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Financial Independence by John J. Vento
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, passive income, risk tolerance, time value of money, transaction costs, young professional, zero day
From early on in their relationship, even before they were married, they had a clear plan for a comfortable retirement and a strategy for achieving financial independence. Everyone has the ability to achieve financial independence. If you are an able-bodied individual with a job, you can also achieve financial independence, by simply paying yourself first, and then living within the budget of whatever is left over. It really is that simple. If my parents were able to do it as Italian immigrants working for modest wages, so can you! So, would you consider yourself like Mr. and Mrs. Poorman or Mr. and Mrs. Richman? Are you willing to do what it takes to live your life like the Richmans? If so, congratulations! You have just made your commitment to planning for a comfortable retirement and for achieving financial independence for you and your family. Retirement Equation: Calculating Your Personal Point X Most people have the desire and dream of becoming financially independent.
With this book, my hope is to help everyone find financial security and financial independence: from the eager teenager who just received his first paycheck to the dual-income couple at mid-life who are paying their mortgage, putting their kids through college, and perhaps helping aging parents to the retired grandmother who wants to make sure her estate is in good order for the benefit of her loved ones. By combining financial planning with tax strategies, this book may help readers increase their personal wealth and pursue their financial independence, a position I refer to as point X. xix cintro.indd xix 2/18/2013 4:50:25 PM xx Introduction Financial Literacy and the New Norm Before I explain in detail how to reach point X—financial independence—I want to talk a bit about how and why I came to write this book.
As you get into your fifties and beyond, you will be more and more concerned with paying for your children’s education, possibly caring for aging parents, and (again) saving for retirement. All of these subjects are addressed in detail in subsequent chapters of this book. The Power of This Book Becoming financially independent is not something that happens by chance; it requires focus, discipline, determination, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work. If you are serious about achieving financial independence and are willing to make the commitment to do what it takes, then this book will provide you with the necessary tools to pursue your financial goals. In short, I will guide you toward reaching your own personal point X, financial independence. Using financial planning strategies––the 10 key issues to comprehensive wealth management––and many real-life (though anonymous) client stories––I show how to navigate through the most critical factors that affect you and your family’s financial life.
Early Retirement Guide: 40 is the new 65 by Manish Thakur
In practice it's a bit harder to change your spending habits and realign your financial decisions with your goals. In this book, I've laid out practical steps with just a little bit of the philosophy and a lot of data to help make each step easy to take and clear. Mindset of Financial Independence Before we begin learning about the steps to reach financial independence, it's important to understand some key concepts that clarify and guide our decisions towards becoming F.I. (Financially Independent). From all the articles and books about people who have chosen to pursue financial independence, the biggest indicator of how successful they are is their mindset on life decisions. A majority of them approach spending from a holistic perspective, thinking about the consequences, alternatives, and the value major purchases will bring.
FAQ on Early Retirement If we address the three biggest expenses of housing, transportation, and food, it will most likely get you a majority of the way to significantly reducing your expenses and getting you to financial independence. There are a lot of extra steps you can take to save a few more dollars here and there, such as couponing or making your own detergent, but in my opinion, they're not worth the extra time for the small effect they have. With any lifestyle, there's certain risks and benefits. It would be ridiculous to talk about all the benefits of financial independence without examining some of the risks that come along with it and how to handle them. What happens if I want to have kids? Kids certainly add a new aspect to being financial independent. There are new costs that have to be added to a budget like school supplies, diapers, and new clothes every time they go through a growth spurt. With financial independence, many people still work, but they focus on what makes them happy instead of what makes them money.
We convince ourselves that what we truly want has to be put off for decades, but when we begin to do these things, we realize there's little time remaining; and we've waited on our dreams for too long. A popular term in the F.I. community is F.I.R.E, an acronym meaning "Financially Independent, Retired Early". It might seem like financial independence and retiring early are the same thing, but there is a fairly big distinction. While retiring brings up images of mimosas on the beach, long afternoon golf games, and moving to Florida; becoming independent creates imagines of going sky diving, pursuing your passions, and crossing off items from a bucket list. Ask yourself what would be the one thing that you want to do regardless of how much money you would make doing it, even if there wasn't any money involved. Chances are you aren't pursuing this goal. Financial independence gives us the ability to pursue these passions wholeheartedly. You are in complete control of what you can do, and you are not spending a third of your life at a job that drains you of energy and happiness.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford
asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond
A FIRST LOOK AT “FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE” As we said in the prologue, one purpose of this book is to increase your Financial Independence. By following the steps, you will move inexorably toward Financial Integrity and Financial Intelligence and will one day (we hope before you die) arrive at Financial Independence. In showing you how this is possible, however, we must first show you what Financial Independence isn’t. Let’s begin by exploring what images the phrase “Financial Independence” conjures up for you. Making a killing? Inheriting a fortune? Winning the lottery? Cruises, tropical islands, world travel? Jewels, Porsches, designer clothes? Most of us picture Financial Independence as an unreachable fantasy of inexhaustible riches. This idea that Financial Independence means wealth comes out of the first, street-level perspective of money.
If you follow the program presented in this book, it will lead inexorably to Financial Integrity. Financial Independence Financial Independence is the by-product of diligently following all the steps of the program outlined in this book. It is defined as having an income sufficient for your basic needs and comforts from a source other than paid employment. While Financial Independence may not be one of your current goals, it is, eventually, in everybody’s future. Think about it. Financial Independence is the totally natural, and inescapable, by-product of life. After a certain point you will no longer need to earn a living. The only choice in the matter is when and how that point is reached. In some cases that point is reached while you are still alive. It is then called retirement. One purpose of this book is to teach the tools that allow you to become financially independent much sooner than traditional retirement and without necessarily depending on traditional retirement sources of income such as pensions and Social Security.
Of course, you’ll have a new set of time management challenges in structuring your day around the myriad things you want to do—but the kind of self-esteem and self-discipline that has gotten you to this point will help you through any difficulty you might encounter with having time on your hands. Most FIers’ lives are so full they say they don’t know how they had time for a job. . . . AND THE ONES YOU LOVE Time with people—both family and friends—becomes a priority for many people who reach Financial Independence. Marcia M. achieved Financial Independence right after coordinating her second highly successful medical conference. Her expenses have remained around $950 a month—and she hasn’t scrimped on anything she’s really wanted to have or do. Marcia’s path to Financial Independence clarified many aspects of her life. After achieving Financial Independence, she had time to bring this clarity to her relationships with her family and heal the wounds of the past—particularly unfinished business from her difficult marriage and subsequent divorce. She took the relationships with various members of her family off maintenance status and made them a priority.
Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker
8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, loose coupling, market bubble, McMansion, passive income, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, psychological pricing, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, wage slave, working poor
Hence, a trophy house, or a trophy anything for that matter, is not very compatible with financial independence. Giving up the trophy house in exchange for financial independence can result in alienation from those who are heavily socialized to middle-class status symbols. However, there are significant subcultures in which you can easily find friends and partners who put less importance on curb appeal and one-hour commutes. Therefore, there is a deliberate choice to make between financial independence and the standard house engineered to give the appearance of enhanced "socioeconomic status." You can have one or the other, but not both. In other words, living in something significantly more economically efficient, smaller and more conveniently located than what your peers are living in is key to financial independence. For most people a home is basically only a place to sleep, eat, shower, and keep stuff (see Things).
Effectively speaking, I've lent them my money so they can have a house with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a vaulted foyer, and a two-car garage. In return, they pay all my expenses. Hopefully, we both consider this a good deal; I know I do. Financially independent and working. Since these savings flow into a nonretirement account, money immediately flows out. In a free country, roles are chosen, not assigned. Most people choose to become debtors and borrow money so they can increase their spending, possibly due to a lack of knowledge or maybe simply due to the barrage of advertising that says spending money will result in happiness. However, it's possible to choose the creditor side and save money, eventually buying financial independence. Such financial independence comes from investing in income-generating assets until the cash flow from the assets completely cover all spending on stuff. When this happens, the cash flow looks like this figure.
Eating out Cooking Optimizing ingredients Optimizing utensils Detergents, cleaners, and other household stuff Transportation Comparing modes of transportation Driving Affordable driving Walking Running as transportation Cycling Services TV, cell phones, and other money sinks Cell phones Internet TV Money, credit, and insurance Credit cards Insurance People Spouses and significant others Children Foundations of economics and finance Financial cash flow cycles Working for money Salaried work Nonsalaried work Making money work for you Important financial ratios Emergency funds Savings rate for financial independence Intermittent work Financial independence and investing Investing and reasonable return rates The true cost of things So what should I invest in? Asset management Investment science Epilogue References Footnotes About the book I think of this book first and foremost as a philosophy book about strategy. Like most philosophical books, it's voluminous compared to its content because much of it is dedicated to (re)defining underlying concepts and fundamentals, trying to find the words to describe something that isn't automatically implied by the usual understanding1 of the words used.
asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, compound rate of return, diversification, financial independence, full employment, German hyperinflation, index fund, nuclear winter, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Vanguard fund, yield curve
Put another way, financial independence = 25x your annual expenses. That is, if you are living on $20,000 you have reached financial independence with $500,000 invested. If, like our friend Mike Tyson used to, you are living on $400,000 a month/$4.8 million a year, you’re going to need $120 million. As you can see, being financially independent is every bit as much about controlling your needs as it is about building your assets. Once you are financially independent, begin living on your investments. At the point you become financially independent, you can decide if you are still having fun and want to continue your career or try something new. If you keep working, invest 100% of your earnings. You are living on your investments now. This will dramatically accelerate the growth of your assets.
Here’s the simple formula: Spend less than you earn—invest the surplus—avoid debt As we discussed in the introduction, do only this and you’ll wind up rich. Not just in money. But if your lifestyle matches or exceeds your income, you forfeit your hopes of financial independence. Let’s consider an example. Suppose you make $25,000 per year and you decide you want to be financially independent. Using some of the lifestyle tips from the blogs above, you’d want to organize your life in such a fashion as to live on $12,500 annually. Two important things would immediately happen. You’d have reduced your needs and created a source of cash with which to invest. Now let’s use our calculators to play with some scenarios. Assuming you’ll be financially independent when you can live on 4% of your net worth each year, you’ll need $312,500 ($312,500 x 4% = $12,500). Investing your $12,500 each year (We’d invest in VTSAX—Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund) and assuming the 11.9% annual return of the market over the last 40 years, you are there ($317,175) in ~11.5 years.3 At this point suppose you say, “OK I’m done with saving and I’m going to double my spending and spend my full earned $25,000 from now on.
Do this for the next ten years or so and you’ll be well on your way to financial independence. Save more than 50% and you’ll get there sooner. Save less and it will take a bit longer. If you get lucky with the market you’ll get there sooner. If not, it will take a bit longer. During this accumulation phase, celebrate market drops. While you are in the wealth accumulation phase, these are gifts. Each dollar you invest will buy you more shares. But never fall prey to thinking you (or anyone else) can anticipate or time these drops. Sometime in your early to mid-thirties (or 10-15 years after you start) two things will happen: Your career will be hitting its strongest surge and you will be closing in on financial independence. Once 4% of your assets can cover your expenses, consider yourself financially independent. Put another way, financial independence = 25x your annual expenses.
Reserve Two Weekends a Month for Family and Relatives Conclusion Final Word/About the Author Foreword A lot of times people believe they need to work until they are well into their 60s in order to achieve financial independence and to retire safely. In today’s day and age, the old model towards retirement is antiquated. Early extreme retirement is now more possible than ever, as long as you as much within the 4% rule as possible (which states that if you withdraw at a rate of four percent of your retirement portfolio, you can sustain your current lifestyle while accounting for inflation). Hopefully from reading Extreme Early Retirement: An Introduction and Guide to Financial Independence, I can provide you with a basic understanding of how many people today are retiring earlier and enjoying life on their terms due to their adoption of this philosophy.
Extreme Early Retirement: An Introduction and Guide to Financial Independence Copyright © 2015 by Clayton Geoffreys All rights reserved. Neither this book nor any portion thereof may be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission. Published in the United States of America. Cover photo by Steve Bidmead is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / modified from original Table of Contents Foreword What is Extreme Early Retirement? Adopting the Philosophy 5 Reasons You Should Consider Extreme Early Retirement 1. You Will Have More Time Enjoying the Goodness in Life 2. You Can Watch Your Kids Grow 3. You Are Free to Pursue Your Passions and Indulge in Your Hobbies 4. You Create More Opportunities for Healthy Investments 5. Your Money Works for You and Not the Other Way Around What Type of Person Should Adopt Extreme Early Retirement 7 Things You Must Remember Before Deciding to Plan for Extreme Early Retirement 1.
Write down your annual fixed and living expenses or simply use a calculator, then multiply that by 25 or 30. Of course, if you are planning on extreme early retirement, then you should have a relatively small amount written down for your annual fixed and living expenses. The final amount you see on your calculator is what you need to set aside for investments. Basically, you need to be financially independent because that is the whole idea of getting retired early. Your passive income is going to act as a source for replenishing your funds from which you gain the momentum to invest again. Keep in mind that money can easily run out if you are not watchful of your expenses. In some cases, life could unexpectedly take a complete turn and your finances begin to deplete from then on. The moral lesson is to let your money continuously stack up on each other and invest aggressively, but wisely so if ever you do need to subtract your funds in case of an emergency, it will not leave that big of a hole on your wallet.
The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Michael Leboeuf, Mel Lindauer
asset allocation, buy low sell high, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, endowment effect, estate planning, financial independence, financial innovation, high net worth, index fund, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, mental accounting, passive investing, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve
Taylor Larimore Mel Lindauer Michael LeBoeuf The Guide to Investing PART I ESSENTIALS OF SUCCESSFUL INVESTING CHAPTER ONE Choose a Sound Financial Lifestyle Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners. -E. Joseph Grossman is an old statistic that has held very consistent over time. Take 100 young Americans starting out at age 25. By age 65, one will be rich and four will be financially independent. The remaining 95 will reach the traditional retirement age unable to self-sustain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Without assistance from government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, many would literally starve. And if you are harboring dreams of the government providing you with a full and prosperous retirement, it's time to wake up. Although the government won't let you starve, it's not committed to making your golden years golden.
Although the government won't let you starve, it's not committed to making your golden years golden. That's up to you. A lifestyle totally based on government handouts has always been uncomfortable at best. With 76 million baby boomers approaching retirement, and with increasing life expectancies, it could get a whole lot worse. We live in the richest country in world history. Our wealth is enormous and growing. Yet only 5 percent of us manage to become financially independent by age 65. Why is this? More often than not, the answer lies in what we choose to do with the money that comes into our lives. WHAT'S YOUR FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE? Although you might not be aware of it, you have chosen the financial lifestyle that you currently live. For purposes of simplicity, let's look at three common financial lifestyles lived by three different couples. As you read about each lifestyle, you will likely be reminded of people you know.
Their soul may belong to God, but Madison Avenue is in control of their wallet. About the only good thing you can say for the Consumers' financial lifestyle is that it's better than the Borrowers'. Although Chad and Cathy believe they own their lifestyle, the truth is that they are just renting it. Like the Borrowers, a job loss, accident, or illness could hold dire financial consequences. Without a cash cushion and a long-term plan for achieving financial independence, they will continue to live a rented lifestyle until they choose to retire, or can no longer work. From then on, they will live a very spartan financial lifestyle dictated to them by a government bureaucracy. The Keepers While most Americans go through life with a credit card or paycheck mentality, a third, very wise group has a different financial mindset. As Ken and Kim Keeper put it, "Debt is deadly, and earning to spend gets you nowhere.
The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris
back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review
Not being that interested in investing in the federal government, and not trusting its security, I invest in Vermont bonds – those that ﬁnance schools, hospitals, and housing. They’re tax free, too. Educate yourself about investments. There are many good books on the subject. Talk to others about their choices, and invest your money wisely. It’s still your life energy, and now it can give you Financial Independence. The NEW VILLAGE GREEN 251 Financial Independence gives my family the option to do paid work that we love (if we choose), volunteer in our community, and have plenty of time for family, friends, and avocations. It’s a good life, it’s a balanced life, and it’s available to anybody – just follow the nine steps. Sea-jelly European peasants of the 1700s would attach braids of garlic to the entrance of their homes to assure evil would not enter.
(Eben Fodor) ...................................................................187 Green Weddings (Tracy Fernandez Rysavy) .....................................191 Safe Substitutes: Non-toxic Household Products (Davis & Turner)..196 8 : The Good Life Sun, Fun, and Diversion (Sam Wilder) ..............................................213 Jason and the Laundronauts (Jason Wentworth)..............................217 Gardening When it Counts (Steve Solomon) ...................................221 Beyond Organic: Investing In Local Food (George Schenk) ............223 Timber Framing (Rob Roy) ..............................................................227 The Plowboy Interview: Euell Gibbons ...........................................229 The Bonds that Tie (Dan Chiras)......................................................246 Financial Independence – For Us Common Folk (Jane Dwinell).....249 Colophon (Michael Potts)................................................................255 How The New Village Green was created .......................................261 People Index....................................................................................262 About Green Living Journal .............................................................265 contents To Donella Meadows, who took complex ideas and gave them a human face, and it was a face with a smile acknowledgments The New Village Green is a unique intersection of many places and communities.
You might want to try this with your children. Illness was often considered a manifestation of the evil spirits or supernatural forces. Along with ceremonial magic, herbal remedies were linked to good spirits. Garlic, with its antibiotic properties, was often the remedy of choice. Because it was frequently successful in healing, garlic was considered the ideal weapon to battle the dark forces. 248 chapter 8 : The Good Life Financial Independence – For Us Common Folk W by Jane Dwinel hat would you do with your life if you didn’t have to work for money? I faced this compelling question 13 years ago. I didn’t have an answer. Sure, it would be nice to travel, spend more time with the family, and all that, but what would I do – actually do with my time – if I didn’t have to work for money? I let go of the question, and I focused on another one – what is “enough?”
The Disciplined Trader: Developing Winning Attitudes by Mark Douglas
In addition to the negative psychological implications that accompany these decisions, you must be aware that even if you make the minimum financial commitment of one contract per trade (as in the futures market), there is an unlimited potential for profit as well as an unlimited potential for loss. From a psychological perspective, this means that each trade has the possibility of fulfilling your wildest dreams of financial independence, and simultaneously presents you with the risk of losing everything you own. The constantly changing price movement makes it extremely easy for you to ignore the risk and tempt yourself into believing you don't have to follow your own rules, this time. Here is an environment that offers complete freedom of expression combined with unlimited possibilities and unlimited risk. If you place in it a participant who is oblivious to these psychological conditions (one who operates from a mental framework oriented toward external structure, constraints, and expectations), then what you have is a formula for emotional and financial disaster.
This may sound absurd, but I wouldn't take profits of such 19 small amounts, because, at that time, it felt as if the market was insulting me by offering such paltry sums compared to what I needed or expected. As my financial problems grew, so did my desperation. And I certainly wasn't comforted by anything I saw going on around me. But I still held on to the belief that I could trade out of these difficulties. That is until March 1982; by then it was all over. A mere eight months after moving to Chicago to pursue my dreams of financial independence, I had nothing left except my job, apartment, clothes, a television, and a bed. Practically overnight, almost all the symbols that validated my identity were gone. What I mean is, a big part of my self-concept was made up of my possessions like my house, my car, and especially my credit. Maintaining flawless credit was something I had always been proud of. Now I found myself without any of these things.
Not only can the markets destroy a person's sense of security by forcing the trader to confront, on a moment-to-moment basis, his lack of acceptance of change, but they also produce an emotional environment of considerable competitiveness and stress. There's the compulsive need to win millions, with the simultaneous fear of financial devastation. The markets 25 tease a trader with the very real possibility of fulfilling his grandest dreams of financial independence and at the same time stand ready and willing to take away everything he owns—and more. Furthermore, the principles of time, effort, and reward associated with most job situations simply do not apply with the markets. For example, many jobs offer an unchanging reward, regardless of effort, because of hourly wages or yearly salaries. For a trader, effort can be irrelevant, and there is virtually no relationship between time and reward.
How to Retire the Cheapskate Way by Jeff Yeager
asset allocation, car-free, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, pez dispenser, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Zipcar
If you really want to get fancy or if you have interests that run the gamut from “Dollar Store Cheap” to “Saks Fifth Avenue Expensive,” develop your own system for using multiple dollar signs to rate the relative costs of doing different things on your list. After you’ve finished, sit back and take a careful look at the whole list. It should tell you a lot about how much money you’re really going to need to enjoy retirement. Who knows, you may even discover that there are not that many items on your list with dollar signs next to them, and that you may already be a lot closer to the level of financial independence you need to retire. That’s what Bruce Jackson discovered when he made his list … and decided that he could happily retire at the ripe old age of thirty-nine. KELLY AND JON NOWAK Newlyweds, but Not Newly Frugal Married for a mere eight weeks at the time I interviewed them, newlyweds Kelly and Jon Nowak were quick to confess that retirement and retirement planning were not top-of-mind issues for them at that precise moment.
I’m relieved to know that recreational rodent control isn’t actually among this bright young businessman’s hobbies. What’s compelling about the Cedotals’ story—and why I wanted to interview them—is where they are in their financial lives compared with many similar families, and how they got there. While traditional, full-time retirement may or may not be something they’ll ever decide they want in life, the important thing is that the young couple are already well on their way to achieving a level of financial independence that will give them the flexibility to choose as they please in the years ahead. Today, the couple live entirely debt-free, with the exception of their home mortgage, which they have been paying down at a breakneck pace and plan to have fully paid off before either hits age forty. At this point in life, the Cedotals are fortunate to have a healthy income by national standards, and even more so by Mississippi standards, which in recent years has had the lowest median household income of any state in the union, according to the US Census Bureau.
“It wasn’t until I entered the workforce that I realized that retirement wasn’t something that was automatically handed to you just because you managed to survive until your golden years,” she says, reflecting on her first civilian job after serving for a year in the navy and her brief marriage ending in divorce. At that time, she had just started working as a buyer for a chain of salon spas in the Midwest, and the future looked pretty bright. “I realized that retirement had to be earned. Since retirement had always been my dream job, I decided to be vigilant in my quest for financial independence. “I began contributing the maximum amount I could towards my 401(k) right from the start … not an easy thing to do for a young single mom who wasn’t making very much money at the time. I was really, really careful with my money, watching every penny I spent and saving everything I could,” she says with a rightful sense of pride and accomplishment. “I also started reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Rich Dad’s Retire Young, Retire Rich.”
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez
Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, éminence grise
Those are the truly dangerous ones, the ones who live like organized crime trigger men, guerrilla fighters, or sailors at sea—eating shitty food and living in cheap, dumpy crash pads—and who couldn’t give a damn about quality of life.* Those are the people to fear, because they don’t need anything an antagonist can deprive them of. Or do they have a score of check-ins at Benu, Saison, and Quince? If they’re not financially independent, then they are harmless tools; they’ll do anything to keep the parade of fungi terrine monkfish and tangerine-peel abalone coming. What do they look like in photos taken over time? Do they look fit and healthy, with shots of them in corporate-branded nut-hugger biking outfits on a group ride on scenic Skyline Boulevard? Do they keep a stable work-life balance, with regularly scheduled two-hour workouts and time for a Thursday date night?
We hadn’t risked everything from our finances to our sanity for just over a million each that would take four years to earn. I could picture each of the boys digesting the offer, though, probably with their respective mates by their side. They’d have a very different take on it. In the case of Argyris, it meant thinking about an apartment in Athens, and the fantasy he had of opening a combined café–vinyl record store with Simla, his new wife. He already came from a wealthy family, but this meant his own financial independence, and so soon after graduating. In the case of MRM, it meant paying off his mortgage, and no worries about paying for karate lessons for the kids, not to mention help with college down the line. It would be the most he’d ever made in a long, hardworking, but not particularly remunerative career. AdGrok’s first unsalaried months had knocked out what little nest egg he had. This would change everything.
This memory was rattling in my head when I pondered my new child and the woman who’d borne him. The British Trader romantic fire was still smoldering enough to be reignited if need be. But then, that would be doing the bourgeois family thing full-on, with combined finances, expectations of pricey schools, mortgages, the entire needy contraption of settled-down life. To me, only the man who needed nothing was truly free. Until I was financially independent (e.g., fuck-you money), or the captain of a profitable enterprise, I was merely a slave whose bondage was worth one or another price, locked in as much by diapers and tuition costs as by a vesting schedule. Like being a Miami marimbero, working at Facebook and signing up for daddyhood presented a harsh trade-off, at least in my mind. Sure, it paid well, but if you cranked up your lifestyle to the level of your means, then you were beholden to your industry and the people who ran it.
Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams
3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
Its disregard for the gendered division of labour overcomes some of the biases of the traditional welfare state predicated upon a male breadwinner.118 Equally, it recognises the contributions of unwaged domestic labourers to the reproduction of society and provides them with an income accordingly. The financial independence that comes with a basic income is also crucial to developing the synthetic freedom of women. It enables experimentation with different forms of family and community structure that are no longer bound to the model of the privatised nuclear family.119 And financial independence can reconfigure intimate relationships as well: one of the more unexpected findings of experiments with UBI has been that the divorce rate tended to rise.120 Conservative commentators jumped on this as proof of the demand’s immorality, but higher divorce rates are easily explained as women gaining the financial means to leave dysfunctional relationships.121 A basic income can therefore enable easier experimentation with the family structure, more possibilities for the provision of childcare and an easier transformation of the gendered division of labour.
Importantly, anti-work politics provides such resources: for example, it is perhaps the best option for a red-green coalition, insofar as it overcomes the tensions between an economic programme of jobs and growth and an environmental programme of decreased carbon emissions. The post-work project is also an inherently feminist one, recognising the invisible labour carried out predominantly by women, as well as the feminisation of the labour market, and the necessity of providing financial independence for women’s full liberation. Equally, it links up with anti-racist struggles, insofar as black and other minority populations are disproportionately affected by high unemployment and the mass incarceration and police brutality associated with jobless communities. Finally, the post-work project builds upon postcolonial and indigenous struggles with the aim of providing a means of subsistence for the massive informal labour force, as well as mobilising against barriers to immigration.26 Articulating the character of a movement that can bring together such differences helps to emphasise the importance of demands to any proper populism.
In this way, simplicity — both at home and on the road — affords you the time to seek renewed meaning in an oft-neglected commodity that can’t be bought at any price: life itself. Tip Sheet RESOURCES FOR LIFESTYLE SIMPLICITY Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (Penguin USA, 1999) This bestselling book uses a nine-step process to demonstrate how most people are making a “dying” instead of a living. Includes practical pointers for achieving financial independence by altering your lifestyle. Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich, by Duane Elgin (Quill, 1993) First published in 1981, this is a popular reference and inspiration for those looking to live a simpler life. Strongly themed toward environmental sustainability.
delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Trump, financial independence, happiness index / gross national happiness, index card, Mason jar, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Skype, women in the workforce
Menstruation, pregnancy—all these biological processes that you couldn’t control, which caught you unawares and seemed designed to embarrass you in public—felt like a baffling, humiliating negation of my existence as a thinking, reasoning adult.” By her twenties, her hostility had hardened. “I remember being astonished to meet contemporaries who had decided to have children within years of leaving university. It seemed utterly nonsensical. Here we were, just emerged from the tedious constraints of a seemingly endless education, financially independent for the first time, tasting our liberties at last, and the first thing they decided to do was to enter the prison of child rearing, with all its boring routines and dreadful responsibilities. Having children in my twenties would have spelled the end of everything I had spent my life working toward and was about to really enjoy: the ability to spend my money the way I wanted, travel where I wanted, choose my partners, live as I wished.”
She was very good at her job (an aptitude from which I personally benefited). Her sunny, perky quality provides a welcome counterpoint to my jaded older friends, and she’s optimistic about the future; that is, hers. Leslie does not want children. “When I think about my future, I envisage the fulfillment of ambitions such as traveling and furthering my career, not having babies. I can’t imagine I will be able to give up the lifestyle I lead to become a parent. Financial independence is very important to me, as is retaining my own independence in any relationship. Something would have to give in order for me to properly care for a child, and, unfortunately, it’s most often the mother who has to forgo some aspect of her life.” When I ask her, an only child, if it matters to her whether she carries on the family line, she says honestly, “It’s not really something I’ve thought about.”
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Donald Trump, financial independence, high net worth, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, payday loans, self-driving car, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Y2K
Figure 2.1 A Pictorial View of the Relationship between Moral and Monetary Wealth Vince: I have people who tell me that they are put off the idea of making money because rich people seem to do bad things. I point out that the number of rich people they have heard such stories about—due to the fact that their bad deeds have made national headlines—are a tiny fraction of the seriously wealthy, financially independent people in the world. There are plenty of incredibly wealthy people, doing extremely good things and leading happy lives, who are not splashing their actions across the front pages of newspapers. Saying that rich people are all bad because money makes some people do bad things is like saying anyone with a moustache is a mass murderer because Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein had moustaches.
It's an attitude that breeds fear. Tucking money away in an account where it is earning a small amount of interest, rather than investing it in something that returns a regular income stream, is ultimately wasteful. Money in the bank is not working to its best potential for you. Obviously it is wiser to save some money rather than spend every penny you earn immediately, but saving is certainly not the key to financial independence. The first rule of investment is diversification. A good money manager will advise you to split your money four ways: some is left in the bank for spending, some is invested in appreciable assets like property, some is invested in a good portfolio of stocks and shares, and a small amount is what we'll call gambling money—for investing in opportunities with higher risk. When we first started to offer people an education in property investment we discovered that this was actually not the best place to start.
What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson
back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, clean water, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, high net worth, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, telemarketer, traffic fines, young professional
That makes it sound like my dad was some Paternal Quote Generator, but in fact he’d recently rebuilt his life after putting his company through bankruptcy—he knew the feeling of independence one has when making money, and he knew, way too intimately, the loss of control one feels under insurmountable debt—he learned it the hard way. But I ignored that, and wrote off his words as typical Mr. Cleaver Dad stuff. I had no idea how to listen. I couldn’t take it seriously. If I was financially independent, I would never have to take work I didn’t want to do. But to become financially independent, I had to take work I didn’t want to do. Two years would lead to five years, and then I’d be like one of Don Linn’s old friends. Why waste years trying to game the system? Why fabricate excuses for why I should stick at a job that wasn’t, ultimately, the real me? There had to be a more straightforward way. Maybe what follows is too neat of an answer, too virtuous to be real.
Those sources of wisdom felt too abstract compared to the hard-earned record of those who actually took action, changed their life, and enjoyed or suffered the consequences. The people in this book are ordinary people. By that I mean they did not have available to them resources or character traits that gave them an uncommon advantage in pursuing their dream. Some have succeeded, many have not. Only one, in my mind, is saintly. Only two had what accountants call “financial independence.” Only two were so smart that they’d succeed at anything they chose, though having more choices made answering the question that much harder. None were gypsies by nature, such free spirits that they didn’t need or crave a place to call their own, though some eventually found their solace in learning to live that way. Only two asked me for my sign. Only two asked me not to use their real names.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law
American writers, on the other hand, tend to become members of the media or academics, which makes them prisoners of a system and corrupts their writing, and, in the case of research academics, makes them live under continuous anxiety, pressures, and indeed, severe bastardization of the soul. Every line you write under someone else’s standards, like prostitution, kills a corresponding segment deep inside. On the other hand, sinecure-cum-writing is a quite soothing model, next best to having financial independence, or perhaps even better than financial independence. For instance, the great French poets Paul Claudel and Saint-John Perse and the novelist Stendhal were diplomats; a large segment of English writers were civil servants (Trollope was a post office worker); Kafka was employed by an insurance company. Best of all, Spinoza worked as a lens maker, which left his philosophy completely immune to any form of academic corruption.
Nero’s interests were similar to Tony’s, except dressed up in intellectual traditions. To Nero, a system built on illusions of understanding probability is bound to collapse. By betting against fragility, they were antifragile. So Tony made a bundle from the crisis, in the high eight to low nine figures—everything other than a bundle for Tony is “tawk.” Nero made a bit, though much less than Tony, but he was satisfied that he had won—as we said, he had already been financially independent and he saw money as a waste of time. To put it bluntly, Nero’s family’s wealth had peaked in 1804, so he did not have the social insecurity of other adventurers, and money to him could not possibly be a social statement—only erudition for now, and perhaps wisdom in old age. Excess wealth, if you don’t need it, is a heavy burden. Nothing was more hideous in his eyes than excessive refinement—in clothes, food, lifestyle, manners—and wealth was nonlinear.
The Options of Sweet Grapes The option I am talking about is no different from what we call options in daily life—the vacation resort with the most options is more likely to provide you with the activity that satisfies your tastes, and the one with the narrowest choices is likely to fail. So you need less information, that is, less knowledge, about the resort with broader options. There are other hidden options in our story of Thales. Financial independence, when used intelligently, can make you robust; it gives you options and allows you to make the right choices. Freedom is the ultimate option. Further, you will never get to know yourself—your real preferences—unless you face options and choices. Recall that the volatility of life helps provide information to us about others, but also about ourselves. Plenty of people are poor against their initial wish and only become robust by spinning a story that it was their choice to be poor—as if they had the option.
Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, deindustrialization, European colonialism, facts on the ground, fiat currency, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, global reserve currency, imperial preference, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, margin call, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, New Journalism, open economy, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, psychological pricing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, seigniorage, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, the market place, trade liberalization, Works Progress Administration
.… The truth I think was that he was not greatly interested in the detail of Keynes’s subject.”40 Whereas Keynes had seized the initiative in the spring with a fruitless effort to make Lend-Lease more friendly to British concerns about financial independence, the Americans took control of the discussion and turned it on its head in late June. It was time to put flesh on “the consideration” that Britain would provide the United States in return for Lend-Lease. Keynes was caught between the rock of Morgenthau and the hard place of Hull. Morgenthau and the Treasury team were determined to control Britain’s dollar and gold reserves by policing its exports, thereby minimizing the country’s financial independence—the opposite, naturally, of what Keynes was seeking. But to add grievous insult to such injury, Hull’s State Department, which Roosevelt had in May designated to lead the consideration negotiations, had a separate and sometimes conflicting priority: to dismantle Britain’s “imperial preference” trading system.
And the Treasury has so contrived that it has been no object. This success is the greatest obstacle of all to getting the problems of this memorandum taken seriously. Beyond this, it was vital for Britain to wean itself off obligations to the United States as quickly and completely as possible, which would require further great national sacrifice. “[T]he terms and the consequences of losing our financial independence … should deeply concern us…. We must reduce our requirements for American aid to the least possible—say, to $2 to $3 billion … and even be prepared, if the worst befalls, to do without it altogether.” In one sentence, he reveals that, whatever he might have said to the British Parliament and press in order to keep the Joint Statement alive, he understood fully the dangers of the game Britain was playing with its ambitious and much more powerful former colony: “Recent discussion in the United States and evidence given before Congress make it quite clear that there are quarters in the United States intending to use the grant of post-war credits to us as an opportunity for imposing (entirely, of course, for our good) the American conception of the international economic system.”114 This clearly included the abolition of imperial preference, the abolition of exchange controls preventing the use of sterling-area balances to buy American exports, and the enthronement of the dollar atop the international monetary system.
Both sides had to reckon with powerful domestic political forces that were relentlessly hostile to the concessions their team was making, sometimes without authorization. Keynes described the endless parrying to Richard Kahn as “the most harassing and exhausting negotiation you can imagine.” Having persuaded his government so effectively of the need to take every precaution against accepting American terms that would strip Britain of its financial independence, Keynes was now buffeted by a ferocious blowback from London. He had conceded to the Americans on highly sensitive areas ranging from Bretton Woods transitional rights to sterling convertibility to trade preferences to creditor priorities. Exhausted and surely conscious of his personal legacy as a diplomat and a coauthor of Bretton Woods, he was now determined to leave Washington with an agreement—any agreement—in short order.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, knowledge worker, the map is not the territory, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
I will be a self-starting individual who exercises initiative in accomplishing my life's goals. I will act on situations and opportunities, rather than to be acted upon. I will always try to keep myself free from addictive and destructive habits. I will develop habits that free me from old labels and limits and expand my capabilities and choices. My money will be my servant, not my master. I will seek financial independence over time. My wants will be subject to my needs and my means. Except for long-term home and car loans, I will seek to keep myself free from consumer debt. I will spend less than I earn and regularly save or invest part of my income. Moreover, I will use what money and talents I have to make life more enjoyable for others through service and charitable giving. You could call a personal mission statement a personal constitution.
As you plan, you force your mind to recognize high leverage Quadrant II activities, priority goals, and activities to maximize the use of your time and energy, and you organize and execute your activities around your priorities. As you become involved in continuing education, you increase your knowledge base and you increase your options. Your economic security does not lie in your job; it lies in your own power to produce--to think, to learn, to create, to adapt. That's true financial independence. It's not having wealth; it's having the power to produce wealth. It's intrinsic. The Daily Private Victory--a minimum of one hour a day in renewal of the physical, spiritual, and mental dimensions--is the key to the development of the Seven Habits and it's completely within your Circle of Influence. It is the Quadrant II focus time necessary to integrate these habits into your life, to become principle-centered.
All About Asset Allocation, Second Edition by Richard Ferri
asset allocation, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, capital controls, commodity trading advisor, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, diversified portfolio, equity premium, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, implied volatility, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, Mason jar, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, pattern recognition, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sharpe ratio, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve
The world is constantly changing, and no computer simulation can accurately predict the changes that will occur or how these changes will affect a portfolio. 82 CHAPTER 4 In addition, a computer does not know who you are and cannot assess your personality profile so that the allocation it recommends truly fits your needs. It does not know how secure your job is, or how healthy you are, or if you have special family needs. It does not know if your children have become financially independent or if your parents are still financially independent and will remain that way. No computer knows if Social Security is going to be around 25 years from now. A computer model may be mathematically correct based on the very limited facts it is fed, but the answer it produces is not going to work if the allocation does not fit who you are, what your circumstances are, and what you are trying to accomplish. I believe in a more thoughtful, subjective approach to asset allocation.
Creating Unequal Futures?: Rethinking Poverty, Inequality and Disadvantage by Ruth Fincher, Peter Saunders
barriers to entry, ending welfare as we know it, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open economy, pink-collar, positional goods, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
While part of the reduction is likely to be a result of better targeting of the welfare payment to needy Australians, including indigenous Australians, the absolute improvements in indigenous educational attainment identified in Gray et al. (1999) may also play a role. Education policy remains the most likely instrument to enhance the financial independence of indigenous people. For example, Hunter (1997b) points to the low educational status of the indigenous population explaining about half of the employment differential between indigenous and other Australians. Even if improving educational attainment among indigenous people were not crucial in encouraging financial independence, it would remain a vital tool for augmenting what Sen called ‘functioning and capabilities’. That is, ‘mainstream’ education provides many skills that facilitate the capability to utilise resources in contemporary Australian society.
Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey
big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional
It’s about how to handle your existing paycheck in a much more intelligent way that creates savings instead of leading you deeper and deeper into debt. It’s the stuff our grandparents knew but we’ve forgotten or been taught to forget.” NINE STEPS TO FINANCIAL INTEGRITY The book offers a nine-step “new frugality” program by which readers can get their financial feet back on the ground. When all the steps are followed, many higher-income readers find that they can achieve “financial independence” in a decade or so, allowing them to devote their time to work they find more meaningful than their current jobs. But even lower-income readers have found they can cut their expenses sharply. “In fact, the steps will be most useful to low-income people,” Dominguez said, “because they’re the ones who really need to know how to stretch a buck.” Even following a few of the initial steps makes a big difference for many readers, who, on average, cut their spending by about 25 percent.
Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1985. DeWitt, Calvin. Earth-wise. Grand Rapids, Mich.: CRC Publications, 1994. Dickson, Paul. Timelines. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1991. Dlugozima, Hope, James Scott, and David Sharp. Six Months Off. New York: Henry Holt, 1996. Dominguez, Joe, and Vicki Robin. Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence. New York: Viking, 1992. Donovan, Webster. “The Stink about Pork,” George, April 1999: 94. Doyle, Kenneth. The Social Meanings of Money and Property. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1999. Dungan, Nathan. Prodigal Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child’s ATM. New York: Wiley, 2003. Durning, Alan. How Much Is Enough? New York: W. W. Norton, 1992. Durning, Alan, and John C. Ryan.
Revolution 2:0: A Memoir and Call to Action by Wael Ghonim
When he returned, I begged his forgiveness and declared that I would get a dedicated phone line and the bill would be my responsibility. Luckily, my father always tried to treat his children as responsible near-equals. He often told us to be careful what we wished for. This time, after hearing me out, he said, “As you wish.” It was the beginning of my life online, and the beginning of my financial independence, as I started earning a steady income from working in a video gaming store and as a freelance website developer. Working and spending long hours online was a real challenge to my studies. After passing the preparatory year at the engineering school, students were expected to choose a department to enroll in. The number of seats was limited in some departments, making them very competitive.
The website was becoming increasingly influential. Surprisingly, IslamWay led me to my future wife. Despite my young age, I wanted to get married. I had proposed several times to Egyptian girls whom I met online or through my network of family and friends. My proposals were always met with skepticism leading to rejection. Many families thought I was crazy to seek marriage while I was still at school, despite the fact that I was financially independent and making a decent income. Stubborn and independent-minded as ever, however, I was determined to solve my problems my own way. Somehow I settled on a solution: I decided that what I really needed was to marry a non-Egyptian who would convert to Islam. I admired the openness of American culture and the practical way in which Americans faced life’s problems—so not just any Muslim convert, an American Muslim convert.
The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton
Specifically, the coolies came from eight districts of Kwang Tung province whose capital, Canton, was the only port in the country through which foreign trade was permitted. Kwang Tung was China’s window on the West-Hong Kong was only a few miles away – and this situation, together with the extreme poverty and crowded conditions of the coolies (who were hived together, 241 to the square mile), made the prospect of emigration attractive. Each Chinese farmer yearned for financial independence, and all it took to buy financial independence in Kwang Tung (where the average wage was seven cents a day) was three hundred American dollars. It was the ambition of almost every immigrant to save that much money and then return to his homeland after perhaps five years of work on the railroad or in the mining camps, a situation which helps explain the British Columbians’ continuing complaints about money leaving the province.
In January, 1884, the Sentinel reported that “a number of railway Chinamen are in old buildings along Douglas Street (the Chinese quarter of Yale), some of them in very poor circumstances.” The paper reported that when somebody in a store on Front Street threw out some frozen potatoes one “poor old Chinaman” was seen to stand out in the cold picking out those few that were not decayed. “Persons that witnessed the scene thought the sight a pretty hard one.” Not all of the Chinese who came to Canada with the hope of securing financial independence achieved their dream. The sudden completion of the Onderdonk contract made return to Asia impossible for thousands who had not been able to raise the price of passage home or the minor fortune of three hundred dollars that they had expected to amass. Although a Chinese labourer was paid about twenty-five dollars a month on the railway, it was difficult for him to save much more than forty dollars in any one year.
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein
Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail
Fear of receiving, though, isn’t just a matter of low self-worth or feeling undeserving, as some self-help gurus would have us believe: it is also, ultimately, a fear of giving. The two go hand in hand—always! Together, they are a fear of life, of connection; they are a kind of reticence. To give and to receive, to owe and be owed, to depend on others and be depended on—this is being fully alive. To neither give nor receive, but to pay for everything; to never depend on anyone, but to be financially independent; to not be bound to a community or place, but to be mobile … such is the illusory paradise of the discrete and separate self. Corresponding to the spiritual conceit of nonattachment, to the religious delusion of nonworldliness, and to the scientific ambition to master and transcend nature, it is proving to be not a paradise but a hell. As we awaken from our delusions of nonattachment, independence, and transcendence, we seek to reunite with our true, expansive selves.
And because this hunger is present as much in the rich as in the poor, I know it must be for something that money cannot buy. Perhaps there is hope for community after all, even in the midst of a monetized society. Perhaps it lies in those needs that bought things cannot satisfy. Perhaps the very things we need the most are absent from the products of mass production, cannot be quantified or commoditized, and are therefore inherently outside the money realm. The financially independent person is not bereft of community because he meets all of his needs via money—he is bereft of community because he is not meeting his needs except through money. More precisely, he is trying to use money to meet needs that money cannot meet. Money, impersonal and generic, can by itself only meet needs that are the same. It can meet the need for calories, X grams of protein, Y milligrams of vitamin C—anything that can be standardized and quantified.
Stock Market Wizards: Interviews With America's Top Stock Traders by Jack D. Schwager
Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Black-Scholes formula, commodity trading advisor, computer vision, East Village, financial independence, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, passive investing, pattern recognition, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, the scientific method, transaction costs, Y2K
I could teach someone the basic rules, but I couldn't teach another person how to replicate what I do, because so much of that is based on experience and gut feeling, which is different for each person. After you reach a certain level of financial success, what is the motivation to keep on going? The challenge of performance and the tremendous satisfaction I get from knowing that 1 contributed to people's financial security. It's fantastic. I have a lot of clients, some of whom are my own age, who I have been able to lead to total financial independence. How do you handle a losing streak? I trade smaller. By doing that, I know I'm not going to make a lot, but I also know I'm not going to lose a lot. It's like a pit stop. I need to refresh myself. Then when the next big opportunity comes around — and it always does — if I catch it right, it won't make any difference if I've missed some trades in the interim. What advice do you have for novices?
What did you know about managed futures? Nothing, but I did know enough to realize that it was a waste of time to call individuals and that it made a lot more sense to call institutions. Then how did you sell Kodak on the product? I told them, "Here is an investment that has no correlation with the stock market and has been compounding at about 30 percent per year." The Kodak account started me toward financial independence. After the Kodak sale you must have thought: "This is really easy!" I expected the money to pour in. Were you successful at opening other accounts? We tried to open other institutional accounts, but nothing happened. We basically had one account. No other institutions stepped up the plate. So, on your first sales call, you landed a $50 million account, and then you never made another sale again.
The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income
CHINESE PROVERB The argument of this book has many unorthodox implications for achieving financial independence in the Information Age. Among the more important: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Citizenship is obsolete. To optimize your lifetime earnings and become a Sovereign Individual, you will need to become a customer of a government or protection service rather than a citizen. Instead of paying whatever tax burden is imposed upon you by grasping politicians, you must place yourself in a position to negotiate a private tax treaty that obliges you to pay no more for services of government than they are actually worth to you. Of all the nationalities on the globe, U.S. citizenship conveys the greatest liabilities and places the most hindrances in the way of becoming a Sovereign Individual. The American seeking financial independence will therefore obtain other passports as a necessary step toward privatizing or denationalizing himself.
Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
Saving for College, www.savingforcollege.com. Helpful tools to compare Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and 529 plans along with a list of low-cost ESAs. They also have great online calculators to help you plan. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey, published by Thomas Nelson. Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford, published by Penguin. Crafting and Buying Handmade The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule, published by Trumpeter. Etsy.com, www.etsy.com. An online marketplace of thousands of shops selling handmade goods. Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials Into New Family Treasures by Amanda Blake Soule, published by Trumpeter.
Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood
One of these was called “The Miller of Dee,” and in the version I learned, it went like this: There was a jolly miller once Lived on the River Dee; He worked and sang from morn to night, No lark so blithe as he; And this the burden of his song Was ever wont to be — I care for nobody, no, not I, And nobody cares for me. Why, I wonder, did anyone think this sociopathic role model was an appropriate one for us tiny songsters? There are some cleaned-up versions in which the miller cares for nobody if nobody cares for him, and in which he’s made to stand as a model of sturdy English-yeoman financial independence; but I learned the one in which the miller doesn’t give a hoot about anybody else, and this is most likely the original. In her article entitled “Mills and Millers in Old and New World Folksong,” Jessica Banks tells us that millers in folklore are very often rendered as thieves and cheats who steal from the peasants by shortweighing and secretly diverting some of the flour they grind to their own use.
Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy
Like Ryan trading in his diploma for farmland, this realization gave her the courage to step off a safe career path and instead pursue a more compelling existence. But unlike Ryan and Sarah, Jane’s plans faltered. Soon after we met, she revealed that her embrace of control had led her to an extreme decision: dropping out of college. It didn’t take her long to realize that just because you’re committed to a certain lifestyle doesn’t mean you’ll find people who are committed to supporting you. “The current problem is financial independence,” she told me. “After quitting college, I started various businesses, and launched freelance and blog projects, but lost motivation to continue before substantial results came.” One of these experiments, a blog that she hoped to become the foundation of her empire of recurrent revenue generation, featured only three posts in nine months. Jane had discovered a hard truth of the real world: It’s really hard to convince people to give you money.
Airbnb, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs
If you’re starting a business while still working for someone else, this feeling will be a happy replacement for worrying about office politics and your boss’s expectations. If you’re starting your first business young, then the prospect of going to work for someone else starts to feel like taking a big step backwards the more progress you make on your own venture. Ultimately, Lifestyle Entrepreneurship is about integrating your interests and exploring your passions in the context of making money, and nothing is more rewarding than becoming financially independent by virtue of your own efforts while adding value to other’s lives in the process. This is the empowering aspect of being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur: By being in control of your life & making money you begin to recontextualize experiences, relationships and the details of daily life through the filter of “how can this help my business?” THE VISION-MAP FRAMEWORK Vision, Mission, Actions, Product Learn to Become a Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneur …Even in Tough Times It All Starts With a… VISION “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours
Victorian Internet by Tom Standage
Anxious to prevent anyone else from exploiting such inventions, Lefferts decided to offer Edison a cash payment for the patent rights. He offered $40,000, a figure that was so much more than Edison had expected that he almost fainted. (Edison's inexperience with large sums of money was highlighted when he cashed the check and was presented with the entire amount in small bills by a mischievous bank clerk.) In a very short time, Edison had gone from poverty to financial independence. He rented a large workshop and was soon employing fifty men to build stock tickers and other equipment. Such was his obsession with quality that on one occasion Edison locked his workforce in the workshop until they had finished building a large order of stock tickers, with "all the bugs taken out." His improved stock tickers were soon being used in major cities all over the United States, and on the London Stock Exchange.
3D printing, call centre, clean water, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War
(Alternatively, on another occasion when you are in a more magnanimous mood, you could be reassured that you are getting a good deal because you are part of the same extended family.) Only when a monetized market had developed where there were clear prices for everything could all of this resentment be avoided and purely personal ties emerge. For example, some optimists might argue that with the economic necessity of marriage declining—thanks to the increasing financial independence of women—conjugal relations can now flourish as a purely private choice relationship, based on shared interests, passions, and affinities. That’s all well and nice, except that by now we have come full circle: The formerly private sphere has become so commoditized by the ever-expanding marketplace that literally everything has a price. We know the value of watching our kids, and our ailing parents, since many of us hire other folks to do it for us.
The Six-Figure Second Income by Lindahl, David; Rozek, Jonathan
I hope that I’ve swept away dozens of myths and misconceptions about making money online. You don’t need more knowledge. You now have the what and the why, the who and the how, in order to make it all happen. You only need to add the one spark that ignites the whole thing. It’s the when. You need to start implementing now! The “I” Factor is Implementation. It’s taking action to make your dream of financial independence a reality. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Edison wrote that in an age when it was necessary to work in factories and make products out of iron. You live in an age when you can make products out of thin air with nothing more than your willingness to take action on the straightforward steps I have laid out for you.
Ethics in Investment Banking by John N. Reynolds, Edmund Newell
accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, discounted cash flows, financial independence, index fund, invisible hand, margin call, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, quantitative easing, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail
I succeeded in the City precisely because I had no such ethical reservations restricting my hideous ambition.”8 The position of Stephen Green, the widely respected Introduction: Learning from Failure 9 former Chairman of HSBC, who had previously run HSBC’s investment bank (and who subsequently became the UK Government trade minister), would appear to contradict this statement – Mr Green is also an ordained minister in the Church of England. Ken Costa, who was Vice Chairman of UBS Investment Bank and subsequently Chairman of Lazard International is also Chairman of Alpha International, an evangelical Christian organisation. The incentives, both financial and ethical, for senior level investment bankers can be different from those at more junior levels: senior level bankers may have more financial independence, providing a cushion against decisions that would adversely affect their remuneration; however, at the same time they may stand to be better rewarded from a profitable but unethical decision. In a capital markets business it is often the mid-level and less well-off bankers who are driven to produce the revenue. Interestingly, it is often the converse in an advisory business, where the senior bankers have almost exclusive contact with clients and must wrestle with any ethical issues relating to decisions on whether and how to execute transactions.
Freedom Without Borders by Hoyt L. Barber
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, diversification, El Camino Real, estate planning, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, high net worth, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive income, quantitative easing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, too big to fail
Once you’ve determined the true direction of the economy or economies you are working within, then you have a foundation for making intelligent investment choices. Recognizing the long-term economic and financial trends is paramount to successful sovereign investing, as is engaging in geopolitical investment diversification to lessen investment risk. Your investment program should be limited to your own personal, private monetary policy, a framework that you have developed to better ensure your personal sovereignty and to create financial independence from government. This “policy” is discussed later in this chapter. As such, the logistics of international diversification are the consolidation of yourself through your legal and offshore structuring. This protects you from personal and financial attacks from predators, a rapidly changing economy, and an out-of-control government and increases your chances for success and even survival in bad times.
Airbnb, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs
In the end, based on a lot of analysis and soul-searching, I determined that the current local maxima was higher than we could expect to achieve in the next three to five years and I sold the company to Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion. I think and hope that was the right decision. THE EMOTIONAL The funny thing about the emotional part of the decision is that it’s so schizophrenic. How can you ever sell your company after you’ve personally recruited every employee and sold them on your spectacular vision of a thriving, stand-alone business? How can you ever sell out your dream? How can you walk away from total financial independence for yourself and every member of your close and distant family? Aren’t you in business to make money? How much money does one person need? How can you reconcile Dr. Stay-the-Course and Mr. Sell-the-Thing? Clearly they are irreconcilable, but the key is to mute them both. A few keys on muting the emotions: Get paid (a salary). Most venture capitalists like entrepreneurs that are “all in,” meaning the entrepreneur has everything invested in the company and will have very little to show for her efforts if it does not succeed.
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, paradox of thrift, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies
On March 9, 1776, the London printers William Strahan and Thomas Cadell released a 1,000-page, two-volume work entitled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. It was a fat book with a long title destined to have gargantuan global impact. The author was Dr. Adam Smith, a quiet, absent-minded professor who taught "moral philosophy" at the University of Glasgow. The Wealth of Nations was the intellectual shot heard around the world. Adam Smith, a leader in the Scottish Enlightenment, had put on paper a universal formula for prosperity and financial independence that would, over the course of the next century, revolutionize the way citizens and leaders thought about and practiced economics and trade. Its publication promised a new world—a world of abundant wealth, riches beyond the mere accumulation of gold and silver. Smith promised that new world to everyone—not just the rich and the rulers, but the common man, too. The Wealth of Nations offered a formula for emancipating Figure 1.1 The Rise in Real per Capita Income, United Kingdom, 1100-1995 Income of England (1100-1995) Courtesy of Larry Wimmer, Brigham Young University.
The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo
Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Paul Graham, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks
SELF-ESTEEM AND THE CRIPPLING POWER OF SHAME Most of the Extreme Narcissists described so far crave the spotlight and often accomplish a great deal in order to demonstrate that they are winners. Others retreat into a fantasy world instead—like my client Nicole, who viewed herself as a secret musical genius but lacked basic skills; or like Shiloh, who had shown such promise as a child but never achieved full financial independence from his parents. In flight from shame, Ian became a kind of hero to his many online fans while stagnating in his personal life; a grandiose self-image as the next Steve Jobs rescued him from shame but often blocked him from making step-by-step progress toward a realistic goal. Ian’s MMORPG alter ego represented a kind of idealized false self that helped him evade the shame-ridden, damaged self at his core.
Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle by Silvia Federici
Community Supported Agriculture, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, global village, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, labor-force participation, land tenure, means of production, microcredit, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Occupy movement, planetary scale, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, the market place, trade liberalization, UNCLOS, wages for housework, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey
Nothing, in fact, has been so powerful in institutionalizing our work, the family, and our dependence on men, as the fact that not a wage but “love” has always paid for this work. But for us, as for waged workers, the wage is not the price of a productivity deal. In return for a wage we will not work as much or more than before, we will work less. We want a wage to be able to dispose of our time and our energies, to make a struggle, and not be confined by a second job because of our need for financial independence. OUR STRUGGLE FOR THE WAGE OPENS FOR THE WAGED AND THE UNWAGED ALIKE THE QUESTION OF THE REAL LENGTH OF THE WORKING DAY. UP TO NOW THE WORKING CLASS, MALE AND FEMALE, HAD ITS WORKING DAY DEFINED BY CAPITAL—FROM PUNCHING IN TO PUNCHING OUT. THAT DEFINED THE TIME WE BELONGED TO CAPITAL AND THE TIME WE BELONGED TO OURSELVES. BUT WE HAVE NEVER BELONGED TO OURSELVES, WE HAVE ALWAYS BELONGED TO CAPITAL EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES AND IT IS TIME THAT WE MAKE CAPITAL PAY FOR EVERY MOMENT OF IT.
Swimming With Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers by Joris Luyendijk
bank run, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Emanuel Derman, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, inventory management, job-hopping, London Whale, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, too big to fail
That’s right, you need to keep selling these products, year in year out. This was one factor driving innovation and the development of ever more complex products.’ Given these incentives, your attitude towards your clients can change, too. ‘You don’t need to maintain a relationship over many years. Sell a client one product and bang, you’re there.’ He knew of colleagues who had become financially independent very quickly on the back of this reward system. ‘First they did a few huge deals, next they let another bank recruit them for a huge guaranteed bonus. The thinking at the new bank was: if this guy can make £15 million in a year we can pay him a few million.’ Meanwhile the clients his trading floor catered to were ‘professional investors’, meaning caveat emptor applied. Many were able to understand what they were buying, he said, but not everyone.
Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming
As the crew set up some lights, and Mum and Elizabeth conferred about what she was going to say and show me, I began to scour the walls and shelves of her lounge for all the pictures of my family. There we were, Tom and me as kids, in our swimming trunks in the garden at Panmure, on a jetty after a boat trip. Then later, college, weddings, holidays. My father was nowhere to be seen of course. My mother left him when I was twenty and away at drama school in Glasgow. She had worked hard to be financially independent of him, and then, just when I thought they had reached an amiable situation of leading entirely separate lives under the same roof, she called me up and announced she would be living at a different address from then on. For so many years I had longed for my parents to separate, but when I heard the news I was sideswiped, stunned and strangely upset. It was as though all the pent-up sadness of watching two people in such an unhappy union came flooding out of me.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans
David Brooks, fear of failure, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, market design, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs
But once you’ve figured out how you define “health,” you need to pay attention to it. How healthy you are will factor significantly into how you assess the quality of your life when answering that “How’s it going?” question. Work. By “work” we mean your participation in the great ongoing human adventure on the planet. You may or may not be getting paid for it, but this is the stuff you “do.” Assuming you’re not financially independent, you usually are getting paid for at least a portion of your “work.” Don’t for a minute reduce work only to that which you get paid for. Most people have more than one form of work at a time. Play. Play is all about joy. If you observe children at play (we’re talking more about finger painting with mud than about championship soccer here), you will see the type of play we are talking about.
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia
It is unlikely that he was any different when he was a young man. After Felix had taken his degree, he left home and moved two hundred miles away to Rugby, which was rapidly changing from one of the East Midlands’ sleepy market towns into a booming centre of the new electrical technology. Felix took a three-year student apprenticeship at the British Thomson-Houston Company, on a starting wage of a pound a week, giving him a measure of financial independence. Meanwhile, his penniless brother continued to study engineering – while moonlighting in physics – at the Merchant Venturers’ College. As he had already chomped his way through the mathematics part of the course, he seemed destined to spend the remaining two years of his engineering degree fumbling his way through his laboratory exercises and listening to his lecturers drone their way through the syllabus.
Dirac described his adventures in a letter to Tamm but did not mention that, during his time with Kapitza, he experienced an incident that was, in some way, his sexual awakening.27 Forty-five years later, he remembered that he first saw a naked young woman in the Caucasus: ‘[she was] a child, an adolescent. I was taken to a girls’ swimming pool, and they bathed without swimming suits. I thought they looked nice.’ He was twenty-six years old. Dirac was in no hurry to return to Bristol: the journey took him almost a month.28 The disparity between the excitement of his work and the dreariness of his home life had never been so stark. He was lionised by many of his colleagues, he was financially independent, and he was benefiting from international travel at a time when it was a luxury. Charles, Flo and Betty, on the other hand, were locked in their routine and left their hometown only rarely. Betty was happy to do nothing at all when she was not looking after her new dog; Charles was overworked and run down; Flo was trying to make the most of every opportunity to leave the house. At her elocution classes, she wrote and practised giving speeches, including one opposing the notion that there might one day be a woman prime minister.
Hedge Fund Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager
asset-backed security, backtesting, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, financial independence, fixed income, Flash crash, hindsight bias, implied volatility, index fund, James Dyson, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, oil shock, pattern recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, systematic trading, technology bubble, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve
I leafed through it and found two local companies I recognized—Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel and McCrory, which was a five and dime chain store—so I bought them. Both companies eventually went bankrupt. I made a little money on Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel, but I held McCrory into bankruptcy. My father was a product of the Depression, and he was scared to death of being poor again. Somehow—I don’t know how he did it—he transferred that insecurity to me. From a very early age, I knew I wanted to be financially independent. That was very important to me. I remember when I was a freshman in college, I put together a 30-year financial plan outlining how I could save and invest my money. I calculated that by saving two-thirds of my income and earning 10 percent a year on my investments, I could be a millionaire by the time I was 53. The reason I picked chemical engineering was that I was good at math and chemistry, and engineering paid well.
How did you go from a career as a chemical engineer and the manager of European operations for a chemical company to being a portfolio manager? If you had asked me a year before I left Rohm & Haas whether I would ever leave, I would have told you that I was there for the duration. My aspiration was to be CEO of Rohm & Haas. The reason I had been investing in the stock market up to that point was that I liked risk taking, and I wanted to be financially independent. I knew I couldn’t reach my financial goals on my salary. I was cruising along on a pretty good path; my investments were working for me, and I was making more money on them than in my job. My net worth reached $1.6 million. I thought, 3 percent of $1.6 million is $48,000; I could live on that. Once I had that realization, all of a sudden, the economic necessity to keep on working went away.
Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
“If Jim or the Muppets wanted to go only after money,” said Oz, “we could have truly cleaned up. I can’t tell you how many cookie manufacturers wanted Cookie Monster to pitch their product.” But Brillstein was persistent. “Here’s what you have to do,” he told Jim. “First of all, you have to do it for the fans, for the kids. Second of all, you’ll have complete control of it, and you control the quality. Third of all, if it works like I think it’s gonna work, you will be financially independent and you can use the money for your own independence and creativity and no one will ever tell you what to do again.” With Brillstein’s enthusiastic advice still ringing in his ears, Jim met with Joan Cooney to discuss the possibilities of merchandising Sesame Street. Jim brought with him Jay Emmett, head of the Licensing Corporation of America, which had managed marketing for organizations like the National Football League and handled the merchandising of Superman and Batman for National Publications.
“Bernie, I don’t like what they’re doing with it,” he said—and the two of them went back and forth for several minutes, their voices growing louder and louder, their sentences more clipped. “And then,” recalled Brillstein, smiling at the memory years later, “he hits me with it, the son of a bitch—and I love him.” Quietly, Jim reminded Brillstein of their conversation from fifteen years earlier, when Brillstein had urged Jim to license his Muppet characters for merchandising. If it works like I think it’s gonna work, Brillstein had said then, you will be financially independent and you can use the money for your own independence. He was buying his independence and creative freedom. “You told me I could do this,” said Jim calmly. “What do you say?” recalled Brillstein. “He nailed me.” Jim was determined, but Brillstein was still nervous about the deal. As far as he was concerned, it was just Jim’s whim of steel again, and Brillstein spoke at length with both Al Gottesman and David Lazer, still in retirement on Long Island, to see if there was any way to talk Jim out of it.
Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann
Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave
In Mesopotamia during the Old Babylonian period, considerable evidence suggests that people were using investments and financial contracts—and even the legal definitions of the family—to finance their retirement. Assyriologist Anne Goddeeris has made a comprehensive study of the economic contracts from the major cities in northern Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period from 2000 to 1800 BCE. She traced the business activities of a number of women in the Old Babylonian city of Sippar who were financially independent even while being members of a religious cult that regulated their ability to marry and have children—much like Catholic nuns of a later era. These Nadiatum women, as they were called, began their careers earlier than their brothers, who typically worked in the family business before acting as separate economic agents upon inheritance.3 Nadiatum women owned land and profited from leasing it.
They had to allow mutual verification and prevent both debtor and creditor from substituting a different contract ex post. The way this worked is due to the peculiar nature of bamboo. A text could be written on the smooth outer surface of a large piece of bamboo, and then this was split in two, parallel to the grain. The two parts were then able to be uniquely matched against each other when the loan was either paid or disputed. Clay or bamboo—enterprising financiers independently developed a verification technology for financial contracting that derived from the natural resources at hand. Bamboo is more perishable than clay, so the myriad financial documents from ancient China have disappeared. Most of the bamboo slips that have been discovered intact are from ancient tombs that were waterlogged, allowing perishable items to survive. Unfortunately for the financial historian, ancient Chinese moneylenders chose to be buried more often with classical literary texts as opposed to their loan records.
Back in my room, I learned to sleep on the edge of the waterbed, hanging an arm and leg over the side railing to anchor myself. I still bobbed up and down anytime I moved, but remained anchored enough to not get seasick. One afternoon, I picked up my paycheck, took it to the bank it was drawn from and cashed it. Then, on my way to work, the notion struck. Why return to Lawrence Welk’s? Now financially independent, I had the opportunity to leave that gig and find an even better one at any of the other dozens of dinner theaters in town. But which one would be better than Welk’s? The Osmonds’? The Oak Ridge Boys’? Dolly Parton’s? Whose dishpit topped them all? In a town packed with cheesy acts, I figured my best bet was to head straight to the cheesiest of them all: Wayne Newton’s. It was still early afternoon when I pulled into Newton’s nearly empty parking lot.
Britain Etc by Mark Easton
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, social software
Battered, bruised and broke, Britain surveyed the rubble-strewn post-war landscape and worried. There was particular concern that the damage had exposed national identity to contamination from foreign, particularly American, influence. Along with exotic clothes and loud music, a new word had crossed the Atlantic – teenager. It was a term that reawakened Establishment fears of the juvenile threat but, with the economy expanding, also inspired the development of a new financially independent subculture: simultaneously exciting and terrifying. Over the next four decades, Teddy Boys, Bikers, Mods, Rockers, Hippies, Punks, Ravers and Grungers put two pubescent fingers up at authority in their own fashion and took delight in watching the staid grown-ups flinch and frown. Young people could cock a snook at their elders, confident that their consumer spending power gave them licence.
Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
Benjamin Mako Hill, crowdsourcing, Debian, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust
That movement, the free software movement, seemed to describe his personal experiences with technology in a sophisticated yet accessible language. It said that sharing was good for the community, and that access to source code is not only handy but also the basis by which technology grows and improves. Eventually, he understood himself to be connected to a translocal community of hackers and grew increasingly peeved at their stereotyped representation in the media. As he grew older and more financially independent (thanks to lucrative information technology jobs as a programmer or system administrator that gave him the financial freedom, the “free time,” to code for volunteer projects, or alternatively paid him explicitly to work on free software), he consistently interacted with other geeks at work, over IRC, on a dozen (or more) mailing lists, on free software projects, and less occasionally, at exhausting and superintense hacker conferences that left him feeling simultaneously elated and depressed (because they invariably have to come to an end).
Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens
4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law
This banal explanation fits the observable facts in most cases. It is a key insight, that terror attacks are relatively cheap, and require no massive, expensive conspiracy. Clearly some events take more planning than others. However, usually all it takes is to send a shipment of weapons and explosives to a danger zone, train a few dozen off-the-radar paramilitaries, and then keep funding going for long enough for those cells to become financially independent from the drug business. One last point here. People will say, "a government would never murder its own citizens." Though it is a hopeful point of view, it is naive and flatly wrong. People in power consider themselves above natural laws. Mass death is perfectly acceptable when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, pollution, and poor health. Surely national security ranks higher than business.
Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson
Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning
After the war Maria, who presumes her husband to have been killed, must make her own way in the world, and she ruthlessly employs her erotic capital to this purpose, sleeping with anyone necessary to ensure her survival. In the process she rises from the position of a Trümmerfrau – a rubble woman, as the women who scavenged in the ruins of post-war Germany were called – to a secretary and later an executive in a successful West German corporation. Eventually she is wealthy enough to purchase that ultimate symbol of financial independence and bourgeois success, her own home. It is exactly now that she realises that her home is a prison, her apparent rise a hellish descent. In an ambiguous final scene she accidentally blows up her house, herself and her husband by lighting a cigarette after leaving the gas on. The film ends as it begins, with an explosion and a pile of rubble, Maria once more a Trümmerfrau. But is her death really an accident?
The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg
affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh
It was the first time anyone in my life had said, ‘You can do something with your life, no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from.’ I bought what he was selling, I went out the door, and I believed it, and I started consuming any and all motivational material I could get my hands on. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. For all the guys I know that have started with nothing, that book has probably led to more people becoming financially independent than any other book. “I became a committed self-studier in motivation and success for the rest of my life. Books, seminars, workshops. In my parents’ view, life was basically a burden and challenge, to be survived at best. The stuff I was studying now knocked me out of that mentality. As a mature adult, I now see that much of this thinking, which is powerful and practical, is actually incomplete.”
The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook
“I realized the girls I was with weren’t very nice people,” Ek goes on, “that they were just using me, and that my friends weren’t real friends. They were people who were there for the good times, but if it ever turned ugly they’d leave me in a heartbeat. I had always wanted to belong and I had been thinking that this was going to get solved when I had money, and instead I had no idea how I wanted to live my life. And no one teaches you what to do after you achieve financial independence. So I had to confront that.” Ek describes himself as “missionary,” by which he means he likes to formulate five-year missions for himself. “That’s how I think about life,” he says. “Five years is long enough for me to achieve something meaningful but short enough so I can change my mind every few years. I’m on my second five-year commitment on Spotify. In two years, I will have to make my next one.
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
affirmative action, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, edge city, facts on the ground, financial independence, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, young professional
It may be happening slowly and unevenly, but it’s unmistakably happening: In the long view, the modern economy is becoming a place where women are making the rules and men are playing catch-up. The girls come to pharmacy school for the same reason girls went to clerical schools in the 1920s and 1930s: They want a respectable profession where they won’t get their hands dirty. (“I love science, but I faint at the sight of blood,” one of Hannah’s classmates told me.) They want some financial independence and a better life than their mothers had. At the University of Wisconsin, 35 percent of the students are the first ones to graduate college in their families. But unlike the dewy secretaries, they are not immediately disappointed upon graduation. Una Golden, the heroine of Sinclair Lewis’s The Job, the first in his trilogy about the new woman and office life, is delighted by secretary school but at the office finds only “loveless routine,” and young men who are “very slangy and pipe smelly” and press her to do endless tedious tasks.
Social Class in the 21st Century by Mike Savage
call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clapham omnibus, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, precariat, psychological pricing, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, very high income, winner-take-all economy, young professional
For Gita, this decision was intimately connected to ideas of feminist emancipation that had been introduced to her at university and had been informed by advice she had received from white, female middle class colleagues at the time. However, the divorce had caused an irrevocable rift with her parents and the local Indian community. For Gita, the divorce was the source of a multitude of difficult emotions. At once a proud signal of her feminist identity and financial independence, it was also the root of a strong sense of shame – an emotion from which, she noted, it was almost impossible to escape. ‘Because my family is linked very much to the Indian community, even if I don’t want to be, I’m pushed back … y’know, somebody knows someone and so on …’ For Gita, the result of such social suffering was a profoundly conflicted sense of self, oscillating between the loyalties of family and the opportunities of mobility: I’ve always thought I’ve never really belonged, but then I always thought it was just me, y’know?
Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jörgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows
agricultural Revolution, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, financial independence, game design, income per capita, informal economy, means of production, new economy, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review
Erling Moxness, "Not Only the Tragedy of the Commons: Misperceptions of Feedback and Policies for Sustainable Development," System Dynamics Review 16, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 325-348. Chapter 7. Transitions to a Sustainable System 1. See Duane Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity, revised edition (New York: Quill, 1998), as well as Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (New York: Penguin USA, 1999). 2. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). 3. Herman Daly is one of the few people who have begun to think through what kinds of economic institutions might work to maintain a desirable sustainable state. He comes up with a thought-provoking mixture of market and regulatory devices. See, for example, Herman Daly, "Institutions for a Steady-State Economy," in Steady State Economics (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1991). 4.
You don't need crisp deadlines, and you don't need detailed step-by-step plans. You simply need a burning desire to take action. Only goals that align with your truest, deepest desires can s u m m o n that kind of power. You'll learn a lot about yourself w h e n you discover the kinds of goals that really drive y o u . It took me years to learn that material goals always de-motivate m e . I simply don't care enough about money, possessions, or financial independence to lift a finger toward such goals. If necessary, I'll retire on a park bench with a "Will blog for f o o d " sign. W h a t really gets my juices flowing is helping people grow. I gush with joy w h e n I see people experience breakthrough " A h a ! " moments that help them move forward in life. That seems to be my best fuel for action. W h e n I set goals centered on making a positive difference in people's lives, I feel e m p o w e r e d and driven to get moving.
banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, central bank independence, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute cuisine, IBM and the Holocaust, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, special drawing rights, V2 rocket
It is prohibited from taking advice from Eurozone governments.13 The European Parliament has no meaningful authority over the ECB. “The ECB enjoys an extraordinary amount of independence,” wrote Professor Anne Sibert, an expert on bank governance, in a 2009 paper. “It has an unusual amount of target independence; its degree of operational independence is probably unprecedented; it is almost completely financially independent; it is nearly functionally independent,” meaning that the ECB has control over most instruments of monetary policy and the freedom to use them as it sees fit.14 The ECB does issue a press release after the monetary policy meetings of the Governing Council, detailing any changes in bank rates and the ECB’s president holds a press conference. The bank also publishes a monthly bulletin. But this is the bare minimum of reporting requirements – and a long way from proper accountability.
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott
3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, women in the workforce, young professional
He becomes registered as a global project manager and seeks certification in a couple of related skills. Jimmy in 2036: By the age of 65, the thought of retirement has not crossed Jimmy’s and Jenny’s minds. Jimmy left the Indian IT company two years earlier and now works as a certified project manager. The ten years of investment in building contacts within the three global communities he identified previously are paying off and his skills are now in demand. By now his children are financially independent, and he has begun to specialize in running large-scale IT projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Jenny is continuing to work in her job and is happy to build a more independent life when Jimmy is away. Jimmy is living the portfolio life he wanted: with valuable skills he is able to find interesting work, and even in his late 70s he is still in demand. With regard to the finances of the 4.0 scenario, if Jimmy works until the age of 77 and his portfolio salary amounts to the same as his earnings in his final job, then he only needs a constant savings rate of about 8.5 per cent.
The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey
3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve
At its heart is this belief: Nature is beneficent, stable, and even a source of moral good; humanity is arrogant, heedless, and often the source of moral evil. Rachel Carson, more than any other person, is responsible for the politicization of science that afflicts our public policy debates today. Carson worked for years at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, eventually becoming the chief editor of that agency’s publications. She achieved financial independence in the 1950s with the publication of her popular celebrations of marine ecosystems, The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea. Rereading Silent Spring reminds one that the book’s effectiveness was due mainly to Carson’s passionate, poetic language describing the alleged horrors that modern synthetic chemicals visit upon defenseless nature and hapless humanity. Carson was moved to write Silent Spring by her increasing concern about the effects of pesticides on wildlife.
What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter
He was a success junkie, the kind of guy who had triumphed at each successive rung of the achievement ladder. He liked to win whether it was at work, at touch football, in a poker game, or in an argument with a stranger. He could charm a customer, turn everyone around to his position in a meeting, and get his bosses to want to help him advance through the organization. He had “high potential” stamped on his forehead since the day he entered the company. He was also financially independent—rich enough that he didn’t have to work, he wanted to. All of these ingredients—the talent, charm, and brains, the unbroken track record of success, the screw-you money in the bank that let him think he could flip off the world—made this fellow a potent mix of stubbornness and pride and defensiveness. How could I help someone like this change, someone whose entire life—from his paycheck to his title to the hundreds of direct reports who did his daily bidding—was an affirmation that he was doing everything right?
The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler
A Pattern Language, blue-collar work, California gold rush, car-free, City Beautiful movement, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, indoor plumbing, jitney, land tenure, means of production, megastructure, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shock, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Works Progress Administration
An "authority" was a hoary old device out of British law that Moses had discovered as a public administration student at Oxford. To raise funds an authority could issue bonds, just like a government or a widget company. Once a project like the Triborough Bridge was com pleted, the tolls it produced went solely into the authority's coffers, like corporate profits, making Moses's power base financially independent of the city and the state. And once Moses flim-flamed the state legislature into voting for the Bridge and Tunnel Authority, he was untouchable. He had personally crafted a quasigovernmental body that operated like a private corporation and didn't have to answer to any government. He wrote clauses in its charter exempting his decisions from higher review. Because Moses hadn't been voted into office, the voters couldn't remove him.
The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi
business climate, Columbine, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, labor-force participation, late fees, McMansion, mortgage debt, new economy, New Journalism, payday loans, school choice, school vouchers, telemarketer, urban sprawl, women in the workforce
In fact, if fewer families were pushed out of their homes by creditors intent on raking in profits through loan-to-own scams and predatory practices, the overall number of homeowners in America might be higher. What about the “democratization of credit” for which activists fought so hard? If interest rates are regulated once again, will credit become undemocratic, available only to those with realistic prospects for repayment? To answer this, it is time to step back a moment. The original intent of the credit democratization movement was for credit to help more families become financially independent. Credit was not supposed to be an end in itself. But it seems that the original intent has been forgotten. Consider, for example, the motto of one prominent advocacy group: “Access to credit and capital is a basic civil right.”81 Is it a civil right to pay interest on a credit card balance for the rest of a person’s natural life? A family that finances its home with a subprime mortgage can end up paying twice as much for that home as a family that gets the market rate.
Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, financial independence, financial innovation, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, mortgage tax deduction, nuclear winter, Ponzi scheme, The Predators' Ball, yield curve
By the mid-eighties, however, all things black, yellow, and female have disappeared from the photographs. There isn't a trace of anything but white men in the annual reports. The mortgage department became a white brotherhood apart. The tacit agreement was that Lewie would do everything he cou!4 to get his traders paid and his traders would be loyal to Lewie. Their covenant was weaker than Ranieri's. The traders had come from business school rather than the mailroom. Many of them were financially independent. It was hard for Ranieri to do favors. Ranieri liked to be surrounded by people he could do things for. He liked people, but he especially liked the concept of "his people." He would have thriven on a steady stream of traders with medical bills they couldn't meet. When Bill Esposito fell short nineteen thousand dollars on a house he wanted to buy, Ranieri had Salomon make up the difference.
The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio by William J. Bernstein
asset allocation, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buy low sell high, carried interest, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edmond Halley, equity premium, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, index fund, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market bubble, mental accounting, mortgage debt, new economy, pattern recognition, quantitative easing, railway mania, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve
For the first time in history, a familiarity with the behavior of the financial markets has become a prerequisite for competent citizenship, apart from its obvious pecuniary value. Using the Four Pillars In the book’s last section, we’ll show how mastery of the Four Pillars can result in a coherent strategy that will enable you to accomplish investing’s primary aims: achieving and maintaining financial independence and sleeping well at night. The essential mechanics of operating an efficient investment portfolio will be covered: • Calculating how much you’ll need to save and when you can retire. • Allocating your assets among various classes of stocks and bonds. • Choosing which mutual funds and securities to employ. • Getting off dead center and building your portfolio. • Maintaining and adjusting your portfolio over the long haul.
Women Leaders at Work: Untold Tales of Women Achieving Their Ambitions by Elizabeth Ghaffari
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, business process, cloud computing, Columbine, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, follow your passion, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, high net worth, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, performance metric, pink-collar, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trickle-down economics, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional
Elizabeth Ghaffari: Where were you born and raised? What was your family like? Julia Gouw: I was born in 1959 in Surabaya, which is the second-largest city in Indonesia—the coastal port from which the Venture expedition set sail in the movie King Kong.1 I have an older sister, then there’s me, my brother, and my younger sister. My dad had a big influence on me because he always encouraged me to have a career and be financially independent. He never wanted me to be dependent on a husband to support me. He was a pessimist who told me, “I cannot take care of you. I cannot leave you an inheritance, but the one thing I can do is to pay for your education.” I requested to be sent to college in the United States. He agreed saying, “If you have a college degree, then you can take care of yourself.” That was an encouragement. None of my mom’s generation had any career outside home.
Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce
Berlin Wall, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War
She, Susan Weinberg, and Peter Osnos remained patient and encouraging as I struggled to find the book within the material I was collecting. A thousand thanks to my children, Mary, Michael, and Jacob, for their patience and love. All of them are insanely great. And finally, there are no words capable of expressing my affection and appreciation to my wife, Lorin—my first reader, my first editor, and my one, true love. INTRODUCTION The Persistent Delusion Americans love independence. Whether it’s financial independence, political independence, the Declaration of Independence, or grilling hotdogs on Independence Day, America’s self-image is inextricably bound to the concepts of freedom and autonomy. The promises laid out by the Declaration— life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—are the shared faith and birthright of all Americans. Alas, the Founding Fathers didn’t write much about gasoline. Nevertheless, over the past 30 years or so—and particularly over the past 3 or 4 years—American politicians have been talking as though Thomas Jefferson himself warned about the dangers of imported crude oil.
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional
There used to be four life phases—childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Now there are at least six—childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement, and old age. Odyssey is the decade of wandering that occurs between adolescence and adulthood. Adulthood can be defined by four accomplishments: moving away from home, getting married, starting a family, and becoming financially independent. In 1960, 70 percent of American thirty-year olds had accomplished these things. By 2000, fewer than 40 percent had done the same. In Western Europe, which has been leading this trend, the numbers are even lower. The existence of this new stage can be seen in a range of numbers, which have been gathered by scholars such as Jeffrey Jensen Arnett in his book Emerging Adulthood, Robert Wuthnow in his book After the Baby Boomers, Joseph and Claudia Allen in their book Escaping Endless Adolescence, and by William Galston of the Brookings Institution.
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
Yet overnight the Chinese had moved into an unfamiliar world of abundance, where junk food was like a virus against which they had not yet developed immunity. Anyone could see what would help them—quit smoking, exercise, eat less fat—but Wanmei’s prescription was more appealing, a miracle cure in scientific packaging. And it could make you rich. “In three years, I’ll achieve my goal of financial independence and freedom,” Chunming said. “By 2008, at the minimum, I’ll have an income of one hundred thousand to two hundred thousand yuan a month. By then I’ll have my own car, and freedom in how I spend my time. I’ll be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.” Finally I ventured to ask her: “Why did you choose direct sales instead of English?” She nodded. This was a new habit: Whenever I asked a question she would nod, because now she had all the answers.
conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rolodex, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional
The next moment, he said, “I want to teach English as a religion. I have a plan for my career: five years, ten years.” After a moment, his confidence wavered. “Chinese people are so dirty,” he said. “At least forty percent of them.” The truth was that Michael didn’t have much time to ruminate. He felt the ticking of the clock. He was twenty-eight years old. “In China, when you’re thirty, you have to be financially independent,” he said. That was an imposing deadline. He thought about it for a second, and then he brightened. “Maybe next year you’ll go into a bookstore and see my books on the shelf,” he said. “Can you believe it?” Yes, I said. Somehow I could. It was a weekend, and for once we lingered at the lunch table. The crowd thinned out. Michael brought up the subject of his father’s experience in the coal mines.
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
His blue eyes had a deceptively vacant look; he was often lost in thought, his face on autopilot as his mind puzzled through data or research material for his current book. The only people Ryan needed to impress were those who knew him; he cared little for the rest. He had no ambition to celebrity. His life, he judged, was already as complicated as it needed to be—quite a bit more complicated than most would guess. It included a wife he loved and two children he doted on, a job that tested his intellect, and sufficient financial independence to choose his own path. The path Jack Ryan had chosen was in the CIA. The agency's official motto was, The truth shall make you free. The trick, he told himself at least once a day, was finding that truth, and while he doubted that he would ever reach this sublime state of grace, he took quiet pride in his ability to pick at it, one small fragment at a time. The office of the deputy director for intelligence occupied a whole corner of the top floor, overlooking the tree-covered Potomac Valley.
A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins
airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate personhood, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial independence, full employment, global village, high net worth, land reform, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War
The IMF/World Bank proposals for a much larger gold sale were scuttled by lobbyists from the World Gold Council (twenty-three global gold mining companies, including Newmont Mining, AngloGold, and Barrick Gold Corporation).43 So it turned out that the BWIs had to fund debt relief on a “pay as you go” basis through bond sales and periodic pledges from their First World members. The larger the amount of debt relief, the smaller the World Bank’s loan portfolio, and the more it feared that its own bond rating and financial independence might be jeopardized. The Bank thus had a built-in bias in favor of less debt relief. In the list of qualifying countries, there was no shortage of anomalies. For example, as of the mid-1990s, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, and Yemen all had higher debt burdens and lower per capita incomes than many of the countries on the final HIPC list, but they were excluded.44 In contrast, reportedly at the behest of France, HIPC analysts fixed the rules so that Ivory Coast would be included, despite the fact that it had a higher per capita income and lower debt burden than many other countries on the list.45 Another odd addition was Guyana, a bauxite-rich former British colony in northeastern South America, that in 1996 had a population of just 750,000 and a real per capita income of $3,600—clearly a middle-income country compared with others in HIPC.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
When I tried to access one of the other entertainment libraries, Vintage Movies, the system informed me that I wouldn’t be granted access to a wider selection of entertainment options until I had received an above-average rating in three consecutive employee performance reviews. Then the system asked me if I wanted more information on the Indentured Employee Entertainment Reward Program. I didn’t. The only TV show I had access to was a company-produced sitcom called Tommy Queue. The synopsis said it was a “wacky situation comedy chronicling the misadventures of Tommy, a newly indentured OASIS tech rep struggling to achieve his goals of financial independence and on-the-job excellence!” I selected the first episode of Tommy Queue, then unsnapped the visor and put it on. As I expected, the show was really just a training film with a laugh track. I had absolutely no interest in it. I just wanted to go to sleep. But I knew I was being watched, and that every move I made was being scrutinized and logged. So I stayed awake as long as I could, ignoring one episode of Tommy Queue after another.
Fire and Steam: A New History of the Railways in Britain by Christian Wolmar
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Beeching cuts, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, cross-subsidies, financial independence, hiring and firing, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, railway mania, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, working poor, yield management
The Act was an early attempt at rural regeneration as it allowed government grants to be paid for the construction of these lines, a rare form of subsidy for what the state always considered to be a private industry that should stand on its own feet. While such light railways were commonplace in France, and particularly in Belgium, which boasted 2,400 miles of minor lines, a huge number for such a small country, earlier attempts to build them in Britain had foundered for lack of funding and the costs of obtaining parliamentary approval. On the Continent, there was a tradition of more powerful and financially independent local authorities which were willing to finance such important transport links. Before the Act of 1896, a handful of low-cost lines had been built in Britain during the 1870s and 1880s, the most notable being the narrow-gauge Ffestiniog Railway in north Wales (see Chapter 7). It was used for slate-carrying and demonstrated the huge savings that could be made by building lines on a smaller scale and to lower standards.
The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot
active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor
U.S. agricultural subsidies and farmer suicide in India: Roosevelt Institute, 2009 [updated 01/12/2009, 23/12/2014]. Available from: http://www.rooseveltcampusnetwork.org/blog/us-agricultural-subsidies-and-farmer-suicide-india. 26Ibid. 27United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Report 2005. International Cooperation at a Crossroads: Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World. UNDP, 2005. 28Hyder S. Women’s financial independence amongst female garments workers in Bangladesh: Summary of research. Berkeley Law, 2012. 29Ayres A. Bangladesh: Behemoth garment industry weathers the storm: Council on Foreign Relations, 2014 [updated 20/06/2014, 23/12/2014]. Available from: http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2014/06/20/bangladesh-behemoth-garment-industry-weathers-the-storm/. 30Marmot M, Allen J, Bell R, Bloomer E, Goldblatt P.
airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal
The women in Nairobi were particularly well-spoken and engaging. I bought lunch for seven of them at the headquarters of a group they belonged to, the Kenya Network of Women with HIV/AIDS (KENWA). They were better educated and better informed than many of their rural counterparts. The group’s literature explained that they were offered vocational training and “seed money so they can sell sundries to become financially independent.” Many of them had children, and KENWA tried to help with school fees, too. The group also offered medical care, including antiretroviral drugs, and helped feed some of the thousands of the city’s AIDS orphans. Among the more forthright of the seven women were Constance, Mary, and Jane. Constance was very pretty and wore an eye-catching black-and-white striped top, which was of a piece with her idea that “these men are attracted by sight—so you have to look good.”
Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks
If ever there had been a need for NGOs to be regulated just like banks and mortgage brokers, this was the time.83 In the countries I visited for this book, the use of distantly run, globally connected NGOs as a substitute for government planning had eroded the possibility of delivering truly beneficial services and assistance to the people who needed them. By contrast, NGOs that were locally accountable, internationally connected, and financially independent had made a difference and contributed to the greater sovereignty of those nations.84 A unique model in Haiti was the growth of the renewable and clean energy sector, in which local NGOs partnered with government departments to reduce deforestation.85 At least 350,000 Haitians remained in refugee camps more than three years after the 2010 earthquake, though many had been moved elsewhere by 2014.
Predator's Ball by Connie Bruck
diversified portfolio, financial independence, fixed income, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, paper trading, profit maximization, The Predators' Ball, yield management, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond
Black was the Drexel investment banker on that deal, and he had courted Siegel assiduously. It made Siegel think more seriously about what it would mean to work for a firm with that kind of muscle. He was tempted. He knew he could multiply his income if he went to Drexel. His father had gone bankrupt at forty-five, and Siegel believed that this had planted in him a powerful longing for utter financial independence—what he thought of as “fuck you” money. But he was still not sure that the Drexel lucre was worth the taint. Henry Kravis, of Kohlberg Kravis, one of his best friends, had advised him against doing it, for that reason. But he was thinking about it. In TWA, Siegel was able to do no better for Lorenzo than Black had done. Even though Lorenzo had made a bid higher than Icahn’s, once Icahn reached his agreements with the unions he held all the tickets.
Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost
Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional
The only “catalog” to ever win a National Book Award, the publication was inspirational to many personal-computer pioneers including Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who later reminisced: “The Whole Earth Catalog . . . was one the bibles of my generation. . . . It was a sort of Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.” While Brand and The Whole Earth Catalog offered inspiration, the most articulate spokesperson for the computer-liberation idea was Ted Nelson, the financially independent son of Hollywood actress Celeste Holm. Among Nelson’s radical visions of computing was an idea called hypertext, which he first described in the mid-1960s. Hypertext was a system by which an untrained person could navigate through a universe of information held on computers. Before such an idea could become a reality, however, it was necessary to “liberate” computing: to make it accessible to ordinary people at a trivial cost.
It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong
Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, éminence grise
He quit when the police force started using reservists for crowd control. Beating up fellow Kenyans demonstrating for greater political openness was not what he had envisaged on joining. Another small rebellion was John's announcement that he was leaving the family home. He rented a bachelor pad in Nairobi's Riverside Drive, where first Gitau and then Mugo joined him, the three determined to demonstrate their financial independence. In this allmale set-up, John could establish his own routine. His frenetic networking would always need to be balanced by long hours of solitude in which to muse, to read, to be himself. And it was easier, living with his brothers, to structure his day in the way that suited his decidedly unconventional body clock – working till the early hours when a job needed doing, then sleeping into the afternoon, so soundly it seemed impossible to wake him.
Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns
anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog
Frank had become increasingly important to Rand as connections with her family in Russia snapped. In 1936, putting a long-held dream in motion, she began a torturous round of paperwork to bring her parents to the United States. She petitioned the U.S. government for an immigration visa, obtaining letters from Universal describing her screenwriting work. She and Frank wrote a notarized deposition testifying to her financial independence. She even prepaid her passage on the United States Lines. It was all to no avail. In late 1936 the Rosenbaums’ visa application was denied, and an appeal proved fruitless. Rand got the final word in a brief telegram sent from Leningrad in May 1937: “Cannot get permission.”22 It was one of their last communications. Rand stopped responding to family letters shortly afterward, believing that Russians who received mail from America could be in grave danger.
call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, manufacturing employment, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, rising living standards, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional
Wage-earners were no longer servants; they increasingly worked with large numbers of other people in shops, offices and factories, reinforcing their sense of collective interest and their bargaining power. They had fought for and achieved greater recognition for trade unions, whose leaders now played a role in regulating the working hours and wages of millions of workers. In the evenings young workers enjoyed their financial independence at cinemas and dance halls, where Hollywood glamour and raucous dance routines allowed them to explore their dreams of a better life than that of their mothers and fathers. Yet in the summer of 1939 what hadn’t changed was just as evident as what had. Unemployment had not gone away. In the factories, young men and women were working long hours for low pay; thousands of their fathers remained unemployed and their families still endured the hated means test.
Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London by David Wragg
Beeching cuts, British Empire, financial independence, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Louis Blériot, North Sea oil, railway mania, South Sea Bubble, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Winter of Discontent, yield management
The tram operators absorbed were the London County Council, with 1,713 tramcars and 167.17 route miles, including tracks owned by the Borough of Leyton with nine route miles and the 0.25 route miles owned by the City of London; Middlesex County Council, with 42.63 route miles, all leased to the Metropolitan Electric Tramways; Metropolitan Electric Tramways, with 316 tramcars and 53.51 route miles, of which 9.38 were owned by the company and 46.23 leased from Middlesex County Council, and 21.5 miles from Hertfordshire County Council; Hertfordshire County Council, with 21.5 miles, leased to the Metropolitan Electric Tramways; Barking Corporation, with just 1.8 route miles operated by Ilford Corporation, London County Council and East Ham Corporation since 1929; Dartford Urban District Council, a joint undertaking since 1921, with thirty-three tramcars and 10.3 route miles; Croydon Corporation, with fifty-five tramcars and 9.3 route miles; East Ham Corporation, with fifty-six tramcars and 8.34 route miles; Erith Urban District Council, with four route miles; Ilford Corporation, with forty tramcars and 7.13 route miles; Walthamstow Corporation, with sixty-two tramcars and 8.93 miles; West Ham Corporation with 134 tramcars and 16.27 route miles; London United Tramways, with 150 tramcars and 29.05 route miles, as well as sixty-one trolleybuses; and the South Metropolitan Electric Tramways, with fifty-two tramcars and 13.08 route miles. The London General Omnibus Company, LGOC, provided the bulk of the bus services, including London General Country Services, the Overground, which has originated with the Underground Group, and the bus operations of Tilling and British Automobile Traction which although financially independent were operationally integrated with the LGOC. In 1931, the LGOC had created the first Green Line coach network out of its coach services into London, rearranging these to run across the centre. Central buses, trolleybuses, underground trains and trams were painted in ‘Underground’ and ‘London General’ red and white, country buses in green and white, while all coach services were branded ‘Green Line’ and painted green and pale green.
Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston
8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator
Kapor: I didn’t know when, but this was what I’d learned from my time in Silicon Valley. To be honest, here’s what I was driven by: I wanted to do really a great product. Almost from day one I understood that I was passionate about the applications themselves, that they’d be integrated, easier to use and be powerful. They’d help make people more productive and I cared a lot about that. The other thing I wanted was financial independence. I had an enormous desire not to be dependent on other people, or to have to have a job. I wanted to dictate the terms. So I knew if you had an IPO, then you had a liquid currency and you had the ability to cash in and get that. So I actually pushed for an early IPO, which we did successfully. But that brought all the usual problems. The main problem we had as a very young public company was that people did not understand the industry or its dynamics and therefore they consistently misvalued the stock and misunderstood what it was about.
Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles by Michael Gross
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Bernie Madoff, California gold rush, clean water, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway
Ted may have wanted nothing to do with his family but its money still came in handy. Interscope Communications, founded in 1981, was a product of Field’s first movie investment. Ted and a partner had formed a development company that was, Premiere magazine wrote, “heavy on style and light on substance.… Learjets and opulent offices furnished in mahogany,” and defined by an insistence on financial independence that proved counterproductive to the task at hand—making movies. He bought a bunch of scripts at $50,000 each but got nowhere with them. But a new friendship with Skip Brittenham, a well-connected Hollywood lawyer who gave good advice and introduced him to industry power brokers, “enhanced Ted’s ability to work the system,” Brittenham told Premiere. “He was footing the entire bill,” the lawyer explained to the Wall Street Journal.
They also shared a sense of idealism, a dedication to the concept that government had a responsibility to help the underclass. Like Winant, Clementine Churchill had been somewhat of a radical since her youth. As a girl, she had loved school and wanted to go to college, a rare path for an upper-class young woman of her generation to follow; her mother, aghast at the idea, refused to allow it. Throughout her life, Clementine was in favor of financial independence for women (although she never experienced such freedom herself) and, long before women’s suffrage became a reality, strongly backed the right of women to vote. As an ardent member of the Liberal Party, she was discomfited when Churchill left the Liberals to rejoin the Conservative Party in 1924. Although she loyally switched her official party allegiance as well, she never lost her interest in bettering the lives of Britain’s poor or her hostility to her husband’s Tory colleagues who opposed such reforms.
Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond
Watanabe, together with more sophisticated hedge funds, was forced to dump assets bought with borrowed money, losing billions. In Japan, there are strict cultural taboos against money that is not earned by honest effort—“with sweat from the brow.” But even Japan had embraced financialization. The rest of the world followed. As Cole Porter sang in the 1930s, now almost anything went. Plutonomy For most people, money was the link between work and the essential victuals of life. It also provided financial independence and protection against uncertainty. For a small group, wealth provided social acceptance, power, and influence. It became a means for self-expression, a statement of status and selfhood. As F. Scott Fitzgerald observed: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They have more money.”2 In his 1899 book The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen, a Norwegian-born American economist, created the term conspicuous consumption, meaning the waste of money or resources by people to establish higher status.
Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century by Christian Caryl
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, financial deregulation, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet Archive, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, special economic zone, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, Yom Kippur War
Khomeini immediately made an announcement denouncing the bill as the “first step toward the abolition of Islam.” It was all part of a Zionist plot, he said, to destroy the family and spread prostitution.10 It wasn’t just the local councils law, though. The shah had already announced the first stage of a national land reform—the early stages of the White Revolution—and the clerics were worried that the measure could threaten the financial independence of the religious endowments that owned large amounts of land around the country. The shah’s plans to introduce a Soviet-style “Literacy Corps” also instilled anxiety in the clerics, who wondered whether this was a covert secularization measure designed to undercut the traditionally dominant role of religious scholars as village teachers.11 In reaction to the storm of protest, the prime minister ultimately rescinded the local councils law—at least for the time being.
This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee
agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay
They could then use the money to buy, from England, the manufactured goods they needed and regarded as luxuries, thus creating a good market for British manufacturers. The importance of this use of tobacco profits was that the stockholders of the London Company did not always have to pay for the manufactured goods the planters needed and therefore the Company was more profitable and so attracted more investment. Also, the planters were gaining financial independence. Economic independence was an essential prerequisite for self-determination. Colonial expansion was now unstoppable. The spreading of the fledgling empire was not confined to the hinterland and littoral states of America. The shipwrecked colonists who had taken refuge on Bermuda had, if nothing else, excited the idea that the fertility and easy access to wildlife made it an obvious target for colonists.
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, feminist movement, financial independence, invisible hand, Magellanic Cloud, placebo effect, Potemkin village, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, space pen, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent
She was completely fulfilled as a wife and looking forward to the day she would be a stay-at-home mom. I had only recently come to accept her as she was. As obsessive-compulsive-West Point-engineer-astronaut fathers are apt to do, I attempted to fashion her into my own image and was frustrated by my repeated failures. I wanted her to graduate from college, but she dropped out after just one semester. I wanted her to have skills that would make her financially independent, if ever that was required, but she acquired none. Donna set me straight. “She’s a sweet, good-hearted young woman. She doesn’t want what you want. You just have to accept that.” I finally had and was happy for her. Laura was now nineteen and a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago majoring in the single degree field most guaranteed to drive an obsessive- compulsive-West Point-engineer-astronaut father into madness…theater.
The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells
Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl
Both credit and licenses were selectively given to firms on condition of joining a chaebol, since government privileges were accorded to the central firm (owned by a family) in the chaebol. Business was also explicitly requested to finance the government’s political activities, as well as to pay in cash for any special favors obtained from top-level bureaucrats, generally military officers. To enforce strict business discipline, the Park government did not relinquish control over the banking system. Thus, unlike in Japan, Korean chaebol were not financially independent until the 1980s. Labor policies were also shaped by military- induced authoritarianism, with the unions being directly under government control to make sure that they would be purged of any communist influence. These labor policies led to the ferocious repression of any independent labor organization, thus destroying the possibility of consensus-building in the work process of Korean industry.119 The military state origin of chaebol was certainly more influential in shaping the authoritarian and patrilineal character of Korean business networks than the Confucian tradition of rural Korea.120 The interaction between state and business is far more complex in the case of Chinese family firms, rooted in centuries-old distrust of government interference.
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight
His manner was gentle, respectful, with a quality of refinement that made the men drinking vodka out of plastic cups down at the local Moose Lodge question whether Dean could properly be called a redneck. From childhood on, his favorite Bible verse was Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” What he sought his whole life was independence—especially financial independence. His greatest fears, which haunted him all his life, were poverty and failure. He came by them naturally. His grandparents on both sides had been tobacco farmers, and so had their grandparents, and their grandparents, back to the eighteenth century, all of them on the same few square miles of Rockingham County, North Carolina. They all had Scotch-Irish names that fit neatly on a tombstone: Price, Neal, Hall.
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Petre
Berlin Wall, California gold rush, call centre, clean water, cleantech, Donald Trump, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, index card, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Y2K
Ventura, my former castmate in Predator and The Running Man, and a former pro wrestler, was midway through a shaky term as governor of Minnesota, after which he would not seek reelection. The difference between those who adapted and those who didn’t, Gorton said, was a willingness to totally commit. Others talked about how I’d need to put up with media criticism like I’d never imagined; how I’d need to become expert in wonky topics; how I’d need to ask for campaign contributions. I took such obvious pride in my financial independence that they realized the last item would be hard for me. But what surprised me was the level of enthusiasm in the room. I thought they were going to tell me that this wasn’t right for me and maybe I should try for an ambassadorship or something. That was the way people in Austria had reacted when I said I wanted to be a bodybuilding champ. “In Austria we become ski champs,” they’d said. And it was the way that Hollywood agents had reacted when I said that I wanted to become an actor.
asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, card file, central bank independence, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, financial independence, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, means of production, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, p-value, pattern recognition, profit maximization, profit motive, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, technology bubble, the built environment, transaction costs, union organizing, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor
Twenty-eight percent of banks reported repeat lending of between 11 and 30 percent of their business Twenty-two percent of banks reported 31 to 50 percent, and even 15 percent reported 51 to 80 percent repeat business. These loans were issued from programs that were less than four years old. The feisty scheming of small loan operators to encourage repeat borrowers seems to have been unnecessary for personal loan departments. Though early promoters of personal loan departments hoped the loans would be a stepping-stone to saving and financial independence, for some borrowers they were only a cheaper form of debt persistence. The use of savings accounts to encourage thrift also fell to the wayside. By 1938, only slightly more than half of installment payments were repaid into savings accounts. For those banks that continued to use savings 94 CHAPTER THREE accounts in this way, encouraging thrift was no longer the main purpose. Half of them did so, the ABA survey reported, because of the “simplicity, efficiency, [and] economy” of using previously established systems for deposit.
A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr
Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern
Prince Maurice of Nassau retained the services of the engineer Simon Stevin, who tutored him in mathematics, served as his quartermaster general, and revamped the prince’s finances using new methods of bookkeeping. 41 The art of fawning and groveling before people in power that intellectuals at the time sometimes had to engage in is illustrated by Desaguliers’s allegorical poem “The Newtonian System” written in 1728 for the ascension of King George II, in an attempt to ensure the continuation of the queen’s support, in which he compared Newtonian astronomical certitude with Hanoverian stability (Fara, 2004). 42 Nor can one accept literally Biagioli’s (1990, p. 5) claim that “patronage was a voluntary act only in the sense that by not engaging in it one would commit social suicide.” For one thing, some of the leading scientists of the seventeenth century were sufficiently financially independent to not need patronage in the narrow sense of the word, yet no one seriously questioned the legitimacy of Spinoza or Newton. Reputations were built on intellectual achievement, and their relation with patronage was a two-way street. Moreover, Biagioli fails to recognize fully the voluntary nature of exchange in a competitive market with many actors on both the supply and the demand side, in which the action of exchange between two agents is consensual and welfare-improving even if participating in the market itself may be inevitable. 43 The politics of patronage could be complex and as a source of income it could be fickle, as rulers could be capricious, or be replaced by others with different tastes.
Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War
‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’, the claim made by a famous headline in Murdoch’s The Sun following a surprise election result in 1992, has long been debated.43 What matters is that British politicians collectively believed that they could not win elections against these papers and individually feared personal attacks in their pages, including exposure of real or alleged shenanigans in their private lives.44 This was a very British version of ‘The Godfather’—without the machine guns, to be sure, but even Don Corleone did not murder his tame politicians. These press proprietors claim, rightly, that a politically and financially independent press is a classic check on political power, but they themselves wield power that needs to be checked. Even after the exposure of large-scale, routine, illegal phone hacking by the Murdoch tabloids—an exposure led not by the police, who sat on the evidence for years, but by other parts of Britain’s fortunately still diverse media—and the jailing of Coulson, the press barons continued to exercise enormous power in at least two ways.
Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, card file, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, experimental subject, financial independence, friendly fire, Monroe Doctrine, out of africa, Own Your Own Home, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rolodex, South China Sea, trade route
Yes, he surely was, and that would not have come to be without his having been Ed Kealty's man. Without the parties where he'd met the other mover-shakers, and talked his way to the top. And the money. He'd never taken a bribe of any sort, but his friend had advised him wisely (the advice having come from his own advisers, but that didn't matter) on investments, allowing him to build up his own financial independence and, by the way, buy a five-thousand-square-foot home in Great Falls, and to put his own son into Harvard, not on a scholarship, for Clifton Rutledge III was the son of somebody now, not merely the issue of a worker's loins. All the work he might have done entirely on his own would not have brought him to this place, and loyalty was owed, wasn't it? That made it a little easier for Clifton Rutledge II (actually his birth certificate said Clifton Rutledge, Junior, but Jr. wasn't quite the suffix for a man of his station), Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
He kept track of the news, especially crime cases. As a roving inspector working directly out of the office of the Director, he never knew from one day to the next when he might be sent off on a case, which often meant calling in a sitter, to the point that he sometimes thought about getting a full-time nanny. He could afford it-the insurance settlement for his wife's death in the plane crash had actually given him a measure of financial independence, though its circumstances seemed altogether blasphemous, but they had offered it and he, on advice of counsel, had taken it. But a nanny? No. It would be a woman, and Megan would think of her as Mommy, and, no, he couldn't have that. Instead, he did the hours and denied himself so that he could be both parents, and no grizzly bear had ever been more protective of a cub. Maybe Megan didn't know the difference.
agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey
Or, as a French general put it just after the ‘Great Winter’ of 1708–9: ‘It might well be said that “it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good”, for we could only find so many recruits because of the misery of the provinces … The misfortune of the masses was the salvation of the kingdom.‘70 Other forms of ‘voluntary migration’ during the mid-seventeenth century also mirrored economic conditions. For example, up to 6,000 people came to London every year, most of them either boys who became ‘bound apprentice’ to a merchant or artisan in return for instruction in his craft, or females and males who came to work as domestic servants until they had accumulated enough savings to become financially independent and marry – a goal that became more elusive whenever economic circumstances deteriorated. In the English capital, as elsewhere in western Europe, these migrants made up 10 per cent or more of the urban populations. Other people migrated on an annual basis to work on the crops, because the cultivation of most staples requires many extra hands at certain predictable, intense, but short periods.
On the other hand, they also created tariff barriers designed to protect local production as well as to raise revenues: thus a ship carrying merchandise along the river Elbe between Hamburg and Prague (just over 300 miles) had to pay tolls at 30 border checkpoints; and a barge travelling along the Rhine between Mainz and Cologne (just over 100 miles) had to pay tolls 11 times. In addition, some German rulers spent heavily on defence (both fortifying their towns and raising militia units); several joined a confessional alliance (the Protestant Union from 1608, the Catholic League from 1609); and all sought financial independence. Maximilian, ruler of Bavaria from 1598 to 1648, made no secret of his ambitions. ‘I believe that we princes only gain respect, both from spiritual and secular powers, according to “reason of state”,’ he wrote at the beginning of his reign; adding ‘and I believe that only those who have a lot of land or a lot of money get that respect’.4 Over the next two decades he doubled his tax revenues and used the proceeds to build state-of-the-art fortifications, to fund the Catholic League and to create a war chest of four million thalers.
Immigration worldwide: policies, practices, and trends by Uma Anand Segal, Doreen Elliott, Nazneen S. Mayadas
affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, centre right, conceptual framework, credit crunch, demographic transition, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open borders, phenotype, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce
The permit for independent financial activity is defined separately (articles 24–25, and requires a minimum investment of 60,000 euros) and so is the residence permit for employees of companies of another EU member or a third country who are moved to Greece for a limited period of time in order to offer specific services within the frameworks of their employment for their company. Moreover the law determines the condition for issuing residence permits for a series of 198 Nations with Increasing Immigrant Populations other categories (such as athletes and trainers, intellectuals and artists, financially independent people, practitioners of known religions, scientific researchers, tour guides, students at the Athoniada school in Athos, etc.). It is also very important that the new law has special provisions for the protection of human trafficking victims (articles 46–52). Stay permits issued for study purposes (article 28–29) include a time limitation: the total duration of the study increased by its half plus one year for learning the language.
The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy
accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, cuban missile crisis, demand response, financial independence, index card, mandelbrot fractal, trade route, uranium enrichment
He'd feared the overt methods, deciding that a cause or a mission was so vital that you might lose perspective on the important things, like the value of a single human life, even the life of an enemy. He hadn't lost that, not ever, and knew that he never would. It was the subtler things that were wearing at him. He was turning into a functionary, worrying about credit and status and influence. He closed his eyes to remind himself of what he already had: a wife, two kids, financial independence, accomplishments that no one could ever take away. You are turning into one of them He'd fought - he had killed - to defend his family. Maybe Elliot was offended by that, but in quiet moments like this, Jack remembered the times with a thin, grim smile. Not two hundred yards from where he now sat, he'd drilled three rounds into a terrorist's chest, coldly and efficiently - steel on target!
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection by Gardner Dozois
augmented reality, clean water, computer age, cosmological constant, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, financial independence, game design, gravity well, jitney, John Harrison: Longitude, Kuiper Belt, Mahatma Gandhi, Paul Graham, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, stem cell, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, urban renewal, Wall-E
The year’s best collections included: The Best of Michael Swanwick (Subterranean), by Michael Swanwick; East of the Sun and West of Fort Smith (Norilana Books), by William Sanders; Dark Integers and Other Stories (Subterranean), by Greg Egan; Other Worlds, Better Lives: A Howard Waldrop Reader (Old Earth Books), by Howard Waldrop; Pump Six and Other Stories (Night Shade), by Paolo Bacigalupi; The Wreck of the Godspeed and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon), by James Patrick Kelly; The Best of Lucius Shepard (Subterranean), by Lucius Shepard; Nano Comes to Clifford Falls (Golden Gryphon), by Nancy Kress; The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (Small Beer Press), by John Kessel; and Pretty Monsters (Viking), by Kelly Link. Other good collections included: Harsh Oases (PS Publishing), by Paul Di Fillipo; The Ant King and Other Stories (Small Beer Press), by Benjamin Rosenbaum; Strange Roads (Dreamhaven), by Peter S. Beagle; The Garble and Other Stories (Tor UK), by Neal Asher; Starlady and Fast-Friend (Subterranean), by George R.R.
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, fudge factor, informal economy, joint-stock company, land reform, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, postnationalism / post nation state, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Thomas Malthus, Yom Kippur War
Frederick Cook, who claimed, among other things, to have beaten Admiral Perry to the North Pole, was mailing up to three hundred thousand letters a month, from which he made, in one year, some two million dollars—before he was apprehended by Federal authorities. In sheer audacity, few could have matched the General Lee Development Company. Two promoters discovered a certain Robert A. Lee, a descendant of General Robert E. Lee, and prevailed upon him to tell investors around the country, "I would rather lead you and a thousand others to financial independence than to have won Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville." By comparison, Dad Joiner was strictly a small-time operator. But he did have the saving grace that he actually wanted to wildcat for oil rather than simply separate the gullible from their dollars. He worked out of Dallas, hanging around with the other promoters in the lobby of the Adolphus Hotel, a baroque landmark built by the Busch beer family of St.