Friday, June 19, 2015

How Much is Enough?

 If you have a rate of return of only 4%, and your drawdown rate is 4%, you've already achieved lifetime sustainability -- no matter how long you live.

The rate of inflation affects everyone equally, so one doesn't need to add on some imaginary inflation rate beyond that -- like the labor unions like to flim flam the "leaders" with, and multiply their advantage over everybody else.

Intelligent people frequent the markets that are more favorable to them -- rather than the most punitive, as though it doesn't make a difference.

Those personal decisions and life orientations (choices), will make a much bigger difference than the rate of return once one has accumulated a modestly sufficient nest egg, at which point the "game" of simply making more money, should be moot.
Yet we see in these same articles, that the reason for maximizing one's returns, is so that one can spend it foolishly and lavishly on travel, entertainment, fine dining and wining -- at which point all bets are off that one could ever have enough money, time and energy -- because only one part of the equation, is not enough to arrive at any valid answer.

It is the balance and interplay of all the variables (and constants), that makes any solution useful -- and not any one factor in isolation -- no matter how large or small.

The wise person will live within their means in good times and bad -- while the fool, will deny that they should ever adjust their expenditures, no matter what.  That seems to be the presumption of most of the financial experts -- that humans (life) never adjusts, adapts, and evolves -- and therefore is doomed.

There is no "happily forever" after from the beginning for all time.  If you always do the best you can, you always will.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Discovering the New World

Human evolution has always been about movement -- to find out what the world is all about -- as even the first man and woman, were banished from the paradise of the Garden of Eden, to have to find their way in another world.  That is the metaphor of life we all have to live -- to find out not only what is known, but especially what is unknown, and which we have to discover for ourselves even if none have done so before us.  

But as a member of any species and society, we have the advantage of knowing and learning what others have done before us -- which is not the end, but only the beginning for what we must do each in our own lives, because the general rule, can only take us so far, and not necessarily take as as far as we need individually to go.
Every life is unique and individual -- as the blueprint of our very living.  In many ways, we are alike -- but not exactly, and in this way, each has to discover themselves as much -- as they do the world we inherit in common. That is the difference we must learn to differentiate.  Many ideologues will insist that nobody is any different, and so we must all do the one thing, live the one way, which is usually according to their plan -- which might not be good for everybody else, except for those who have already decided that they will be on top -- and will remain so as long as they live, as their grand vision of what life must be.

That is one plan, and one vision for society and the world -- but it is only one, and the treasure and beauty of life, is that we can discover for ourselves other worlds which are more favorable to ourselves being on top of the world.  It is usually a world that has to be searched for and discovered by ourselves -- because nobody else will take us there.  Others are in search of the world that is most suitable and advantageous for themselves -- as they have a right to -- "pursue their own life, liberty and happiness."

That does not necessarily have to be in conflict with all others.  In fact, the best of all worlds, will largely be what is shared, while allowing for individual preferences that complete and complement individual variations and uniqueness.  That is not just a matter of choice and preference, but absolute necessities for individual constitutions.  One man's meat, may be another man's poison, or better said, one person's optimal life, is what they can discover and create for themselves -- as best they can.

That is one's life work -- beyond the work that can be exchanged readily to be appreciated by the  marketplace with others.  That is what is most important for every individual to do as their highest calling -- of their own lives.  Many of course, will never get there -- barely surviving from day to day, as best they can.  But one hopes to get beyond that, as the beginning of the journey in their life, to their best life, in the circumstances that make it possible.  It may be where no others have gone before -- but that is the meaning and purpose of every life -- to find out what that is.

And that is also the meaning and purpose of society -- to help as many as possible get there -- to the point at which they are brave enough to discover their own world most advantageous and favorable to them.  Obviously, such a society would prepare them to move on in life, and not merely be trapped into conforming and supporting the life of the present powers that be, to keep themselves perennially at the top of that pecking order -- and to have no common purpose and benefit otherwise.  Those were the primitive and tribal societies of the past -- and not the golden age of the present moment.  That's where we are today -- and have to be focused on the challenges of the present time, and not the restoration of some glorious past the ideologues (demagogues) would like everyone to buy into.

Such conformity, is not a good in itself -- even if it is the "political correctness" of that time, and what we all ought to think -- as though they knew, what was best for all -- because they think that is their exclusive role and job in that society.  That is everybody's role, job and right in any society worthy of the name.  That is a world that belongs to everybody -- in its entirety, and not just their small piece of it -- that they feel they must ferociously defend, as though there were no other.

From time immemorial, the greatest advantage has always been to those who see the biggest picture of the world -- and not the smallest as though there were no other.  It doesn't matter that that tiny piece of the world is called "Paradise" -- if they know no other, and can envision nothing else, but how life has always been there, or worse, the glorious life they have only been told was possible in a distant past that they can only revere -- because nothing else is possible for their own lives now, at this time and circumstances, but to live life as they've been told to repeat it.

Such lives and living, can never have breakthroughs, never evolve beyond what it always has been  -- with only less, and never more, and greater.  That is not "Paradise," but somewhere else entirely.  But a person has to come to that realization themselves, entirely on their own.  No one else can do that for any other.  There is no more important thing to do than that fulfillment -- of living the life never lived before -- in one's own.