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August 18, 2008

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Next Gen Politics

Great post once again. I'm curious what you would have to say about the fact that many employers these days have done away with the traditional pension, and some have even stopped contributing to 401K's. With this in mind, isn't it difficult to choose your level of competition? It seems like it is chosen for you if you want to survive after retirement. Again, great post thanks. Hope to hear from you again soon.

Jerame Clough
-Next Gen Politics

The Financial Philosopher

Jerame:

It is possible that I do not understand your question but I do not see an employer as a factor in choosing one's direction with investments or in life unless one chooses it that way.

Certainly an employer may have influence, and this point is one that is quite arguable, but the influence can only be given by the "influencee," the employee, to the employer.

It is the employer's position to stay profitable, which is the reason for the decline of pension plans. The employee's position should be to make a life with their money -- not make money with their life...

Also, with regard to retirement, the employer, along with the government and social conventions, have "defined" retirement. Once the individual defines retirement for them self, the perspective changes...

I am interested in your points. Please elaborate if I have misunderstood them...

Kent

Ari Koinuma

Hey Kent,

A great post, as always.

I'm going outside the context of financial realm, but I think that there are plenty of occasions where we lose the game against ourselves. One of the major reasons is precisely because we fail to identify the correct opponent -- our self, or rather, the portion of ourselves that are wounded, weighed down, or ungrown.

Addiction is an example of this. Addiction drive our behaviors out of alignment with our higher self. Some substances are designed to cause this by manipulating our physical body. But we also get hooked on plenty of things without such mechanism. And we keep losing.

I wonder if that's one situation where we must play to win??

ari

The Financial Philosopher

ari:

I like your point and would follow that, when we are speaking of the "game of life," it is common to engage in self-defeating behavior, just as in the game of investing.

Similarly, with investments, we "realize" a loss or gain when we sell the shares we purchased (a redemption). In life, I believe we do not realize a total loss or gain until we die (another kind of redemption).

Being an optimist, I would frame the drug addiction scenario as a "low point" or perhaps a point at which we are "losing" to ourselves; however, in the game of life, we have not "lost" unless we die while we are losing...

In other words, there is always time to win as long as we are still alive...

Of course, there is always life after death but that is another conversation...

Thanks for the thoughts...

Kent

Penguin

Nicely said!
Independent thinkers have better than average chance for success. This applies to any occupation or business. My $0.02

The Financial Philosopher

Thanks, Penguin...

It certainly is difficult to be an "independent thinker" when the information consumed comes with an opinion attached, which is why I have dramatically reduced my consumption of newspapers and periodicals and dramatically increased the consumption of books, the older the better...

Thanks again,

Kent

Vered

Turning down the noise is important. As a long-term investor, I am also turning down the noise of panicky articles that warn against a recession, or even a repeat of the Great Depression.

The Financial Philosopher

Vered:

You are wise to control those things that can be controlled. Allocation of attention is one of those control variables.

Thanks for the comment. I really like your blog, by the way...

Kent

Ned

I recently wrote up a post on my blog about metaphors we use for life, the game being one of them. It's interesting how these metaphors color our experiences, making certain aspects more apparent and hiding others.

Perhaps if we looked at our economy as a body or organism in which we all play an integral role, we would not be so willing to ruin each others financial futures. This seems to be where the problem lies in our system. A person benefits by screwing over the other guy.

The Financial Philosopher

Ned,

I agree with your implication that metaphors can be misleading. Humans are visual creatures so the use of metaphors can be both useful and distracting, depending on how they are used...

Your use of a "body" as a metaphor for financial markets is interesting. You are correct that some benefit by "screwing over" others. Isn't this the same with our "body?"

We often engage in self-destructive behavior by succumbing to our desires. Did we really need to eat the entire piece of chocolate cake? Do we really need more money? Why do we put our health at risk for monetary and social status?

In my view, this is another form of "screwing over," except in this case, it is ourselves...

Thanks for provoking thought...

Kent

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