Tuesday, December 15, 2009

newnoise1 gets stylish on money and investing in 2010

The subject of money is never far from my mind. This is in line with the psychological principle that we often can't stop thinking about things we don’t have.

Especially when all our neighbors, in fact entire neighborhoods, have things we don't have. The wanting trend is so common among humans that a spiritual law had to be created against it. This ancient law proves that even before capitalism everybody wanted stuff and thought all the time about stuff they didn't have. Today, some become obsessed and either go for therapy or work in financial areas where they can skim off the top and do other such clever things, legally, at the office, on a daily basis. But that is not what I'm blogging about. I'm off on a tangent.

I have ignored money as a topic worth thinking about at my own peril. Since realizing this mistake I have elevated it from its place in my topic catalogue where it use to sit next to the likes of subjects such as dress making, WWE wrestling (sorry don't know what WWE stands for and don't care) and how to peel a carrot if you don't have a knife.

I wrote about my fits of fear and hyperventilation about being aged and toothless with no prospectus a few months ago in an article on frugality. Since then I have done much in the way of spending less. Sad to say I am not yet rich. If you are clued up on money you will know that four months mean nothing. In Money World four months are only like sands through the hour glass and such are the days of our lives.

Nevertheless, I have come across a number of principles with regard to money that seem to provide a clue on how to approach the subject.

One book I read was written in such a weird style that I only noticed it was really about saving and investment by the time I reached chapter four . This is the kind of money book I like. The style fascinated me because well, listen to this:

'If thou select one of thy baskets and put into it each morning ten eggs and take out from it each evening nine eggs, what will eventually happen?'
'It will become in time overflowing.'
'Because each day I put in one more egg than I take out.'

The words to notice here are 'thou' and 'thy' in the first sentence. The book made me feel as if I was reading and understanding Shakespeare at a remarkable pace. The other remarkable thing is the basic arithmetic (ten minus nine) that's normally absent in writings on saving and investment where it is often more important to hide service fees among a bushel of complicated graphs. But this kind of arithmetic I can live with. Easy peasy, as they don't say in Babylon.

The book, The Richest Man in Babylon, is filled with Babylonion words such as 'doth' and 'upon' and 'setteth' which make you feel as if you are indeed walking down Babylon's dusty ancient streets clutching your little purse stuffed with gold and silver coins. Feelings are important to.

The book will inspire you to think about how you manage your money and advises confidently on how to get your lean purse to overflowing.

Some of the rules of engagement include:

  1. Pay yourself first. Keep some of your money for yourself, about ten percent. Live on less than you earn. (see ten minus nine reference above)

  2. Hang on to the money you saved. Or in Babylonion: 'You do eat the children of your savings. Then how do you expect them to work for you?'

  3. Learn and know everything there is to know about your trade.

  4. Be careful who you invest with. As they say in Babylon: 'Usurious rates of return are deceitful sirens that sing but to lure the unwary upon the rocks of loss and remorse.' (This is pure Babylonion. Notice the stylish repetition of the s-sound that aims to multiply your fear of risky investments.)

  5. Budget. As they say in Babylon, 'Budget then thy necessary expenses. Touch not the one tenth that is fattening they purse.'

  6. Make your money work for you . . . 'Put each coin to laboring'.

  7. Buy your own home. 'Then will thy own heart be glad because thou wilt own right a valuable property and thy only cost will be the Kings taxes.'

  8. Start early with a pension plan and protect your family from loss of income.

  9. Do not buy on credit and do pay your debts. 'Thereby shalt thou acquire confidence in thyself to achieve they carefully considered desires.'

These doth include only some of the Babylonion saving and investment methods.

George S. Clason was a financial author who wrote a series of essays on money and investment that was later compiled into book form and published as The Richest Man in Babylon. First published in 1926 the common sense advice and story telling style made it a winner that is republished about every four or five years.

You will notice a absence of reference to inflation. I suspect the book was written Before Inflation. Inflation means that the ten percent savings Clason suggests could be worth less than ten percent over time once you minus inflation. Such are the days of our lives.

Please note that I am not a financial advisor (God forbid). I am only recommending this book as a good read. Remember, one day you will look up and notice that there is really absolutely nothing worth watching on television, this will be the ideal time to read this book.

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