Investing, Travel, And Wealth; Secrets To Success

What is Your Definition of Wealth and Success?

by in Personal Finance on Aug 13th, 2013

Fresh off a two week vacation in Peru, I was reminded of two keys to a successful life…. balance and patience. As a true workaholic, it sometimes takes dragging me thousands of miles from home to to remember the true value of life; and it’s not about who acquires the most money. Clearly, money matters, but so do other aspects of life. Money is the method to achieve some goals, but not all. (It’s tough to travel without any cash :) .)

Now how is this article going to tie together investing, travel, and wealth?

Patience and Investing

An inspiring hike around one of the most amazing sites in the world, Machu Picchu gave new meaning to the word patience. It took close to 150 years to build this historic tribute to the Inca culture. The lessons embedded in this culture are important to us, centuries later.

Are you devastated if you don’t get a remarkable investment return one year?

Over the last hundred years or so, the U.S. stock market averaged about 9 percent per year. Yet during the past fifteen years the S & P 500 averaged 4.75 percent (according to Morningstar).

Would there be a Machu Picchu today if the Incas looked at their progress after 15 years and said, “This stinks, we aren’t finished yet, we quit”? Yet this is exactly what many investors did after the bear market of 2008-9. To those investors who sold and didn’t know when to get back in, they missed a great run up in stock prices over the subsequent years.

Let’s carry the example a bit further. How many bloggers quit after a year with the lament that their traffic and income is insufficient? Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich, admitted at a Fincon presentation that his website was nowhere at the three year mark.

Patience with oneself and one’s endeavors is a secret to success. Yet our culture thrives on instant gratification. That mentality leads to dissatisfaction. I’ve invested for decades through up and down markets. There were years when the market tanked and so did our investable assets. Although those were the times when I bit the bullet and added more to our investments. History demonstrates the miracle of compounding; the longer you continue to invest, through up and down markets the more your wealth grows. Many new businesses fail, not because the businesses are inherently poor, but because the owners’ don’t plan well enough, store enough capital, and hang in there during the slow initial stages. Read More

Public Service Announcement: Don’t Be a Conehead!

Use your head while driving in construction, or become a conehead!

by in Lifestyle on Aug 2nd, 2013

Summer driving is in full effect and Yakezie Member Edward Antrobus and roadside flagger would like to share his safety tips across construction zones. 

What do flaggers do for fun in their free time? Trick question. We don’t have free time. In the summer, it isn’t uncommon to work 70 hours or more per week without even a weekend off. In an informal poll, it was revealed that 9 out of 10 people in my company use their off-time to catch up on missed sleep. What drives a person to work those kinds of hours? It certainly isn’t the money. I make less than $10/hour on most projects. The people who stay in traffic control do it to help people. We do it to keep you safe when on the road. But we need your help.  To keep you safe, you have to work with us. To keep you safe, you can’t be a cone-head.

What is a conehead? I’m not referring to the alien species from the Dan Akroyd movie. To a flagger, conehead is a play on the popular Gen X insult “bonehead.” It can also be taken to mean someone who isn’t paying attention and drives over a traffic cones, which is sometimes referred to as “wearing a cone.”

What does it take to not be a conehead in a road work zone? Read More

How To Run An Online Business While Traveling Without A Laptop And Only A Phone

Using Just A Smartphone to Run A Location Independent Business

by in Lifestyle on Jul 22nd, 2013

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s having to lug too much stuff around on my travels. Ever since my pair of Air Jordan 6s got replaced with stinky old shoes after I checked in my luggage 23 years ago, I’ve never checked in another bag again! I saved up all summer for them $120 Jordans and I was devastated as a 13 year old kid.

It’s been a year since I officially retired from Corporate America and I finally took a grand 4 week trip to NYC, Switzerland, Mallorca, and Germany. I took several weeks here and there to Hawaii, Tahoe, and a cruise up the Gulf of Finland to St. Petersburg over the past 12 months, but I had never gone on trip for longer than 2.5 weeks since college 14 years ago.

The main reasons for this trip were the following: 1) I wanted to see family and friends in NYC I haven’t seen in over two years, 2) To test the extent of being able to run an online business from anywhere in the world for an extended period of time, 3) To see if I could run my business without a laptop, 4) To test the limits of how long I can last away until I start feeling overly homesick, and 5) To learn and explore!

I’ve written two posts about my trip already in “How Do People Comfortably Live On Less Than Six Figures In Expensive Cities Like New York?“, and “Do You Suffer From Apathy? (Swiss portion)” with a couple more posts to come this summer. For this post, I’d like to share with you my strategies and thoughts on running a business with just my iPhone while traveling for four weeks.


What Is Your Desired Lifestyle?

It's Easy To Lose Focus Without A Goal

If you’ve been anywhere around the blogosphere, I’m sure you noticed lifestyle design.  It’s the new/old it thing, where someone can live however they choose (or how their skills put them) on just a bit of money, usually made by selling you a pdf file of how you could do what they are doing.

This obviously isn’t the only way to lifestyle design, and I’d like to share a story from someone I know who has been a ‘lifestyle designer’  way before you needed a blog (or quit your job) to be a lifestyle designer.

Competitive Swimming

I grew up in the same area as my mom and most of her family, so when it was time to join a year round swim team when I was in middle school, she took me (and my sister) to her old swim coach, Greg.  Since Greg was a family friend, he had known who I was for quite a while, but I never recalled meeting him.  On the way over, mom told us stories about how all of our aunts and uncles used to swim for Greg, all the places that they were able to go to compete at swim meets (like sunny Arizona!) and all the fun that they had.  Naturally, I was slightly skeptical because it was a new environment and was supposed to be a step up, with harder workouts and more serious teammates.  I dont really recall what to expect of my new coach, but I quickly started to learn.

After swimming with Greg for a few years about 3-4 times per week, I started to get better (thankfully, because I was working hard), so when I started high school, I got moved to a new practice time with a smaller group of swimmers who were also in high school.  I had expected it to be the exact same as what I was used to: go to practice, swim, go home – but it was completely different with Greg when I was older.  Gone were the times I got sprayed with the hose because I didnt get into the pool right away, and in came the talks before we got in.

Of course, since I was in high school and I knew everything, I figured that it was just Greg going off about one thing or another for about 5-10 minutes before practice once a week.  He would sit us all down and talk to us about swimming sometimes, but usually it was something corollary - our eating habits, how much we slept each night, the amount of alcohol we were consuming, why he didnt eat red meat, why he followed the teachings of Buddha and a whole bunch of other things.

After about 2 years, this stuff started to sink in – I mean Greg was in his 60s (He would never tell anyone when his birthday was because he didnt want to make a big deal of it) and didn’t look that old, never once got sick and always seemed to be in a pretty good mood (I heard him say 1 bad thing about someone else 1 time).  I figured if Greg was this healthy when he was three times my age, maybe he was doing something right with his life.

The Unspoken Lessons Read More

How to Avoid Post-Frequent Flyer Miles Collection Depression

There are a lot of folks who are disappointed with airline mileage programs.

Many people I’ve talked to decided to sign up for a travel credit card to earn miles, and then before they knew it, they had enough miles for a free trip – or so they thought.

When it came time to redeem their flights, they found out there was only one day they could fly; they’d have to leave on Christmas day and return on New Years. Then they found out that flights from Los Angeles to New York were booked. The only available destination was in North Dakota.

They vow on that day never to use a mileage based credit card again.

When I was in high school, we had these bi-annual banquets where guys would put on suits and buy flowers for girls. The problem was that every one of them ended in disappointment because everyone’s expectations were too high, and disappointment was sure to follow.

I think a big part of the problem with earning frequent flyer miles, just like those high school banquets, can be attributed to unfair expectations.

How to Create Appropriate Expectations for Your Airline Frequent Flyer Miles Read More

How To Negotiate A Severance Package
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