that use the CPI to help build hedges against inflation, are not going to do the trick for us that we think or hope they will.
I forget where I read this thought....but I read somewhere that the CPI formerly used "steak" purchases as a regular measure of the economy's ability to feed it's citizens, whereas now, they don't use "steak" as a measure, but rather use "ground beef".

But what is the actual truth. Is the literal cost of food that we pay today in our local grocery stores factored into our Canadian version of the CPI? Is the literal cost of food that we pay today in our local grocery stores factored into the American version of the CPI?

Some feel that equities are a better hedge against inflation than other investment vehicles. Others feel that they trust those "custom made" inflation protection investment products ( such as T.I.P.S) are the real deal and can be trusted to protect oneself from future inflation. What do you feel? What do you think? Which books or articles do you find most accurate in their discussion on the CPI?
I am all ears.

Peacefully thoughtful,