The powers that be are waging a war on your wealth.
Many fail to notice it, though it’s hiding in plain sight.
It’s not a war of bullets. It’s a war of numbers.
A war disguised as a casino.
It’s useful to think of some of these things as large scale “money games.” But never forget, these games aren’t meant for fun. They’re meant to steal your wealth.
It’s an attack on your labor, and that of your children.
Greedy Hands Make For Loose Waist Bands. You May Not Feel It, But Your Sons Surely Will.
This big nasty casino isn’t necessarily corrupt by default.
The markets themselves are generally a force for good. They help improve the quality of human life.
Believe or not, money is the same way. It allows you to transport your labor across time and space.
Unfortunately, the games have been perverted.
Everyone has their hand in the cookie jar (aka. your piggy bank).
The government. The banks. The big corporations. Even your own money manager!
The net result is that your buying power gets absolutely crushed over time.
[PBD Spending Power Stats]
It’s a slow leak, lost by percentage. That makes it hard to detect, especially over generations.
We’re like frogs in a pot of boiling water.
There used to be a simpler time…
When a man could graduate 10th grade and start working the farm. From the sweat of his brow, he could save up enough money to move to a place of greater opportunity. He could repeat the cycle. Work, save, and buy a house for his family. Again. Work, save, start a business. And again. Work, save, buy a rental house. Again and again, until he possessed one rental house for each of his grand children.
That man was my grandfather, the greatest Papaw that ever lived.
10th grade education. Picking tobacco. Delivering newspapers. Walking power meters. Cutting grass.
Sure, it was hard. And he also had some help (from the greatest Mamaw that ever lived).
But there was a time when good men didn’t have to try so hard to provide for their family.
I’ll tell you more about how Papaw did it in a bit.
But first, let’s talk about…
How They Bleed You Dry
Imagine a game of cards.
Let’s call it:
Texas Hold Your Future Hostage
Texas Hold The People Down
Texas Hold Up
Whatever you want to call it, you’re getting screwed.
The rules have been rigged. The dealer’s been bribed. The house are cheats. And all the other players are looking to hustle you.
You must see the problem:
If you don’t even know you’re playing, you will lose every time.
Fortunately, you don’t have to know all of the games to avoid busting out.
Understand the big picture. Then pick your own game and master it.
First, the drains on your wealth.
- fiat currency
- central banking
- rent seeking
- crony capitalism
- market manipulation
- financial derivatives
All of these things and more impede your ability to make a living.
Sure, you can still achieve “financial freedom.” You could even become insanely rich. But it’s harder than it should be.
Everyone wants a piece of your stack.
And they’ll get it too, unless you do something about it.
Fiat Currency – Variable Value Chips
Money is meant to be one thing:
A representation of your productivity. It’s the grease that oils the gears of our society. It allows you to put in work today and pay for something with it tomorrow. Likewise, it allows you to put in work in one location and pay for something with it elsewhere.
At it’s best, sound money makes it easier for human beings to work together and improve each other’s lives.
Unfortunately, world governments have all but destroyed sound money.
Instead we use fiat currency.
The more they print, the less each dollar is worth. You perceive it as prices going up. But they’ve actually just devalued your labor.
The dollars in your bank account represent your time and energy. Central banks and governments have the power to make them worth less. That’s how our pennies, nickels, quarters, and dollars became so worthless.
It’s kind of insulting.
“Oh, that hard work you put in? Today we decided it’s not worth as much as you thought it was. We don’t care what price you agreed to exchange your labor for. Yeah, maybe we’re interfering with the employer-employee contract by lowering everyone’s wages across the board at once. So what? We’ll give you some free stuff if you’ll just forget about it.”
Imagine playing your way to the final table at the World Series of Poker. When you get there, the house decides to devalue your chips based on what country you come from. That’s basically what happens to our buying power in the global economy when your country increases its money supply.
“Gas prices went up.”
No, your dollars got devalued.
“Rents are rising.”
No, your dollars got devalued.
“Food is getting more expensive.”
No, your dollars got devalued.
It’s (usually) a slow leak. But it erodes the stability of our system at a fundamental layer.
If our money is corrupt, so is every transaction we make with it.
Money is the language of reciprocity, after all.
When I’m not sure you worked as hard for your money as I worked for mine, it causes resentment. This kind of resentment doesn’t bode well for society (as we’ll talk about later).
Variable value chips make this the default state of local economics.
Perhaps that’s why our Founder Fathers established gold and silver as the only money.
If only the illogic stopped there.
Unfortunately, there’s much more eating away at your wealth.
Central Banking – The Dirty Dealer
It’s bad enough that we let them get to our chips…
But guess what?
They did ya’ one worse.
They put the power to print new chips in the hands of a third party. And that third party doesn’t even try to pretend to be independent. In truth, the Fed is clearly a part of the big “bread and circus” machine.
DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY!!!
Oh wait, you have been your whole life; it’s the status quo.
Nevermind, maybe we’re just fncked.
The corruption of true money is one of the things that helped bring Rome to its knees. If you want an immortal empire, it’s gold standard or bust bro. Duh.
But even if we need to manipulate the money to protect our quality of life, please DON’T GIVE CONTROL OVER TO A G–D–M- UNREGULATED ENTITY THAT IS BASICALLY ABOVE THE LAWS.
It’s been game over since 1910.
We’re definitely fncked.
This dealer demands interest on every hand you play. Most people have no idea that our debt is monetized. Americans pay interest to the Federal Reserve for every dollar they print [fact check].
Yet few understand how this shadowy organization works. Fewer still understand the full significance.
Is it really surprising?
Born in the casino, it’s easy to think “the game” is all life offers.
Every time they print money, we should revolt.
It’s like getting mugged.
Except they do it to us in broad daylight, whenever they please.
It’s obviously a racket.
And still, it gets worse.
When they print new money, whoever gets to spend that new money first is at an advantage. Essentially, their dollars begin circulation at the same value as all other dollars. But as soon as they enter the total supply, all other dollars lose value.
They do you dirty every time they print money and hand it over to the banks or airlines as a “bailout.” And even when they send you that stimulus check, they fund government entities and corporations first [fact-check].
It’s all robbery.
But we let them get away with it.
For the Poker Players…
Imagine you enter a $500 tournament with 10 of your friends.
You get down to the last 3 and the pot is split pretty evenly, at about $1500 apiece.
You go back and forth for a few hands and no one is really making much headway. The guy throwing the tournament (who is also one of the final 3) announces that he is going to buy himself in another $1500. The dealer lets him, over your objections. Then the dealer raises the blinds, as if he is colluding with the house.
It’s something like this scene from “The Sting” when Mr. Lonegan stacks the deck and buys back in to put Mr. Shaw all in…
…except it’s worse, because it’s your government doing it to you. And of course, the fact that Lonegan stacks the deck before doing so makes it an even better analogy for what happens to our money in real life.
No matter what they do to the money supply, few stacks grow more quickly than those of the system’s chosen few.
We plebes just let it ride, trusting our politicians. Meanwhile, 90% of them have no idea how this stuff works—and the other 10% are in on the take.
So tell me, what do the gangsters do when they’re conned out of their money in cards?
Or if you’re not a fan of gangsters, how about America’s founders?
Taxes – The House Gets 35%
Let’s keep it 💯.
Taxation is theft.
35% is an insane tax rate [fact-check].
Revolutions have been waged for less. The Boston Tea Party happened in protest of a 3% tax increase.
You know the casino is extorting you but you’re forced to play anyway.
What a terrible predicament.
Again, our generation just accepts this as the status quo.
Meanwhile, the rules aren’t the same for everyone.
Some players don’t have to pay the same way. Reducing your taxes is a crucial strategy to defending your wealth. Unfortunately, the best tax breaks are reserved for those who can find the loopholes. Most of us can’t afford a team of lawyers and tax professionals to help us work it out.
And true, not all of us need to go to such great lengths anyway.
Nor do I blame those that do.
It’s your labor after all. There’s nothing wrong with defending it against the government’s grubby paws—even if you’re a big business.
Perhaps it would be better if we abolished all of the complicated codes that lead to this imbalance. Or better yet, we should just abolish half of our taxes outright. We accept taxation as the normal state of things. In reality, the United States didn’t have a federal income tax until 1913 (and some states still don’t have one) [fact check].
[pbd taxes video]
Fair enough. But the road to legislation is a long one (and probably an even more rigged game). So the only real solution is to build wealth and use the tax codes for your advantage.
Such is the game the big boys play.
You can either b!tch about it or try to become a major player yourself.
Once you do that, you can often just sit on your money and it will multiply for you.
Rent Seeking – Renting Your Seat at the Table/Rigged Machines
For the wealthy, the investing vehicles are diverse and powerful.
Plus, they tend to be easier.
Well, that kinda’ depends on how you define “easy.”
But at the very least, their income is more insulated. This allows them to create long-term financial strategies they can count on.
Unfortunately, such “rent seeking behavior” contributes very little real economic activity to the global marketplace. Instead, it acts as a leach and contributes to long-term economic instability. For example, our massive credit industry plays a major role in our “boom and bust” cycles.
[ray dalio credit cycles video]
Meanwhile, this system allows the banks to virtually manufacture profit (and receive bail outs when they screw up).
Now, I’m not saying we should abolish loans and landlords. Our system of home rental and ownership has obvious advantages. It’s better than every man having to build his own home from the ground up, obviously. Interest on loans isn’t inherently bad either. It allows us to buy things we couldn’t afford today in exchange for the promise of tomorrow’s labor.
However, maybe we should abolish loans and landlords.
In all seriousness, “fake” economic activities (aka. money games) don’t actually contribute anything to society. Yet the games are being played, whether you like it or not. You can’t escape it. All you can do is learn to play. In all honesty, trading and investing aren’t any more “real,” but they’re crucial tools for the average man.
The banking cartel that acts as “stakeholders” of the Federal Reserve are probably the biggest culprits. Not only do they control the game, they’re allowed to skim off the top of what our labor produces. Their whole function as an “entity” is to make profit, and there’s probably no easier way to do so. Plus, whenever they begin to lose control of the game, they simply lean on the house to change the rules.
[king, queen, chess meme]
By no means am I saying the big banks are the only guilty parties. They’re just the most guilty parties.
But rent seeking also happens at the corporate level.
We just usually call that:
Crony Capitalism – Card Counters & Rigged Machines/Inside Players
Government regulation is supposed to protect “the little guy.”
But far too often, it does the exact opposite. That’s not to say that financial regulators don’t offer us some level of protection. For example, ______ and ______ are probably good ideas/securities law and ____ have their place.
However, not everything works out in our favor. Somehow, it always seems to work out in the favor of major corporations though. Maybe it has something to do with the government-to-corporate pipeline in industries like arms manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
[government to corporate pipeline table/chart]
Who would have thought that allowing our politicians to take jobs at large companies was a terrible idea?
I mean seriously, we’re all pretty dumb.
All you have to do is look at how congress invests to see what’s happening.
[pfizer and j & j infographic]
For some players at the highest levels, lobbyists are a better investment than any asset. They can convince the powers that be to offer you new tax breaks, provide federal subsidies, or even mandate your vaccine. Plus, that’s how they get that bailout money before you get your stimulus checks.
There are many gambling analogies that fit this one.
You might say it is the equivalent of the big players leaning on the dealer at your table to overlook their card counting.
Or you could compare the game of big business to horse races or cock fights rigged by the state.
The best comparison though, is probably rigged slot machines.
The vast majority of businesses fail. The same could be said for slot pullers. And while business isn’t a game of complete chance like slots, your odds of winning are about the same—unless of course, you have the house on your side. If the government deems your business “too big to fail,” your success is all but guaranteed. You can pay your executives massive bonuses for running a bad business, as the banks and auto manufacturers did after the 2008 crash. [fact check/link]
But of course, this isn’t the only place in our financial system where it pays to be one of the “big boys.”
In the financial markets, it’s even worse.
Market Manipulation – Whale Games
In finance, the biggest fish are referred to as “whales.”
For them, the rules of the game are often very different.
Though they compete in many of the same arenas, they aren’t exactly playing the same games as the rest of us.
When you’re managing billions of dollars, the rule makers may even be forced to help you. If the largest hedge funds in the U.S. started selling their assets during a market crash, it would send our economy into a massive recession (and probably depression). Thus, the Federal Reserve can be pressured into quantitative easing measures in order to keep these funds from dumping on the market. The end result is that everyone’s retirement earnings continue to rise. But the “bubble” also gets bigger, making each market downturn potentially more dangerous than the last.
So while our government focuses on “saving the whales,” they hold the market hostage.
But of course that’s not the only game the whales play.
There’s also market making, leverage trading, and high frequency trading.
And to a degree, we little guys can do some of these things too. But yet again, the rules are different.
Two obvious examples are market making and high frequency trading.
Technically, every time you place a limit order, you help make the market. Yet for 99.9999% of us, our order size is a drop in the bucket compared to the major liquidity providers. When price action gets intense, our orders get gobbled up by the spikes in volatility. On the other hand, trading exchanges and others have the advantage of being able to see where our orders are and set targets accordingly (see: stop hunting). And that’s not even factoring in the fees they make on your transactions.
As for high frequency trading, it’s pretty easy to use a trading bot. But once again, you don’t have access to a team of PhD mathematicians to program yours or a Bloomberg terminal to give you extra insight. Generally, any bot you use will have a fairly simple rule set and lower throughput. Sure, high frequency trading makes markets more efficient. However, 99.99% of us can’t take full advantage like the whales who virtually have a license to manufacture profit.
Then there is also leverage trading, which is one hell of a drug—for the whales and the small fish alike.
For the Poker Players…
For this, we can come up with another poker example:
Imagine you’re in a poker tournament and every time your opponent bets, some guy in the galley [correct word?] triples his bet and foots the bill for the extra capital. He can essentially make the game more expensive without risking his own chips. He can call bets he shouldn’t. He can put you all-in to muscle you out of hands. Essentially, his chips are worth more than yours.
Throw in the fact that your opponent can choose how much leverage to use in any given hand and the game theory really gets out of hand. You pretty much have to dedicate your life trading in order to figure it out (and still, that might not be enough).
Leverage trading has a similar effect on the markets.
Leverage trading is trading with loaned capital. You put up part of the money for your trades and the exchange supplements it with their own. This allows you take advantage of one of investing’s biggest tropes: the power of OPM, or “other peoples’ money.” In real estate, you hear a lot about cash on cash returns. It’s basically the same concept in trading. If you have $1,000 to trade with and the exchange fronts you an extra $2,000, a 10% change in price makes you $300 instead of $100. That’s easy enough to understand as a small trader.
But when you add zeroes to the equation (millions instead of thousands), the impact becomes much greater. Not only do you make extra profit but you also have more power to move the markets where you want them to go.
In cryptocurrency trading, you hear a lot about the whales manipulating the markets. But things are similar in forex and other markets, the only real difference being the relative maturity and volatility of each asset class.
In the end, leverage trading is risky for individuals but gives the largest players extra insurance.
Derivatives – Monopoly Money
This one is arguably the most insidious money game there is.
In fact, it’s almost an insult to the game of Monopoly (because Monopoly is actually fair). But the point is that these financial instruments are just about as real as a pink 5 dollar bill.
Yet, they have the power to drag down our entire financial system, like they did in 2008.
The movie the The Big Short does a great job illustrating what happened.
Here is one of the most important clips:
To gain a full understanding, you should probably watch the whole movie. In fact, you might even want to watch it more than once.
But here’s the TL;DR version:
There is basically a big, fat “betting” market on top of the “real” economy. These bets come in the form of financial derivatives, like synthetic CDOs, volatility indexes [factcheck], and ____[btc derative]. Because this betting market is so oversized, it has the potential to topple the real economy.
There are several reasons for this.
- due to the leverage… companies holding their own stock essential multiply their losses
- banking system vulnerability
But perhaps the most pressing issue:
The ability of the largest hedge funds to hold the entire casino hostage.
You see, it could create a devastating crash if these massive money managers/whales dumped their shares en masse. So when the stock market is on the verge of going into a bear market, they can effectively threaten the casino into printing new chips to keep the bulls in control. In the end, the fed doesn’t mind this because more chips in circulation means more dividends for them. Remember, they get paid out first. [make sure this was explained above] … and so they print chips and raise house fees too
In some cases, the Fed is even willing to buy the whales’ bad bets to keep the house from going under.
The practical result:
Prices of stocks and other assets are no longer tied to their real values and continue to go up.
margin leads to cascading squeezes… in 08 it started with bear sterns
In this casino, the big players
regulation, meant to help us can come back to bite us in the butt
create financial instruments for the hedge funds and inside players
(tools for the layman like robinhood come from entrepreneurial innovation… aka real economic activity)
tie it back to monopoly money
BONUS: Ocean’s 11 – Black Swans
This one isn’t so much about the games themselves.
Instead, it’s about how domestic and/or global circumstances can affect the financial games.
“Black swan events” are typically unexpected occurrences that (usually?) have a negative impact on the markets—often in a massive way.
Most of the time, black swans events are simply chance occurrences, like major weather events in a small country. Other times, they are fully or semi-manufactured events like war or the COVID lockdowns. In the rarest cases, the casino itself gets its sh!t jacked, like what the U.S. did to the rest of the world in the lead up Brenton-Woods agreement. [fact-check phrasing]
Theoretically, the whole damn casino could burn down in the case of global catastrophe like nuclear war or alien invasion.
Innovations like decentralized finance or ______ could
decentralized finance the answer? … but if its big enough, there is likely little to nothing that can be done… especially without sound money
black swans can be positive?
focus on what you can control… don’t depend on institutions, protect your own portfolio
Papaw’s Rental Houses
These rackets are nothing new.
They were running many of them before Rome.
Getting mad won’t do you much good unless that anger helps you make the decision to do something about it.
After all, a good man can still build his own empire.
That’s what Papaw did.
His legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren… a legacy of wealth, land, and knowledge.
And through our actions, all of that can compound for our own children and grandchildren.
That’s how you build that elusive…
An average man can’t build a legacy of financial freedom in one generation anymore.
Don’t get me wrong:
The self-made millionaire is still a viable dream. We’ve got copious examples to choose from. In fact, you can find examples of self-made billionaires.
However, they don’t get there by being average.
The days of working a regular job, saving, investing, and then thriving are mostly gone. At least, that’s true for the majority of people born in this country.
The sad thing is, this version of the “American Dream” is still alive and well in our immigrant populations. When it comes to building wealth, first-generation immigrants typically outperform the rest of the U.S. citizenry. Their children tend to do so as well. By the third generation, their performance is more on par with average Americans. This trend is consistent across race, gender, and most other demographics. [link?]
Why is that?
It’s not an issue of opportunity. It’s an issue of culture. If you consume media that encourages you to spend money on dumb things, you’re less likely to make responsible financial decisions. Reality TV. Instagram. Hip hop. Modern Western society encourages us to value consumerism over all.
But the fact is, you don’t have to buy into it. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time provide excellent examples of this. Steve Jobs talked about eating ramen noodles every night on his way up. Elon Musk challenged himself to live on a dollar a day in his early years. Today, Elon is one of the richest men in the world. Steve Jobs was also in that club before he passed away.
Many immigrant families highlight the path as well.
That’s largely a product of the “immigrant mindset,” which values saving, entrepreneurship, work ethic, and gratitude. Their families also tend to stay together at higher rates than native-born Americans.
That’s why immigrants beat the general population in so many areas.
Culture makes that big of a difference.
The American system is rich with opportunity, even today. Great entrepreneurs and immigrants prove it.
Yet the erosion of our money is a major obstacle nonetheless. Even if you manage to build an empire it won’t be as stable as it could have been in times past. After all, foundations of sand can’t support castles for very long.
This means that financial education is more important than it has ever been before. To a degree, so is the entrepreneurial spirit.
But the first big step is cultivating the discipline to stack your bread.
Saving Is Dead, Long Live Saving
There are many misconceptions about wealth creation.
One of the most common is that you can earn your way to wealth. While it is possible, it’s not how most wealthy people do it. Less than 20% of the American population earns $100,000 or more per year. Thus, the real way most rich people become rich is through investing.
First, you make money. Then, you make your money work for you. (More on that shortly.)
In order to see significant returns though, you usually need a decent amount of start up capital.
That requires the ability to save, which is probably the #1 thing stunting our financial growth today.
As modern humans, it’s a skill we’ve lost. As individuals, it’s a skill many of us never learned.
Some hardly even realize it’s a thing… much less one of the keys to building wealth.
We live in an age of entitlement and instant gratification. We have everything we want at our fingertips. What’s worse, we assume the government will take care of us when things fall apart (no matter how irresponsibly we behave). Not only are we voracious consumers, we also have more people living off the “welfare state”/taking advantage of welfare today than ever before.[fact check]
Well, actions have consequences.
And these ‘lil chickies seem like they want to come home to roost during our generation.
[secrets of money clip about government spending]
It looks more and more likely that the great American empire is going to fall from its perch in our lifetime. Whether this will mean total economic disaster or not remains unclear. However, we’ve already seen several major upheavals in the 21st century. The 2008 crash and “Great Recession.” The Coronavirus crash and the historic inflation that followed.
The first key to protecting yourself and your family:
Save your dojos!
Ultimately, you’ll need to learn to invest if you want financial security, much less financial freedom. But you can’t invest if you don’t have a nest egg. Again, this is one area where immigrants excel. They are willing to live simply and stack that paper. Frivolous spending is the bane of wealth creation/financial security. Immigrants may not know this explicitly but their actions show a deep, implicit understanding.
You need a fat stack!
In order to make that happen you must maintain a budget, preferably one that includes putting money away.
The Richest Man in Babylon illustrates this principle very well. It would be required reading in school if those who run casino actually wanted you to win. In it, Babylon’s wealthiest man teaches others the concepts that helped make him rich.
He doesn’t teach them how to exploit others, take advantage of privilege, or conjure luck. Instead, he goes over common-sense economic principles that are all but guaranteed to work. They may not make you rich. But they will help you become richer than you otherwise would be.
I’m sure Papaw never read it.
Still, he followed the formula pretty closely.
Making Your Dollars Work for You
This is what Playing Markets is really about.
The goal of this site is to become a valuable resource for those looking to build wealth through investing—and to a lesser degree, trading and entrepreneurship.
Financial freedom is not something you can just stumble upon. You have to make a plan and execute, like Papaw did.
There are a multitude of investing options, such as stocks, bonds, precious metals, cryptocurrencies, and collectibles.
But the most tried and true is real estate.
That’s how Papaw did it. And it’s the investment vehicle that gets credit for creating more millionaires than anything else. [link]
Generally speaking, investing in real estate is a more conservative path than many of the other options. That’s why it fit Papaw so well. It’s also probably one of the reasons it has a higher success rate for most people. It’s easy to take a loss in other markets. But real estate has a centuries-long record of appreciation over time.
One of Warren Buffett’s most famous quotes goes something like:
“The first rule of investing is don’t lose money. The second rule of investing is don’t forget the first rule. And that’s all the rules there are.”
There’s obviously a little more to it than that. But the idea holds weight, especially coming from one of the most successful investors of all time.
It only takes a simple math problem to illustrate this point.
Imagine you buy a stock for $100 then it rises in value by 10%. It’s now worth $110. Then its value falls by 10%. Without doing the math, you might think it’s back to $100. But it’s not. It’s only worth $99. If that comes as a surprise, pull out your calculator and test it. The same is true no matter which order the value change occurs in.
Thus, defense is more important than offense when it comes to playing markets.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try to score. After all, your buying power is eroding away anyway, thanks to money printing and other contributors to inflation. Therefore, good defense requires some offense.
Financial risks aren’t always bad, especially when you’re young.
Of course, there are pros and cons to everything.
For example, starting a business is generally the riskiest investment you can make. But it typically has the highest potential payout as well. Do it right and you can create a money-machine that generates cash flow for life. Or, build it the right way and you can sell it off for a big payday.
You can also find massive opportunity in other markets.
But just like entrepreneurship, investing is a skill. There are basically an unlimited number of routes you can take. Each has their own risk-to-reward profile.
Today, there is a lot of hype around investing in cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the “metaverse.” Many of these projects have cult-like followings despite providing very little value to society. That’s not to say it’s all just a fad. But the massive speculation around such things reflect that atmosphere of instant gratification and entitlement we were just talking about.
Everyone seems to be trying to get rich quick.
However, most wealthy people don’t go that route.
Grant Cardone often says:
“I don’t want to get rich quick. I want to get rich for sure.“
(Though this may be a Warren Buffet quote too.)
It may sound less exciting or glamorous but it a more sound way to operate.
For most people, the path to wealth is a slow burn.
So if you want financial freedom, you need to get used to…
Eating Sh!t & Keeping Your Word
Whether you want to become an investor or trader, this is where it begins.
It doesn’t matter if you want to…
- Trade Forex
- Speculate on Cryptocurrencies
- Invest in Real Estate
… or anything else.
You need starting capital.
Whether you save up from working a job or take profits from a business, you need cash. Before you can start playing markets, you have to generate REAL economic activity. One way or another, you have to provide enough value to the marketplace that you can accumulate excess capital. That comes down to earning and saving.
To get the biggest rewards, you also need to be seen as trustworthy.
Credit is an important wealth-building tool. It allows you to use other people’s money to gain additional leverage. It’s especially key in real estate and leveraged trading.
It’s actually not that difficult to build credit once you understand how it works. All it requires is a little education and patience.
But the sh!t-eating part is where most people struggle.
[gary vee video]
As we’ve mentioned already, maintaining a budget is one of the most important answers to the economic question. The mistake most people make is that they raise their quality of life to match their income. Or worse, they live a lifestyle that exceeds their income. Using debt to acquire assets is one thing. Falling into the consumer-debt trap is another thing altogether.
Instead of using your money to buy more stuff, put it to work for you.
You aren’t a kid. Don’t treat the casino like Chuck E. Cheese’s, cashing out your tickets for a shiny little prize as soon as you win them. The dopamine hit isn’t worth it. Neither is the admiration (or envy) you get from others when you show off your shiny new toys.
Instead, live below your means and demonstrate your trustworthiness.
Hell, you might even be able to borrow from friends or family if your personal history says you’re good for the money. You can also find private investors, especially if you select real estate as your game.
No matter what, patience is key.
It takes time to prove yourself to the casino.
In the meantime, it often makes sense to develop other “adulting” skills. Growing your own food. Cooking your own food. Repairing your own house. Such self sufficiency skills can help you accumulate excess capital more quickly by reducing your living costs.
Unfortunately, fewer and fewer of us are willing to live simply today. Plus, our lives are getting more complicated all the time.
On the other hand, our lives are more complicated than we know… most people don’t pay attention to the money games but they make their lives harder anyway
growing food and other self sufficiency… some of that coming from developing the skills of being a landlord
personal responsibility is the key
Only then can you start…
over time, we might have the chance to start…
Unskewing the Gini Coefficient
Here’s something that comes as a surprise to many people:
Poverty is not a good predictor of crime, despite what the politicians and their narrative-spinners in the news media may say.
Generally speaking, the Gini Coefficient is much better. [link] Absolute poverty isn’t the issue. Crime rates follow economic disparity. The wider the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the more crime. Therefore, it could be said that human jealousy is the main issue. Fix this and the world becomes a safer, better place.
For some people, this means we should try to legislate our way to equitable outcomes.
However, history suggests that this will never work.
In truth, personal accountability is the only proven answer.
After all, if you are financially illiterate in the Information Age, you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s never been so easy to learn how to play the money games. With freedom-of-information comes great responsibility.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t look at public policy. It’s just that we shouldn’t focus on the redistribution of wealth.
Having sound money is much more important.
That’s why abolishing the Federal Reserve sounds like such a good idea.
Since the industrial revolution, humanity has seen a MASSIVE explosion in productivity. But the rise in average wealth does not reflect the same expansion. Sure, conditions have surely improved. For example, plumbing, electricity, etc…. These are definitely good things. but…
And it’s not all the “greedy capitalists” fault either.
Well, maybe one group of them…
The banking/monetary system has grown at a disproportionate rate compared to the population/economic value output….
they’ve siphoned it off for themselves… we all should have 100xed (they’d still be “proportionately”–define right–ahead)… instead we 10x and they 10000x
the number of zeros is the difference… the top being 1,000,000 versus 1,000,000,000,000
abolish the fed… how you know a politician is the real deal
better communities help and form a cycle
community – having a guy for everything… papaw’s rentals… had a friend that had the inside scoop on foreclosures… need to have an in
personal responsbility is one thing… but we forget about political responsibility
advocate for policy changes like:
talked about abolishing loans, taxes, and more… not so much a call to action as something to make you think
we need gold back… fiat currency is a leach
greedy hands on your money… siphoning off your value at every point they can…
like a casino, rigging the odds so that they always win over time
it doesn’t matter if you like it. It doesn’t matter if it’s right.
these people employ PHDs on PHDs all to win the games as often as possible… aka screw you out of your wealth/money
but personal responsibility trumps all:
complaining is ineffective… jim rohn big ol thing going up and down clip
(though understanding/monitoring macroeconomics is important)
populism and the importance of economic decision making… vote with your dollars
retirement… rarely though of… but
Learning to Play the Game
The network of money games are complex.
It’s okay if you want to take a somewhat light-hearted approach to learning. But you do have to take it somewhat seriously.
Don’t forget: investing is a skill./Gambling is about luck; investing is about skill.
don’t fall into analysis paralysis due to all of the options
overlap with each other… cause confusion but again, planning and execution… find your lane and become really good at it
some easier than others… we recommend
like any casino, it’s full of your run-of-the-mill hustlers, thieves, and thugs… in addition to the sharks and whales
becoming a shark… and eventually a whale
order of operations… because a money machine is more valuable than a fat stack of money—though you typically need that fat stack of money first. Luckily for my family and I, Papaw understood both sides of the equation.