Musings Episode 8: Self-employment, Investing, and Commodities

So this weekend a couple of buddies of mine and I talked finance over a Sunday lunch, and this is what we came up with.

Why is it…that self-employed people don’t think to invest in commodities? Or even currency trade?

Forget stocks, bonds, and all that other junk. Well…option buying with stocks isn’t too bad, but that’s another story, another time.

The reason why I’m focusing on currency trade and commodities, is, well…because they both make absolute sense in today’s time. Commodities, more than currency trade by far.

Why?

Well, think pre-fiat currency. Before paper money, many bartered – with either silver, gold, copper, iron, you name it.

Back then, this could even be considered being a fucking millionaire.

Back then, this could even be considered being a fucking millionaire…

The Aztecs form of currency was cacao bean.

....and that better be a thoroughbred.

….and that better be a thoroughbred.

The trades we often forget about today brought in great profit if you knew what you were doing and knew what you were looking for.

Fur trade, carpentry, sewing, and every material that was required to make these things possible – all things that we take for granted today, were valued highly and well known with our ancestors.

...especially this guy. This guy was a god. Assassin and Native American

…especially this guy. Though non-existent, this guy was a god. Assassin and Native American.

Now, when we go to pick up milk in a grocery store (coconut milk for me), most of us don’t even think about how many coconuts it took to make it.

The bottome line is…many of these services, from making clothing (unless you wear polyester) to the pack of (certain) chewing gum you’re constantly smacking on, all require basic things from nature – aka commodities.

Getting back to my point, investments are so much more than stocks, bonds, 401ks, and savings accounts (HA…haha….ha)…those are the outdated ways of making extra money. Either high risk and little return (if you don’t know what you’re doing), or slow risk and break even return (by the time you compare inflation with it).

Look Timmy...you made a whole .0032549498 cents!

Look Timmy…you made a whole .0032549498 cents!

You wanna talk recession proof? Depression proof? End of paper currency oh shiz it’s the end of the world proof? Start investing in solid investments – things that humanity can’t live without.

Filtered clean water.

Food items, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous.

Crude oil.

Natural Gas.

Copper.

Cotton.

Timber.

Think up any basic thing that you put on, eat, drink, write on, or consume, think what it’s made from, and you’ve got yourself a solid market to invest in.

And currency? Ha…the currency we have to day is a joke – but for the time being it still buys and allows us to invest in all these stable things….

….and we can invest in REAL currency such as precious metals, while the getting is good.

212984-gold-and-silver

Everyday, I wear around my neck a silver chain necklace I’ve had in my possession for over 10 years. 10 years ago, it was valued at $30.

Present day, it’s valued at almost triple that.

I remember walking into a Jeweler’s in England back in ’09. Doing some light holiday shopping, I thought I’d buy a bracelet of equal weight to complement it. The bracelet was quoted at double what I paid for the necklace – but half in size.

How’s that for an obvious statement.

I remember writing a 20 minute critical commentary, including powerpoint presentation concerning China and it’s global effect. I decided to center the commentary around China and commodities, and if the boom would become an eventual bust.

Ahh, Shanghai…

2 months later back on my way to the U.K. I picked up a Financial Times paper before getting on a departing flight from Seoul, South Korea. My evaluation, and prediction, stared at me in the face within an article in that same paper concerning that exact subject.

Speaking honestly – university wasn’t an education for me…God no. It was academia, and business thinking was far from expected. No, that was, “after uni.” Any time before that, many times you were considered unusual or “idiosyncratic,” one of my lectures not so fondly said of me.

No, instead, university was something I partook of as an experiment, to see if what I’d learned from the real world was actually applicable, and really, if I’d learnt anything at all.

And I did.

Plain and simple I did.

And I learnt it well.

What I realise is, in all the academic training we receive from colleges or universities, people are rarely ever taught in most courses or modules the truth. They’re instructed how to follow – never to lead. They’re instructed to regurgitate information from a book – but rarely to state their own opinions without always referring back to some scholarly person.

mistakes-when-filing-for-financial-aid

Academia…the second best business to get into next to religion.

So when people become employed, and they choose to branch off into self-employment or any form of independent business practice such as starting their own company, most often the “employee” minded thinking never quite leaves them. The inside-the-box thinking stays with them.

And really, it doesn’t take much to think outside the box about commodities. If you just think, “back to basics,” you’ll realize there are a plethora of lucrative business opportunities and investments, just by thinking of the simple things.

But for now, I both want, and need, all of you to understand that following the mass majority way of thinking is old and dated. People like Tim Ferriss – the man well known for being part of the new rich, and though older and more classic, Robert Kiyosaki – heck, even Donald Trump, as much as I don’t always agree with him – are on the right track.

Do you know why? Because they rarely, if ever, reinvent the wheel…they simply, improve upon it.

Commodities….currency.

Currency trade is not for the faint of heart. Though ironically fueled by emotion, it is still partially fueled by world economic decisions – which still, when you think about it, tie in with emotion. Worry, stress, and pessimism. Excitement, anticipation, and optimism.

Each and every on of these things plays a hand in how currency value and exchange rates fluctuate.

f-04

Commodities, on the other hand…well, while some can also be fueled by emotion (mass panics when the media states there may be a “shortage” of gas), most of it, if played right, can be a steady investment.

Hell, even liquor stores are worth their weight in gold – while liquor stores make money, rain, snow, or shine, depression, recession, Cinco de Mayo or world Olympics time, the suppliers of the ingredients that provide the breweries and factories that make the liquor prosper and prosper well.

Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?

Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?

Let me reiterate. It’s not always a matter of reinventing the wheel…

…but improving it.

I’d like to expand more on this topic…I may very well be over the next few weeks, who knows.

In the meantime, really read into what I’m trying to say hear. Don’t just skim. There’s a bigger picture here other than words can describe…even if it may just be a teaser.

Stay sharp.

– Rego

Musings Episode 8: Self-employment, Investing, and Commodities is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

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Musings Episode 3: Mobile vs. Immobile – The Joys of a Mobile Business

Departing Manchester Airport aimed for Seoul, South Korea. Connecting flight in Zurich with a 3 hour layover. With lines plus security check, 30 minutes to an hour of net layover time. Met a nice old Korean couple and was offered Vitamin C while we wait. Perfect.

Charlotte, NC to Porto, Portugal, connecting flight in New Jersey. On the way to Jersey pilot announces over P.A. he’s been flying around in the sky for 3 hours, due to weather conditions trying to route a temporary landing strip, and we’re now running on fumes – “but don’t worry folks; I’ve been doing this for 16 years and will get us landed safely.” Thinking I should head to the cockpit and give pilot my business card for classes on “tactful speech.”
Two hour layover from Jersey to Porto – minus 3 hours of flying on fumes – flight missed. 16 hour stay in airport until morning flight and fuming argument with bag check guy. Horrible.

Miami International Airport to Nagoya Airport Japan, 24 hour flight with 2 connecting flights, first one in London, second one at Charles de Gaulle. 3 hour and 5 hour layover times respectively. Long but reasonable. From Charles de Gaulle to Nagoya, met an interesting business man from Hitachi Corporate on his way back from a business pitch in Europe. Exchanged business cards and went our seperate ways. Business opening – perfect.

In cleaning out one of my suitcases and re-sorting travel documents, I take a brief moment to skim through my passport book pages. Each one is filled with a memory. Some funny, some frustrating, some quirky….but every single stamp worth it.

Until recently, this has been my average work year. Now, it’s 90% leisure. What are the joys of a mobile business, really? Well…for one, it’s constantly an adventure, and an education. It’s still work – just on a different level.

A buddy of mine works in stocks and we were having this discussion over the weekend. He was explaining to me how he’d love to have a business where he doesn’t have to get up and sport the typical suit and tie look, and would sometimes even be content with a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals.

Then he goes onto say how he’d also like to not go to work the same time, same place, same road everyday. He likes what he does; hates the routine. He goes on to vent for another 15-20 minutes while we polish off a bottle of Fris vodka.

So I ask him, “well, what is it you really want to do?”

Pausing for a while, he responds. “Just…something where it’s not so predictable and I have freedom to sleep in if I want or, if I feel like getting up and going I can.”

I push further – “that’s telling me how you want your days to go, not what you want to do. What’s something you want to do?”

Again, he responds, “I don’t know, I like finance, and I like what I do now, but I just want to do it differently.”

“So you want to do what you’re doing now but without being told when to do it?”

“Yeah,” he responds, as if a light bulb slowly lit in his little head.

*Ding*

*Ding*

“So you want it to be mobile?”

“Yeah exactly,” he again responds now starting to really think on what he’s been saying.

“Then do it.”

“Do it?” he asks inquisitively.

“Yes…start doing it.”

“But, how…?” He asks again.

We then go about picking apart his thoughts and getting to the key points of what he really wants, utilizing “backwards goal setting,” as found in the book “The New Psycho-Cybernetics“. You can check out the audio version on youtube:

Backwards goal-setting pretty much works like this:

You mentally prepare a list of things you do not want to do at all, and call it the “I Never Want to do These Things Again” List. This could range from not wanting to wear a tie, to not wanting to drive more than 5 minutes to work; not wanting to deal with stressful customers, not wanting to have a supervisor.
You then begin to use your imagination (yes, if a 5 year old can do it you can too), to shop around for ideas about other businesses or careers you may have a liking for, but would NEVER require you to do the things you don’t want to on your previously mentioned list.

A lot of people don’t realize there are ways to make immobile business or careers mobile – or, “time-freeing,” especially in today’s technological day and age.

There’s so much time wasted in an office setting where most “look busy” just in order to please their supervisor.

This guy I know is good at what he does, smart, quick thinker on his feet, an innovator, mathematician, and forward thinker. Often he finishes his work and work projects well before deadline, then has to busy himself with other things so his boss doesn’t ridicule him for “just sitting around”…and it drives him mad.

Maybe if I break this pencil, it’ll turn into a make-shift dagger…and then stab someone with it.

Let me repeat that: he gets all of his work done, in 50% of the time his average co-worker does. Meaning his value is 50% more. In an ideal world, he could make 50% more than what he’s making, just by his work efficiency.

This is what he wants – he wants his work efficiency to be valued. He knows he’s good at what he does, and wants to condense his hours worked to enjoy life while being good at what he does – compared to wasting away 4 extra hours a day twiddling his thumbs and listening to people talk about their monotonous home lives.

 

Mention your kids again Tracy…I dare you…

 

He wants to turn his 40 hour work week into a 20 hour one – maybe even a 15 hour one…and you know what? He can do it. Easily – there are many ways to work remotely, in the finance industry’s subsector of stocks and commodities. Just as there are many ways to work your business the same way.

What is it I like about mobile businesses? If I had to sum it up in 3 main points, I could easily say:

Freedom of time.
Freedom of money.
Freedom of hybrid thinking and doing.

First and foremost – freedom of time. I’m not a morning person – I work better in the wee hours of the night, often cranking out my best work with Bossanova and crickets singing to me sweetly in perfect harmony with that one old tree frog and the sound of water right outside my window.

Because it really is easy being green.

Second – freedom of money. You probably think I’m talking about income, right? Well, try again…I’m talking about what you can do with the income not allocated towards (non)reimbursed business expenses (non- if you’re working a J.O.B.).

Think about it – let’s just say you commute 15 miles to work everyday, and take a toll road. That’s 30 miles round trip, 5 days a week. That’s 150 miles a week, roughly 600 miles a month, 7800 miles a year. Just for work. Throw in about half of that per annum and you’ve got 11,700 miles a year, 975 a month, roughly 245 a week.

Holy shit snacks.

What’s that, a tank of gas? $50, $60, $70? If you drive that Lincoln Navigator, keep adding. At $70 a week, we’re talking $3640 a year of non-reimbursed gas expenses – across the board, because let’s not forget – you can’t get a tax return on traveling to and from a JOB.

Well Timmy, it was good knowing you son.

Then let’s factor in oil changes, tires, air filters, etc, etc. All accelerated replacements because of that 30 mile round trip commute. Switch to making your career or business mobile and you can easily cut all that down by 50-75%.

Third – Freedom of hybrid thinking and doing. Your 8 hour day, is not an 8 hour day. Let’s take that commute example a step further – let’s say you go by car…or cab…or subway. Let’s think about traffic, people traffic, car traffic, coffee line traffic. You get the idea – traffic.

That 20 minute commute now becomes 40, maybe even 50 minutes. Add that to your 8 hour day – at 50 minutes extra, you’re really working an almost 10 hour day. Change that to a remote or mobile business, and commute time can be cut to 50 seconds – a walk from your kitchen to your in-home office.

Or your den’s couch.

Using my buddy as an example again, this is exactly what he wanted. He wanted to take every non-reimbursed career expense ever spent and put it into something he wanted to do or experience.

He wanted to analyze his trades when his brain was fully turned on, tuned in, and locked on…allowing what he considered the easy stuff to mentally be on auto-pilot during the best times he deemed fit.

He wanted to take the almost $4000 he was spending a year in gas alone and travel to Singapore – for a little business and pleasure.

He wanted to cut his 9-11 hour day into a 4-5 hour day, taking the rest of the time to hit the gym more, and finally map out and set off for that mini road trip to St. Augustine.

Mobile or remote businesses and careers aren’t about just being mobile, they’re about taking the dictation from another human being out of the equation and utilizing a more flexible, efficient path. Making the stress less, so you can focus and innovate more.

In my early days of being mobile, where my income if I wanted to travel relied heavily on photography and internet marketing, – I loved every moment of it. I would explore in the early afternoons and evenings, and do all my editing at night. It was effortless. Aside from the jet lag, check-in and check-out times, new locations, new languages, new maps, orienting and re-orienting myself with areas, I loved every minute of it. I was the ruler of my own time, my own money, and my own pace…I could learn more in months what anyone with a PhD learned in years….and I loved it.

There is a rapid shift that is occurring and has been occurring for many years now, and it’s one of many exciting things I have the opportunity to witness.
It’s my belief that eventually, the standard run-of-the-mill office setting will become obsolete. The reign of left-brained cubicle thinking will – and is – disappearing.

Mankind needs it, and Generation Y is beginning to realize it. We’ve had so many technological advances the mass majority has been put on auto-pilot themselves. Yet this is the perfect day and age to keep creating. Innovative people know this, and they’re seizing the opportunities.

It’s what Tim Ferriss calls “The New Rich.”

Mobile and remote businesses and careers are the way to go – to eliminate stress, improve productivity, and alter lifestyles.

– Rego

Musings Episode 3: Mobile vs. Immobile – The Joys of a Mobile Business is a post from and appeared first on Rego’s Life

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