financial independence

223 results back to index


pages: 368 words: 145,841

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, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, passive income, risk tolerance, the rule of 72, 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.


Playing With FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early): How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom? by Scott Rieckens, Mr. Money Mustache

Airbnb, cryptocurrency, effective altruism, financial independence, index fund, job satisfaction, McMansion, passive income, remote working, Vanguard fund

PLAYING WITH FIRE Chapter 6: Goodbye, Coronado Page 78, a thread on Reddit titled “Documentaries relevant to FIRE”: “Documentaries Relevant to FIRE,” Reddit (r/financial independence), accessed August 29, 2018, https://www.reddit.com/r/financial independence/comments/80a2p7/documentaries_relevant_to_fire. Page 78, Mr. Money Mustache had reached more than twenty-three million people: Tim Ferriss, “Mr. Mustache — Living Beautifully on $25–27K Per Year,” The Tim Ferriss Show, accessed August 29, 2018, https://tim.blog/2017/02/13/mr-money-mustache. Page 78, there are nearly 400,000 people on the Financial Independence subreddit: “Initial Financial Independence Survey Results Are Here!,” Reddit (r/financial independence), accessed August 29, 2018, https://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence. Page 85, Amazingly enough, they mentioned the documentary project: Jonathan Mendonsa and Brad Barrett, “Friday Roundup: Paul Case Study Part 4,” ChooseFI, June 9, 2017, https://www.choosefi.com /026r-friday-roundup.

See also Barrett, Brad; Mendonsa, Jonathan Christmas gifts, 142–44, 150, 152–53 Chucky (author’s cousin), 139–41, 148, 183 club memberships, 15, 52, 61–62, 74 Coach Carson (blog), 109 coffee, 55–56, 163 college funds, 146 college savings accounts, 146 Collins, JL, 101, 109, 110–11, 114, 148 community, 121 commuting, 51 comparisons, 134 compound interest, 115–16, 145 compromise, 179 Confucius, 2 consumerism, 20, 84–85, 183–84 consumption, minimization of, 169 control, 120–21 Coronado (CA), 14; author’s departure from, 74, 82–85, 86–88, 137, 144; author’s extravagant lifestyle in, 12–18; author’s house hunt in, 160; author’s net worth in, 179–80; author’s relocation to, 14; author’s residence in, 75, 131; cost of living in, 75, 77, 79, 126, 131, 162; Taylor’s Take on leaving, 87–88 Costco, 55, 56 Craigslist, 74, 158 credit card debt, 133 credit card rewards, 51 Dallas (TX), 124–25 dating, 133, 173 debt, 7–8, 9, 45–46, 189 depreciation, 158 Deschutes National Forest, 157 dining out, 9, 12–13, 50, 52, 57–58, 144, 150, 168 Early Retirement Extreme (blog), 25, 26 eBay, 74 eco-friendliness, 68 economic recession (2008), 7, 69, 70 Ecuador FIRE retreat: author’s experience, 109–11, 116, 117–22; in author’s travel plan, 83; FIRE community at, 109, 117–19, 124, 171; frugality and attendance at, 119–20 Effective Altruism, 26 employment, choice of, 70 Encinitas (CA), 75 entertainment, 9, 50–51, 52, 53–54 entrepreneurs, 118–19 Eric (author’s childhood friend), 137, 138 expense cutting: author’s experience, 5–6, 183–84; author’s ten-step plan for, 50–51; cars, 60–61, 126, 129–30, 169, 188–89; club memberships, 61–62; daily expenses, 188; food expenses, 55–58, 150, 188–89; geo-arbitrage for, 93, 94; holiday gifts and, 142–44, 150, 152–53; housing, 126, 188–89; “sunk cost fallacy” and, 62–63 expenses: “Big Three,” 50; financial independence and, 149; “fun,” 50; keeping less than earnings, 126–29; “lifestyle creep” and, 9; medical, 45–46; retirement calculator using, 39–41; tracking, 51–55, 102, 188 extra-income opportunities, 51 families: large, and financial independence, 45–47; living with, 81, 92, 93 Ferriss, Tim, 18–21, 94, 142 1500 Days to Freedom (blog), 125 financial advisers, 114–15 financial independence, 146; FIRE Stories, 45–47; as self-defined, 149 “Financially Independent Retired Early: Flaws with the Philosophy?” (article), 145 Financial Mentor, 56 FinCon (Dallas, TX), 124–25 FIRE (financial independence retire early): alternative to, 7–8; author’s disenchantment with, 144–48; author’s experience, 2, 4–6, 9–10, 19–21, 27–31, 183–85; benefits of, 26–27, 30, 82, 120; blogs/podcasts about, 19–21, 25–26, 119–20; defined, 2–3; emotions/psychology behind, 151; expense cutting for, 62, 63 (see also expense cutting); flexibility of, 4, 149, 179; formulas for, 3–4, 21–22, 28, 50, 126; friends’ reactions to, 84; income level required for, 6–7; investing basics in, 111–16, 126; as lifestyle choice, 122, 125, 147–48, 152; mission statements for, 151–52; as movement, 24–26 (see also FIRE community); obsessing over, 148–49, 150; INDEX dinner, 56, 57–58 Dog Fancy (magazine), 156 dollar cost averaging (DCA), 128 Dominguez, Joe, 99 down payments, 81, 127 203 PLAYING WITH FIRE 204 FIRE (financial independence retire early) (continued ) residence location and, 77; Robin’s advice for, 99; Seven Steps to, 187–89; spousal discussions about, 34; spread of, 183; Taylor’s decision to pursue, 43–44; vehicle purchase guide, 68 FIRE community: author’s research on, 6; character traits of, 174–76; as cult-like, 94, 119; diversity of, 8, 172–73, 175; at Ecuador retreat, 109; at FinCon, 125; finding, 189; high-profile members of, 20; income levels of, 102; lifestyle hacks developed by, 4; literature of, 97–98; Mustachians, 168–76; openness of, 8; Playing with FIRE documentary and, 85, 86; retirement as viewed by, 3 FIRE Stories: about, 6; Hannah (Denver, CO), 164–66; Jillian (Kalispell, MT), 45–47; Kalen & Kyle (Evans, CO), 101–3; Sylvia (Seattle, WA), 132–34; Todd (New York, NY), 69–71 Fiske, Jacob Lund, 25 food, 50, 55–58 Fort Collins (CO), 81, 83, 91 foster children, 46, 47 4-Hour Workweek, The (Ferriss), 18 4 Percent Rule, 21–22 401k retirement accounts, 16, 102, 129, 133–34 freelancing, 81 friends: FIRE as viewed by, 84; living with, 81 friendships, 47 frugality, 5; author’s experience, 27, 30, 58; balance needed in, 150– 53, 163; blogs/podcasts about, 25, 34; entrepreneurship and, 118, 119; FIRE and, 38–39; happiness and, 148–49, 150; holiday gifts and, 142–44, 150; international FIRE retreats and, 119–20; Mustachians and, 169; reasons for, 38 Frugalwoods (blog), 25, 26, 31, 55, 77, 78, 125 Ganch, Brandon: attempts to persuade spouse about FIRE, 34; career background of, 25; at Ecuador retreat, 109; at FinCon, 125–31; on FIRE anxieties, 148–50, 163; investment advice of, 111, 125–31.

This was a far cry from the nine-to-five grind, living for the weekend. Pete from Mr. Money Mustache was just one “guide” for the FIRE movement. Dozens of bloggers were chronicling their journeys to financial independence. Some remained anonymous to protect their corporate careers; some were already “retired”; some were financially independent but had decided to keep working; and some were planning to quit their jobs as soon as possible, in weeks or even days. Many of these blogs are still going strong (these are listed in the boxed text on page 26, and more resources are available at playingwithfire.co). Jacob Lund Fiske from Early Retirement Extreme is a physicist who became financially independent through extreme frugality and managed to live off of $7,000 a year in the San Francisco Bay Area by living in his RV and wearing the same clothes for ten-plus years.


Early Retirement Guide: 40 is the new 65 by Manish Thakur

"side hustle", Airbnb, diversified portfolio, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, index fund, Lyft, passive income, passive investing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, time value of money, uber lyft, Vanguard fund, Zipcar

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.


pages: 426 words: 115,150

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, fixed income, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, money market fund, 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.


pages: 572 words: 94,002

Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money: The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists Who Want to Be Happy by David Sawyer

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, bitcoin, Cal Newport, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Attenborough, David Heinemeier Hansson, Desert Island Discs, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, financial independence, follow your passion, gig economy, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, invention of the wheel, knowledge worker, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, passive income, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart meter, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

We’ve already identified that the biggest factor in your SWR is the first ten years after you achieve your stash target. If you reach ten years of financial independence with half or more of your stash intact you’re in clover. No one can predict how those first ten years are going to pan out and I feel sure that when the time comes, you’ll be right across “sequence of return risk[338]” (those first ten years of FI). For now until you near financial independence, all you need to know is that it exists. Religiously relying on your SWR once you gain financial independence assumes you’re an idiot with no control over anything post-FIRE. In practice, you’re a hyper-efficient financial independent who reset their life all those years ago – after reading that book – and never looked back. If you retire, the market dives and your stash with it, you have choices.

The top ten occupations of the adult children of the affluent are: corporate executive; entrepreneur; middle manager; physician; advertising; marketing or sales professional; attorney; engineer, architect or scientist, accountant; college or university professor; and high school/elementary school teacher[236]. Most don’t become millionaires until they’re 50. Most are frugal[237]. They become millionaires by budgeting and watching what they spend[238]. In short, Danko and Stanley found: “Building wealth takes discipline, sacrifice, and hard work[239].” Are you up for that? Chapter 21 Financial Independence and F.U. Money LET’S GET A COUPLE of definitions out of the way. F.U. and FI are like the yang and yin[240] of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Financial independence (FI) is the positive yang: having enough money that you can live off the income from your assets and never have to work again. F.U. Money (the menacing yin), as we’ve discovered, is having enough money that you never have to do anything you don’t want to for money ever again. For example, say you have the perfect job and someone starts picking on you.

And if she doesn’t understand, you have my permission to approach your boss, tell her where to stick her job and yell… – you get the picture – “Fuck you!” FI is about hope; F.U. Money is about pride. Together the yin and yang of FIRE are a powerful motivating force. A brief history of FI The chances are you’ve never heard of financial independence until now, which is why RESET’s front cover centres on the phrase early retirement. Early retirement means never working again. Financial independence means never having to work again. (Loads of FIers have jobs, but jobs they want to do, not ones they have to do.) Financial independence is an unconventional, underground cult, without the messianic ruler. Powered by the internet, the FIRE community has mushroomed as bloggers such as Pete Adeney and JL Collins have taken on the mantle of early pioneers such as Joe Dominguez and Jacob Lund Fisker, leading hundreds of thousands of (largely US) people to transform their lives.


pages: 621 words: 123,678

Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier

"side hustle", 8-hour work day, Airbnb, anti-work, asset allocation, bitcoin, buy and hold, cryptocurrency, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, follow your passion, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, loss aversion, Lyft, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Skype, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, TaskRabbit, the rule of 72, time value of money, uber lyft, Vanguard fund

If you really commit and are willing to make the trade-offs, you can realistically reach financial independence in ten years or less. If you really hustle and get lucky, you might even be able to do it in five years or less. I’ll be the first to admit that it was lucky I started investing before a big bull market, but if I hadn’t made and invested as much money as I could, then I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of it. While you can’t rely on luck, you can rely on the proven path in this book to help you whether luck comes along or not. No matter what, reaching financial independence in ten, fifteen, or twenty years is a lot faster than forty years—or never! That’s a ton of extra time to do whatever you want. For me, financial freedom meant reaching financial independence at the age of thirty so I didn’t have to work in a cubicle for the rest of my life.

Money—or my lack of it—was all I thought about. Once I reached financial independence and had enough to walk away from work forever—even though I have chosen not to—I completely stopped worrying about money. Over time my anxiety started to disappear, which, based on what I’ve heard from others who’ve reached financial independence, is common. I’m more present, calm, and happier. I feel more in control and connected with the world and my relationships. I have more time to do the things I love to do, like traveling, writing, playing guitar, and teaching, and because I don’t have to work, I can choose to do work that I find fulfilling and meaningful instead of just what will pay the bills. Financial freedom, financial independence, early retirement, whatever you call it—it feels big, open, limitless, just like those summer days as a kid lying in the grass and feeling like the whole world was open and anything was possible.

Even if you don’t make a lot of money, if you can reduce your expenses as much as possible and increase your savings rate, you can retire much earlier than you would otherwise. Although this is difficult to do, there are incredible stories of teachers, janitors, public service officials, and others who super-saved their way to early financial independence. Literally every 1 percent more you save will decrease the amount of time you’ll need to work to reach financial independence. Remember that retiring any time before sixty-two (the traditional retirement age) is early retirement, so cutting one, two, five, or ten years off your retirement is an incredible accomplishment. Let’s see how increasing your savings rate on different income levels impacts how quickly you can reach financial independence. For this example, we’ll use my target number of $1,250,000 and an expected annual investment compounding rate of 7 percent. You can do your own calculation using your own numbers at https://financialfreedombook.com/tools.


pages: 346 words: 102,625

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, buy and hold, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, lateral thinking, 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.


pages: 194 words: 59,336

The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life by J L Collins

"side hustle", asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, compound rate of return, diversification, financial independence, full employment, German hyperinflation, index fund, money market 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.


pages: 273 words: 78,850

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas Stanley, William Danko

affirmative action, estate planning, financial independence, high net worth, index fund, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, the market place, very high income, Yogi Berra

My husband always said not to worry about money…. “I’ll always be here,” he said. Can you help me? What should I do? This is not a fun situation. How can well-educated, high-income people be so naive about money? Because being a well-educated, high-income earner does not automatically translate into financial independence. It takes planning and sacrificing. What if your goal is to become financially independent? Your plan should be to sacrifice high consumption today for financial independence tomorrow. Every dollar you earn to spend is first discounted by the tax man. Earning $100,000 may be required to purchase a $68,000 boat, for example. Millionaires tend to think this way. That’s why only a minority own boats. Do you plan to live on a boat after you retire? Or would you prefer to live on a $3 million pension plan?

Allan, as well as those people whom he has backed financially, have never felt that their purpose in life was to look wealthy. According to Mr. Allan, “That’s why I’m financially independent”: If your goal is to become financially secure, you’ll likely attain it…. But if your motive is to make money to spend money on the good life, … you’re never gonna make it. Many people who never achieve financial independence have a much different set of beliefs. When we ask them about their motives, they speak in terms of work and career. But ask them why they work so hard, why they selected the careers they did, and their answers are much different from Mr. Allan’s. They are UAWs, and UAWs, especially high-income producers, work to spend, not to achieve or become financially independent. UAWs view life as a series of trade-ups from one level of luxury to the next. So who enjoys working?

These experts were very helpful in our exploration of the issues underlying the accumulation of wealth. What have we discovered in all of our research? Mainly, that building wealth takes discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. Do you really want to become financially independent? Are you and your family willing to reorient your lifestyle to achieve this goal? Many will likely conclude they are not. If you are willing to make the necessary trade-offs of your time, energy, and consumption habits, however, you can begin building wealth and achieving financial independence. The Millionaire Next Door will start you on this journey. * * * * For details on how we targeted respondents for our survey, see Appendix 1. These people cannot be millionaires! They don’t look like millionaires, they don’t dress like millionaires, they don’t eat like millionaires, they don’t act like millionaires—they don’t even have millionaire names.


pages: 389 words: 81,596

Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required by Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, buy low sell high, call centre, car-free, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, follow your passion, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, index fund, longitudinal study, low cost airline, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive income, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the rule of 72, working poor, Y2K, Zipcar

If you’ve always suspected you have the mind of an entrepreneur, no sweat. With your expenses covered, you can keep failing and learning without worrying about losing your shirt. Lose one identity, build a better one. Becoming financially independent doesn’t have to be about quitting your hateful job and traveling the world. It’s about having choices. If you love your work, by all means, keep working. “FIRE” stands for “Financial Independence Retire Early,” but the “RE” part is optional. Only the “FI” part is necessary to forge the armor that will keep you protected if a job you love goes away or turns bad. FI means you always have choices. Becoming financially independent is about designing the life you want. Once you’ve built a portfolio large enough that 4 percent of it covers your expenses each year, work is an option, not a mandate. If you want to fully retire like us and travel the world, do that.

Bryce and I were newly minted authors and there was a whole line of people waiting for a signed copy of Little Miss Evil, our children’s novel. Remember how I said in chapter 4, “Don’t follow your passion (yet)”? Well, I’ve been saving that “yet” for now. Once you’ve become financially independent, you are finally free to follow your passion, whatever that may be. Achieving your dream is the greatest feeling in the world—when you don’t have to worry about surviving on cans of cat food. Because that’s exactly what would’ve happened if I had pursued my passion before becoming financially independent. Get rich, then follow your dreams. Get the order wrong and you’re in big trouble. How do I know this? Because even though there was a long line of people at my book signing, the check that I received for seven years of struggle and rejection was a few thousand bucks.

They’ve been traveling the world since 2007 and are writing about their adventures on WhereWeBe.com. But what if you don’t want to wait fifteen to thirty years? There are a few ways to get there sooner than expected, some of which may sound familiar: SideFIRE, PartialFI, and geographic arbitrage. SIDEFIRE Financial independence is a suit of armor: by shielding you from running out of money, it allows you to fearlessly follow your dreams. That shield is useful even if you’re not 100 percent financially independent. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer but couldn’t support yourself on a writer’s salary (which is pretty common), by making $20,000 per year as a freelance writer, you’ve reduced your required portfolio size by $20,000 × 25 = $500,000. This is what we like to call SideFIRE.


pages: 179 words: 59,704

Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

"side hustle", Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, buy and hold, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, index fund, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, McMansion, mortgage debt, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, universal basic income, working poor

There wasn’t anything left to innovate with our savings; it was simply a matter of depositing money into our accounts every month and waiting for the totals to reach the number that would equal our financial independence. The phrase “financial independence” is a bit problematic in its vagueness, and there are many different interpretations of what exactly it entails. I view financial independence as the point at which you no longer have to earn money in order to live. In other words, your assets are such that you can live off of them without the influx of a monthly paycheck. If you want to work you can, but you don’t have to in order to pay your bills and feed your family. You are freed from the need to earn money; ergo, you are financially independent. This is what Nate and I were working toward. We wanted to have enough money saved up such that we could choose to work if we wanted to, but wouldn’t have to work in order to survive.

If you can’t save enough, even with a regimen of true extreme frugality, then you probably need to look for ways to earn more, either through finding a new job or adding on a second job or side hustle. There are a number of different formulas that people use to determine how much money they’ll need in order to reach financial independence, but at the most basic level, it’s a question of how much money you need to live on every year. In light of that, there are actually only three variables in the financial independence equation: income, expenses, and time. The less you spend, the more you save, the faster you save it, and the less money you need overall. Considered in this context, frugality is a compounding proposition and one of the fastest ways to reach financial independence. A high salary alone is meaningless if you don’t save any of it. The more distance you can put between your earnings and your expenses, the faster you’ll reach any financial goal you set.

While I do think there are elements of my journey through extreme frugality that could be useful to anyone, I also realize that my frugality is elective. I don’t have to save as much money as I do. I’m not pinching pennies in order to eat. I’m not a missed paycheck away from bankruptcy. I choose to be frugal and I choose to live a lifestyle that has granted me financial independence. But it’s no more due to my own aptitude than the fact that I can read and write. Sure, I had to work hard to learn to read and write, but I also had parents and teachers helping me out at every turn. I wish I could say that if everyone followed my advice, they too could reach financial independence, but that’s simply not the case. There are too many layers of institutional privilege enabling my story for it to be replicable for everyone. There are many people who transcend difficult childhoods to achieve at the highest levels. Who you will grow up to be isn’t imprinted at birth or predetermined by who your parents are.


pages: 231 words: 76,283

Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way by Tanja Hester

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, anti-work, asset allocation, barriers to entry, buy and hold, crowdsourcing, diversification, estate planning, financial independence, full employment, gig economy, hedonic treadmill, high net worth, index fund, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, mortgage debt, obamacare, passive income, post-work, remote working, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, stocks for the long run, Vanguard fund

Don’t let the fact that most other commenters are bloggers stop you—if you express genuine interest in blogs you connect with, and then maybe progress to emailing directly or connecting on social media, you may find that you have some very real friendships in your life in no time. Another avenue to explore is local financial independence meetups, which are starting to pop up all over the world. Search for groups focused on early retirement; financial independence (FI); and financial independence, retire early (FIRE). • Keep your eyes on the prize: If all else fails and people in your life are pressuring you to spend money on their priorities instead of your own, remind yourself as often as you need to why you’re doing all of this. To give yourself more time to pursue your passions. To be more present with a partner or your kids.

Since retiring early from formal employment at the age of 38 along with her husband, Mark Bunge, she devotes all her time to fun and purpose: writing her award-winning financial independence blog Our Next Life, podcasting on The Fairer Cents and Adventures in Early Retirement, volunteering in her community, traveling the world, and skiing, hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing around her home in Lake Tahoe, California. Tanja has researched and explored every aspect of early retirement, from the best strategies for saving to redefining your identity without a career, and applies those lessons every day in her work-optional life, and as host of the Cents Positive retreat for women interested in financial independence. She has a regular column on MarketWatch, she’s spoken at Google and at conferences around the US, and she has been featured in the New York Times, Time, Money Magazine, Vice Media, Yahoo!

• IRS information on Rule 72T and substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP): irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-regarding-substantially-equal-periodic-payments • IRS information on federal estimated quarterly taxes: irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estimated-taxes • CAPE Median index reference: multpl.com/shiller-pe • BiggerPockets: biggerpockets.com—the most comprehensive real estate education site with in-depth resources Advance Praise for Work Optional “Hester’s story is relatable, refreshing, and a pleasure to read. All too often we chase external measures of success without thinking about what we truly want from life. In Work Optional, Hester gives us a road map for a less-traveled path: living a more purpose-driven life through financial independence.” —Kristin Wong, author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford “Tanja Hester and her partner achieved early financial independence, and in these pages she takes you on her journey. Learn why so many are firing their bosses and searching for meaning and purpose beyond cubicles and 24/7 jobs.” —Vicki Robin, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Your Money or Your Life “This isn’t just a book about how to retire early. It’s a book that proves it’s possible to be mindful with your spending and create a life that aligns with your values and passions—and that work can play whatever role you want it to.”


pages: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

Now multiply that by 12 and you’ll have the annual amount you need for financial vitality: $____ × 12 = __________ per year Again, just type in these figures, and all of this math will be done for you on the app. DREAM 3: FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE Pop the champagne, because when you’ve reached Financial Independence, you no longer have to work to have the same lifestyle you have today! The annual interest earned on the return from your savings and investments (your Freedom Fund) will provide you with the income that you need—while you sleep. You are now truly financially independent; that is, independent of work. How amazing would that feel? What kind of peace of mind would that bring you and your family? Financial Independence means that money is now your slave—you are not the slave to money. Money works for you; you don’t work for it. If you don’t like your job, you can tell your boss to shove it.

She now would have enough income never to have to work again to pay for her mortgage, her utilities, her food, her transportation, and her basic health insurance—a real sense of freedom for Angela. The impossible became possible. And guess what else happened? Once Angela realized financial security was in view, she took that emotion, that excitement, that momentum, and she said, “Hey, let’s kick it up a notch. If I can get to Financial Security by sixty-two, let’s take a look at Financial Independence. I’m going to figure out a way to become financially independent, not in my seventies or eighties but in my sixties!” And her number to reach Financial Independence? It was $50,000—only $16,000 more a year in income than she’d need for Financial Security. Angela took one more step. After reading chapter 3.6, “Get Better Returns and Speed Your Way to Victory,” she found yet another way to accelerate her plan. Angela was always extremely interested in owning income-producing real estate, and she learned some simple ways to invest in senior housing (or assisted living facilities) that are available through public and private real estate investment trusts.

This number might be really easy to calculate because, unfortunately, most people spend as much as they earn! Or sometimes more than they earn! If you made $100,000 and you spent $100,000 that year (including paying your taxes) just to maintain your lifestyle, your financial independence is $100,000. If you spend less than you earn, congratulations! Unfortunately, you are the exception, not the rule. So if it costs you only $80,000 to live, on a $100,000 salary, then $80,000 a year is what you need to be independent. So what’s your Financial Independence number? Go to the app or write it here now: $_______. Remember, clarity is power. When your brain knows a real number, your conscious mind will figure out a way to get there. You now know the income you need to be financially secure, vital, and independent.


pages: 44 words: 13,346

Extreme Early Retirement: An Introduction and Guide to Financial Independence (Retirement Books) by Clayton Geoffreys

asset allocation, dividend-yielding stocks, financial independence, index fund, passive income, risk tolerance

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.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

Remember: Your goal isn’t simply to “get out of debt.” That’s just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. Your goal is financial independence and the 5 Day Weekend. “Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed.” —GEORGE S. CLASON CHAPTER 7 PLUG CASH FLOW LEAKS Imagine you’re trying to fill a leaky bucket with water. You put a hose in it and turn the water on. As the water rises, it starts gushing out of holes in the bucket. What would be a smarter way to fill the bucket: Increase the flow so that the water coming in is greater than the water going out, or stop and plug the holes in the bucket first? The answer is obvious. Unfortunately, it’s not so obvious when it comes to finances. Everyone who hasn’t achieved financial independence thinks they’re not rich because they don’t make enough money. They have to make more money, so the logic goes, so that they can then have discretionary income to invest.

The truth is that being an employee and being controlled by market forces, your company, and your boss is far riskier. Employers are not in the business of providing guaranteed contracts of employment. Employees can only hope their employer has enough money in the bank to pay them at the end of the week. People like guarantees, but the best guarantee of a forty-hour workweek is that you’ll never become financially independent. And if you do, it will be so late in life that you’ll have already forfeited much of your freedom anyway. “The most dangerous risk of all is postponing your dreams and betting you will have the time or freedom to do it later.” —RANDY KOMISAR The risks of employment are becoming more and more evident as conventional retirement plans fail, inflation continues to rise, and markets become riskier as everything moves faster.

You don’t necessarily have to leave, but you at least have the option if you want. Or, you can keep the job and start investing 100 percent of your active income into passive income investments to continue scaling up your PIR. “Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.” —T. HARV EKER Once you’re at a 2:1 ratio, you keep growing that to hit a progressively higher ratio. My definition of financial independence is having a 5:1 PIR, and I define sustainable financial wealth as having a 10:1 PIR. Assuming monthly expenses of $5,000, a 5:1 PIR equals $25,000 and a 10:1 PIR equals $50,000 in monthly passive income. The Active Income Trap Enhanced lifestyle is, of course, the aim and benefit of increasing income. The entire 5 Day Weekend process is designed to give you the lifestyle of your dreams.


pages: 218 words: 68,648

Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

There was too much work to pay attention to anything else. It was an existential crisis, at a time when I could still afford to have one. I read the book Your Money or Your Life and was inspired by it. Co-author Joe Dominguez explained the idea, which was to establish financial independence over time by burning both ends of the candle, reducing all spending drastically, as if your life depended on it (it does, he implores) and making as much money as you could, saving nearly all of it. I decided to save all of my treasure and build up enough money to win early financial independence. I’d live a simple but free life. Another book inspired me back then: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It details the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who rejects society, gives up his possessions and hitchhikes across the country to the wild Alaskan outback to make it on his own.

Being a decent man, husband, and father should have been enough. But I craved a big hit. I wasn’t willing to give up dreams of an extraordinary life. That was the American Way, as I saw it. But I had to be careful to modulate it and not go off the deep end. My mind kept circling back to financial independence, a way to get free and clear of corporate America. I didn’t have any path to make that happen. Despite that indisputable fact, in my spare time I began listening to financial podcasts and started reading any blogs I could find on early retirement. In particular, the Reddit Financial Independence subreddit was inspiring. It was filled with people who had made enough money to live without income, as long as they budgeted and invested wisely. Over the years, living in Silicon Valley, I’d spent a lot of time tabulating how much money friends and acquaintances had made on various “exits” like IPOs and acquisitions.

I interrupted Sean. “Wait a minute, I got here first. I’m not going to give it all up now!” The room fell silent. Eileen was looking at me, actually leaning in my direction. She said, “But Dan, isn’t that the point?” And like that, I’d been outplayed. The point was to become financially independent and keep a meaningful amount of ETH for the long term. I’d made that clear. As risky a play as that had been, at least it was a measurable goal. And we had basically achieved it. We could walk away right now with financial independence and at least a thousand ETH. But I seemed to be moving the goalposts, and I couldn’t or wouldn’t articulate why. “Ok, let’s continue, and we will have to think about all of this,” I said. For the rest of the meeting, I kept my cards close to my vest and didn’t let myself show enthusiasm or anger.


The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

air freight, Albert Einstein, car-free, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, compound rate of return, financial independence, follow your passion, Golden Gate Park, job satisfaction, late fees, money market fund, music of the spheres, passive income, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, telemarketer, the rule of 72, urban decay, urban renewal, Whole Earth Review

On the other hand, if you don’t pay your card in full every month, then your interest charges, plus the annual fee, would cost you as much as a ticket. Only you know how diligent you are. Pay Yourself First Once you are out of debt, the most important secret to attaining financial independence is this: Pay yourself first. Financial independence means you don’t need to work for a living anymore; interest paid on money you have invested generates enough income for you to live on comfortably. There are other ways to attain financial independence, but they involve another kind of work. An example is real estate investments that require you to work as a landlord. You need to be aware of the trade-offs in any plan you choose. No plan is worth anything unless you follow this rule. The rule is important because we are all human, and there are enticing gadgets and goodies at every turn, waiting to separate us from our money.

Once you begin living your financial plan, your spending will go down and your savings will go up. You are financially independent when what you spend per month equals what you receive in interest from saving and investments. There is a catch to this plan. If you begin investing via the slow and steady route and put all of your money in something totally secure, such as U.S. Treasury bills, it will take you longer to reach financial independence, because Treasury bonds pay lower returns than do higher-risk investments. You will, however, have a solid, steady result at the end that will not fluctuate. You will have a guaranteed income for life, and you’ll never have to do a thing about it. On the other hand, if you wanted to earn higher interest so you could reach financial independence sooner, and you’d been putting your money in products such as stocks, you will have a more risky nest egg at the end because stock values go up and down regularly.

When Barbara earned more, she saved more Barbara also began saving her money. She looked at her dad’s compound interest chart and saw that if she saved $125 a month, she could be a millionaire by retirement age. “That was the first trigger that I could be financially independent through systematic savings and investments,” she says. At age 25, Barbara got a job as a stockbroker and learned the mechanics of investing. She was trained to understand her clients’ goals, such as college, retirement, or financial independence. “They teach you to determine what for you would be financial independence. One client might need $5 million and another $100,000. It is a very individual calculation that depends on the rate at which you consume, how many years you have left to live, plus assumptions about inflation and interest rates.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

THE BENNETT PRINCIPLE A useful place to start investigating high-quality leisure is within the so-called FI community. For those who are unfamiliar with this trend, the acronym FI stands for financial independence, which refers to the pecuniary state in which your assets produce enough income to cover your living expenses. Many people think of FI as a goal you reach around retirement age, or perhaps after receiving a large inheritance, but in recent years the internet helped fuel a newly resurgent FI community that consists mainly of young people who are finding shortcuts to this freedom through extreme frugality. Most of the attention on the FI 2.0 movement focuses on its underlying financial insights,* but these details are not relevant for our purposes. What does matter is the fact that these financially independent young people provide particularly good case studies for exploring high-quality leisure.

The second reason is that the subversive decision to pursue FI at a young age, which typically leads to radical lifestyle decisions, self-selects for individuals who are unusually intentional about how they live their lives. This combination of abundant free time and commitment to intentional living makes this group an ideal source of insight into effective leisure. Let’s start this search for insight by interrogating the habits of the informal leader of the FI 2.0 movement: a former engineer named Pete Adeney, who became financially independent in his early thirties and now blogs about his life under the purposefully self-deprecating moniker Mr. Money Mustache. When Pete became financially independent, he didn’t fill his life with the types of passive leisure activities we often associate with young men relaxing—playing video games, watching sports, web surfing, long evenings at the bar—he instead leveraged his freedom to become even more active. Pete doesn’t own a television and doesn’t subscribe to Netflix or Hulu.

What, exactly, he plans to do with the space once finished isn’t yet quite clear—but the end goal isn’t really the point; he seems to have invested in this building in large part for the project. As Pete summarizes his leisure philosophy: “If you leave me alone for a day . . . I’ll have a joyful time rotating between carpentry, weight training, writing, playing around with instruments in the music studio, making lists and executing tasks from them.” We can find a similar commitment to action in the lifestyle of Liz Thames, who also reached financial independence in her early thirties and blogs about it on the popular Frugalwoods website. Upon achieving FI, Liz and her husband, Nate, pushed their enjoyment of activity to a new extreme—leaving their home in bustling Cambridge, Massachusetts, and moving onto a sixty-six-acre homestead sited on the side of a small mountain in rural Vermont. As Liz explained to me when I asked her about this decision, moving to a homestead of this size was not a choice made lightly.


pages: 335 words: 94,657

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Michael Leboeuf, Mel Lindauer

asset allocation, buy and hold, 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, money market fund, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, the rule of 72, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 303 words: 75,192

10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less by Garett Jones

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, business cycle, central bank independence, clean water, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, game design, German hyperinflation, hive mind, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, rent control, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization

In the United States, according to Lisa Schultz Bressman and Robert Thompson, both of Vanderbilt, “several of the [finance-oriented] independent agencies have funding sources, usually from users and industry, which frees them from dependence on congressional appropriations and annual budgets developed by the executive branch.”²⁵ Regulatory agencies are just like Regency romance novels: to feel a certain personal independence, it’s important to have a clear financial independence. The power of the purse is something that regulators respect. The most famous case of financial independence in the United States is that of the Federal Reserve, which has total discretion in how it spends the interest on the investments it holds and how it spends the money it earns from the fees it receives for clearing millions of checks every day. I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at various Federal Reserve banks when attending research conferences, and I can tell you that they aren’t spending the money on the food and wine, or if they are, they’re wildly overpaying.

I’ve been fortunate enough to eat at various Federal Reserve banks when attending research conferences, and I can tell you that they aren’t spending the money on the food and wine, or if they are, they’re wildly overpaying. And in fact, the Fed returns the overwhelming majority of the fees and interest they earn each year. So whatever price we’re paying to let my fellow economists run the Federal Reserve System, it’s likely worth it as long as we’re getting low and stable inflation. The case for financially independent regulatory agencies is just a matter of applying to regulators the intuition that America’s founders had about judges: Article III of the U.S. Constitution states, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall . . . at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.” If Congress doesn’t like a federal judge, they can’t starve her out of office by cutting her pay to a dollar a year.

, 63–64, 92; on tax policy, 61, 92–94, 143 bliss points, 19–20, 21–22 Bó, Ernesto Dal: on term lengths of politicians in Argentina, 37–38 bondholders: attitudes regarding governments, 118–19, 123–24, 131–32; and conditions on loans, 125–26, 133–34; defined, 118; Hamilton on, 119, 121, 177–78; as having explicit, advisory role in governance, 11, 119, 126–27, 133, 134–36; and inflation during 1970s, 122–23; vs. shareholders, 134–35; and state sovereignty, 127–28, 179 bond prices, 120–21, 122 bond rating agencies, 121, 122, 123–24, 136 Botswana: foreign judges in, 71–72 Bouazizi, Mohamed, 144–45 Bowie, David: bonds sold by, 120 Brennan, Jason, 6; Against Democracy, 103; on epistocracy, 103; on right to competent government, 103, 104 Bressman, Lisa Schultz: on financially independent agencies, 90 British common law, 75 Buchanan, James: Calculus of Consent, 161; on decision-making costs, 161; on majority rule, 161–62; on public choice theory, 28; on side payments, 162; on unanimous agreement, 160–62 Buckley, William F., 115 buffet syndrome, 20 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 108–9 Bush, George H. W., 30–31 business start-ups, 74, 75, 76 Calvo, Ernesto: on elections years in Argentina, 36 Canada: ratio of government debt to national income in, 136; Senate, 109–10 capitalism, 2, 16 capital levy problem, 86 Caplan, Bryan: The Myth of the Rational Voter, 100; on slack in political systems, 60–61 Caraway, Teri, 34–35 Carney, Mark, 71 Carter, Jimmy: Why Not The Best?


Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Robert Clyatt

asset allocation, backtesting, buy and hold, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, fixed income, future of work, index arbitrage, index fund, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, merger arbitrage, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, rising living standards, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, working poor, zero-sum game

Other good early retirement message boards include: • www.retireearlyhomepage.com • http://raddr-pages.com/forums, and • the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) board at www .nofeeboards.com. Paul and Vicki Terhorst have a nice Web page to keep the early retirement community abreast of their adventures at www.geocities.com/ TheTropics/Shores/5315. Akaisha and Billy Kaderli, the delightful beacons of positivity profiled in the Introduction, also keep early retirees posted at www. retireearlylifestyle.com. George and Tioga are RVers who do a beautiful job of blogging their vagabond lifestyle at www.vagabonders-supreme.net. Appendix B | Resources | 343 Another blog at www.fireby40.com tracks an aspiring early retiree’s journey to financial independence. A 29-year-old Microsoft employee seeking to retire at age 40 with at least $1 million runs a blog at http://pfblog.com.

Julia expects to continue to work in a medical office for ten or 12 hours a week, something she very much enjoys, and the new locale will provide opportunities for concerts, lectures, ethnic restaurants, and a whiff of excitement. Bob has already picked up a few paid writing projects and is enjoying having plenty of free time. Bob believes that a low tolerance for BS at work is often the trigger that gets the semi-retiree to start planning an early exit, but the ones who actually make it tend to be creative, self-sufficient, intelligent—and completely committed to financial independence. The Half-Millionaires in the Next Apartment These semi-retirees have taken frugality to the farthest comfortable limits. They live, perhaps singly or as a couple, on about $25,000 a year, usually with no kids. Renting an apartment can help keep more money free to invest. Their budget secrets: Drive an old car, eat simply, keep the heat turned down. But never compromise on high-speed Internet connectivity.

If you feel more stress than you would like, then you need to take action. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help. While semiretirement offers one powerful way to reduce stress over the long run, it may not be an option that is available for you just yet. Don’t despair. Many of those on the road to semi-retirement, living frugally and saving money, begin to feel a glow as they move toward financial independence and the knowledge that they are beginning to work by choice and not by necessity. If a job becomes too stressful, they can walk. Just knowing this can take a huge weight off. Many simple but powerful techniques, from yogic breathing and stretching, to mental timeouts, to simply turning off the cell phone, can get you started on a saner way of life right away. Aside from clearly external stressors, such as toxic air or industrial noise, much stress is caused by the way we respond to situations, the things we tell ourselves or feel while stuck in a traffic jam or when falling short of a goal.


pages: 289 words: 112,697

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, 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

Albert Einstein, conceptual framework, fear of failure, financial independence, prediction markets, risk tolerance, the market place

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.


pages: 274 words: 60,596

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, diversified portfolio, financial independence, George Gilder, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, random walk, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve

Millionaire Teacher is that book! Charles E. Kirk, The Kirk Report Unlike most investment book authors, Andrew Hallam has become a millionaire by living frugally and investing HIS OWN MONEY successfully. His book is a great guide for the average person seeking financial independence. Michael B. O’Higgins O’Higgins Asset Management, Inc., Author, Beating the Dow, Beating the Dow with Bonds Andrew Hallam is proof that you don’t need a high salary, complex stock trading system or even a financial adviser to achieve financial independence. You can get rich by living within your means and using simple wealth-building tools such as low-cost index funds. Millionaire Teacher is a sensible and highly readable guide to investing that packs a lot of wisdom into its nine simple rules. There are important lessons here for everyone, from newbie investors to experienced stock pickers.

According to a 2008 Toronto Star article, a NBA Players’ Association representative visiting the Toronto Raptors team once warned the players to temper their spending by reminding them that 60 percent of retired NBA players go broke five years after they stop collecting their enormous NBA paychecks.6 How can that happen? Sadly, the average NBA basketball player has very little (if any) financial common sense. Why would he? High schools don’t prepare us for the financial world. By following the concepts of wealth in this book, you can work your way toward financial independence. With a strong commitment to the rules, you could even grow wealthy—truly wealthy. This starts by following the first of my nine wealth rules: spend like you want to be rich. By minimizing the purchases that you don’t really need, you can maximize your money for investment purposes. Of course, that’s often easier said than done when you see so many others purchasing things that you would like to have as well.

Paying more for a car than a decamillionaire In 2006, Warren Buffett, one of the three richest men in the world bought the most expensive car he has ever owned: a $55,000 Cadillac.9 The average decamillionaire—a person with a net worth of more than $10 million—paid $41,997 for his or her latest car.10 If you find yourself at an upscale mall, check out the parking lot and you’ll see many vehicles worth more than $41,997. Some will even be worth more than Warren Buffett’s car. But how many of the car owners do you think have $10 million or more? If your answer is “probably none” then you’re catching on fast. Many have jeopardized their own pursuit of wealth or financial independence for the allusion of looking wealthy instead of being wealthy. Whatever money you save on a car (not to mention the savings from interest payments if you can’t buy the car outright) can go toward wealth-building investments. Cars aren’t investments. Unlike long-term assets such as real estate, stocks, and bonds, cars depreciate in value with each passing year. One of the Savviest Guys I Ever Met—And His View on Buying Cars When I was 20 years old, I took a summer job washing buses at a bus depot to pay for my college tuition.


pages: 212 words: 70,224

How to Retire the Cheapskate Way by Jeff Yeager

asset allocation, car-free, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, Pepto Bismol, 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.”


pages: 94 words: 18,728

Stop Saving Start Investing: Ten Simple Rules for Effectively Investing in Funds by Jonathan Hobbs

Albert Einstein, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices 6 Your bank balance will go up if you save more money, but because the yearly return on your savings is lower than the inflation rate, that money will be able to buy you less ‘stuff’ each year. Chapter summary Saving your money will not make you wealthy. In fact, you could be losing wealth each year by saving if the interest rate you earn on your savings is lower than the inflation rate. Working for money will not make you wealthy. To achieve financial independence, your money needs to work for you. A good investment strategy can earn you around 10% in average investment returns per year. This isn’t as difficult to achieve as you may think. Investing pays off over time. The sooner you start investing, the better off you’ll be. CHAPTER 2 THE POWER OF COMPOUNDED INVESTMENT RETURNS “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it.

It won’t always be a smooth ride, but after many years of sensible investing you’ll be in a far better position financially than if you had saved that money in your bank account. At first your returns won’t seem like much when there’s not much money in your account, but in a few years’ time, your FOF portfolio could morph into a powerful money-making machine! My sincere thanks for reading this far. I hope you’re now one step closer to achieving your financial independence. If you would like to learn more about investing (and less about saving) you can visit www.stopsaving.com. The end. GET IN TOUCH You’ve made it through the book, great job! You’ve already shown your commitment to take charge of your financial future. But remember, what you’ve learnt here will only be useful if you put it into practice. So, get out there and make use of your new-found knowledge.


pages: 254 words: 61,387

This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World by Yancey Strickler

basic income, big-box store, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial independence, gender pay gap, global supply chain, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Nash: game theory, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical bankruptcy, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, white flight

Chick-fil-A is choosing, in a defined way, to optimize for values other than money. Not every day. Just on Sundays. There are literal costs to this but benefits, too. Chick-fil-A is one of America’s most popular restaurant chains and top-ranked places to work. The company’s unique commitment to its values is a big reason why. REBELS ON A BUDGET Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that creates value. For members of the Financial Independence Retire Early movement (FIRE), maximizing value means not spending money on things they don’t need. Wasting money is for losers. FIRE is a personal finance strategy that teaches people how to minimize their spending and maximize their long-term goals. For FIRE followers, a key first-date question is less “How much do you make?” and more “How much do you save?” According to FIRE thinking, the point of money isn’t to get rich and buy nice things.

Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up Business Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman Phil Knight, Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike Michael Lewis, Liar’s Poker Konosuke Matsushita, Not for Bread Alone Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Financial Independence Retire Early Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart, Prosper! How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting Medicine Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer David Wootton, Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates FURTHER WATCHING The Adam Curtis films The Trap, The Century of Self, and HyperNormalisation NOTES INTRODUCTION front page of China Daily: The China Daily headline ran on October 27, 2017.

See also specific companies cultural heritage, 180–81 Curtis, Adam, 270–71 data/data science, xv, 97, 123, 150, 159–62, 215 decision making, 28, 96–97 affects other people, 127–28, 144 and Bentoism, 130, 134, 138–40, 206–11 best-case outcome for, 126, 152, 243 guided by defaults, 22–23, 34–35 and making money, x–xi, 23, 135 of Maximizing Class, 62–63 rational, xiii, 134–35, 137, 139 values-driven, xiii, 132, 138–39, 152–53, 174–76, 209–10, 223 See also autonomy defaults (hidden) and bento box, 129–30 explanation of, 19–23 and financial maximization, x, 22–26, 64, 83 and game theory, 32, 34–35 and maximizing here/now, 136–37 set what’s normal, 34–35 and values, 214–15, 223 defaults (visible), 22 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 78–79 deregulation, 77–78, 83, 257 disrupting, in business, 87–88, 95–99, 103 downtown, demise of, 48, 51–52, 54 Drive (Pink), 117–19 drugs, xii, 23, 81, 249 Dublin, Ireland, 9–10 e-commerce, 47, 162 “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” (Keynes), 193–94 economy, 261 downturn in, 61–62, 71, 120 and financial maximization, x, xiii, 70, 72, 116 growth of, 120, 151, 193–95, 267 “Mullet,” 66–74, 77, 84, 110, 163 shareholder-centric, 60–61, 67–73, 82–85 See also gross domestic product (GDP); stock buybacks education, 24–26, 74–75, 110, 170–71, 197, 216, 259 electric cars, 173–75, 183 Ellison, Larry, 109–10 emotions, 22–23, 103, 113–15, 195, 260 Enron, 78, 210 Entrepreneurial State, The (Mazzucato), 78 entrepreneurship, 52–54, 75, 78–81, 196, 241 environmental issues, 14–15, 77, 172–74, 201, 212 Etsy, 212 “evergreen” model, 217 exercise, xiv, 177–78, 184–87, 189–90, 265, 267 Facebook, 53–54, 98, 109 fairness, xii–xiii, xv, 102, 142, 145, 158, 163, 195, 202, 216 family, the, xiii, xv, 26–27, 90–91, 111, 127, 138, 142, 222 Federal Reserve, 49 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 72–73 financial crises, 77–78 debt, 65–66, 74–75 growth, xv–xvi instability, 110, 112 security, xi, 109–14, 116, 141, 201, 205 Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE), 166–69 financial maximization, 236 becomes mainstream, 59–61, 63–65, 91, 180 case against, 110–11, 115–16, 119 dominance of, x–xiii, xvi, 23–25, 27, 37, 73, 97, 104–5, 133–35 downsides to, xi–xiii, 45, 196–97, 199, 243 ending its reign, xiii, 13–14, 225 four phases of, 83–85 growth of, xi, 92, 123, 196, 265 moving beyond it, 163, 168–69, 206, 209, 212 normalization of, 91, 183 not the goal, 9–10, 43–44 origins of, x, xvi, 26–32, 255 prioritizing it, 14, 63, 82–83 Financial Times, 70–71 First Amendment, 39 Fonda, Jane, 187 Food and Drug Administration, 188 Fortune, 68 Fox News, xii Friedman, Milton, 59–61, 63, 82, 90–91, 105, 180, 255, 261 Future Me examples of, 138, 167–69, 202–6, 211 explanation of, 132, 143, 206 and values helix, 218–23 Future Us, 196 examples of, 138, 169, 171–75, 201–6, 211 explanation of, 132, 144–45, 206 and values helix, 218–19 game theory, 237, 250 and collaboration, 32–34 and Community Game, 33–35, 98 its notion of rationality, 29–35, 97 and Prisoner’s Dilemma, 28–34, 130–33, 198–99 and Stag Hunt, 32–34 and Wall Street Game, 33–35, 98 Garfield, James, 146–47, 149, 179 Gates, Bill, 109–10 generational change, xiv, 180–84, 187, 191–92, 266–67 influence, xi, 152, 218–24, 271 generosity, xii, 7, 118, 134, 175 Gomory, Ralph, 82 Google, 53–54, 110, 123 Great Depression, 71, 77, 120, 193 Greatest Generation, 192 grit, 135, 143–45 gross domestic product (GDP), xii, 23, 83, 120–24, 196, 235 gross domestic value (GDV), 217–18 Groupon, 96–97, 100 gyms, xiv, 20, 186–87 Hanchett, Thomas, 49 happiness.


pages: 139 words: 33,246

Money Moments: Simple Steps to Financial Well-Being by Jason Butler

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, buy and hold, Cass Sunstein, diversified portfolio, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, happiness index / gross national happiness, index fund, intangible asset, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, passive income, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Steve Jobs, time value of money, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Have a good long look at a year’s worth of your bank statements and work out where your money goes. Then ask yourself if this spending making you happy and, if not, what would. You have to weigh up whether the temporary happiness you derive from your short-term spending decisions is worth sacrificing longer term goals like becoming debt free, building up a sufficient emergency fund or saving for financial independence. You don’t have to get your spending to zero, but you do need to get it under control so you can live a life that reflects who you want to be, not what consumerism tells you to be. And once you’ve done that you can make sure that the first bill that gets paid each month is the monthly savings or debt repayment amount for your future self. 10 BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T GO SHOPPING ‘You can never have too many hats, gloves, and shoes.’

Setting the wrong flight coordinates by a small amount, failing to regularly cross-check the progress of the flight, combined with lack of visibility all led to a terrible catastrophe. Planning your lifetime wealth is a bit like planning a long-distance plane journey. You need to have an idea of where you are heading in terms of life expectancy, cash inflows and outflows, key life events and when you want to have achieved financial independence (that stage when paid work is optional – you work because you want to, not because you have to). Along the way you’ll need to make course corrections in the light of actual spending, income, taxes, inflation, and investment returns. A recent study found that people who had a long-term financial plan experienced greater financial well-being. Thinking about their life over many years, rather than just the here and now gave them context for financial decisions and made them feel more in control of day-to-day spending, resulting in lower debt and higher savings


pages: 146 words: 34,934

The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by David Bach, John David Mann

cryptocurrency, financial independence, late fees, time value of money

—Bobbi Rebell, CFP®, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup, host of the Financial Grownup podcast, and former Reuters business TV anchor “A captivating story packed with aha moments. The Latte Factor will surprise and delight you—and it will transform the way you think about personal finances.” —Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author of Platform and Your Best Year Ever “Bach and Mann offer a master class in the fundamentals of personal finance and financial independence, wrapped in an engaging story of self-discovery. The Latte Factor is a gem!” —Bob Roth, New York Times bestselling author of Strength in Stillness “Bach and Mann have done a startlingly good job of illustrating life’s deepest secret and most profound truth: that a genuinely rich life—a life of ‘flat-out, unbridled joy,’ as the authors put it—is available to anyone in any circumstances.

The point is not to obsess or keep track of every dollar you spend forevermore. Remember: budgets don’t work. No, the point of the exercise is simply to give yourself a little evidence—to show you that you already earn enough right now to build wealth.” She looked up at him. “You mean, I’m richer than I think,” she said. “You’re richer than you think,” he echoed. “Which is true, by the way. You, Zoey, earn enough, right now, to become financially independent. It’s just that, like most people, you’re letting it drain away as quickly as you earn it. It’s like filling a bathtub with the drain wide-open and wondering why it never gets full enough to take a nice hot bath. We dribble away what should be the seeds of a fortune on little things that don’t matter, without ever giving it much thought. Grabbing all your coffee out, when you could as easily make some at home.


pages: 386 words: 116,233

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by Mj Demarco

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, bounce rate, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, commoditize, dark matter, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Lao Tzu, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, passive investing, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, white picket fence, World Values Survey, zero day

What a sad, delusional Sidewalking belief. I'm not lucky; I'm a player of the game. While Mr. Lucky-Bastard-Hater uttered that under his breath and sat his ass in the dugout, I was at the plate taking swings. Joe is a Sidewalker and believes luck is required to get rich. He spends his days working construction and his evenings commenting on gossip blogs, playing videogames, and watching TV. He has given up on his dreams of financial independence based on his ideas of luck. “I'm just not a lucky guy,” he laments. Joe's brother Bill also has a job in construction, except Bill spends his evenings surfing the Internet, researching the newest practices of inventing and engineering. Bill's dream is to be an inventor and has created four prototypes of inventions in various fields. Bill also spends his vacation time at trade shows and marketing seminars.

Are they rich because of what they preach, OR what they sell? Once you're familiar with Fastlane mathematics, it should become clear to you which gurus are likely guilty of the paradox. Is the underlying mathematical equation which governs their teachings the same one that made them rich? If the "do as I say" doesn't match the "do as I do", you should be suspicious. What makes me different is this: The Fastlane concepts in this book gave me financial independence. I already have financial freedom-the nice house, the sports cars, and the flashy rapper credit card. I don't need this book to get me these things. I also confess this Fastlane disclaimer: This book has the power to make me wealthier because it leverages the same wealth equation I teach you. In other words, the "do as I say" matches the "do as I do." Slowlane Gurus Admit Failure On a Slowlane financial radio show, a caller sought advice: In a few months the recession destroyed more than 50% of her savings, which had taken her nearly 11 years to accumulate.

The variables are limited because your reach is confined to a small area. How many hot dogs could you conceivably sell in the day? 40? 100? Is it possible you can go home and rave to your wife “Honey! I sold 20,000 hot dogs today!” It would never happen! Again, this isn't much different from the 24-hour cage on intrinsic value. Small numbers have a strong gravity toward mediocrity. Another example is this book itself. How many people are interested in financial independence or early retirement? My market, my upper speed limit, is virtually hundreds of millions of people all over the world. To weaponize the Fastlane wealth equation, you must engage in a Fastlane business that has the potential for leverage or high speed limits. Retarded numbers retard wealth! Millionaires Create and Manipulate Assets (Asset Value) In a survey of 3,000 pentamillionaires ($5 million net worth) the Harrison Group (HarrisonGroupInc.com) reported that almost all pentamillionaires made their fortunes in a big lump sum after a period of years.


pages: 168 words: 47,972

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

dematerialisation, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, follow your passion, George Santayana, Lao Tzu, large denomination, personalized medicine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the map is not the territory

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.


pages: 314 words: 46,664

The Making of Karateka: Journals 1982-1985 by Jordan Mechner

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, financial independence, game design, Rubik’s Cube, Ted Nelson

How is it possible, in the course of an hour, to develop such affection and regard for a complete stranger? On his way out, Ben Kingsley shook my hand. George’s too. November 5, 1983 Read Stephen King’s Firestarter this afternoon, having bought it last night. I wish I’d spent the day working on Karateka. I really am a self-destructive bastard. Tomorrow morning I’ll leap out of bed and plunge into it. (Dreaming) Money. Financial independence. A place in the Softalk Top Thirty. Getting interviewed by computer magazines. It’s hard for me to imagine such significant changes in my life. Maybe I’m procrastinating partly because I’m afraid to disturb the stasis I’ve been enjoying for two years now. Which is stupid. So get to work! (But not tonight. I’m really very tired.) This fantasy is different from my other fantasies, in that it may very well come true just the way I’ve said.

Then I went over to his room and copied three disks: Fonts 1, SmoothTalker, and MusicWorks. I made Tom jump: When he walked in, a deep computer voice said “Greetings, Thomas. Would you like to play a game?” But the novelty wore off fairly quickly. March 20, 1985 OK, so in the transition from adolescence to adulthood, I’ve already pushed a few of the markers over to the other side of the line: Financially independent. College diploma, coming up. Career opportunities, plenty. Still on this side of the line: No driver’s license. No girl. Still live at home. My scenarios for the post-Commencement future all have one thing in common: They’re gutless. No major changes. • Try my hand at screenwriting – but without abandoning game making. • Go to California – but only for a little while. • Live at home – but not indefinitely.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

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, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, 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, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, 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, The Future of Employment, 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.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, 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.


pages: 710 words: 164,527

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Charles Lindbergh, 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, lateral thinking, margin call, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, New Journalism, open economy, Paul Samuelson, 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.


pages: 360 words: 113,429

Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence by Rachel Sherman

American ideology, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, financial independence, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mental accounting, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

Like, it’s my own account, and my money. We have everything together, as well. But he’s certainly not looking through my credit card bill, thinking, ‘What is this?’ … And anything related to family, whether it’s groceries or home, he’s like, ‘Spend as much as you need.’” When her husband says, “Spend as much as you need,” he sounds like other husbands, who ultimately have power over the couple’s money. But her financial independence means he can’t control her spending (though she does echo the idea that spending on herself should come from “her” money). Danielle had been a banker before leaving paid work. Like her husband, she had inherited wealth, from which she paid herself a “salary,” as we have seen. She told me, specifically alluding to her primary role in household consumption, “I don’t understand how you could be the one who spends the money and not know.

She said, explaining why their accounts were not entirely joint, “He likes having a nest egg of money so that he doesn’t have to be in the position of asking me for money.” He had not wanted to use “his” money to solve a temporary cash flow problem with the renovation, even though she had explained that she would repay him with her end-of-year bonus. He seems to feel—like the stay-at-home or low-earning women discussed earlier—that he needs his own money to be protected. And she is willing to legitimate this need and preserve the “family myth” that he is financially independent.23 GENDER, CLASS, AND CONTRIBUTION As Viviana Zelizer has written, “In organizing their economic activities, household members are actually negotiating the significance of relations among themselves.”24 As they negotiated household consumption and labor with their partners, the people I interviewed were also working out the value of their own contributions to family life. These negotiations are common across classes, of course.

See reciprocity married couples: and anxiety about money, 110, 156, 158–59, 177, 185; asymmetrical power dynamics in, 179–89; complementarity and harmonious, 158–59, 163–66; conflicts over spending or consumption, 24, 155–60, 173–76, 180–81; and consumption work as contribution, 163, 167–68, 196; control of money within, 155–60, 162–64, 167, 173, 175–78, 180–81, 183–85; dependence within, 38–39, 63–64, 72, 90, 167, 176–79, 189, 193, 196, 272n2; duel earner, 189–93; entitlement within, 158–60, 175, 178–79, 196 (see also unpaid labor under this heading); financial independence within, 176–79, 193; inherited wealth and, 159–60, 178–79, 183–85; and labor of lifestyle as contribution, 17, 78–79, 159, 163–65, 169, 179, 195–96; legal entitlement to marital property, 175–76, 180, 185–86, 189; negotiation within, 112–13; provider/consumer dynamic in, 67–68, 163–67, 195; relations of distribution within, 157; same-sex, 88, 189; single-earner couples, 167, 194–95 (see also unpaid labor as contribution under this heading); spending control and constraints within, 156–59, 161–63, 167–68, 173, 178–79, 183–85; spending styles and, 158–59, 165–66, 171, 175; time as controlled resource in, 159, 171–75; traditional gender roles and, 159–63, 180–81, 183–84, 189, 191–92, 194–95; unpaid labor as contribution within, 24, 61, 81–82, 86–89, 157–60, 163–65 materialism, 8, 23–24, 38, 93, 101–6, 112–13, 120–21, 198, 221–23, 275n11 Mears, Ashley, 277n26 media: representation of wealth in, 8–9, 13, 254 meritocracy, 12–13, 22–23, 62, 254; and wealth as deserved, 64, 230 methodology: characteristics of sample, 14–15, 242, 245–47, 256, 266n1, 272n6; coding process, 251, 257, 277n19; confidentiality, 255–56; critiques of, 252–55; interview process, 248–52; New York City as research site, 13–15, 242, 249; recruitment of interviewees, 14, 242–45; sampling (see sampling); “saturation,” 251–52 middle class, 6; “aspiring to the middle,” 28–44, 94, 266n1; consumption choices as hallmark of, 36, 232; contrasted with “working class” and “upper class,” 262n33; definitions of, 259n16, 262n33; as ghost category, 7–8; moral worth and membership in, 7–8, 23, 31–32, 44, 121; normalization of affluence and identification with, 23–24, 36, 43, 121, 232–33 Mills, C.


pages: 214 words: 71,585

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Trump, financial independence, happiness index / gross national happiness, index card, Joan Didion, 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.”


pages: 229 words: 64,697

The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need by Scott Pape

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, financial independence, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Own Your Own Home, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Snapchat

It's a learnt skill — like driving — and it has more to do with your behaviour than your brains. This explains why I know a lot of so-called financial experts who don't have two bob to rub together — and why I also know wealthy people who never finished high school. You don't need to be a financial expert to win with money. It's much more important to start than it is to be smart. And remember: you're in luck — you've got me as your independent tour guide to financial independence. Here's you: I don't earn enough. Here's me: It's not about what you earn, but what you save. I've had clients who were cleaners their entire lives, who never earned more than the minimum wage, but used compound interest to build a million-dollar portfolio. Here's you: I've left it too late … I should have saved more when I was younger. Here's me: Stop for a second and tell me what age you'll be when you die.

Those people will always be broke.) Some who invest will often check their returns after three years, feel they're getting nowhere and decide to ‘diversify' into a Honda Jazz, a trip to Bali and an iPhone 98. (The reality is that most people learn about compound interest in reverse — by buying stuff they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't care about. Yet debt robs them of their financial independence. Debt makes things more expensive. Ultimately, debt is slavery.) Hardly anyone makes it to the seventh year, which is when the compounding snowball really starts. Yet if you can stick with it, that's when your life changes. The money starts pouring in, in gushes. That's when you'll crack the time code. And that's when you can truly ‘tread your own path', as I'm always banging on about.


pages: 237 words: 66,545

The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Bernie Madoff, Ethereum, financial independence, global village, hiring and firing, housing crisis, passive income, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

And if he wasn’t always scraping by, he could do things like buy plane tickets for Maya and him to visit her parents at Thanksgiving instead of driving five hours each way. Maybe he could even begin to save for the future. Finally, even though having more money technically wouldn’t help him keep his job at Brightside, he’d be less worried about losing it. The worst-case scenario wouldn’t mean he was out on the street—it would just mean he’d need to find another gig. That’s what it all came down to, he realized. Financial independence. A new way to get paid, preferably in larger-than-small amounts and on a regular basis. Money wasn’t the answer to everything, but if he had more money coming in, a lot of things would be a lot easier. So where’s the money tree, Jake? 4. Getting into Titan was like gaining access to a top-secret CIA vault. Visitors passed through multiple security checks on the way inside.

He was proud of her, and he wanted to do whatever he could to support her dreams. He had some dreams of his own, too, including some that were just beginning to form. What he was learning wasn’t just an answer to his immediate problems, it felt like a beginning to a whole new life. He wasn’t sure how he’d arrived at this juncture of crisis and opportunity, but he was looking forward to discovering where it would take him. It was clear that financial independence was key to many parts of whatever came next, and now he felt it might actually be in reach. Jogging back to the guesthouse, he made a mental note of something else he had to do. The next day, before they left, he spent an hour writing postcards while sitting at a café. He sent one to Maya, of course, and others to Zach, Liza, and their parents. He saved his last postcard for Preena, thanking her again for the incredibly generous gift of a plane ticket.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business cycle, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, 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, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, 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, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, 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.


pages: 202 words: 72,857

The Wealth Dragon Way: The Why, the When and the How to Become Infinitely Wealthy by John Lee

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, intangible asset, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, negative equity, passive income, payday loans, self-driving car, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, 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.


pages: 446 words: 138,827

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, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.


pages: 287 words: 80,050

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less by Emrys Westacott

Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Diane Coyle, discovery of DNA, Downton Abbey, dumpster diving, financial independence, full employment, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, McMansion, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, negative equity, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the market place, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, Zipcar

I learned from Amy Dacyczyn’s The Tightwad Gazette how to make a toilet-brush holder out of an empty milk carton, and I have never bought a toilet-brush holder since! On the other hand, her claim that one can mix real and fake maple syrup with no significant loss in quality failed a rudimentary family taste test.) But while a few treat frugality as primarily a method for becoming rich, or at least for achieving financial independence, most are concerned with more than cutting coupons, balancing checkbooks, and making good use of overripe bananas. They are fundamentally about lifestyle choices and values. And although they are not works of philosophy, they are nonetheless connected to and even undergirded by a venerable philosophical tradition that in the West goes back at least as far as Socrates. This tradition constitutes a moral outlook—or, perhaps more accurately, a family of overlapping moral perspectives—that associates frugality and simplicity with virtue, wisdom, and happiness.

(San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2005); Juliet Schor, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (New York: Harper, 1999); Charles Long, How to Survive without a Salary: Learning How to Live the Conserver Lifestyle (Toronto: Warwick Publishing, 1988); Jeff Yeager, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less (New York: Broadway Books, 2008); Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (New York: Penguin, 1992); Gregory Karp, Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2008); Lauren Weber, In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009); Solomon Shepherd, The Lost Art of Frugality: A Frug’s Philosophy (N.p.: HCL, 2002); Ed Romney, Living Well on Practically Nothing (Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2001). 2.


pages: 252 words: 85,441

A Book for Her by Bridget Christie

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Boris Johnson, British Empire, carbon footprint, clean water, Costa Concordia, David Attenborough, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Isaac Newton, obamacare, Rubik’s Cube, sexual politics

I’ve tried to give a shit about maternity leave and who does the housework, and all I can come up with is, if your job doesn’t give you as much time off as you want, suck it up or get another job. If your partner doesn’t do the washing-up, same. Suck it up? Suck it up? Why don’t you s— Oh, hang on. This is a great example of how complex the issue of the sex industry is within feminism. Luckily, I’m here to explain it to you simply and clearly, just like I did with the Vikings in my radio pitch. Brooke Magnanti is obviously a feminist. She’s a financially independent, strong woman who worked in the sex industry to get her through college because her doctoral studies didn’t include enough sex, which she loves. If that’s not a feminist I don’t know what is. But Brooke won’t call herself a feminist, because she feels that the ‘British feminist community’, whatever that is, slighted her by saying that some areas of the sex industry, like porn, prostitution and strip clubs, are contributing factors in female oppression.

Or ‘I’m not a feminist, but … I can’t believe the Taliban shot a little girl just because she wanted to go to school.’ I think we need to change the debate on this. So the question is not ‘Are you a feminist?’ but ‘Are you not a feminist?’ Being a feminist should be our default position. A given. Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong. Maybe we need to approach it in a different way. There are so many anti-feminists out there, many of them financially independent, contraceptive-taking, voting, educated women, that perhaps we should stop fighting for more women’s rights, and start fighting for less of them. Maybe we should try to have all the hard-won rights taken from us again. Perhaps that might end the debate once and for all. Obviously, our aim would still be gender equality, so men wouldn’t have any rights either. It’d be like living in Iran.


pages: 306 words: 82,765

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Brownian motion, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, David Graeber, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Thorp, equity premium, financial independence, information asymmetry, invisible hand, knowledge economy, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, mental accounting, microbiome, moral hazard, Murray Gell-Mann, offshore financial centre, p-value, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Ralph Nader, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra

A celibacy requirement might help with rebellious causes, but it isn’t the greatest way to multiply your sect through the ages. Financial independence is another way to solve ethical dilemmas, but such independence is hard to ascertain: many seemingly independent people aren’t particularly so. While, in Aristotle’s days, a person of independent means was free to follow his conscience, this is no longer as common in modern days. Intellectual and ethical freedom requires the absence of the skin of others in one’s game, which is why the free are so rare. I cannot possibly imagine the activist Ralph Nader, when he was the target of large motor companies, raising a family with 2.2 kids and a dog. But neither celibacy nor financial independence makes one unconditionally immune, as we see next. FINDING HIDDEN VULNERABILITIES So far we have seen that the requirement of celibacy is enough evidence that society has, traditionally, been implicitly penalizing some layer of a collective for the actions of a person.


pages: 79 words: 24,875

Are Trams Socialist?: Why Britain Has No Transport Policy by Christian Wolmar

active transport: walking or cycling, Beeching cuts, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, BRICs, congestion charging, Diane Coyle, financial independence, full employment, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Network effects, railway mania, trade route, urban sprawl, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

These are policies that do not involve any investment in hardware but, rather, are aimed at changing behaviour. Initiatives such as Smart Travel schemes, where individual households are presented with their transport options in interviews, are expensive, but they have been shown to bear fruit, with more people using public transport or walking or cycling when they realize what alternatives are available. A third key principle would be devolution, though this must come with genuine financial independence. It is no coincidence that those parts of the country that have the best record of transport investment, such as London, Scotland and Manchester, are those with a greater say over infrastructure investment priorities. London is the most compelling example. It already had a fantastic network of transport infrastructure, but thanks to devolution and being given control over its finances (plus the added advantage of being able to bully national politicians by arguing that London is a great growth generator and that transport is vital to that growth), it has, since the mayoralty was created in 2000, created a new network of railways (London Overground), massively improved bus services, imposed a congestion charge to help finance improvements, established a large network of hire bikes, created a series of ‘cycle superhighways’, obtained a promise to be given control of much of the suburban rail network, and has two massive rail investment schemes due to be completed before the end of the decade (Thameslink and Crossrail).


pages: 408 words: 94,311

The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth, James Ledbetter, Daniel B. Roth

bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, financial independence, Joseph Schumpeter, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, short selling, statistical model, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration

Most people learn the first rule and succeed in saving various amounts out of their earnings but very few learn the second rule—how to invest it so it earns a profit and yet not lose the principal. It follows then that it is most important to learn how to invest money and make it work for you. W—above mentioned—actually saved $12000 out of his earnings. Wisely invested, he might now be financially independent. Instead he is broke. What is that one thing that leads one man to financial independence and the other to the scrap heap—when both worked hard and both saved the same amount out of their earnings? W has a record which shows he was avaricious and was not satisfied with a fair investment return. His record also shows his investment judgment was bad whether he bought real estate or stocks. He bought vacant lots in poor neighborhoods that never developed and his equity has disappeared.


pages: 378 words: 102,966

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey

big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Corrections Corporation of America, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, God and Mammon, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Mark Shuttleworth, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Peter Calthorpe, 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.


All About Asset Allocation, Second Edition by Richard Ferri

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset allocation, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, capital controls, commoditize, 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, intangible asset, Long Term Capital Management, Mason jar, money market fund, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, pattern recognition, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, 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.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

In India, with the growth of formal employment came a greater demand for women’s presence in the service industries, particularly in business process outsourcing.23 But the country’s traditionalist impulses of political, religious, and caste ruling parties splinter cultural interest. India has made room to value the role of modern career women but is less accommodating of women who are financially independent and lay claim to identities beyond “wife,” “mother,” and “daughter.” While the pressure for women to “have it all” is a global phenomenon, women in the United States and India have different resources to navigate the constraints on their time.24 Women are still expected to prioritize family and social obligations over their commitments to the job and may not be able to reap the benefits of a professional IT career, such as stable pay, family leave, insurance, and validation as a “career woman.”

Workers can make ghost work a navigable path out of challenging circumstances, meeting a basic need for autonomy and independence that is necessary for pursuing other interests, bigger than money.32 GLASS CEILINGS On-demand jobs offer those in the U.S. and India who face workplace discrimination—particularly historically marginalized communities, women, and people with disabilities—digital literacy, a sense of identity, respect among family, and financial independence. Women who dropped out of the workforce to care for young children face barriers when they try to return. Women in the U.S. and India come from different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, and social roles, but women in the two countries share similar challenges in receiving fair pay and recognition for their contributions in the workplace, at the same time that they, paradoxically, go unpaid for their irreplaceable work as caregivers in their households.33 Kumuda, 34, is a Hindu mother of two who lives in Chennai, a coastal city in Tamil Nadu.


pages: 109 words: 33,946

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

banking crisis, Credit Default Swap, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, income inequality, Paul Samuelson, RAND corporation, Yom Kippur War

The mechanism seems simple: poor people are forced to share their time and resources more than wealthy people are, and as a result they live in closer communities. Inter-reliant poverty comes with its own stresses—and certainly isn’t the American ideal—but it’s much closer to our evolutionary heritage than affluence. A wealthy person who has never had to rely on help and resources from his community is leading a privileged life that falls way outside more than a million years of human experience. Financial independence can lead to isolation, and isolation can put people at a greatly increased risk of depression and suicide. This might be a fair trade for a generally wealthier society—but a trade it is. The psychological effect of placing such importance on affluence can be seen in microcosm in the legal profession. In 2015, the George Washington Law Review surveyed more than 6,000 lawyers and found that conventional success in the legal profession—such as high billable hours or making partner at a law firm—had zero correlation with levels of happiness and well-being reported by the lawyers themselves.


pages: 184 words: 35,076

Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles by Dan Ariely, William Haefeli

endowment effect, financial independence, Google Hangouts, loss aversion, sealed-bid auction, Skype

This is particularly sad, Scitovsky argues, because real progress—as well as real pleasure—comes from taking risks and trying very different approaches to life and types of experiences. So, perhaps this is a good opportunity to give up your comfort and give pleasure a chance. Relationships, Long-Term Thinking, Happiness ON INVESTING IN FINANCIAL ADVISORS “You can’t learn the path to financial independence from just ANY infomercial.” {Illustrations © 2015 William Haefeli} Dear Dan, Are financial advisors a wise investment? Mine charges me 1 percent each year for all my assets under management. Is it worth it? —ALLAN It is hard to know for sure. But the fact that many financial advisors have many different hidden fees suggests to me that they themselves don’t think that people would pay as much for their services if they charged in a clear and up-front way.


pages: 267 words: 79,905

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, longitudinal study, 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, spread of share-ownership, 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.


pages: 398 words: 108,026

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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 367 words: 109,122

Revolution 2:0: A Memoir and Call to Action by Wael Ghonim

British Empire, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, financial independence, Khan Academy, Mohammed Bouazizi, Skype, WikiLeaks

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.


pages: 349 words: 104,796

Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman by Ken Auletta

business climate, corporate governance, financial independence, fixed income, floating exchange rates, interest rate swap, New Journalism, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, traveling salesman, zero-coupon bond

His mother’s family once owned the Stop & Shop supermarket chain. Peter went to the right private schools, was the last member of his freshmen class to be accepted but nevertheless graduated cum laude from Harvard, received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and married Linda Newman, whose family were also successful retailers. Although his partners believed Solomon was far wealthier than he actually was, he did enjoy a degree of financial independence not shared by most partners, who did not think of themselves as wealthy despite annual earnings ranging from about $500,000 to more than $2 million, in addition to owning millions of dollars in Lehman stock. As Peterson spoke, Solomon remembers thinking, If only I had known beforehand, I wouldn’t have let it happen. He might have leaked it. He might have organized his partners in protest.

If Lehman wanted to be a full-service firm, and he believed that decision had already been made and could be undone only at great peril, then it needed capital. For Bingham, too, it was time to sell. Roger Altman, thirty-seven, lost his mentor when Peterson left, then lost his job as part of the troika running banking. He was just now getting deeply involved again in his first love, politics and government, as an adviser to Walter Mondale in his bid for the 1984 presidential nomination. The sale of Lehman would give him the financial independence coveted by those who wish to serve in government but can’t afford it. Altman’s antennae were too sensitive for him not to pick up the whispers that he had damaged himself by tacking with the prevailing winds when Glucksman assumed command. Although he now began to impress his partners by showing more spine, for Roger Altman it was time to sell. Like Altman, François de Saint Phalle, thirty-seven, lost his elevated position as one of three men running banking.


The Linguist: A Personal Guide to Language Learning by Steve Kaufmann

borderless world, British Empire, discovery of DNA, financial independence, haute cuisine, South China Sea, trade liberalization, urban sprawl

Although I had already learned two languages in addition to English, it was my move to Japan, and the subsequent A Personal Guide to Language Learning 77 acquisition of the Japanese language, that made a major difference to my life. Speaking Japanese, I was able to create good personal contacts in the Japanese business community. For this reason I was later hired by two of the major Canadian lumber exporting companies, on two separate occasions to run their Asian marketing operations. This eventually resulted in me starting my own company, whereby I was able to achieve a certain degree of financial independence. I do not know what path I would have followed if I had gone to Beijing after all. No doubt I would have become more fluent in Chinese. I might still be in the diplomatic service or in the academic field or perhaps other opportunities would have come along. But pursuing languages was like a net for me, allowing me to catch opportunities that would otherwise have passed me by. One example occurred in 1981.


pages: 612 words: 200,406

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton

banking crisis, business climate, California gold rush, centre right, Columbine, financial independence, God and Mammon, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, unbiased observer, young professional

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.


Stock Market Wizards: Interviews With America's Top Stock Traders by Jack D. Schwager

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, Black-Scholes formula, commodity trading advisor, computer vision, East Village, Edward Thorp, financial independence, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, money market fund, Myron Scholes, 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 Regency Revolution: Jane Austen, Napoleon, Lord Byron and the Making of the Modern World by Robert Morrison

British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, financial independence, full employment, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, New Urbanism, railway mania, stem cell, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, wage slave

Crucial to any madam’s success was her ability to keep up “her stock of beautiful females.” Girls who turned solid profits were given “the pleasure and enjoyment of an elegant carriage, and livery servants to attend upon them to all the public places of resort.” 31 Harriette Wilson was the leading Cyprian of the Regency and worked almost exclusively in aristocratic circles, where she was well beyond the reach of grubbing madams and enjoyed a great deal of social, sexual, and financial independence. Born Harriette Dubouchet in Mayfair in 1786, she was one of fifteen children of an irascible Swiss watchmaker and his English wife, a silk-stocking mender who kept a shop in fashionable Queen Street. According to her own account, Harriette decided before she was ten years old that she was going “to live, free as air, from any restraint but that of my conscience,” and in her early teens she would sit with her sisters in her mother’s shop window and watch young elites saunter by, or flirt with them when they stopped in.

“It is bleak,” he wrote of one of his paintings in 1814, “and looks as if there would be a shower of sleet, and that you know is too much the case with my things.” Distressing Constable especially at this time was his inability to marry the love of his life, Maria Bicknell, whose family was firmly opposed to her relationship with the struggling artist. But when in 1816 his father died and Constable received an inheritance, he finally had the financial independence needed to marry Maria, and thereafter he painted with much greater confidence. “All my hopes and prospects in life are included in my attachment to you,” he had told her during their courtship, much of which they were forced to conduct clandestinely.44 Vitality, spontaneity, and comprehensiveness characterize Constable’s finest Regency paintings. Admiring though he was of several of the great landscape artists who had come before him, Constable in his work nevertheless sought to emancipate himself from tradition and rule.


pages: 126 words: 45,323

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

financial independence, sexual politics

All I could think was that here we were at a professional event, aimed at helping women break down barriers in their career paths and yet all these women were saying they wanted to be like their mums. No wonder you can’t get promoted, I thought, meanly, if your role model stayed home. Here’s the thing: my mother worked long hours out of the home. She taught me that the most important thing for a woman is to be financially independent. She taught me that women should be ambitious and take pride in their work. She taught me that work comes first and the domestic, with all its feelings, comes second. All these lessons conditioned me to think of working as the brave and necessary journey that women must take. So, ironically, I could have claimed my mother as my role model. But I would never have said ‘my mum’ when they asked about role models, because I couldn’t have put motherhood at the top of the hierarchy of achievements.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

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, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, 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.


pages: 403 words: 132,736

In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, call centre, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, demographic dividend, energy security, financial independence, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, job-hopping, Kickstarter, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Silicon Valley, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban planning, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K

One of them is a software engineer and has a job in the United Arab Emirates. The other was preparing for university entrance exams. Mrs. Kutty, who is illiterate, said she wished she had had her daughters’ opportunities. “Nowadays the girls have to get a good education, otherwise they would never get a job in the Gulf,” she said. “All the girls are studying so hard.” Since they are educated and financially independent, a small but growing number of the younger women in Mini-Gulf are now deciding for themselves whom they will marry and when. “In our day none of us had any choice,” said Mrs. Kutty. If I had driven through the district and simply observed life on the streets, I might have gotten a different impression. In the West, we are trained to see purdah and the veil as signs of women’s oppression.

Nowadays it is normal for the groom’s family to demand things such as cars, washing machines, and even a U.S. green card as part of their dowries. This explains the odd tendency of newspaper columnists to blame the twin curses of the worsening gender divide and dowry inflation on Western consumer values, even though neither problem exists in the West. In contrast, most of the educated upper-caste elites in India have largely abandoned the practice of dowry. Their daughters go to university so they have become financially independent. Yet this is not true of all upper castes in all parts of India. For example, the survival chances of unborn daughters in both the Jain and the Marwari communities, who are the traditional business elites of Gujarat and elsewhere, continue to deteriorate. The Jains, who dominate much of Gujarat’s merchant trade, are a strictly vegetarian offshoot of Hinduism. Orthodox Jains can be recognized instantly by the white cotton face masks they wear to prevent the possibility of swallowing an insect.


pages: 589 words: 128,484

America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve by Roger Lowenstein

bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, corporate governance, fiat currency, financial independence, full employment, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, old-boy network, quantitative easing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair, walking around money

The America of the late nineteenth century was an industrial powerhouse but a financial also-ran. The U.S. dollar was a second-rate currency; incredibly, the dollar was quoted in fewer currency markets than the relatively puny Italian lira or Austrian schilling. In monetary terms, America remained a stepchild of the Bank of England, whose interest-rate maneuvers could, and often did, plunge Wall Street into recession. Financial independence required a more resilient currency, and one whose supply was regulated not in London or in Paris but in America itself. But what sort of bank would issue this currency and what rules would it live by? These questions had preoccupied Americans since the Civil War. They fought—unceasingly—over whether the money supply should be pegged to the country’s gold reserve, or to silver, or to some other standard.

., 323, 324 Mondell, Frank, 230 monetarism, 226 monetary policy, 258 monetary reform, 5–8, 24, 48, 90, 92, 93–94, 97, 119, 128, 222, 251 Aldrich’s focus on, 89–91, 97–98, 120 public associations with, 123 money: agricultural assets and, 221–22 bank-issued, 3, 6, 11–13, 17, 24–25, 41, 55, 78, 128, 200, 204, 213, 221, 226–27 concentration of, 215 counterfeiting of, 13 creation of, 264 financial independence and, 6 government-issued, 128, 185, 199–200, 204, 207, 213–14, 252, 323; see also fiat money hoarding of, 69, 285 invented, 67 issuance under Aldrich Plan, 114 issued by Fed, 1, 117, 244, 245 national currency and, 41 paper, 11–13, 16 private issue of, 119 proper basis of, 225–27 Second Bank and, 3–4 supply of, 67, 225, 246, 258, 259, 270 trading of, 68 see also currency Money and Currency (Ravenscroft), 97 Money Changers, The (Sinclair), 72 money question, 199–200 money shortages, 2, 6, 15–19, 27, 49, 53, 68–69, 185, 204, 263 Aldrich on, 37–38 Coxey’s march and, 21 Panic of 1907 and, 59–60 Money Trust, 134, 136–37, 182, 252, 259, 269, 270 Money Trust inquiry, 141, 151–52, 155–56, 160, 172, 175, 191–93, 195, 268, 303 monopolies, 22, 71, 167–68, 175–76, 308 fears of, 19 National City Bank as, 135 Untermyer hearings and, 175 Wilson and, 169 Montana, 61 Moore & Schley, 71 Morawetz, Victor, 97, 101, 149, 174, 186, 267, 312 Morgan, Jack, 155, 196, 308 Morgan, J.


Victorian Internet by Tom Standage

British Empire, financial independence, global village, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jacquard loom, paper trading, QWERTY keyboard, technoutopianism, undersea cable

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.


pages: 142 words: 47,993

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

Columbine, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, stem cell, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

So if I have gleaned anything useful from reading and day-tripping through the tribulations of the long dead, it’s to count my blessings, to try and quit bellyaching, buck up. Can’t you just hear the children’s song: Gallows Hill and Andersonville It could be, could be worse Another reason I’m intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for living the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels. On the first day of school when I was a kid, the guy teaching history—and it was almost always a guy, wearing a lot of brown—would cough up the pompous same old same old about how if we kids failed to learn the lessons of history then we would be doomed to repeat them.


pages: 210 words: 55,131

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

Albert Einstein, Community Supported Agriculture, financial independence

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.


pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, 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


pages: 163 words: 54,641

Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life by Darcey Steinke

Downton Abbey, financial independence, Haight Ashbury

In the Q&A at the back of Edward Tilt’s The Change of Life in Health and Disease, a woman asks if now that she’s stopped menstruating, she’ll bleed from other places on her body. Tilt answers that, yes, she may bleed monthly from her mouth or her nose. The recommendations from Woman’s Change of Life, published in 1958, one of the few early books on menopause written by a woman, gives more moderate advice. During the change, advises Dr. Isabel Hutton, husbands should give their wives their own bank accounts. Financial independence is soothing, as is moderate exercise and spa-like relaxation techniques. Women are instructed to lie on their beds and pretend to swim for twenty minutes before taking a soothing pine bath and then wrapping themselves in a warm, attractive dressing gown. * * * Ovariin, introduced by Merck drugs in 1899, was the first official hormone supplement. Ovariin was a brown powder made from the dried and pulverized ovaries of cows.


pages: 209 words: 53,175

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

"side hustle", airport security, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, computer age, coronavirus, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, stocks for the long run, the scientific method, traffic fines, Vanguard fund, working-age population

He reported returns that never varied, they were audited by a relatively unknown accounting firm, and he refused to release much information on how the returns were achieved. Yet Madoff raised billions of dollars from some of the most sophisticated investors in the world. He told a good story, and people wanted to believe it. This is a big part of why room for error, flexibility, and financial independence—important themes discussed in previous chapters—are indispensable. The bigger the gap between what you want to be true and what you need to be true to have an acceptable outcome, the more you are protecting yourself from falling victim to an appealing financial fiction. When thinking about room for error in a forecast it is tempting to think that potential outcomes range from you being just right enough to you being very, very right.


pages: 331 words: 60,536

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, creative destruction, 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, Norman Macrae, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Sam Peltzman, 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, Vilfredo Pareto

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.


pages: 1,132 words: 156,379

The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, carbon-based life, David Attenborough, European colonialism, feminist movement, financial independence, gender pay gap, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, out of africa, Paul Graham, phenotype, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

This meant that their only real career option was to find a husband who’d support them. In that situation, women clearly needed to put more weight than men on a mate’s wealth and status. We don’t need to posit a specific evolved preference to explain this; we only need to assume that women know what’s good for them. To the extent that the trend persists today, even in the face of women’s growing financial independence, it’s only because old habits die hard. An important selling point of Eagly and Wood’s theory is that it purports to explain the fact that the sex difference in the preference for wealth is found in every culture: According to the theory, this is a side effect of the fact that, in every culture, men control the wealth. And why do men control the wealth? Perhaps for no other reason than that men have bigger muscles than women, and thus that only men stand a chance of winning any altercation over resources.

As expected, they found some evidence that the sex difference in the importance of financial prospects in a mate shrank in cultures in which men and women were more equal and thus women less dependent on men.99 Admittedly, this was the case for only one of the four measures of gender equality they looked at. Nonetheless, if it turns out that the sex difference really does narrow as women gain financial independence, this would suggest that the difference is shaped, at least in part, by the unique and changeable economic arrangements of the societies in which people live. The question is, though, whether these economic arrangements are the whole story. And the answer is that they’re almost certainly not. First, the sex difference doesn’t disappear in more gender-equal nations, or even shrivel to a trivial magnitude.


pages: 201 words: 62,593

The Automatic Millionaire, Expanded and Updated: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

asset allocation, diversified portfolio, financial independence, index fund, job automation, late fees, money market fund, Own Your Own Home, risk tolerance, transaction costs, Vanguard fund

And while the title of this book is no exaggeration, I’m not talking about helping you become a millionaire in a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. What you’ll learn is how to become a millionaire—steadily and surely—over the course of your working life. It’s the tortoise’s approach to wealth, not the hare’s. This may not sound as exciting as becoming a millionaire in a couple of weeks or months, but—I promise you—it’s a lot more real. Like I said before, it’s a tried-and-true, commonsense approach to becoming financially independent—and achieving the American Dream. Think about how few people get to retire these days with all their debts and obligations behind them, with enough money saved up to live the kind of life they’ve always dreamed of, still young enough to enjoy it all. Wouldn’t you like to be one of these people? Don’t you think you deserve to live the American Dream? That’s what this little book can do for you.


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

One study estimated that in America, women’s future wages fall, on average, by 4% per child, and by 10% per child in the case of the highest-earning, most skilled white women. In Britain, a mother’s wages fall by 2% for each year she is out of the workforce, and by twice as much if she has good school-leaving qualifications. Women’s lower salaries mean that they often fall into poverty when they divorce or are widowed. Lack of financial independence prevents some from leaving abusive partners. Policies and workplace norms that make it easier for men to split parental duties equally with their partners can help. Parents, for their part, need to instil in their children the idea that they can be anything – and not only if they are girls. Gender equality will remain elusive until boys are as excited as girls about becoming teachers, nurses and full-time parents.


pages: 194 words: 57,925

The Heartfulness Way: Heart-Based Meditations for Spiritual Transformation by Kamlesh D. Patel, Joshua Pollock

financial independence, Lao Tzu, medical residency, Richard Feynman

“Moksha is the next category of desire for which people strive and pray. In India’s religious traditions, moksha generally refers to the state of liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, and it is often hailed as the highest goal of life. In fact, moksha is a comparatively minor achievement. There is much, much more beyond it. “Compare the wish for moksha, an emancipated existence in the realm of liberated souls, to the wish to be financially independent, a carefree worldly existence. Are the two wishes so different from one another? In both cases, you seek freedom—a freedom that comes with a change in your circumstances.” “So the desire for material wealth and the desire for spiritual liberation are similar?” I asked. “They both create vibrations at point A,” said Daaji. “Thus, the desire for liberation is counterproductive. It weighs us down, rather than lightening our heavy load.


Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood

carbon footprint, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, financial independence, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, trickle-down economics, wage slave

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.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

That’s why she’s content now to be traveling so much to speak at events like BlogHer, even though it means being away from her family. As she tells potential clients on her website, “It’s not enough to simply create a product, dream up a service, or make an offer. Your work must be aligned with your very core to realize its financial potential. As I continue to align my work with my core spirit, I continue to grow my business, becoming free and financially independent.” Her “core spirit,” or true passion, is helping other entrepreneurs make their businesses successful. It wasn’t working the floor of a bookstore chain. CAREER INSURANCE Chicagoan Nicole Crimaldi Emerick started Ms. Career Girl (mscareergirl.com), an advice blog for young college grads like herself, as a creative outlet. She squeezed in time for blogging by waking up at 5 a.m. before her office job at an Internet start-up.


pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

Apple II, bounce rate, business cycle, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, 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, 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.


pages: 228 words: 65,953

The Six-Figure Second Income: How to Start and Grow a Successful Online Business Without Quitting Your Day Job by David Lindahl, Jonathan Rozek

bounce rate, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, financial independence, Google Earth, new economy, speech recognition, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen

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.


pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

assortative mating, call centre, clean water, commoditize, 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, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, off grid, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, 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.


pages: 192 words: 72,822

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, money market fund, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive income, quantitative easing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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.


pages: 193 words: 11,060

Ethics in Investment Banking by John N. Reynolds, Edmund Newell

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, discounted cash flows, financial independence, index fund, invisible hand, light touch regulation, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 221 words: 71,449

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming

British Empire, colonial rule, Downton Abbey, financial independence, friendly fire, Skype

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.


pages: 246 words: 68,392

Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work by Sarah Kessler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, financial independence, future of work, game design, gig economy, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, law of one price, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, payday loans, post-work, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

After GIN, Abe found himself deeper in debt. By his own estimation, he hadn’t paid back any credit in ten years. In the years after he joined the club, he was sued for debt. He failed to pay his taxes, and a lien was placed on his house. All of which helps explain why he was cautious about new business opportunities. The Uber pitch felt disturbingly familiar to Abe. The company’s marketing suggested that he could become financially independent—an entrepreneur rather than a mere worker—and induced him to recruit friends. Uber had created a Delaware-based subsidiary for subprime auto loans, Xchange Leasing, which in 2015 advertised “ALL CREDIT LEVELS ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY,” in all caps. After drivers signed up, the company would deduct their weekly car payments directly from their Uber earnings.5 In New York, Uber for years referred drivers to dealers who offered similar subprime loans (the company has since shut down Xchange Leasing and ended its subprime car leasing program in New York).6 As it recruited new drivers, the startup could sound a lot like a persistent pitchman for these financing options.


pages: 261 words: 70,584

Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy by Gregory Brandon Salsbury

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, buy and hold, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, hindsight bias, housing crisis, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, mass affluent, Maui Hawaii, mental accounting, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, new economy, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the rule of 72, Yogi Berra

A great way to educate your children on financial literacy is to get them involved in Junior Achievement. Check out its website at www.ja.org. Also consider these guidelines for educating your children on financial matters:20 • Ages 5–9: Teach basic money skills and develop a work ethic. • Ages 10–13: Teach skills and responsibilities, that is, open up a savings account. • Ages 14–18: Coach kids on using checking and credit. • Ages 19–22: Set a path to financial independence. Sandwiched? Have a Plan If you’re feeling sandwiched with family matters, it is likely that you are facing special problems you may never have expected. The Sandwich Generation faces what experts have termed the “financial trifecta”—preparing for college or paying it off, helping your parents with medical or nursing home expenses, and planning for your own retirement, which may be fast approaching.


pages: 257 words: 71,686

Swimming With Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers by Joris Luyendijk

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Emanuel Derman, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, inventory management, job-hopping, light touch regulation, London Whale, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, regulatory arbitrage, Satyajit Das, selection bias, 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.


pages: 202 words: 64,725

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, social intelligence, 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.


pages: 272 words: 19,172

Hedge Fund Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager

asset-backed security, backtesting, banking crisis, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, family office, financial independence, fixed income, Flash crash, hindsight bias, implied volatility, index fund, intangible asset, James Dyson, Jones Act, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, money market fund, oil shock, pattern recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Rubik’s Cube, 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.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

As of 2012, one in eight millennials “boomeranged” back to their parents’ home due to the recession, after having lived on their own. More than a third of millennials in their late twenties have “boomeranged.” Parents were concerned too. More than one-third (38 percent) of parents reported that financial problems were their primary concern about their emerging adult child, and half reported that they were worried about how long their child was taking to become financially independent. And, in a troubling role reversal, many millennials are now concerned not only about their own future, but their parents’ as well. Jackie voiced her worry this way: “I’m very overwhelmed and scared. I didn’t have any support system. Undergrad and grad, I put myself through school. I had to do everything, between loans to pay for this crazy-expensive education, and then just the cost of living.


pages: 278 words: 74,880

A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Carbon Emissions by Muhammad Yunus

active measures, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, distributed generation, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Silicon Valley, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban sprawl, young professional

Thousands of young people are getting attracted to the idea and are launching entrepreneurial social business ventures to tackle social problems in their own communities. To encourage these developments, my colleagues in the social business movement and I have created funds that provide seed money to help would-be entrepreneurs turn their dreams into realities. When young people come up with smart social business ideas, we invest in their companies, provide expert coaching and guidance, and help them achieve financial independence. Once they are successful, they buy back our investment shares without giving the investors any profit. The money is then freed up to help launch another social business, and then another and another. We have also been creating social business funds to finance unemployed young people to become personal-profit-making entrepreneurs—job creators rather than job seekers. Existing conventional banks and financial institutions aren’t designed to fill this need; they have no interest in getting involved with unemployed young people who have no collateral and no credit history.


pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

It is worth noting that it is important to select short-term rewards that reinforce your identity rather than ones that conflict with it. Buying a new jacket is fine if you’re trying to lose weight or read more books, but it doesn’t work if you’re trying to budget and save money. Instead, taking a bubble bath or going on a leisurely walk are good examples of rewarding yourself with free time, which aligns with your ultimate goal of more freedom and financial independence. Similarly, if your reward for exercising is eating a bowl of ice cream, then you’re casting votes for conflicting identities, and it ends up being a wash. Instead, maybe your reward is a massage, which is both a luxury and a vote toward taking care of your body. Now the short-term reward is aligned with your long-term vision of being a healthy person. Eventually, as intrinsic rewards like a better mood, more energy, and reduced stress kick in, you’ll become less concerned with chasing the secondary reward.


pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Luigi Pirandello Yang Yang is a factory worker in Zhengzhou, a city in the Chinese province of Henan. Born in a village in western China, her working life has corresponded with her country becoming the workshop of the world. She arrived in the city a decade ago, and since then has created a decent life for herself. While her job is exhausting – shifts often run from eleven to thirteen hours a day – Yang considers herself lucky. She is financially independent and earns enough to send money home to her parents. Like many of her friends and co-workers, Yang is an only child. This means that while she feels fortunate on the factory floor, she is increasingly worried about the health of her ageing parents – the care of whom will soon be her responsibility. Between that and the transience of city life, Yang views her own chances of starting a family as remote.


pages: 229 words: 72,431

Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert

airline deregulation, Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, big-box store, business cycle, carbon footprint, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, financial independence, Galaxy Zoo, ghettoisation, gig economy, global village, helicopter parent, IKEA effect, industrial robot, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, pattern recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, recommendation engine, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Printed or online personal ads, singles groups and events (not just drinking and dancing but singles yoga classes, cycling trips, and gardening clubs), and “speed dating” help make connections. The fact that these businesses exist testifies that traditional ways of meeting are no longer getting the job done. Finding a mate has become complicated. The American divorce rate tripled between 1960 and 1980 and remains high, making single people wary of those vulnerable commitments, even while seeking them—often over and over again. Women have cultivated robust careers, and their financial independence removes what was a powerful motive for marriage before the 1970s. Jobs that involve overnight business travel reduce chances to share time and space with a potential partner. Established mating conventions have fallen away, leaving confusion in their wake. Traditional courtship and marriage may have limited our options, but they also gave straightforward guidance on the mating ritual; when lost in the wilderness, a clear map can be quite welcome.


pages: 317 words: 76,169

The Perfect House: A Journey With Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio by Witold Rybczynski

A Pattern Language, financial independence, Frank Gehry, invention of the printing press, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass, trade route

In Vicenza, as in most cities of the Venetian Republic, anyone engaged in the so-called mechanical arts was precluded from formal citizenship, as were newcomers; in Venice, fifteen years’ residency was required for even partial citizenship. AT THE BUILDING SITE OF THE VILLA AT CRICOLI, COUNT TRISSINO, A PATRON, ENCOUNTERED THE YOUNG STONEMASON ANDREA DI PIETRO, SOON TO BE PALLADIO. When he was twenty-six, Andrea took a wife. This was somewhat unusual, for men generally married in their thirties or forties, when they were financially independent, and we do not know the circumstances of the marriage. We do know that his bride was named Allegradonna, and that she was the daughter of a carpenter. The record shows that she was in service as a maid, and that it was her mistress who provided the dowry: a bed, a pair of sheets, three new shirts, three used shirts, handkerchiefs, assorted clothing, and lengths of cloth.15 The dowry was valued at about twenty-eight ducats (a far cry from the five to ten thousand ducats that accompanied a nobleman’s daughter).


pages: 239 words: 73,178

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.


pages: 277 words: 80,703

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, fixed income, global village, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, labor-force participation, land tenure, mass incarceration, 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.


pages: 330 words: 77,729

Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, creative destruction, 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, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, liberation theology, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 270 words: 79,068

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, 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.


pages: 253 words: 79,214

The Money Machine: How the City Works by Philip Coggan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, algorithmic trading, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, Hyman Minsky, index fund, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, large denomination, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, pattern recognition, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

A lot of films lose money and it costs a fortune to hire a Hollywood star; but get the right picture (such as Titanic) and the profits are huge. In particular, the returns on capital can be very high. That explains why investment bankers can earn enormous amounts, in return of course for working very long hours. The annual bonus round is the most important time in an investment banker’s year. A big payment may mean a new house, or financial independence. But this is a relative, as well as an absolute, contest. Bonuses are supposed to be private but the best rewarded can rarely avoid boasting about their gains. And nothing spoils the pleasure of a £250,000 bonus more than knowing your colleague got £500,000. It is a tricky decision for an employer. Make the bonus too small and the employee will leave in disgust. Make it too large and he may leave anyway, because he has already lined up another job on the quiet.


Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game by Walker Deibel

barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, diversification, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, high net worth, intangible asset, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, Peter Thiel, risk tolerance, risk/return, rolodex, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Y Combinator

All that said, let me be clear that although entrepreneurs have a wonderful vehicle for engineering long-term wealth in their companies, they are almost never driven by wealth creation. Entrepreneurs have non-financial benefits that drive them. We relish in the autonomy, problem solving, growth, and passion we have for our companies. These aspects are not lacking in the acquisition model. For a true entrepreneur, financial independence has been reached the moment they take ownership of a company or an idea, from the very beginning, because there is no separation between work and life. It is the same mission and the same time. This is because for an entrepreneur, working hard for something they care deeply about is the life worth living. It’s fun, and these benefits are attainable on day one. Perhaps this is the “real” wealth we all want—the purpose that comes along with creating value in your life.


pages: 227 words: 76,850

Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult That Bound My Life by Sarah Edmondson

Albert Einstein, dark matter, financial independence, Mason jar, Skype, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, young professional

That definitely appealed to me, as I’d struggled to stay on target in my acting career. You could go into auditions appearing attractive and performing well—you could be everything a role called for—and often you still wouldn’t get the part. I liked the idea of a consistent standard I could be measured against. The Stripe Path offered that. That had been four years earlier. By 2009, these women—all high-achieving, free-thinking, and financially independent—had become the people who were closer to me than anyone. Others had also joined the ranks in Albany, some of whom I’d enrolled: Nicki Clyne, an acting colleague I’d invited from Vancouver, along with Allison Mack, who came to her first Jness intensive at the suggestion of a friend in Vancouver. There were the ones who’d moved to Albany from Mexico because, I believed, they’d been lured by the chance to advance in the company or wanted to be part of the community.


pages: 695 words: 194,693

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, business cycle, 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 market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, 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, 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.


pages: 332 words: 81,289

Smarter Investing by Tim Hale

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, index fund, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, Northern Rock, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, technology bubble, the rule of 72, time value of money, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

G. (1999) A random walk down Wall Street. New York: W. W. Norton. Malkiel, B. G. (2000) ‘Are markets efficient? Yes even if they make errors’, The Wall Street Journal, 28 December, p. A10. Rhodes, M. (2000) Past imperfect? The performance of UK equity managed funds. London: FSA, FSA Occasional Paper Series 9 (www.fas.gov.uk/pubs.occpapers/op09.pdf). Schwab, C. (1999) Charles Schwab’s guide to financial independence: simple solutions for busy people. New York: Three Rivers Press, p. 90. Sharpe, W. F. (1975) ‘Are gains likely from market timing?’, The Financial Analysts Journal, vol. 31, no. 2 (March/April), 60–69. Sharpe, W. F. (1991) ‘The arithmetic of active management’, The Financial Analysts Journal, vol. 47, no. 1 (January/February), 7–9. Sinquefield, R. (1995) Opening address: Schwab Institutional Conference, San Francisco, CA, 12 October.


pages: 280 words: 82,623

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter

business process, cognitive dissonance, financial independence, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, knowledge worker, loss aversion, shareholder value, zero-sum game

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?


pages: 702 words: 215,002

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Asilomar, clean water, corporate raider, financial independence, haute couture, Menlo Park, rolodex, Saturday Night Live

“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.


pages: 372 words: 96,474

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan

big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Kickstarter, Mason jar, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, wage slave

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.


pages: 288 words: 92,175

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt

Bill Gates: Altair 8800, British Empire, computer age, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, financial independence, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, music of the spheres, new economy, operation paperclip, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Steve Jobs, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra

Even if she didn’t catch it, her friend Barbara was there listening and would be sure to spot it. But while Margie could rely on her colleagues at work as much as ever, at home she could feel her marriage slipping away. Her teenage fantasies of romance had subsided into apathy. She and her husband were an ill-matched couple who couldn’t seem to get along. The worse her marriage got, the more she felt the need to work. She knew that if they were to split, she’d need her financial independence, made possible by her job at JPL. Leaving the lab at the end of the day, she laughed when another computer said to her, “Now we go home and really work.” It was said in jest, but Margie knew it was only too true. Day after day, she would get home from the lab and rush to make dinner, give the kids a bath and get them to bed, then wash the dishes and do the laundry. At 10 p.m. she’d get into her pajamas and feel exhausted from head to foot.


pages: 291 words: 88,879

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg

big-box store, carbon footprint, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, employer provided health coverage, equal pay for equal work, estate planning, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Katz, and Ilyana Kuziemko, “The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 12139, 2006. 25. See Mitra Toossi, “A Century of Change: The U.S. Labor Force, 1950–2000,” Monthly Labor Review (May 2002): 15–28. Although women’s compensation continues to lag behind men’s, a growing number of women do well enough to become financially independent and, in turn, domestically independent, too. As the international trends suggest, when women can live alone without enduring poverty, a great many of them will. 26. Women’s economic independence is not the only reason for the increase in divorce. Legal reforms, most notably the no-fault divorce laws that became common during the 1970s, have allowed a dissatisfied spouse to terminate a marriage without accusing the partner of any wrongdoings and likely have given divorce rates a gentle nudge upward.


pages: 298 words: 89,287

Who Are We—And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, David Brooks, equal pay for equal work, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, global village, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey

The survey, which interviewed a representative sample of 8,000 men and 8,000 women, found that 40 percent of women who suffer IPV are injured and 11 percent need medical attention. The correlating figures for men are 20 percent and 4 percent. In 2005, 78 percent of IPV cases ending in death were female. Furthermore, taking in the broader context of male–female relations, women who are abused are more likely to find themselves in socially precarious situations. They are, for example, far more likely to be responsible for childcare and less likely to be financially independent. This makes it far more difficult for women to escape situations in which they are victims of domestic abuse. Finally, men are far more at risk of being victims of IPV if their partners too are male. Approximately 15 percent of men who lived with a man as a couple, according to the survey, reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.7 percent of men who had married or lived with a woman as a couple reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant.


pages: 255 words: 92,719

All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work by Joanna Biggs

Anton Chekhov, bank run, banking crisis, call centre, Chelsea Manning, credit crunch, David Graeber, Desert Island Discs, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, future of work, G4S, glass ceiling, industrial robot, job automation, land reform, low skilled workers, mittelstand, Northern Rock, payday loans, Right to Buy, Second Machine Age, six sigma, Steve Jobs, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, wages for housework, Wall-E

She relies on her conservative, religious parents for support: ‘I’m gay, but they don’t know that I’m gay. I’ve been out to my friends, for example, for three years now. But they still have no clue. They don’t know that I drink as much as I do. They think that I sip wine! It’s very difficult for me to balance, because I don’t have a close relationship to them. I have a very “How’s your day? Good” kind of relationship with them. But I try to maintain it because I’m not financially independent yet. It’s not like I don’t love them, I do. I’m really so happy about the support that they’ve been giving me but it’s just so hard to reconcile that. Shit – I’m taking money from people who do not approve of my lifestyle, basically. But I guess it’s just a pill that I have to swallow, for my own survival. Once I get a permanent job, for example, then I just plan to say it all to them and say: “Well, if you don’t want none of it, then fine, that’s fine with me because I’m going to be independent already.”’


pages: 354 words: 93,882

How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deskilling, financial independence, full employment, Gordon Gekko, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Lao Tzu, liberal capitalism, moral panic, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, spinning jenny, Torches of Freedom, trade route, wage slave

Jesus was a rioter: he turned over the money tables, creating a precedent for millions of idealistic visionaries thereafter. Lord Byron encapsulates the paradox of the rioting poet, the seditious idler, the laid-back revolutionary. As for his idler credentials, his first collection of poetry, published in 1 807 when he was just 19 and an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, was entitled Hours of Idleness. He was also an aristocrat, a member of the idle rich. But, for him, this financial independence gave him the necessary detachment to see the iniquities perpetrated by the new middle class more clearly than those who were scurrying around making money. In any case, according to the nineteenth-century critic Matthew Arnold, he was enraged by ' British Philistinism ' and enraged still more by his own class ' s apparent acquiescence to the commercial economy. Writes Arnold: ' The falsehood, cynicism, insolence, misgovernment, oppression, with their consequent unfailing crop of human misery, which were produced by this state of things, roused Byron to irreconcilable revolt and battle. ' Byron himself put it like this: ' I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments.


pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Oren Cass writes for National Review that “an underclass dependent on government handouts would no longer be one of society’s greatest challenges but instead would be recast as one of its proudest achievements.” Criticisms leveled at the UBI include that it robs people of the dignity that productive work offers, it undermines self-reliance, and it undermines the family by making everyone completely financially independent of everyone else. Further, people without jobs frequently become people without purpose, and permanent leisure leads to atrophy of the brain and body. In short, the need to earn a living promotes self-reliance, gives purpose to life, and allows each of us to participate in society as an interdependent part of a whole. Purpose is incredibly important here. Esther Dyson, the noted journalist and venture capitalist, spoke eloquently on this topic when she said, “When I spent time in Russia, the women were much better off than the men because the men felt, many of them, purposeless.


pages: 297 words: 89,206

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, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, old-boy network, precariat, psychological pricing, Sloane Ranger, 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?


pages: 282 words: 88,320

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson, Bill Breen

barriers to entry, business process, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, disruptive innovation, financial independence, game design, global supply chain, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Wall-E

Not only had LEGO sustained the largest losses, on a percentage basis, among toy makers, but it was by far the industry’s least profitable brand. As news of the brick maker’s crash spread beyond Billund, analysts predicted that with toy industry heavyweights and private equity firms closing in, LEGO would probably be broken up and sold off in pieces. The Financial Times reported the LEGO Group’s “financial independence” was at stake. The British newspaper the Independent cited “growing speculation that LEGO cannot survive alone.” In a headline, the London Telegraph flatly declared, “Family Likely to Lose Control of the LEGO Set.” Kristiansen was determined to keep LEGO in the family, but the headlines weren’t just hype. The company’s financial health was so dire, Ovesen had at least one discussion with Mattel about acquiring LEGO, just in case the turnaround foundered.


pages: 318 words: 93,502

The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, 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.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

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, Kitchen Debate, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, starchitect, 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?


pages: 284 words: 95,029

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day

Airbnb, Desert Island Discs, disintermediation, fear of failure, financial independence, gender pay gap, Mikhail Gorbachev, pre–internet, Rosa Parks, stem cell, unpaid internship

I feel untangled and calm. If I didn’t have that, I think I would be far more lost than I am. If I didn’t have that, then perhaps I would believe motherhood was the key to fully existing. As it is, I am regretful and sad that I am not a mother, but it does not encompass me. I am also aware that I have a life full of wonderful gifts, including sustaining friendships, a degree of professional success, financial independence and good health. How bloody lucky am I? I also have two nieces and nine godchildren, so children are very much a part of my life, and I’m aware, too, that although there is this pervasive myth of happy parenthood, there is also no guarantee that your kid won’t grow up hating you or won’t become a drug addict or won’t contract some terrible illness. I think some parents (by no means all of them) create a narrative around having children that disguises the fact they might wish they hadn’t.


pages: 279 words: 90,278

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

call centre, financial independence, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, late fees, Mason jar, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, offshore financial centre, Pepto Bismol, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor

Knowing I’d never ask for it, my high school cheerleading coach mailed me $300. I put it in a thank-you card and mailed it back. Like the conservative laborer who spurns the idea of “handouts,” my pride was bigger than my need. I didn’t know the term “first-generation student” and didn’t grasp yet that I had in fact “grown up poor” and was still very much “living in poverty.” The best I could come up with for describing my situation was that I was a “financially independent student” and tell people that “I grew up on a farm.” I once took a roommate, a funny, sharp girl raised in lower-middle-class Wichita, to the farm and was stunned to see it through her eyes. Everything was worth exclaiming about—the cows, the pigs, the chickens, the butchering shed, the cow tongue pickling in a jar in the refrigerator, the way every single adult was drinking alcohol.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, 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.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

When we fail in a race in which our parents and other adults place so much value, some of us risk dropping out altogether. Yet our society persists in testing, tracking, and ranking teenagers and young adults about their future potential even as they’re only just starting a cognitive maturation process that won’t end until their mid-twenties or later. * * * It takes longer for each successive generation to finish school, become financially independent, get married, and have children. A large-scale national study conducted since the late 1970s found that today’s twenty-five-year-olds, compared with their parents’ generation at the same age, are twice as likely to still be in school, 50 percent more likely to be taking money from their parents, and only half as likely to have a spouse. Why are so many people in their twenties taking so long to grow up?


We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent by Nesrine Malik

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, currency peg, Donald Trump, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass immigration, moral panic, Nate Silver, obamacare, old-boy network, payday loans, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, transatlantic slave trade

To be a woman is akin to being a prisoner with something to trade – cigarettes, alcohol, sexual favours, anything you have at your disposal to earn you that extra half hour to stretch your legs in the exercise yard or save you from a beating. Anything that in the scarcity of incarceration will earn you some respite from the tyranny of a system in which your rights are enshrined in theory but can be rescinded at any time. One would, of course, rather not be in prison, but if you are, it is better to have something to trade. The most powerful woman to the naked eye – financially independent, educated, fully employed and equally paid, living in a society with robust laws protecting her rights to freedom from gender discrimination – is not exempt from this barter economy. And so a woman starts to trade. She sometimes accepts a certain benign degree of male dominion in order to secure financial support in a world where her employment opportunities are compromised by child rearing.


pages: 357 words: 100,718

The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jørgen 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), longitudinal study, 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.


pages: 411 words: 95,852

Britain Etc by Mark Easton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral panic, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sexual politics, 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.


pages: 314 words: 101,452

Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis

barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate raider, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, Irwin Jacobs, John Meriwether, 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 Despot's Accomplice: How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy by Brian Klaas

Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global pandemic, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Skype, Steve Jobs, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

As a result, to the chagrin of his fundraising team, Mark didn’t spend his campaign days calling donors and eliciting their support. “I do most of my fundraising while I’m shaving in the mirror in the morning,” he would regularly joke with us. â•… This feature of Mark’s campaign was welcome news to me, as staff in flagging American electoral campaigns can sometimes be left in limbo as to whether their paycheck will arrive after an eighty-hour work week. Such financial independence can also confer political independence in an era where the average American overwhelmingly believes that elected representatives can be bought and sold.With politicians stubbornly unresponsive to the will of the masses on several issues while bowing to wellfinanced organizations, it’s no wonder that some people find it appealing when Donald Trump insists (rightly or wrongly) that his wealth makes him politically independent.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

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, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, 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.”


Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina

Buckminster Fuller, fear of failure, financial independence, placebo effect, side project, unbiased observer

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.


pages: 320 words: 96,006

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, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, post-work, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, Results Only Work Environment, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, union organizing, upwardly mobile, white picket fence, 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.


pages: 305 words: 101,743

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence

I think that was ultimately why they let me go to Puerto Rico: they must have understood, as I argued, that I could use a break. We had always moved up and down through the middle class, but my parents had protected and prioritized me. They kept me in private school, often on scholarship, and they paid for gymnastics, and they took me to the used bookstore whenever I asked. This was different—house-being-repossessed different. I knew that I would need to be financially independent as soon as I graduated from high school, and that from that point forward, it would be up to me to find with my own resources the middle-class stability they had worked so hard for and then lost. This was of course part of my motivation to win Girls v. Boys. I had gotten into Yale early, and figured that my portion of the prize money would help me figure out how to deal with things like student loans and health insurance, help me move to New Haven, give me some guardrails as I slid into the world.


The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean

Donald Trump, financial independence, index card, Joan Didion, new economy, offshore financial centre, Richard Bolles, traveling salesman, tulip mania

— A few days after Laroche and I went to the orchid show in Miami I drove to Hollywood to visit him at the nursery. I turned on the car radio and tried to find a music station I liked but ended up listening to a talk show about how to keep pet snakes and iguanas happy, and when that was over I listened to an hour-long infomercial for some money-management audiotapes. The announcer had a big, hollow voice and every few minutes he would boom, “My friends, you are about to enter the promised land of financial independence!” I drove past Carpet-Marts and Toy-Marts and Car-Marts and the turnoff for Alligator Alley and a highway flyover that leads to the stadium where the Super Bowl is sometimes played, and past signs for all those dreamy-sounding Florida towns like Plantation and Sunrise and Coconut Creek and Coral Springs. The highway median was a low-lying cloud of pink hibiscus bushes. The shoulders were banked with broom grass and sumac and sneezeweed and pennywort, and the road itself looked as if any minute it might just crack and buckle and finally disappear as things grew over it and under it, pushing the roadbed away.


Free Money for All: A Basic Income Guarantee Solution for the Twenty-First Century by Mark Walker

3D printing, 8-hour work day, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, commoditize, financial independence, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, market clearing, means of production, new economy, obamacare, off grid, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, working poor

For some interesting thoughts on the political feasibility in the UK of a BIG at present, see Donald Hirsch, “Could a ‘Citizen’s Income’ Work?” (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2015), http://www.jrf.org. uk/sites/files/jrf/citizens-income-full.pdf. 2. For more on the Alaska permanent fund see, Karl Widerquist and Michael W. Howard, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). For thoughts on the value of a guaranteed income less than necessary for financial independence, see Jason B. Murphy, “Baby Steps: Basic Income and the Need for Incremental Organizational Development,” Basic Income Studies 5, 1 (2010). 3. I borrow these two examples from Karl Widerquist. Karl Widerquist, “OPINION: Big Changes Come,” BIEN, June 17, 2013, http:// www.basicincome.org/news/2013/06/opinion-big-changes-come/. 4. Jurgen De Wispelaere and A. Noguera, “On the Political Feasibility of Universal Basic Income: An Analytic Framework,” Basic Income Guarantee and Politics: International Experiences and Perspectives on the Viability of Income Guarantee (2012), 17.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

“A nation of homeowners, of people who own a real share in their land, is unconquerable,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He saw homeownership as critical not only to the economy but to democracy and the very idea of self-government.3 Today, the democratization of landownership is being reversed. In the United States and across the world, more and more people are being pushed into living in rented apartments or houses, with little chance of gaining financial independence. This trend is not simply a product of market forces. Rented housing—whether apartments or single-family houses—has been heavily promoted by much of the oligarchy and more so by the planning gurus of the clerisy, even though homeownership is favored by the great majority in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Canada.4 Given the high cost of dense development, future generations may well become ever more dependent on subsidies or affordable unit set-asides.5 An economy where most people rely upon wealth transfers from the lucky few cannot easily coexist with a tradition of individual initiative and self-governance.6 Undermining Familialism Perhaps no institution is more threatened by the neo-feudal order than the traditional family structure.


pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

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, period drama, 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.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

activist lawyer, Benjamin Mako Hill, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Debian, Donald Knuth, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Larry Wall, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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 Hackers Conference, 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).


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

“Politics, Cost of Living Push Hong Kong Residents Overseas”, Wall Street Journal, http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2013/08/21/politics-cost-of-living-pushes-hong-kong-residents-overseas/. CHERLIN, Andrew. (2013, January 25). “The deinstitutionalization of marriage,” The National Council on Family Relations, https://www.ncfr.org/news/zippy-weekly-videos/deinstitutionalization-marriage. CHESTERTON, G. K. (2013). Orthodoxy, London: Catholic Way Publishing. CHEVREAU, Jonathan. (2015, March 24). “Urbs or Burbs? TD Survey finds generational divide on housing preferences,” Financial Independence Hub, http://findependencehub.com/urbs-or-burbs-td-survey-finds-generational-divide-on-housing-preferences/. CHIA, Arthur. (2013, August 17). “Singapore seeks its home,” New Geography, http://www.newgeography.com/content/003881-singapore-seeks-its-home. CHILD POLICY INTERNATIONAL. (2009, April). “France,” Columbia University, http://www.childpolicyintl.org/countries/france.html (webpage discontinued).


pages: 367 words: 108,689

Broke: How to Survive the Middle Class Crisis by David Boyle

anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, mortgage debt, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, precariat, quantitative easing, school choice, Slavoj Žižek, social intelligence, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor

Middle Classes in Figures Percentage of UK population declaring themselves to be middle-class: 43 per cent (though other surveys have taken this up to 70 per cent).[55] The New middle-class-Values Dictionary Independence: Perhaps the old middle classes valued independence too, as long as people used it to reach the correct conclusions. Not so now: the middle classes believe passionately in their own independence and admire it in other people. In fact, the desire for independence is now central to the middle classes; not necessarily independence from employers, but from landlords and tyrannical bosses, and the long, desperate uphill struggle towards financial independence. It leads them to invest terrifyingly in property just as it leads others to disinvest and downshift. They also admire independence of mind — in moderation, of course … Dispatches from the Frontline Brown & Green café, Crystal Palace station, Friday 10.30 a.m. Gipsy Kings waft out of the digital player behind the counter, over the luxurious sound of sizzling bacon. This is an English scene, with all the luxury of a late breakfast when everyone else is at work, but with a Latin American edge.


pages: 350 words: 110,764

The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks

basic income, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deskilling, feminist movement, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, late capitalism, low-wage service sector, means of production, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, pink-collar, post-work, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Shoshana Zuboff, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, universal basic income, wages for housework, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The institution of the family has, of course, undergone dramatic changes since the period of high Fordism. But just as the work ethic has managed to survive the transformations of work, the ghost of dead family values continues to haunt us as well (Stacey 1996, 49). As one White House report from the 1980s put it, the family, as the “seedbed of economic skills, money, habits, attitudes towards work, and the art of financial independence,” plays a key role in the transmission of work skills and ethics; “neither the modern family nor the free enterprise system would long survive without the other” (quoted in Abramovitz 1988, 350–51). The family ethic endures in this post-Fordist period, serving various family-values campaigns as a tool of political-economic discipline arguably for many of the same reasons it was defended earlier: for the role it plays in reproducing a stable and able workforce with little in the way of public funding—or, to put it another way, because otherwise we might “destroy the golden egg that produced cheap labor” (Kessler-Harris 1990, 39).16 To return to the major line of argument, the fact that some are excluded from the dignity and worth conferred by the work ethic can serve to render its prescriptions more attractive to others.


pages: 323 words: 107,963

Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain by Abby Norman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, double helix, Downton Abbey, feminist movement, financial independence, Kickstarter, period drama, phenotype, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method, women in the workforce

The night before my second surgery, I washed my skin with the antiseptic soap the hospital had given me, staying in the shower at his parents’ house a lot longer than I needed to in order to get clean. I was trying to cleanse myself of something else: the pervasive thoughts that maybe I was just making this all up. Maybe all of this was in my head. Max, and his parents, knew so much about my childhood. They knew how hard it had been, and I know they felt for me, wished that it could have been different. Still, they marveled at what I had achieved. Financial independence, for one. I owned a car, though it was a beater, and made sure all our bills were paid on time. More importantly, that my bills were paid. I had close to $10,000 in medical debt racked up by then, not to mention student loans that were coming out of deferment. I’d hoped to invest what little I could save so that I could begin to put away money for my brother, as I was to assume legal guardianship of him when I turned thirty (the magic age at which I, my parents, and the legal system had assumed I’d have my shit together enough to do so).


pages: 388 words: 106,138

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook

barriers to entry, financial independence, game design, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, trade route

“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.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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.


pages: 438 words: 109,306

Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the World by Adam Lebor

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, Kickstarter, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, special drawing rights

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.


pages: 461 words: 106,027

Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business by Arvid Kahl

"side hustle", business process, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, continuous integration, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, domain-specific language, financial independence, Google Chrome, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, information retrieval, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kubernetes, minimum viable product, Network effects, performance metric, post-work, premature optimization, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, software as a service, source of truth, statistical model, subscription business, supply-chain management, trickle-down economics, web application

Naval Ravikant An Introduction to Zero to Sold Many people dream of having a business that makes money for them while they sleep. Yet, most people never turn that dream into reality. Life gets in the way, they say, and they aren’t cut out to be a business owner anyway. I believe differently. I think that everyone can be an entrepreneur and create a sustainable business that will allow them to live a life of freedom and financial independence. It will require some sacrifice, as building a business will take a lot of work and time. But it will lead to a life of control, a life of choice, and a life of opportunity. Zero to Sold will show you what the life of a bootstrapped founder will look like. It will teach you how to fill all the roles required to run a business and what you need to get done in each stage of your bootstrapped company’s evolution.


pages: 382 words: 105,166

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, delayed gratification, demand response, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, High speed trading, Honoré de Balzac, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

But even then, leaders of the audit firms worried that the reforms put too much onus on them, as opposed to on the corporations, which could still doctor the books they gave to accountants. The auditing firms wanted a certificate attached to each audit that stipulated: “We have made an examination of your accounts for the purpose of expressing an opinion in connection with such statements, which have been prepared by you.”8 Leading partners in U.S. auditing firms worried that the government would take too large a role in regulating financial markets and stifle financial independence and innovation. There was a concern on the part of the auditing companies—which had since the mid-nineteenth century provided the U.S. government with its audits and standards—that compulsory audits would replace the role of the public accountant with a government auditor potentially hostile to financial firms. These arguments, however, lost relevance in the chaotic aftermath of 1929, with confidence in the crippled financial sector at an all-time low.


he Wisdom of Menopause (Revised Edition) by Northrup, Christiane

epigenetics, financial independence, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, women in the workforce

The truth is, I had never actually acknowledged the fact that I had doubted that ability before. I learned I could manage my household finances just as effectively as I had for many years managed my professional and business finances—all without my husband’s income, advice, or support. This is not to minimize or disparage his contribution during all the years of our marriage. Rather, it is to acknowledge the personal empowerment that comes from becoming financially independent. From Poverty Consciousness to Prosperity Consciousness The rubber really met the road for me when I came to the realization that I was the one who was responsible for paying the mortgage and the vast majority of two private college tuitions. I had dabbled in reading about the universal laws of prosperity but had never really been “up against it” enough to apply them in my life. Not so anymore.

The marriage has had to undergo a transformation now that we are not together on a daily basis, and it could have failed. Don lives where he wants to, and I live where I need to. I cannot describe the joy I feel at living in a place that supports me emotionally and spiritually. I am moved to nurture my home and garden just as it nourishes me. I am delighted by the simplest things. Friends who have visited agree that it is me. I am grateful that I earn a living and am capable of being financially independent of Don. And perhaps finally succeeding at my career gave me the confidence to create my dream home. After a lifetime of determining my worth through male approval, I am now living from my heart rather than from obligation. VOCATIONAL AWAKENING AT MIDLIFE For some women, the home—which had been the central focus before midlife—becomes secondary to a new passion, which reveals itself in the form of a vocational calling.


pages: 407 words: 114,478

The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio by William J. Bernstein

asset allocation, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, 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, George Santayana, 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, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, quantitative easing, railway mania, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, South Sea Bubble, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, survivorship bias, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the rule of 72, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-sum game

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.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

Too often, donors keep their grantees on a short leash, doling out small grants for specific projects and leaving recipients constantly begging for more—not to mention wasting valuable time writing grant proposals. A better approach is to write larger checks for general support and take a more hands-off approach. If an organization has impact, keep funding it. If not, pull the plug. And if you really like an organization, you should consider helping it achieve financial independence by endowing it. both.indd 288 5/11/10 6:28:00 AM conclusion 289 A more radical step is for donors to cede control early on to those they are hoping to help, as Karen Pittelman did with the Chahara Foundation. Pittelman said it is striking how often rich donors “don’t question the idea that they should be in charge.” In her view, the wealthy need to take a big step back so that their money doesn’t only address specific problems, but also changes patterns of power and allows new leaders to find their voices.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, 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, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, 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, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, 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.


pages: 369 words: 120,636

Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London by David Wragg

Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, British Empire, financial independence, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Louis Blériot, North Sea oil, railway mania, Right to Buy, 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.


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, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, indoor plumbing, jitney, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, megastructure, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shock, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

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.


Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination by Adom Getachew

agricultural Revolution, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, failed state, financial independence, Gunnar Myrdal, land reform, land tenure, liberal world order, market fundamentalism, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade

Between Federation and Federal State: The West Indian Debates When Williams entered national and regional politics in 1955, West Indian politicians and colonial officials were already in the process of working out the details of the West Indian Federation. The constitution was completed [ 126 ] Ch a pter Four in 1956, and the federation was inaugurated two years later, with limited powers lodged in the federal government. Unlike the financial independence Wheare’s theory of federation recommended, the West Indian federal government had no independent sources of revenue. Instead, it was financed through a mandatory levy from each island, the total of which could not exceed 9.1 million US dollars. Moreover, the colonial office and national representatives did not reach agreements on a customs union, free trade, and freedom of movement. As a result, they decided that while the constitution would affirm these goals in principle, the federal parliament could legislate on these matters only after a period of five years.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

active measures, 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, longitudinal study, 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, twin studies, 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.


pages: 403 words: 119,206

Toward Rational Exuberance: The Evolution of the Modern Stock Market by B. Mark Smith

bank run, banking crisis, business climate, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, compound rate of return, computerized trading, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, joint-stock company, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, price stability, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, stocks for the long run, the market place, transaction costs

For many years his firm, Richard Whitney & Company, had been at best only marginally profitable, generating earnings insufficient to support his way of life. The firm was a staid, conservative bond dealer; Whitney seemed to prefer a gentlemanly pace of business, transacting primarily with wealthy friends and acquaintances, not the general public. Not possessing any inherited wealth independent of his family, Whitney, for more than a decade, had sought out speculative investments in an effort to provide the wealth necessary for financial independence. Unable to provide the funds himself, Whitney financed these purchases with loans from his brother George, who was a rising star at J. P. Morgan & Company, and by borrowing from friends. By the end of 1929 he owed his brother over $1 million, and friends at least $250,000. The rapidly developing depression of the 1930s was not kind to Whitney’s investments, or to his firm. On June 30, 1931 (based on calculations made later), Richard Whitney & Company actually had a net worth of only $36,000, even though it regularly handled transactions valued in the millions of dollars.


pages: 349 words: 113,575

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition by Ken Kesey

financial independence, hiring and firing, post-work

The nurse got the wondering started by pasting up a statement of the patients’ financial doings over the last few months; it must have taken her hours of work digging into records. It showed a steady drain out of the funds of all the Acutes, except one. His funds had risen since the day he came in. The Acutes took to joking with McMurphy about how it looked like he was taking them down the line, and he was never one to deny it. Not the least bit. In fact, he bragged that if he stayed on at this hospital a year or so he just might be discharged out of it into financial independence, retire to Florida for the rest of his life. They all laughed about that when he was around, but when he was off the ward at ET or OT or PT, or when he was in the Nurses’ Station getting bawled out about something, matching her fixed plastic smile with his big ornery grin, they weren’t exactly laughing. They began asking one another why he’d been such a busy bee lately, hustling things for the patients like getting the rule lifted that the men had to be together in therapeutic groups of eight whenever they went somewhere (“Billy here has been talkin’ about slicin’ his wrists again,” he said in a meeting when he was arguing against the group-of-eight rule.


pages: 415 words: 103,231

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, 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.


pages: 419 words: 125,977

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

anti-communist, Deng Xiaoping, estate planning, financial independence, index card, invention of writing, job-hopping, land reform, Mason jar, mass immigration, new economy, Pearl River Delta, risk tolerance, special economic zone

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.


pages: 497 words: 123,718

A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption by Steven Hiatt; John Perkins

addicted to oil, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bob Geldof, 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, liberal capitalism, 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.


pages: 403 words: 125,659

It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, 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, Nelson Mandela, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, zero-sum game, 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.


pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, 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, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, 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.


pages: 457 words: 125,224

The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig

financial independence, glass ceiling, Google Earth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, pink-collar

To be earning again means that Quentin can no longer push her around. Work, not love, is the one salvation: had she ever been tempted to abandon her career, she is now rewarded for never doing so. Those days of crawling into an office half-dead from broken nights, of struggling to keep going on nothing but coffee and adrenalin, of endless self-doubt that she was doing two things badly instead of one thing well, are justified. She is financially independent. Martin’s practice is a marked contrast to the kind of outfit she once worked for. Not everyone in the town likes him, but as far as she can tell, most respect what he is trying to do, even if there are the inevitable mutterings about how the development will change the character of Trelorn. The extension is his biggest project yet, but he’s worked a miracle by persuading the council to give it permission in under two years.


pages: 434 words: 124,153

Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cape to Cairo, financial independence, Francisco Pizarro, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, profit motive, surplus humans, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, women in the workforce

Although poor women had always smoked, respectable women who imitated them were threatened with a loss of status: ‘they are simply assimilating themselves to this old Sally and that ancient Betty down in the dales or mountain hamlets, or to the stalwart cohort of pit-brow women for whom sex has no aesthetic distinctions’. However, during the course of the war many British women had taken over work normally carried out by men – they had effectively run the economy while their husbands, sons and lovers fought. This accustomed them to financial independence. They had money to spend, and some of it went on cigarettes. Prior to the war, the largest field of employment open to single women was domestic service, where they were often expected to observe the convent rituals of poverty, chastity and obedience. However, at the end of 1918, when the munitions industry wound down, only 125,000 of the pre-war total of 400,000 returned to serving tea and making beds.


Hedgehogging by Barton Biggs

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset allocation, backtesting, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, family office, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, random walk, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, value at risk, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game, éminence grise

As a measure of the damage, the broadest measure of equities—the Value Line Composite, which had peaked in 1968—six years later was down 75%. Adjusted for inflation, even the major stock indexes fell 70%. In the 1970s, the Yale Endowment lost 45% of its purchasing power, mainte- ccc_biggs_ch09_119-132.qxd 11/29/05 7:02 AM Page 129 The Violence of Secular Market Cycles 129 nance was deferred, and the university’s financial independence was in doubt. An extended bear market would transform the effectiveness of American charities. Just for the record, if the timetable of the two previous secular bear markets applied this time, we wouldn’t get back to a new high in the Dow and the S&P 500 until around 2017. As for the Nifty Fifty, again on average it took that group of stocks 101/2 years to get back to the previous price highs in nominal terms and 161/2 years, adjusted for inflation; in other words don’t hold your breath waiting for the NDX Index to touch 5000 again.


pages: 366 words: 123,151

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover

airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, Ronald Reagan, 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.”


pages: 654 words: 120,154

The Firm by Duff McDonald

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, borderless world, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, new economy, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, young professional

Partners then take home the lion’s share of the money earned through the work of junior consultants—a departure from earlier, experience-based consulting firms that had no such junior talent to exploit. Still, if they held on to income, they were nevertheless sacrificing ownership, and this is no small testament to Marvin Bower’s persuasive powers. Or to his obsessiveness. While Bower always maintained that the first obligation of the consultant is to be financially independent—otherwise you are unable to act in a professional manner—he nevertheless kept his eye on every penny. Even as he was getting quite old—his wife, Helen, died in 1985, but he lived another eighteen years, to the age of ninety-nine—Bower still stuck around the firm, reminding people of all the little things that made McKinsey great. One former employee recalled traveling to Dusseldorf shortly after starting his job in the early 1980s and receiving a message that Marvin Bower had called.


World Cities and Nation States by Greg Clark, Tim Moonen

active transport: walking or cycling, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, business climate, cleantech, congestion charging, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent control, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

In comparison, the Japanese average is roughly 50%, which in itself is a significant increase from its earlier levels of 30% (Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 2015b). Tokyo benefits from two local corporate taxes which provide a third of its revenue. Property taxes account for a further 23% and local consumption taxes another 13%. Over recent decades, Tokyo has maintained a far healthier fiscal position than its central government, which, in part, has enabled it to sustain its relative financial independence. The TMG managed to reduce its debt burden from Y14 trillion to Y10 trillion between 2001 and 2013. As a result, its reliance on bond issues is relatively low (6.5% compared to a central government figure of nearly 40%) (ibid). Tokyo’s sound fiscal position allows it to make substantial capital expenditures each year to urban redevelopment (Y290 million in 2015), waterfront area Tokyo 87 development (Y185 million), urban rapid transit railway projects (Y757 million) and water systems (Y1.1 billion).


pages: 493 words: 139,845

Women Leaders at Work: Untold Tales of Women Achieving Their Ambitions by Elizabeth Ghaffari

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, 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.


pages: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube, side project, telemarketer, walking around money

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.


pages: 493 words: 145,326

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, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, financial independence, hiring and firing, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, low cost airline, 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.


pages: 458 words: 136,405

Protest and Power: The Battle for the Labour Party by David Kogan

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, Brixton riot, centre right, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, falling living standards, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, open borders, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War

This Act established a benchmark value of £30,000 as a salary for those immigrants wishing to stay in the UK. For those ‘lower-skilled workers’, which on this criterion would include a vast range of people working in the NHS and other vital services, they would be allowed a temporary twelve-month stay in the UK and would not be allowed to bring in dependents or claim benefits. There was an emphasis on those staying learning English, having ‘British values’ and being financially independent. It pledged in one short clause to improve the current immigration systems that were generally regarded as failing. These values could not be much further way from free movement or the Labour party’s values. It seemed obvious that as shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott would oppose this legislation. Instead, in a scene reminiscent of the welfare row in 2015 that had so damaged Andy Burnham’s leadership chances, Labour decided that it would not vote against this bill, despite condemning it.


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

Shortly before Pat Buchanan would engineer the veto of the comprehensive child-care bill, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme gave a speech to the United Nations declaring that his government’s top goal was to create a society of total gender equity that would enable men and women to both work and have time for family. He pushed sweeping policies to provide subsidized child care, early education, paid parental leave after the birth of a child for both mothers and fathers, paid sick leave, reduced and flexible work hours, good part-time jobs with benefits, and tax and labor policies that promoted women as financially independent breadwinners. He also ushered in programs that would begin to ensure that more women were elected to political office and appointed to cabinet ministries and corporate boards.59 (At the other end of the spectrum, in 1971, some women in Switzerland had just been granted the right to vote.) The Swedish government’s push for gender equity was driven in part by a labor shortage and the desire to avoid importing immigrant workers.60 Other countries, such as France and Germany, their populations decimated by world wars and flagging fertility rates, were similarly galvanized into pushing for “pro-natalist” policies.61 Other smaller and more homogeneous countries, like Denmark, came to support family policies as a means of cementing national identity, even if it meant higher taxes and income redistribution.62 None of these programs were perfect, or perfectly embraced.


The Unicorn's Secret by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, index card, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

She cut her hair (Ira was not charmed by the new, pixieish coiffure). She took tai chi classes and felt herself gaining strength by that oriental pursuit: a combination of powerful dancelike movement and the relaxation of yoga. She tried another new diet in an attempt to control her diabetes (she continued taking medication as well), and the possible effect it might have on her emotions. Holly also gained financial independence—in November she received a check for $19,400 as her share of a tender offer for family stock in the Northrup King Seed Company. In addition, due to a change in tax laws, her uncle Preston informed Holly she would receive another part of her inheritance early, in the form of an $18,000 gift. Upon depositing the first sum, she wrote to her welfare caseworker and canceled her food stamps allotment.


pages: 510 words: 138,000

The Future Won't Be Long by Jarett Kobek

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban decay, wage slave, War on Poverty, working poor, young professional

AUGUST 1988 Adeline Receives an Unwelcome Tutorial on the Nature of the Police State Unbeknownst to me, Baby’d gone and matriculated his silly self to New York University. He emerged from the West Coast in late August, plunging into freshman life. Orientation, course registration, purchase of textbooks. I inquired as to how he could possibly afford such an education. Baby explained that he’d been classified as a financial independent. His grades in high school were exceptional, his income pitiful. NYU had bestowed a merit scholarship upon him. “A gol’ darned free ride,” he said. “Good for you,” I said. “Never pay for nothing.” * Having dawdled with Jaime and bandied about with childish notions of love’s sweet blossoms, Baby’s return occurred a bit too late. A fortnight earlier and he would have been on scene, thick in the mud, for the moment when the world changed, when the city metamorphosed itself with a sacrifice of blood, becoming a dark Satanic mill in service of real estate developers.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, 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, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.


pages: 507 words: 145,878

The Predators' Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the JunkBond Raiders by Connie Bruck

corporate raider, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, financial independence, fixed income, Irwin Jacobs, 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.


pages: 554 words: 158,687

Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All by Costas Lapavitsas

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, full employment, global value chain, global village, High speed trading, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, open economy, pensions crisis, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Simon Kuznets, special drawing rights, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, union organizing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Exchange rates among key countries have become flexible since the final collapse of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1973, and cross-border capital flows have been progressively deregulated. These forms of state intervention – both of which have again been associated with the international role of money – have encouraged the spread of financialization in ways discussed in chapters 8, 9 and 10. Central banking as a lever of financialization: Independent central banks and inflation targeting The importance of central banks in advanced capitalism derives, first and foremost, from control over legal tender. The ascendancy of central banks in the years of financialization has been ultimately linked to the search for a new framework of monetary operations in the 1990s and 2000s. The years that immediately followed the collapse of the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971–73 were marked by rapid price inflation, indicating problematic management of valueless money as well as the malfunctioning of money as unit of account.


pages: 499 words: 152,156

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rolodex, scientific worldview, 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.


pages: 525 words: 153,356

The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd

call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, different worldview, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, sexual politics, 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.


pages: 482 words: 161,169

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by Peter Warren Singer

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market friction, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, risk/return, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

In addition, while the past front companies operated only in limited hot-spots for their governments, firms in the privatized military industry have worked for all types of customers and entities, in all types of places, sometimes including those contrary to their home governments" wishes. There are also pricing structures and competitive practices in the private military market that never characterized front companies. Finally, their financial independence and business motivations have even led some PMFs to defraud their own governments, in a way quite different from what any front for a bureaucracy would consider.24 Many PMFs do maintain close ties to their home governments, often because of the business advantages. Many PMFs (such as Vinnell, Betacls or Dvncorp) also are rumored to have worked on covert operations for governments. As a result, the accusations of conspiracy will continue, as any ties would obviously be hidden and difficult to disprove.


pages: 644 words: 156,395

Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson

back-to-the-land, British Empire, Etonian, financial independence, ghettoisation, lone genius, plutocrats, Plutocrats

Fedorovitch, Sophie (1893-1953) Born in Poland, the painter Fedorovitch came to England in 1920, then lived in great poverty in Paris. Her circle of friends included Iris Tree, Epstein, Augustus John, and Constant Lambert. In the 1930s she and Frederick Ashton started a fruitful collaboration as set designer/choreographer. She died in a gas poisoning accident. Firbank, Ronald (1886–1926) Financially independent, Firbank indulged his taste for champagne at his regular haunt, the Café Royal. A lonely homosexual, his novels (written on piles of blue postcards) are witty aesthetic fantasies, influenced by the nineties, but influential in their turn on such writers as Evelyn Waugh and Ivy Compton-Burnett. Firbank died young from a disease of the lungs. Fitzgibbon, Constantine (1919–1983) Born in America, brought up in England, and educated in France and Germany, Fitzgibbon was a true cosmopolitan, gifted, amusing and attractive.


pages: 474 words: 149,248

The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo--And the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation by James Donovan

active measures, colonial rule, El Camino Real, financial independence, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, invention of gunpowder

For this and other reasons—his genuine honesty, his forthright manner, and his warm personality, no doubt—his fellow townspeople chose him to be magistrate, an office he accepted in November 1817, a few months after his arrival. The citizens’ trust was rewarded when his rulings proved sound and fair: “I gave my decisions on the principles of common justice and honesty between man and man, and relied on natural born sense, and not on law, learning to guide me,” he wrote later. The rough backwoodsman was becoming respectable. And though he would never achieve financial independence, always spending more than he made, he would occasionally approach solvency after his second marriage. He would even own a few slaves to help on the farm. Four months later he was elected lieutenant colonel of his new county’s militia regiment, thus acquiring the honorific of Colonel, which would remain with him until the end of his days. Over the next few years, he assumed other town and county administrative positions.


pages: 519 words: 148,131

An Empire of Wealth: Rise of American Economy Power 1607-2000 by John Steele Gordon

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, global village, imperial preference, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, margin call, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, Yom Kippur War

But the thirteen colonies had millions of acres of potentially rich land for the taking. If the family farm did not have enough land for all the children, the frontier, where there was land aplenty, was seldom more than a day or two away by horseback. Moving on was soon an American characteristic, and America to this day is the most mobile society on earth. And it wasn’t just the native-born children who felt the siren song of financial independence being sung in America. There was a steady flow of immigrants, although the number varied from year to year, climbing steadily after 1750, as word of America’s prosperity and opportunity spread. To raise the cost of their passage, these people were willing to accept a limited term of slavery as indentured servants. In 1767 Sir Henry Moore, royal governor of New York, explained that “as soon as the time stipulated in their indentures is expired, they immediately quit their masters and get a small tract of land, in settling which for the first three or four years they lead miserable lives, and in the most abject poverty.


pages: 495 words: 144,101

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns

anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, 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.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

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, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, 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.


pages: 562 words: 153,825

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, active measures, Anton Chekhov, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, financial independence, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Hangouts, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, job automation, Julian Assange, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, planetary scale, private military company, ransomware, Robert Gordon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, standardized shipping container, Steven Levy, telepresence, undersea cable, web of trust, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

Since his midteens he had worked and played with a tight group of slightly older friends who shared his fascination with Japanese popular culture. Together they ran a pair of businesses: Clockwork Chihuahua Studios, a web design company, and Ryuhana Press, an online showcase for anime art and comics. Snowden later told me the dot-com boom had brought a lot of money into those start-ups, providing him with some financial independence. He listed himself on RyuhanaPress.com as “Editor/Coffee-Boy,” alongside alter egos of Edowaado and Phish. Friends embarrassed him on his nineteenth birthday by posting photographs of the skinny teen in various stages of undress, opining that “Ed is positive that he is God’s gift to women.” Snowden clowned online, but he was dead serious about gaming. In that environment, he displayed the planning skills, the instinct to bypass defenses, and the competitive drive that carried him up or around career ladders in the U.S. intelligence community.


pages: 780 words: 168,782

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, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mont Pelerin Society, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pearl River Delta, 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.


pages: 547 words: 172,226

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, working poor

These assemblies all had somewhat different powers and scopes. For instance, the English Parliament and the Spanish Cortes had power over taxation, while the Estates-General did not. In Spain this mattered little, because after 1492 the Spanish Crown had a vast American empire and benefited massively from the gold and silver found there. In England the situation was different. Elizabeth I was far less financially independent, so she had to beg Parliament for more taxes. In exchange, Parliament demanded concessions, in particular restrictions on the right of Elizabeth to create monopolies. It was a conflict Parliament gradually won. In Spain the Cortes lost a similar conflict. Trade wasn’t just monopolized; it was monopolized by the Spanish monarchy. These distinctions, which initially appeared small, started to matter a great deal in the seventeenth century.


pages: 506 words: 167,034

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, feminist movement, financial independence, invisible hand, Magellanic Cloud, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pepto Bismol, placebo effect, Potemkin village, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, space pen, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Winter of Discontent, your tax dollars at work

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.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

That’s What I Did on Mondays  MIKE MARKKULA It was December 1972, a few months after Sandy Kurtzig had launched ASK and Bob Taylor’s group at PARC had begun their work on the Alto. Mike Markkula, now finishing his second year at Intel, was at home for the holiday break, doing what he did every year between Christmas and New Year’s: he was calculating his net worth and planning for the coming year. He had gotten into the habit as a student when, at twenty, he had prepared a detailed financial plan with the goal of reaching financial independence within fifteen years. From college, through his jobs at Hughes and Fairchild, to this ranch house on Sunderland Drive in Cupertino, he had sat with his bank statements and bills every December, adding machine close at hand. The task had been simple until a year ago, at which point he’d had the pleasant additional work of factoring in the generous stock option grant he had negotiated at his hire at Intel.


pages: 561 words: 163,916

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality by Blake J. Harris

4chan, airport security, Anne Wojcicki, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, computer vision, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, financial independence, game design, Grace Hopper, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, QR code, sensor fusion, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, white picket fence

Zynga did get back to the Bettners, and though they weren’t willing to hit that figure from the street, they did up offering something very close: $180 million. Still, Paul Bettner was reluctant to sell. He didn’t want to give up this special thing that he and his brother had built. Not for $180 million, not for $200 million, not even for $500 million—to him, what they had built was literally priceless. That said, Bettner knew that if he blocked this deal from going through, then he’d be sacrificing his brother’s dreams (to be financially independent) at the expense of his own (to own a game company). And so, on December 2, 2010, Zynga officially acquired Newtoy.3,4 Over the next two years—between selling his company and sitting at his computer now, curious about this young company Oculus—Paul Bettner would tell portions of this story many times. And just about every time, no matter the audience, he’d eventually be asked something like “What the hell?”


pages: 559 words: 169,094

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, corporate raider, 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, fixed income, 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, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, 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, white picket fence, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 594 words: 165,413

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Ada Lovelace, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, impulse control, LNG terminal, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, trade route, Upton Sinclair

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.


Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (Politics and Society in Modern America) by Louis Hyman

asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, card file, central bank independence, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 510 words: 163,449

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It by Arthur Herman

British Empire, California gold rush, creative destruction, do-ocracy, financial independence, global village, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Joan Didion, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, Republic of Letters, Robert Mercer, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

Since William Adam was Master Mason for the Board of Ordnance, part of that work included construction of Fort George for the British Army. Adam turned out to be quite adept at military architecture, perhaps in part from his exposure to the late Colin Maclaurin’s visionary plans (or perhaps in spite of them). In any case, his work designing and supervising the building of parapets, glacis, and reinforced trenches made him financially independent—indeed, he is said to have made over ten thousand pounds. His father’s death in 1748 also left him with a small estate, Dowhill, whose most prominent visual feature was a semiruined medieval tower—something that would inspire some of his later experiments with the neo-Gothic. But Robert Adam had bigger plans than just building forts. His father’s business had gone to his older brother John.


pages: 531 words: 161,785

Alcohol: A History by Rod Phillips

clean water, conceptual framework, European colonialism, financial independence, invention of the printing press, Kickstarter, large denomination, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, New Urbanism, profit motive, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Even then, England welcomed a constantly revolving population of alcohol-drinking soldiers from other countries throughout the hostilities, including Americans from 1942 onward. Women began to drink in pubs more frequently during the war, as had occurred between 1914 and 1918. But most of the women who drank in pubs during the war were younger than those who had done so in the 1930s. Many worked in what had been male occupations, their financial independence freed them from parental control, and meeting men in pubs became more acceptable.25 A survey of pubs in the early 1940s suggested that about a fifth of patrons were women, with more drinking there on weekends than during the week. The author noted that because women occupied only parlors and lounges, “it is often possible to find rooms in which quite half the drinkers are women.”26 (He also noted that women made up a disproportionately small percentage of pub drinkers arrested for drunkenness.)


Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, European colonialism, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Kowloon Walled City, land tenure, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Scientific racism, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing

They would attract investment from home, the attention (perhaps even the presence) of those who controlled capital, and increase the circulation of money. Profitable trade would suck in more migrants, to clear more land and produce larger crops. Land sales would boost the government’s income and enable it to borrow more deeply to dig canals (as in Canada), improve roads or build railways. A virtuous circle of ever-increasing prosperity would be the reward. For the settler population, economic well-being and financial independence would strengthen their case for ‘responsible government’: removing London’s control over their internal affairs. It was not, of course, quite as simple as this. The acquisition of land from indigenous peoples was the first hurdle to clear. As was discussed in chapter 3, in the American colonies this was achieved mainly by purchase. In what became Canada (strictly ‘British North America’ until 1867), purchase, or cession by native first peoples, was the typical pattern.


pages: 564 words: 178,408

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson

Alistair Cooke, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, European colonialism, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, indoor plumbing, jobless men, old-boy network, South China Sea

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.


Sweden by Becky Ohlsen

accounting loophole / creative accounting, car-free, centre right, clean water, financial independence, glass ceiling, haute couture, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, mass immigration, New Urbanism, period drama, place-making, post-work, starchitect, the built environment, white picket fence

* * * THE STORYBOOK WARRIOR Long before the Spice Girls cashed in on ‘girl power’, a Vimmerby-born, Stockholm-based secretary was psyching up little girls with tales of the red-headed, pigtailed strongest girl in the world. The secretary was Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002) and her fictional rebel the infamous Pippi Longstocking. In a postwar world of silenced children and rigid gender roles, Pippi was bold, subversive and deliciously empowering. She didn’t care for beauty creams, she was financially independent and she could even outlift the strongest man in the world, Mighty Adolf. The character herself first found life in 1941 when Lindgren’s pneumonia-struck daughter, Karin, asked her mother for a story about ‘Pippi Longstocking’. The curious name inspired Lindgren to spin a stream of tales about the original wild child, which became an instant hit with Karin and her friends. While recovering from a sprained ankle in 1944, Lindgren finally put her tales to paper and sent them to a publisher.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

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, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, 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 Thaler, Right to Buy, 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, Satyajit Das, 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, survivorship bias, 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 new new thing, 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, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, 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, survivorship bias, 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.


pages: 7,371 words: 186,208

The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times by Giovanni Arrighi

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial rule, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, double entry bookkeeping, European colonialism, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, profit maximization, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, reserve currency, spice trade, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

On the contrary, it was used to strengthen governmental authority and the sovereignty of the Reich: The political power vested in the Reich executive was to be used to help overcome short-term economic contraction and stagnation, but in exchange for its services the state was to make durable political conquests. . . . Vast schemes loomed before Bismarcks eyes; the establishment of the unassailable financial independence of the Reich and its military machine, beyond the reach of parliamentary control, by manipulating the producers’ demand for tariff protection and by reforming taxation so as to reduce overhead costs. Or the political exploitation of economic and fiscal maladjustments so as to secure a new balance of power between the Reich and the states . . . and to complete the national unification by cementing it with unbreakable economic ties.


pages: 649 words: 185,618

The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow by Gil Troy

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, demand response, different worldview, European colonialism, financial independence, ghettoisation, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, one-state solution, Silicon Valley, union organizing, urban planning, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

Louis Dembitz Brandeis was the most distinguished figure in American life to become a Zionist. He served for twenty-two years on the U.S. Supreme Court, and his opinions reoriented constitutional law toward social and economic realism. Brandeis was born to Jewish immigrants in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1856. By his twenty-first birthday, he had already graduated from Harvard Law School at the head of his class. After achieving financial independence at the bar in Boston, he devoted himself ever more to public causes. Brandeis grew up without any formal religion. Until age fifty-four, he avoided appreciable contact with the Jewish community. He met its newest segment in 1910 when he was called to help settle a strike in New York’s Jewish-dominated garment industry. The poor, pious Eastern European Jews’ progressive yet traditional values jump-started this aristocratic Bohemian Jew’s Zionist journey.


Lonely Planet London by Lonely Planet

Boris Johnson, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, congestion charging, discovery of the americas, East Village, Etonian, financial independence, haute couture, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, place-making, post-work, Skype, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent

If you’re stuck in the traffic, tune into Capital FM (95.8 FM), the most popular pop station in the city and the commercial equivalent of the BBC’s national Radio 1 (98.8 FM). For indie music, there’s Xfm (104.9 FM), for dance tune into Kiss (100 FM) and for soul, there’s Choice FM (96.9 FM). Classical listeners can turn to Classic FM (100.9 FM). Media Newspapers & Magazines National newspapers in England and London are almost always financially independent of any political party, although their political leanings are quite clear. There are two broad categories of newspapers, most commonly distinguished as broadsheets (or ‘qualities’) and tabloids (the distinction is more about content than physical size). New Media Websites Londonist (www.londonist.com) London-centric blog. Urban 75 (www.urban75.com) Outstanding and original. Indymedia (www.uk.indymedia.org) Global network of alternative news.


pages: 613 words: 200,826

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, corporate raider, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Irwin Jacobs, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

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.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist lawyer, 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, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 612 words: 206,792

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So Called Psychopathic Personality by Hervey Cleckley

Charles Lindbergh, financial independence, Mason jar, traveling salesman

He was sent several times to take whiskey cures at various private sanatoriums and was also hospitalized for short periods in psychiatric institutions and once at a state mental hospital. He was always found “sane and competent” and discharged after a short period. In time he became an all but unbearable burden on the other members of his family. The oldest brother, vice-president of a local bank, another brother successful in business, a married sister in good circumstances, and another sister unmarried but financially independent and prominent in club work all strove to their utmost to help him. The task of supporting him was but a small part of their problem. If kept in the house by any of his family, he persisted in his overbearing, riotous ways, proved unmanageable, and disorganized the entire household. Sometimes he took silver or other valuable objects belonging to a sister or a brother and pawned or sold them.


pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, creative destruction, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

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.