Personal Finance and Personal Development, from one 30-something to another


So, check this out. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a case of wanderlust that keeps getting in the way of me truly focusing on my 9 to 5. I’d much rather be hanging out in Costa Rica or seeing the sights in old Europe than watching JD Jr. grow up in pictures on my desk. There are plenty of companies out there today that offer remote working arrangements (Best Buy has everyone in their corporate headquarters on a flex time program, what they call ROWE, or Results Oriented Work Environment), where all you really need are a laptop and a wifi connection. Teleconferencing can work from anywhere in the world, even the most remote locations (if you have a sat phone). Why do we need to be tethered to a desk in order to prove our productivity?  Granted, this article is aimed at folks with more maturity and time in the workforce than I have, but still…

Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4 Hour Work Week, talks a lot about strategies for liberating yourself from the 9-5, allowing you to work on your terms wherever you want to. Be honest: how much time do you really waste sitting at a desk, reading email, or being distracted by conversations going on around you, or sitting in meetings in which you have nothing to add? Maybe you couldn’t get everything done in 4 hours a week, but Tim makes a pretty convincing case through the power of the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule: 80% of our results come from 20% of our activity) and Parkinson’s Law (tasks expand in time required to complete to the extent that we allow them to) that we could get our stuff done a lot more efficiently than we do without any loss of effectiveness. I’m not sure I totally agree with everything he says about how to go about freeing yourself from a scheduled working arrangement, but the core nuggets relating to freedom from a schedule certainly are appropriate.


21 June, 2007 Posted by | active retirement | Leave a comment

My Manifesto

So, here I am, typing away, looking to bare my soul to you folks. “What?”, you ask. “Another self-absorbed personal finance blogger? Why in the world do we need any more of those? What does he hope to accomplish by this?” Well, I’d like to gain some semblance of a readership, have a little fun, exchange some ideas on what it takes to be financially secure while you’re still young enough to enjoy it. I’ll tell you about my goals and dreams, and maybe we can drum up enough common sense between all of us to make our goals realities.

“No get rich quick schemes?” You won’t find many of those here. I do believe that people can and do get very wealthy through many different vehicles in this life. Slinging rock on the corner, donating plasma, even Amway and other MLMs have generated funds for certain people to subsist off of (some methods of moneymaking generate more funds than others). However, for the vast majority of us, the only thing that makes sense is to find a need and fill it. Does that mean starting your own company? For some it does. But, even those of you/us with a J.O.B. (my dad, entrepreneur that he is, won’t even say the word) are filling a need for someone, and being compensated for it. Find what makes you happy. I’m a big believer that what you do should not identify who you are, if you don’t want it to. If your self-worth and primary source of happiness comes from being an attorney, that’s cool. However, if you’re only a financial analyst to pay the bills, and you would rather do something else with the rest of your time, more power to you.

“So, what qualifies you to talk about this stuff?” Same thing that qualifies you to ask the question; it’s a free country (at least, it is where I live. Sorry if you live in North Korea [but kudos on finding your way to my site through all the censor-ware!]). As I mentioned, my dad’s owned his own business since almost as far back as I can remember. He’s a financial advisor. Got a lot of good info from him, as well as an interest in how people use their money to plan (or not) for their future. I’m a corporate financial analyst myself (with a Fortune 500 company, no less), and I’ve got an MBA in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Well, depending on when you read this, that is. I graduate(d) in April of 2008. I’ve also got half a bookcase full of personal finance books. Everything from Benjamin Graham to Robert Kiyosaki, and a bunch of stuff in between. I won’t be giving any advice, but I will be telling you my opinion on what makes sense in my situation. You can apply it however you’d like.

“Is it all going to be personal finance?” Ehh, maybe. Probably will for the most part, but there are other things that may come up, as well. I’m constantly fascinated by personal development, leadership development, personal finance, baseball, you name it. I’m just like you (I would assume); I’ve got lots of diverse interests. I was a philosophy major in college, so I might slip in some quotes from Plato every once in a while. When something strikes me as being able to improve our enjoyment of the time we have on God’s green earth, I think it’ll fit with the nature of this blog.

So, that’s what we’ll be doing here. The title of the blog is “Let’s Get Down To Business”, because I feel like so many of us young(ish) careerpeople aren’t really taking life seriously enough. “Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail”, remember? Paying attention to bettering yourself, be it financially or through personal development, doesn’t have to be drudgery. On the other hand, it doesn’t just happen, either. So, take a little time, each day, to think about how you can get down to doing the things you need to do to improve what’s going to be a great life.

21 June, 2007 Posted by | housekeeping | Leave a comment