Saturday, July 26, 2014

Education Outside The Classroom

Aside from school and work I like to attend seminars and conferences about different topics such as art, finance and medicine.  I also like to travel to different states to learn about people and their daily lives to see how they differ or compare to people in NYC.  Museums, art galleries and hospitals are of high interest to me so I set these as my first destination points.  I also like to visit restaurants, malls and the zoo if possible.

I recently went to Chicago to see what is now being called a new up and coming real estate hot spot. I got there early and saw the stampedes of people rushing to work.  Young people in their business clothes going to their 9-5 yet I don't think that is the place to find true wealth.  Having a job is a good thing and can contribute to society but is not the way to create real wealth.  Some pretty important buildings all in walking distance from each other yet people bypass them missing out on the enormous educational experience.  I visited the Chicago Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago Board Of Trade and the Harold Washington Library (the largest public library building in the world).  Not too many young people at these places or anyone if at all.  If possible I would live in the library and educate myself at the financial district and work at the Illinois Medical District.  For fun I would take the #22 bus ($2.25) to check out the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo (free).

The world's oldest futures and options exchange established in 1848

One of twelve regional reserve banks

The $10,000 bill was taken out of circulation to discourage their use in avoiding income tax

In July 1914 the Exchange closed as a result of World War I, and remained closed until December 11

Information is not an item but can be exchangeable for goods and services

A few months ago I went to check out the real estate in Rhode Island.  The houses are less expensive than the NYC homes I am used to.  Current rates are at 4.19% for the 30 yr fixed.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What To Do After You Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

If you have managed to pay off all your credit card debt I dedicate this post to you.

1. Save
Yes, you were in massive debt on the verge of destroying your future but managed to turn it around. In the process you must have penny pinched and lived below your means.  It took a lot of discipline to set aside money for your monthly payments.  You must now use that discipline to take that same amount and put it towards your savings account.  Resist the temptation to go crazy and spend all your money as if paying off the debt was the end of it.  The journey has just begun and it's time to fatten up your savings and take control of your future.  You paid a lot of interest on that debt now flip the scenario and start getting interest on your money by investing some of those savings.

2. Evade Major Purchases or Debt
Try not to make any major purchase like a car or house at least not at first.  Give yourself some breathing room and let it sink in; the amount of reckless spending you took on and the amount of time and sacrifice it took to pay it off.  Do not take on another huge amount of debt.  Unless you have a very large growing family and need to upgrade don't go buying that house so quickly.  Do not get an expensive degree.  First learn to save and create some financial cushion for yourself.  I think this is a big problem for people they borrow enormous amounts with out really knowing the true value of money and the hard work it takes to create that type of wealth.  If people took out the time to save and create wealth they would think again before getting a $100k degree, if you have not created $100,000 how do you know what owing that amount of money will feel like and how much labor it takes to pay it off.

3. Learn To Respect Money
It is the love of money that may lead to evil but not the respect of it.  Get better acquainted with your money learn the history behind it.  It sounds funny to do research on the history of your dollar bills and coins but this can help you hold on to it for a longer time.  If there is a girl/guy you see everyday on the street and don't know their name or anything more about them aside from their physical appearance chances are if they disappear you won't miss them much and will quickly forget about them.  The same with money if you don't know much about it you will not miss it when it leaves you.  I notice that some people are very disorganized with their money and don't manage their finances well. I believe they have no respect for their money or their finances and that is why they end up in debt.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Things You Should Do While Young

1. Travel
The moment you get married or start a new job you start losing some of your freedom to do as you please.  A marriage requires you and your spouse to split responsibilities and that either one or both of you work.  Marriage will make the possibility of traveling less likely and if you do it will be less often. You can easily go through college and work with little if any breaks in between and then when you least realize it you are well into your 50's or 60's and with very little exposure to the world.  To live is to travel it opens up new worlds and ideas once you set sail.

2. Change Careers
You graduated college and after working a few years you realize you no longer want to do the same work anymore.  It may be time to get another degree in an unrelated field or a degree that will complement the first one.  It is ok to not get it right the first time around but even if you are you may need to change your career to advance to your next phase.  Stop thinking that you need permission or that people will see you as a failure.  Be kind to yourself there is no point to fake being happy at a job you no longer want.

3. Risk
Yes, it all comes down to one thing: risk.  Make leaps in your life you don't need to follow what others are doing just to feel safe and secure.  To become that person that you dream of becoming requires big moves and changes.  As long as it's ethical and legal do it!  Years from now you won't be thinking about the rejections and falls you had you will however regret being too safe.

4. Help Others Out
Nothing worse than a person that is self centered.  Volunteer, give back and possibly learn a new trade in the process.  Use your time wisely and let it humble you to serve others and realize that maybe you don't know it all.  Build someone else up, focus on other people's needs as well.  You don't always need to cash in on every endeavor you take on, you don't always need to get a thank you or get recognized for every act of kindness.  Life isn't always perfect or fair but if we all try to get even and dish out what we get then this world becomes very unpleasant.

5. Talk To People
When was the last time you talked to a stranger at a social event or at the library? Some of us think that as long as we have the people that either our jobs, school, family or friends have introduced to us we don't need anyone else.  We walk around protecting ourselves from the world.  Most of what you need in life will come from people and not everyone you need is on your network yet.  You need to go get them.  Those new people the soft acquaintances are more likely to help you than people you know very well.