This blog is intended for educational purposes only. None of these posts are meant to give legal or financial advice. If you need advice you should consult an appropriate professional.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

employers have too much power

Looking for a job sucks!  We were all born into a system in which one has to have employment to have the basics of life.  This is definitely an employer's job market.  The amount of hoops they set up to get a job is mind boggling.  I wish someone would just give me a bunch of money.  I know how to invest pretty well and could live off the dividends.  That's not going to happen though.  I'm really struggling to fit into this world.  If no one will hire you what do you do to survive?  Some people start their own business, and I'm not against doing that.  It's hard to know where to start though.  And honestly I've never been a very ambitious person as long as I can remember.  I'm not sure how genetics and choices interplay here.  I mean maybe I can change and get some ambition.  It seems the world forces you into this mold just to stay alive.  It can be pretty depressing for the long-term unemployed or homeless.  They're outside the system at that point, and honestly this world is not very forgiving.  The way I see it employers hold the vast majority of the cards right now.  Most people need the money they have to survive and will do just about anything to get a job.  In my own job search I feel like I've been treated pretty badly by companies and organizations.  I will probably continue to look for a job.  I don't feel like I have much of a choice really.  I want to invest, and I need money to do that.  Most likely it will come from a job.  I'm just having a hard time finding and keeping suitable employment.  I don't think everyone struggles with that.  It feels lonely sometimes.  My ultimate goal is financial independence.  That to me means having a source of income other than paid employment that pays for all my expenses.  So in that sense a job is a means to and end not an end in itself.  When I think about it that way it makes me feel better.  Working for a finite period of time is a lot better than working for 40 years or more.  Not needing an employer is my goal.  But for now I'm not quite there yet so unless I can produce my own income somehow then most likely I'll be slinging hash like everyone else.  Hopefully I can find a job I like so I can start building my investment capital. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

you are not your job

What do you do for a living?  I hate that question.  It's a matter of someone else sizing me up to see where I fit in the socioeconomic pecking order.  My ultimate goal is not to need a job ever again and not to want one.  Jobs give us so much more than a paycheck.  We get our identity from what we do for money.  They also give us structure and purpose.  Most of us are taught to depend on someone hiring us to create income.  I don't think this is ideal.  My opinion is it's better to create your own income without having to be hired.  That's not easy to do, but it is possible.  And thinking about ways to do it is the first step.  Applying for jobs sucks, interviewing sucks, getting rejected sucks.  These employers are setting up huge hoops these days just to get a menial job.  A little silly I think.  This is because it's still very much an employer's market.  So they call the shots.  I see it all the time.  And even if you land a job it can be taken away in a flash.  I think it's best to not get attached to anything external that can be taken away like a job.  Especially in America the job is a big deal.  Too big of a deal really.  There are deeper parts of a person than what they do for a living, but those seem to take a backseat to the almighty job.  And really you can build wealth on any income and with any job from minimum wage up.  So those who don't fit into the job world too well have to figure out a different path than kissing up for peanuts.  This can include living on investments, getting a government check, lowering expenses, starting your own business, just to name just a few.  The idea of a permanent income is very appealing because it frees you and me up to do what we want with our time.  It can be boring and lonely not having a job, but it's nice not having to answer to a boss.  I've been looking for a job recently, and it's hard to keep going when you see the BS of the job system that we've created.  I will give you that it's hard to escape the job system, but thinking about it is fun whether you do or not.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ownership is where it's at

The people who have the power in the capitalist system are the ones who own.  You could own stocks, real estate, a business, a book you wrote, precious metals, the list goes on and on.  Aim to own some kind of system or asset that produces money without you traipsing in and putting in the time.  This is a challenge.  We're taught, and most of us have to in reality, go to work everyday.  That's OK.  It's the way our economy is set up for most of us to be employed in a job.  All I'm saying is the true winners in capitalism aren't the workers but the owners.  Always ask yourself how can I own more of some productive type of asset.  We can all do this even if it's on a very small level.  Start small I say.  It's better than not starting at all.  It sucks looking for a job.  I really don't like doing it.  I would like to produce my own income without needing to be hired by someone.  I'm still working on it.  I'm not there yet.  There are all kinds of ways to make money without being an employee.  The first step is to start thinking more like an owner.  And you are fighting a society that pushes you into the worker bee mold.  I believe in freedom.  To me having to work a job is not being free.  One of the surest ways to escape the job world is to make as much money as you can from your job, invest as much as you can, and live off the income from your investments.  If you keep your expenses low and stay out of debt it makes it much easier to have choices in this life.  It comes down to no debt, low expenses, and some form of non-job income.  That's pretty much what I say throughout this blog.  That's the formula I've come up with.  It's not easy to implement, but it can be done with some determination.  I hear stories from people who work jobs where the employer is shall we say not very nice and treats them like children.  You can always get canned from any job.  It's good to remember that.  And most people don't seem to enjoy what they do anyway.  I'm still trying to find where I fit in.  I don't do well working for someone.  That's why I'm considering self-employment and ownership.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

society worships success

What is success?  According to this culture's definition it would go something like this:  prestigious, well-paid, white collar job, suburban nice house, flashy car, happy marriage, well behaved children, many friends, and big happy extended family.  I'm sure there's more than that, but you get the gist.  What about those through bad decisions, misfortune, or just plain inability can't fit this mold?  The first question most people ask when they meet you, at least in America, is what do you do for a living.  The thing about a society that says you can do anything you set your mind to is if you're not able to pull it off then you're a personal failure.  In other words it's your fault alone.  I'm not quite sure that's fair or even accurate.  My idea of success is not needing a job or car.  This runs way counter to the norm.  We're all told that the only way to get around is a personal automobile, and the only way to make money is from a job.  What a crock!  I don't like that I was born into a culture where we're pretty much forced to use a car.  I do my best not to drive, but it's hard to be totally car-free.  And boy do we judge people on what they do for money.  Their socioeconomic position so to speak.  I don't look down on homeless people.  They might not in fact be lazy.  Maybe they just have a hard time fitting in with the world.  I like what the Bible has to say about it.  God doesn't seem to be concerned with our material accomplishments.  He cares about our heart, and the book of Jeremiah says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Not very flattering is it, but it's the truth.  I see it in myself.  And in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the successful rich man went to hades while the beggar Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom.  Very telling that God's system is different and much above ours.  I struggle with trying to fit in with this world's definition of success.  I'm not sure I ever will.  I want to live on dividends, ride public transportation, and have low expenses.  I guess that's how I define it, but ultimately anything we accumulate and accomplish will be left at death.  I don't mean to be a downer.  I just think this culture is kind of messed up in a way that most people don't acknowledge.      

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

investment first then consumption

We live in a consumption based society.  We are known as consumers.  How do you like them apples?  Well I don't.  I propose another way.  Work your job, invest your money, and consume with the money that your investments make.  Think about how the world would be different if more people did that.  There would be less need to "have a job" to survive.  People wouldn't be so strapped and stressed about money.  And like it or not money is important.  Hey I didn't make the rules.  I'm just trying to do well in the system that is.  Now granted initially most of us will have to work as employees.  That's just the way it is.  But instead of viewing your earnings as money you can spend look at it as seed money to invest.  And invest as much as you can.  Every dollar put away represents freedom.  Freedom from a job, freedom from debt, freedom to do as you wish. This is the way to build a money tree of which you can eat the fruit.  You don't even need a degree or a prestigious job.  All you need is an income.  And that income will most likely come from working for someone else.  That's fine and dandy.  The next step is to keep your expenses always below what your job produces.  Then you take that surplus and put it to work in appreciating income producing assets.  This will be a slow slog through the mud.  It might take decades.  But the ability to delay gratification is paramount.  After many years the income from your investments starts to make a difference.  It's sacrificing now to have a better future.  This is what I'm trying to do in my own life.  It's not easy.  I mean come on everywhere we go we're being pressured to spend.  A good way to get ahead is to save and invest.  It's not exciting, but it works.