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#33 Rishi Das

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:51 AM

Here is an odd situation that caused my credit score to actually go down... although it is still in the highest area...   I dropped one of my credit cards that I no longer use  :huh:

 

There is a balance where too many cards are not good and TOO FEW are also not good  :blink:

 

It turns out, I was better off keeping a card that had a healthy credit line even if I never used it... 

 

Another great point.

We have got in the habit of putting routine bills on separate cards so they are all utilized equally. Always good to keep an eye on the rewards programs too for any specials - good to switch things up if the opportunity presents itself.

Also, one needs to be aware of limiting the amount of 'hard credit checks' when applying for larger purchases. Too many of these over a short amount of time can also be a burden to the credit score.


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#34 thelerner

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:06 AM

My interest in golf has gotten me back into resale shops- Salvation Army's, Good Wills.. not to mention resale shops in expensive neighborhoods can have less amazing deals but some great pickings.   For clothes, they're unbeatable, I've picked up suits for $5 to $15.   Expensive dress shoes for $5.   I think the secret is being picky and only getting what is in very good to excellent shape.  Nothing that looks used or worn.  

 

For setting up a house or dorm they're unbeatable.  As far as golf goes they have clubs for $1.99 and golf bags from $5 to $10.  Good choices too, many people get new clubs every few years.  There's a certain enjoyable anti-snob feeling to playing with $2 clubs versus those spending $100 or more on a single one.  And you get to blame your poor shots on something.. ie damn you $2 club, you've hooked again.  B)


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#35 Archivist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:16 AM

For those with a significant discretionary spending budget, looking at say a used car or a large homesteading garden or a down payment on a house: What about making more "traditional" financial investments with the possibility of decent returns? In particular, what say you about investing in a precious metals collection, versus splurging a few thousand on that used car?



#36 thelerner

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:45 PM

A problem with investing in physical precious metals, ie gold or silver is the large transaction costs on the spread.  What I mean is on a silver coin, most places will charge 5 to 10% more then face value on the initial sale, and will cut at least 5% when you try to sell it back.  That doesn't mean you can't make money in the long run, just that you need a substantial move.  

 

Nothing wrong with buying a few coins if the urge hits, or when the price gets low but I don't like them as a main component of an investment strategy, except as a limited <10% holding.  I understand opinions differ. 

 

Course a car has many extra costs associated with them, insurance, gas etc. but at least it can get you somewhere   Whereas coins just sit there collecting dust, no dividends, just the hope they'll go up.  One option if you think Gold or silver will be rising or staying the same, is buyng a stock that more or less follows the price, like GLD or SLVR.  They're totally artificial but the spread, buying and selling is much less then physical coins, especially in the short run. 

 

As stocks you do covered calls against them, ie buying for say $18 and writing month calls for $19 for what ends up being a nice yearly percentage earning IF you can do it continually, ie creating artificial dividends that way.  No free lunches, such covered calls options have much the same risks as stocks.  

 

One tip I'm using today is taking the time to file tax returns for kids.  My son worked as camp counselor, earned $1900.  I don't have to fill out a tax return for that small an amount, but by doing it he gets back $151 from the Fed and $71 from the state.  And it allows me to 'gift' him $ for a Roth IRA (cause I'm here now, probably not in 45 years)  At 20, over the last 5 years, he has $9,288 in it, all invested in a low expense, Vanguard Index fund, if it averages 8% a year in 45 years it'll be worth nearly $300,000!!  That's with no money added.  And that's why Einstein called compounded interest the 8th wonder of the world.

 

Course for all I know in the year 2062 coffee willbe $1,000 a cup, but that still means 300 cups of coffee, probably for large too. 


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Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart. A creed from Pronoia

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves. ~ Gabrielle Roth

#37 Archivist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:13 PM

Wow, that's quite an erudite take, thelerner! Thank you!

 

Haha, I liked your coffee analysis. Good to know what you're doing for your son, especially for those of us who may still go the homesteader route. 

 

I'll add that was my gut feeling, that you've got to make a substantial move. Do you feel comfortable saying what amount you'd consider "substantial"? 10K? 20? More?



#38 Aetherous

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:18 PM

What about making more "traditional" financial investments with the possibility of decent returns? In particular, what say you about investing in a precious metals collection, versus splurging a few thousand on that used car?

 

Not as traditional, but I think investing in a passive income is the absolute best strategy. For instance, owning a franchise of some sort (not without its troubles, but yeah)...or, especially, owning rental property.

Another idea is owning land...but it only makes money years later. It's just not something you're likely to lose anything on.


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#39 Archivist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:39 PM

Interesting, Aetherous. I had a landlord in grad school who seemed really cool, actually came by and helped me shine the place up upon move-in. He seemed generally unstressed, so for awhile I thought it was probably easy to manage a three-story building with at least 100 rental properties in it. Then one week I saw him literally trampolining on a pile of student trash so it'd fit in one of those big dumpsters. Like you, it's on my radar, but it did get me thinking about those "hidden costs" thelerner was alluding to...

 

As for land, I think if it's arable soil and you go thru the effort of raising an organic garden on it, you could make a big dollar sale, in the coming years. Whenever it's trash/recycling day and I'm strolling thru a rich neighborhood here in Eastern U.S., I'm always a little surprised to see how the affluent are into woo-woo health, just like bohemian types--organic this and that, etc. People are going to want more than place to raise a McMansion or simply rent, I guess is what I mean to say. They'll want that fresh backyard cuke, too, esp. if food costs go up and cut into their budget. (You might even see the return of "home gardener" occupations, where millennials with farm skills get their own little quarters on grounds, hehe...)



#40 Aetherous

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:46 PM

About being a landlord...it's always an option to hire a manager. :)


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"Motivation is the key; discipline is the key; teamwork is the key" = basic training pushup mantras.

#41 Archivist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

Haha, touche! 

 

#42 Taomeow

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:22 PM

Here's a few tips for someone who might never find either a passion or even patience for spreadsheets and suchlike:

 

Use magic.  :) This includes money feng shui, spells, and assorted time-honored tips and tricks from the ancestors.  I have two feng shui money frogs working for me, a jade plant aka money tree, a bent coin in my wallet, always cash in my wallet, not just plastic, and the wallet itself is never worn and tired, it has to look brand new, and its color is the phase of qi your own commands -- in my case, earth colors.  I have a feng shui wealth vase.  This is a bit of a project, but it's worth it.  Alternatively, you can go with Tibetan buddhist wealth vase, which works even better but you would have to be prepared to deal with Nagas who are in charge of it.  I wasn't, they are very efficient but can be a bit demanding.   

 

Frequent resale shops.  Thelearner already mentioned them and shared the benefits.  I want to add that, in case you didn't know, the second biggest pollutant in the world after big oil is fast fashion.  Research.  There's whole cities in China where people suffer from an incurable new disease -- denim lung disease, because they specialize in making and sandblasting jeans, and the blue jeans dust is what they wind up breathing 24/7.  Landfills are choked with discarded clothes because fast fashion, a devil's invention, causes billions of people to keep discarding perfectly fine clothes in order to buy the latest trend.  So buying everything new all the time is not only economically unsound but you are contributing greatly to global pollution when you make a habit of it.  I invest in a few "timeless" pieces, which I don't mind splurging on because I know they will serve me for years and never go out of style -- a nice leather jacket, a black cashmere coat, stuff like that.  I will never overpay for a "label" unless it's a thrift store find and costs me 1/10th of what it would cost otherwise -- and even then I'll have to think twice, labels brand you and I don't want to walk around advertising any particular company's product unless they pay me to.  

 

Research minimalism.  It's a flexible trend and you don't have to become a minimalist fundamentalist, but many ideas have been accumulated by folks interested in minimizing their possessions for various reasons, including but not limited to financial benefits.  (Warning: you will come across a few fundamentalists if you "go there," don't be discouraged, there's always people who will take any sound idea to absurd extremes.  Find a way to experiment with it that works for you.)  


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#43 liminal_luke

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:44 PM

The following is a long ago post from Soaring Crane.  I haven`t tried it but it`s long intrigued me.

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..Massaging the ears for bringing good fortune ... This is a pretty easy practice, and it really works, but I realize now that it'll take a lot of writing to truly cover all the details, so this is just an outline:

 

First, be in a state of mind conducive to this kind of thing. We all have our idiosyncracies in this area, so I'm going to avoid getting into prep and finishing work. One tip though: this is good to do right away upon waking up, while still in bed.

 

Warm the hands and the rub the ears in a general way, vigourously, make them warm, hot They should be glowing red when you finish.

 

Massage the ears between thumb/forefinger (up and down the outer ear, and also the lobes). Massage and knead them hard. If you fiind a painful spot, knead it longer and harder. Pull on the ears, and try cupping them between the fingers and pulling on the roots, like you're trying to pull them off your head (don't pull that hard).

 

Flick your fingers along the outer ear. You can use the middle fingers. Flick from top to bottom and bottom to top. Up and down, up and down. This hurts a lot. Alternatively, you can use the ring, middle and index fingers. The ring finger will at the top, the index finger at the bottom and the middle finger in the middle (good finger exercise). Do this till the ears are almost numb, or your fingers are worn out. 

 

Now fan the ears from back to front. This is a little difficult to describe, I'm thinking of making a video. 

 

Now you cup your hands over your ears, pushing the little cartilage "stopper" (I know it has a proper name, but I can't think of it at the moment) into the earhole. Hold the ears shut, feel the pressure in there. Then quickly release the hands, and release the pressure. There could be an audible pop when you do this. Champagne cork-style.  I know a few different techniques but get the best results when I use the balls of my thumbs (fire point on the lung meridian) to seal the earholes, with my fingers on the back of my head. Do this at least three times and better nine times. Take a big inhale before sealing the ears, and exhale while sealing them. Hold until the exhale is complete (exhale slowly) and inhale when you release the pressure.

 

Ok ... almost done with the physical work. The last stage is beating the heavenly drum. Easy version: seal the ears with the palms as before and use the index and middle fingers to "drum" the back of the skull. It sounds deep and booming inside the brain. There are youtube videos showing various techniques. You can time this with breaths. Take a big inhale and beat the drum for the duration of the exhale. Exhale slowly. Do at least three breaths, and of course nine breaths would be optimal.

 

Have to wrap this up .... to finish, cover the eyes with the hands and begin to listen. Listen at first to your immediate surroundings. Then send the "ears" out a little further, maybe through the walls of your room into the rest of the house, or to the garden. Listen for little details. Then send them out further, listen to your neighborhood, or village, then send them out further, listen to the mountains, listen to the horizon, listen to the atmosphere, to the stars... send your ears out to the universe... like a tremendous antenna system picking up very fine signals ... then (this is one way I learned to finish this, but not everyone likes it) ... suddenly shift your focus to your eyes, still closed, behind your warm hands.... suck all that energy from the universe very quickly inward, you might even hear a sucking sound, or see a light flash, or both, or something else ... Observe the darkness for a few moments and open the eyes behind the hands... open the hands, like curtains being drawn ... view the world like you're viewing it for the first time, passive ... guide the hands to the kidneys and hold them there for a good minute or two ... close the lower dantian area, etc

 

You have to do this almost religiously, at least once a day and better two or even three times. Don't think about money, just do the ear massage and enjoy it. It's a very healthy practice regardless of your bank account.

 

Baolin Wu describes something similar in his qigong book (which is excellent, btw), but I learned it originally from one of my qigong teacher trainers. There are many ways to modify it.

 

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#44 thelerner

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:34 AM

1) To Archivist- 'Substantial' is in the eye of the investor and more often in terms of percentage then dollars.  Sometimes you cheer when you only lose 5 or 10% when the market nose dives.

 

Liminal's post made me think of a Chinese proverb that said rice brings wealth.  One of our members wrote that years ago, and got some flack; rice being a grain is looked down on in some Daoist circles.  Yet, in a practical sense, the person who eats rice every day, becomes wealthier.  Rice is dirt cheap, the ultimate meal extender, a 10# bag at Walmart is $5.69.  With each pound making 11 servings (cooked cups) that's 110 servings for about 5 cents each.

 

Not bad and thats why, for good or ill, rice feeds the world.  Not that its a nutritional powerhouse.  It's a blank slate waiting for the right spices and sauce. 

 

To minimize is good but be sure to enjoy life.  It's all about finding sweet spot, which is moving target, and a bit of hunger accentuates future delights. 


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Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart. A creed from Pronoia

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves. ~ Gabrielle Roth

#45 Orion

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:55 AM

I've found that my biggest obstacles to money making have been my values around self-worth and what it means to ask people for payment for the services I render. Anyone can learn the practical details of money making but you'll notice that the people who make the most progress on the financial ladder are the ones who have zero qualms about assuming they are entitled to financial success. It's not even a concept to them, they just do it. A lot of it goes back to how we were raised in our families and our relationship to getting (or not getting) what we wanted from our parents.

 

Over the years I've taken 5 or 6 entrepreneurial programs, some of them long-term. Money making strategies are diverse but honestly they start to look the same the more and more you take such programs. No tips will help you though if you secretly don't think you're worth it. You really see your internal blocks around abundance and prosperity when you start networking with business people.


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#46 liminal_luke

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:20 PM

I've found that my biggest obstacles to money making have been my values around self-worth and what it means to ask people for payment for the services I render. Anyone can learn the practical details of money making but you'll notice that the people who make the most progress on the financial ladder are the ones who have zero qualms about assuming they are entitled to financial success. It's not even a concept to them, they just do it. A lot of it goes back to how we were raised in our families and our relationship to getting (or not getting) what we wanted from our parents.

 

Over the years I've taken 5 or 6 entrepreneurial programs, some of them long-term. Money making strategies are diverse but honestly they start to look the same the more and more you take such programs. No tips will help you though if you secretly don't think you're worth it. You really see your internal blocks around abundance and prosperity when you start networking with business people.

 

Great post, Orion.  I think looking at the psychological side of money is essential: it`s kind of a project of mine right now.  As a guide, I`m working through the book The Art of Money by financial therapist Bari Tessler.  Heartily recommended.

 

https://www.amazon.c...he art of money


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