Re-focus on sustainability
The last few weeks have been living hell if you are vested in the DJIA. For those of us who chose to distance ourselves from stocks & counter party risk, we’re doing fine. But those that didn’t, came face to face with the fact that on a planet with finite resources, betting on infinite growth doesn’t end well.
Sometimes mother nature gives us a wake up call. This certainly has been the case with COVID-19 and how we humans are just another species that could be wiped out at anytime. We’ve become hypnotized by each other - embracing the concept of endless growth, the stock market always goes up, etc. Further to this, we have forgotten our responsibility to the future for our kids and their kids. We have not lived up to our responsibilities as custodians of the planet, rather we have dominated it, consumed it and polluted it. We have over bred our species and our entire financial strategy in government was based on the young supporting the old by decree through tax policy, rather than by social responsibility. We think our elected officials can solve our problems, and we don’t learn to take individual responsibility and return back to localized solutions.
Our governments have disrespected their roles as they dug into the coffers of social security and reduced the income level that our seniors need - driving them out of the very country of their birth to less expensive and more sustainable countries, because they simply can’t afford their rent, property taxes, electricity costs, car payments, etc.
We disrespect each other at the core - expecting workers to toil at levels beyond belief, threatening them with the possibility of outsourcing their jobs to cheaper regions or replacing them with automation or AI. We commute to jobs with one person per vehicle rather than to socially share transport, and maybe a conversation along the way. Rather than utilizing the opportunity of the endless supply of energy, we dig up the limited stored energy from the ground to power our insatiable appetite for growth, resulting in polluting our skies and our future climate.
Rather than being our “brother’s keeper”, we elect to disrespect our social responsibility to help those in medical need, preferring to charge them 10 times the going rate of healthcare because “we can”. We don’t have any respect for someone who has a medical condition and cannot help themselves, rather we take the lazy approach of seeing them as a revenue stream that can’t shop around for a better deal. The term for that used to be extortion, but we don’t even use that term anymore in regular conversation.
We burden our children at the age of 18 with debt contracts for a promised future of the middle-class, yet we do not educate them at all in the ways of the real world. We might teach our students calculus or bioengineering, but few know how to read a profit & loss statement, or how money really works. Our business teachings are on the basis that you create something and sell it off, before the buyer realizes it was a stupid idea and then just tries to on-sell it to the next sucker. And this is taught as the basis of “entrepreneurialism” in college.
Is it no surprise that, at some point, we are held to account for this?
My mission is to teach people the art of financial sustainability. But the core fundamentals of this is not that it is just another alternative path to financial independence. Sure, that’s one of the benefits of it. But more importantly, it is a way to get back to basics of how life is supposed to work.
Imagine if you could generate all the income you needed for you and your family, leaving little footprint on the planet, so that you have control again? Imagine no debt, no selling of your future to another party, the respect of your privacy and the respect of owning assets that were real, rather than made up stock tickers that are manipulated and abused by others you have never met. Imagine that you didn’t need to “trust” financial institutions, because you were your own bank, and you generated your own interest. Imagine if what you did to earn income benefited your community at the most important levels. Imagine if you had time to spend with those that mean the most to you. Imagine if you had the time to be more proactive in your own health so that you were less likely to be susceptible to illness, viruses and sickness. Imagine if you could take all your additional time and had a method to manage your sustainable income from anywhere on the planet, giving you the freedom to travel, experience the world and learn from it. And you could bestow all of this to your children because your assets didn’t diminish over time or be subject to inflation.
Does that sound like something you would get onboard with?
Welcome to Financial Sustainability
The COVID-19 crisis and the resulting financial market collapse from it just shows that we are on the wrong path. When we come face to face with mother nature, we don’t have a plan for it. We’ve lived in the delusion that we are all powerful and can get through anything. The number of times that I’ve heard the phrase “We can beat this” or “We will win against the Coronoavirus” just shows a total lack of understanding that you can’t “beat” nature - you can’t “win” against nature.
I use the analogy of the surfer approach to investing, because it works. You learn very quickly as a surfer that you can’t beat waves. You can’t wrestle them, control them, make artificial versions of them, and you start to realize that you have to learn from them, master how they work and find a way to not only co-exist with them, but to befriend them and ride them. It’s like those that learn to play with dolphins. If they respect the animal, they might just be able to grab onto their fin and go for the ride of their lives. It isn’t until you get out of your artificial office, your artificial city and go out into the real world of nature, that you really find yourself and with that you don’t need that much if you understand how the real world there works.
We never taught our kids that. We taught them how to exist in an artificial reality of urban cities, companies that don’t really do anything, where money is made up by a cartel of bankers who’s sole purpose is to enslave the population rather than be true custodians of industry. We think in terms of currency that has a built in inflation rate that devalues it by a “target” percentage of 2% every year - meaning that the real value of your wealth is 0 in about 50 years. The battle against this built in entropy is to just work harder, get a 2nd job, or put your money in the casino that is the stock market. But we all know that ultimately the house always wins.
We all can share the experiences of the downside of this. That we fear our future. We fear not being able to retire or not being able to sustain ourselves. We fear losing our jobs and yet we fear being a slave to them. We fear death, even though it is inevitable so rather than embracing that every day matters, we spend most of our waking life at the employ of someone else, to the detriment of our family and our home security. We sacrifice our health and reduce our longevity by choosing McDonald’s over a home made salad or home grown vegetables where we actually know where the food came from. We see our weight piling on as we sit dormant most of the day, putting our heart & soul into expressing our life on social media, rather than actually having a life doing something active.
My teachings are not rocket science. I simply see the world as wonderful and want to be able to support my family regardless of market cycles, or mass social unrest. I want to learn to live better WITH nature rather than thinking it is a battle with it. I know we can’t win that battle and eventually we will succumb to it. God help us if we do destroy nature because we think we are in a battle with it. Imagine a desolate planet unable to sustain life, like the vast majority of other planets in our universe. It is a miracle that this one exists when you compare it to the surface of Mars, Venus, Pluto, etc.
I also hate that people’s minds have been preprogrammed by psyops, spin & media to think that you can group those that think one way into a tribe and therefore if that tribe isn’t yours, then they are evil and should be shunned or destroyed. This is not the case. I believe strongly in social responsibility, but I also believe strongly in the responsibility we have with our species and how we have lived for millions of years before with nature, probably being wiped out or culled at various points in time, by nature. To think that 21st century man is any different to ice-age dwellers here is ludicrous. We may have evolved to be better tool makers, but we are not planet makers.
So with that said, it isn’t that the goals of being financially sustainable are high reaching. In fact it is a simple matter of returning back to the basics and finding our path again. Growing your own food is a good start. Investing in REAL things - not ticker symbols on a manipulated market, is important. Owning things that are not subject to natural entropy like the $USD. Finding opportunities in new technologies that don’t leave a negative footprint, or maybe even help in reverting the path we have been on for the past 100 years. Looking at the opportunities of trade and social interaction - since we are social animals. And realizing that the fiction of tribalism, wars and “I win/you lose” mentality doesn’t last very long.
I’m not advocating that everyone leave urban centers and try and go off-grid. If you choose that path, good for you. But you will come closer to nature that way, and learn to have to deal with her whims. However there is no reason why those of us that live in urban centers feel that we have no responsibility to nature. We do, and COVID-19 is a wake-up call to that. Just as our insatiable appetite for energy consumption. There are ways to get energy for free, but it requires some up front investment. But it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
I am committed to continuing to promote and expose opportunities that support a truly unconstrained life - a life of freedom and sustainability, particularly in financial sustainability. Our default methods - the methods we’ve been taught in college - are based on a baked in entropy of money that isn’t a long term viable option in my mind. But we can be wealthy in both money & time if we just back up a bit and choose a different path to go down.
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