“White people make money don’t spend it, I’d rather buy 80 gold chains and go ignant (ignorant)”. – Kanye
Thinking about money:
Why does this matter?
“Money sets the whole world in motion” – Publius Syrus
Do you know when people say that money makes the world go round? This is true.
So what is money anyways?
First, money is fiat, faith-based. Fiat currency.
Currency is an interesting word and term because it evokes the feeling of water, movement, river streams and tide pools.
￼￼So first of all, let us consider the notion of “income streams“. There’s this notion of “passive income”, I think first popularized or maybe coined by Tim Feriss, in his four hour work week. But I believe there to be a myth of passive income which means, income is and must be active. You cannot just sit on your butt and collect rent.
Also with rent, rent money is funny because even if you’re collecting rent, there’s a lot of work management you gotta do. For example, you have to fix and maintain your properties, make sure that your tenants pay their rent money, do background checks, deal with vacancies etc. It is one of those things that we as renters feel that the landlords have all the power, but in fact, assuming that you’re already wealthy, you actually might have more power as a renter than a landlord. Why? If you have a very good apartment and it is rent controlled, technically according to NASSIM TALEB you have greater optionality.￼￼￼
What that means is that you have a privilege to live somewhere, not an obligation. In theory you can leave whenever you want, and you’re not behelden to the property.
What would Aristotle, the ancient Greeks think?
In regards to the ancient Greeks, I think they may be the best model because starting from Roman times, their society already started to seep into degeneration, degeneracy. Even during Homer’s time, Homer was already saying that the ancient Greeks were falling into degeneracy, even when he was writing the Iliad. ￼￼
I am currently reading Politics by Aristotle, and I find it to be a really fascinating read. Essentially what he says about household economics etc., as well as his thoughts on substantive versus speculative finance, real versus fake finance. He essentially says that real finance has to deal with animals and fruits of the earth, everything else is just imaginary.
Also, his thoughts on slavery. Essentially in ancient Greek times, the ultimate goal was to have the laborers, slaves, craftsman, mechanics do all the dirty work, and the true nobleman and free man would just use all of his time and leisure for building virtue, philosophical thinking, and participating in politics, the politics of the local city state, the polis.
In modern-day times we always think about politics like it pertains to international politics whatever. But the original term politics referred to the polis, the immediate city-state. It was not focused on foreign affairs.
￼￼￼￼What is the ideal city state?
￼What I like about Aristotle and his writings is that he’s always talking about the ideal, and talks a lot about studying from the best of the past and the current, in order to formulate his thoughts. Also his writing is straight simple and clear, and very authoritative. For example, he quotes Plato and his Republic, and straight up says: “Plato is wrong.”￼ Almost as hilarious and ballsy as when Nietzsche said: “Plato is boring.”￼
True financial freedom
Two things: Pay rent money, pay for food and groceries, and basic utilities, like your Wi-Fi, gas and electric, gas for your car etc. Beyond that, what else do you really need? ￼
Another fun experiment I’m doing is just paying for rent money by using the profit on my cryptocurrency speculations, simply using Coinbase, and profits from chainlink. For personal reference, I am currently 90% invested in chainlink, 10% in bitcoin. I believe this to be an interesting barbell for a risky yet “safe” investment speculation, in thinking the next 30 or 40 years.
Also, in terms of our cryptocurrency assets, we don’t have more than 10% of our whole life savings tied into cryptocurrency. Therefore if it all goes to zero in theory, not really a big deal. But my personal belief:
Bitcoin will never go down to zero.￼￼
A very interesting thing that I learned from NASSIM TALEB, maybe it was written in his book ANTIFRAGILE, is this notion of decimation. The basic idea is that in ancient Roman times the army, if cowardice was suspected, at random, 10% of the army would be put to death, it was a good way to prevent cowardice, especially one facing an impressive enemy. ￼￼
10% is interesting because in theory, if you lose 10% of your army, it is not enough to significantly lose your forces. A 10% loss is more than acceptable. For example let us say that you’re playing StarCraft, and you got an army of zealots, all upgraded with dash and full armor upgrades, if you lose 10% of them, you could still kill the army of zerg maybe if you do good enough micro management of the units. ￼
Finances is also similar — best to have 90% of your money in insanely secure bonds, CDs or stuff that might be inflation, even a simple savings account at 5%. Then put 10% of your money in extremely speculative cryptocurrency speculations, rather than putting 100% of your money and boring “medium risk” funds.
“Never trust a risk number even if it is right.”- TALEB ￼￼￼
Why we should not trust economists
First and foremost, economics, being an economist, is the new hocus pocus of modern day times. The reason why economists are so highly regarded is that currently speaking the new global religion is capital and capitalism.
Therefore as a consequence, the new modern-day priests are economists, and these fake talking Heads on the TV screen.
The reason why we should trust no economist, is that they use fake numbers statistics and fake math to justify their thoughts and positions. Even Nate Silver, who everyone thinks is some sort of genius, mispredicted Trump getting elected into office. Why? Even if you’re a statistician with 99% accuracy, the one percent of the time you’re wrong, it could cost billions of dollars.
The reason why we should also not trust no economist is that most of them are protected from the real world. Their opinions reports and thought pieces have no connection to reality. A lot of them are getting a fat salary and steady paycheck from their tenured professor positions at Harvard Yale Princeton or whatever, and therefore the predictions thoughts they have, have no bearing on their own personal finances.
Better instead to trust individual individuals who actually have skin in the game, or money in the game. That is that your opinion is tied to your own personal bank account, if your opinion is right, you make the big bucks, but if you’re wrong, you lose your shirt.
Where I am coming from
One of the best things about growing up poor and when you have seen your mom go through bankruptcy twice is that in some funny ways, it makes you more brazen, less fearful. Witnessing my mom go bankrupt, because my dad gambled away the rent money and we couldn’t pay rent, and she would just rack up credit card bills just to pay basic expenses, what I learned is at the end it’s not that bad. My mom got family support, community support, church support, and ultimately she was OK in the very end.
So for myself, the reason why I have such a high tolerance for risk is essentially nowadays, I live like a poor person. My New Year’s resolution is to buy nothing; or close to nothing, or just to not buy stuff that I consider silly or superfluous. Even acquiring free stuff; to me that is just more clutter in my mind in my life and my home; we new elite is about minimalism, even to a fault. ￼￼￼￼￼
Also, the American entrepreneurial spirit. Even my dad when he first came to the states, was extremely entrepreneurial. He started his own business when I was very very young, I think selling audio equipment. As he had a passion for music movies and film and cinema. I actually think his great ambition of life was to become a great film director. Even at a young age, I recall him watching Alfred Hitchcock the birds, Schindler’s list, and all these other great avant- garde films.￼
So now, raising Seneca, he is currently two years, around 11 months old… his training is very simple; simple, physical, Spartan. 99% of the day we are just at the local nature center, hiking on dirt paths, walking around, doing gymnastics at the playground, even now, I bought some wooden gymnast rings which I just hang from my parking spot in the back of my apartment, and he could swing around it, and hang around it! It is pretty amazing.
Another thing I learned from Aristotle’s Politics is that with children and child rearing, the logical order is first physical training and gymnastics, second is nutrition and feeding, third is the intellect. It seems some modern day tides we do the total opposite; we don’t really focus on physical exercise for kids, we just try to make them look smart. But book smarts is bad smarts; real smarts comes from the real world.
￼￼As a consequence, I probably literally spent close to no money on him. The only thing that we paid for in the early days were maybe diapers, and buying some random stuff on Amazon like training underwear, etc.
Now, he eats wagyu ground beef well in the air fryer, pro tip just toss a bunch of small broken up pieces of ground beef in the air fryer for 10 minutes, sprinkle it with some salt and pepper and give it to your kid! I think precisely because Seneca was born and fed such a high meat diet, he is the buff strong and tall boy he is today.
What should we use money for? ￼￼
What is the proper use of money?
For myself, Costco. Funny enough it looks like out of all of my normal stock investments, Costco is doing the best! Why? As inflation goes up, food gets more expensive etc., everyone likes to think that they’re not being “ripped off”– ￼nobody likes to think that they are overpaying for anything. Costco is funny because it is almost like Walmart but with a good conscience; a lot of middle-class even rich people have thought of Walmart as akin to the devil; whereas Costco has warm fuzzy feelings. Half of the fun even myself as a kid going to Costco was getting the hotdogs at the food court, and also getting all the free samples! Costco is almost like going to Disneyland, with benefits.
To me, the only real food substance is meat. You could thrive on 100% carnivore meat red meat diet, good luck with lentils beans and potatoes. That is poverty food. 100% red meat beef lamb diet is fit for the gods.
￼￼Let us consider, the nonsenseness of veganism; the etymology and history of vegan comes from vegetarian, vegetarianism. Essentially the vegans were the more hardcore vegetarians; the word “vegan”, essentially is the word vegetarian with fewer letters.
Why do people even go vegan in the first place?
Honestly I think being vegan is more of an ethical thing rather than a physiological concern. This is where vegetarians are more honest than vegans; a lot of people who are vegetarian do it for religious regions, for example people from India or south Asia, or some people just don’t really like the taste of meat or flesh, prefer to eat cheese eggs dairy and fish instead. ￼￼
What I also love about studying ancient history, Rome, the Iliad, thinking about Homer is that back then, there was none of this nonsensical being “woke“, or political correctness. The Greeks were a hard and simple race; you were either Greek or a barbarian. Even the word barbarian is originated from the notion of “bar-bar”– anyone who did not speak Greek, their language sounded like somebody saying “bar bar bar”.
And also this is where notions of “white supremacy“, or being “white”, is nonsensical. Were the ancient Greeks “white”? No. They were olive skinned, very tan.
We acknowledge and understand that the ancient Greeks were probably the peak human and society of its time; maybe it makes sense for us to go back to the fountains, and for us to seek to imitate the best of the best, the crème la crop of the past.
How did the ancient Greeks think about money?
First, in the time of Homer, the Iliad the odyssey etc.; there was no notion of coins, or coined money or currency. The notion of coin is actually pretty good, like bitcoin, because the original minted money was actually coins, not paper money.
Also, gold. Gold was always highly valued throughout all of history, even during the time of Homer and the Iliad. For example the greed of king Agamemnon, what did he want? More gold, more women, more land, more slaves, more power.
Even as a sidenote; an Achilles was told by his father figure that king Agamemnon was the superior man, because he lorded over more men. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
During the time of Homer, and the Iliad; wealth was concentrated in food and meat, oxen; the notion of a “hectacomb” was the generalized notion that if you wanted to appease the gods and make a sacrifice, you had to sacrifice 100 oxen, which was a lot. Why? An ox is interesting because you could eat it, and also you could use it as manual labor. Maybe back in the day, having one ox was almost like the modern day notion of having a Lamborghini; can you imagine sacrificing and burning 100 Lamborghinis to appease the gods?
What did Achilles want?
If I ever had to rename myself I would just need myself Achilles. Why? He is nearly invulnerable and invincible; what is it that he wanted in the Iliad? ￼￼￼Honestly he was tired of war and conquest and battle; he just wanted to chill out, retire, enjoy his land and pastures, and enjoy Breisis his prize.
Even Achilles said wisely; No amount of wealth in the world is worth a life, my life. Not if you took all the wealth of the world, all the gold of the world, and multiplied it by 65. Once you’re dead, you’re dead forever.
Even in today’s world, I don’t think sacrificing your life your own personal life is worth anything; I would only ever ever ever sacrifice my life it was for the sake of Seneca’s life, or Cindy‘s life, or both. Otherwise, I have zero interest in being drafted to go to some sort of senseless war, in order for America to procure more oil or whatever.
And this is where I believe that war is so superficial; would you be willing to send your own personal blood son, your first born son, to fight in the front lines of Afghanistan or whatever, for some sort of strange political advantage? No.
Buying a house?
Things are starting to get ridiculous. In LA and Culver City, you can’t find a good single-family home for less than $2 million. Even a $2 million or $3 million home, it’s not really in the best neighborhood either which is 100% pedestrian friendly. I was looking at this brand new $3 million house, which is pretty nice, but it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, I cannot enjoy my lovely morning walks as I do just walking from my apartment from the arts district.
Renting is superior?
I wonder if renting is actually superior than owning because you got more optionality, less obligation. ￼￼￼￼￼￼
“You work for a living, I live for a living” – Jay Z
Ultimately what is it that we really seek to do, our desired activity?
I think what we really desire to do at the end of the day is physical activity, vigorous activity, to be physical. Physics, human physics, our own human body.
We want to walk around, go on hikes, be in nature, go to the beach, swim around, walk around mountain paths, pick up heavy things, throw around rocks, do fun gymnastics things, hot yoga, lift weights etc.
The ultimate luxury in today’s world is the human body. It all matter if you own 100 Ferraris, if you are obese, old and fat, none of it is worth it.
Even I was randomly doing some research about Hugh Hefner, the big issue is that apparently he just lived in his Holmby Hills mansion for his whole life, wearing nothing but silk pajamas, taking weird hallucinogen drugs and Viagra, in poor health, having sex with all of these random women, forcing them to do drugs, get plastic surgery etc. ￼
I think the weird notion is a lot of men, they seek to become some sort of playboy? To grow a beard, buy a bunch of guns, have sex with all these women, massive orgies with all these beautiful women, for the sake of what?
The merchandising of women
In today’s modern day capitalistic society, women are the new objects, the new products being sold. The strange promise is this; you get rich successful and famous, you get the Lamborghini or the Ferrari, and then suddenly all these beautiful women will flock to you, want to have sex with you, fulfill all your weird sexual fantasies, etc., and suddenly you’ll be happy for the rest of your life?
It seems the weird sexual perversion we have in today’s world is that maybe… the trend is we want some sort of 100% subservient female sex bot, 100% obey us, and fulfill our sexual desires? ￼￼
But let us not forget, the purpose and function of sex is for us to beget children; the hormones and the good feelings associated with it is to promote bonding between the man and woman, and to solidify the family relationship. This is where I am pro monogamy; even Zeus was married to Hera! Although he did sleep around a lot. ￼
￼One of the greatest things that was born out of Covid was the Facebook buy nothing groups. Essentially close to 100% of all the baby stuff we got for Seneca was for free from the buy nothing group. Cindy would just message other moms, get a bunch of free baby hand-me-down stuff, and we literally paid close to nothing for all of his baby stuff. I estimate that from the buy nothing group, Cindy might’ve saved us close to $15,000.
It takes more skill to buy nothing?
Ultimately I think money is like some sort of game; the game of not spending money seems to be more interesting than spending money.
There is nothing morally or ethically wrong about spending money, the only issue at hand is when people spend money in some sort of boring way, they go into debt, credit card debt or whatever, and as a consequence, they lose their freedom?
Via negativa money new year resolutions?
The simplest way to become rich is not to spend your money on superfluous things. This include the new iPhone iPhone Pro or whatever; real rich people either use an iPhone mini, like my friend Don Dillon or Todd Hata, or Cindy, or an iPhone SE like ERIC KIM.
Also, only poor people buy cars new cars. Real rich people just drive old Prius, white Honda Odyssey if you have a family, and all the silver Honda Civics. Even my brother-in-law whose family is super rich, a major investor in Tesla, just has the super base Tesla model 3 for the family! ￼￼
Real investors in Tesla don’t own the expensive Tesla model S or X or even Y; they only own the cheapest Tesla model 3. ￼
Join the buy nothing group?
Just go on Facebook and find the nearest “buy nothing” group close to your city. It is a fun game.
Also, if you really want to save money and stop buying so much stuff, just cancel your Amazon prime subscription.
Also, as much as I love Costco, technically Costco is a trap; it is easy to drop $600 on a simple Costco trip, maybe if you want to save money and just buy meat, go to the local butcher, meat market, Halal market, Mexican meat market, the local Carniceria.
The problem with Costco is that there are too many random temptations.
Do the labor yourself?
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Another New Year’s resolution that I got is maybe I just want to do all the labor myself. Even though it is far less efficient and time-consuming. Even changing your oil, maybe we could just enjoy this is our new leisure. I recommend getting the full synthetic mobile 1 oil, the best.
Funny story: I just got a $555 speed camera traffic ticket for doing a rolling right turn through a red light. I watched the video in truth be told, I was at fault.
Maybe next time, I will just contest it and show up to court, as a fun leisure activity.
Ultimately after you become wealthy, the ultimate luxury is killing time in local city politics etc.
The first priority is your physical health, your sleep your food your diet your exercise etc.
Quit alcohol, quit weed, quit pornography, quit sugar, whether real or fake, quit dairy, quit vegetables, quit fruit, quit starches.
Quit Netflix, any TV streaming show, stop watching movies that were produced within the last 5 to 10 years.
￼￼￼￼ Quit the news, social media, quit￼ YouTube.