By Amanda Morrall
1) Financial mind-rot
Somewhere along the road to financial freedom or independence as some call it, a heightened awareness of money triggers a greater appreciation for what is meaningful, valuable and necessary in life. Investment blogger Monevator offers from motivational advice to keep you tracking toward your goals and to free you from the "financial mind-rot" that keeps so many people enslaved to the hamster wheel. A must read for today.
Like any other worthwhile pursuit, FI sharpens your skills. You get better at it. You stop seeing yourself as a number on a pay check. You’re able to value things because they make a difference to your life rather than because they’re fashionable or because they offer an off-the-peg sense of identity.
“I must be successful because I drive a BMW.” That sort of mind-rot drops away long before you reach FI.
Just knowing there’s a finishing post fills your lungs with oxygen, but something amazing happens as the financial furlongs slip past. You gallop faster and faster until you feel like you’re running downhill.
“Hey, you know what? This is easy. I feel great! I feel less vulnerable. Even if my wages are stagnating and growth rates are tunnelling out the bottom of the graph, I’m still better off than if I’d never started this thing. I’m living on 90%, 70%, 50% of my income – I didn’t even realise that it was possible before and I don’t feel any worse off.”
That’s how it can feel when you look at it through the spectacles of optimism rather than the soap opera glasses of pessimism.
2) Warped morality
The Economist on the latest libor scandal and the moral vacuum within the banking sector. I'd highlight the money quote but I'll get in trouble from the boss. You'll have to read the piece instead. It's worth it.
3) One man's mission
Yesterday, I was most inspired (again) by an acquaintance's plan to take on a massive do good project. Today, I was similarly inspired after reading about the British money saving advocate Martin Lewis's brute determination to make financial literacy part of the core curriculum in the U.K. Never underestimate the impact that one individual, with a good heart and cause, can make. Another must read from the Telegraph.
4) Senior abuse
Rob Carrick, personal finance editor with the Globe and Mail newspaper discusses financial vulnerabilities facing our elderly population and what they can do to protect themselves. See also New Zealand based Age Concern website here for some home grown tips and resources on precautions to prevent abuse with our elder Kiwis.
5) Who will help those who need it most?
Niko Kloeten from Good Returns reports on the gap in the financial advisory market for low end investors who can't avoid to pay. This is a problem cropping up in other markets world-wide with advisors moving away from commissions to a strictly fee-based payment model. Institute for Financial Advisors president Nigel Tate points out that those who need financial advice most, usually can't afford to pay for it. The suggestion is that banks and registered financial advisors will battle it out to fill the gap, presumably with their own products.