Growing up, I wondered how Japanese or Southeast Asians could eat so many carbs (specifically, white rice) yet still stay relatively lean. Meanwhile, I was growing up in the United States trying to cut carbs from my diet so that I might lose weight.
“I’ll skip the white rice today,” I would say, hoping that the brown rice alternative would lead to a thinner body figure.
Recently I watched Sugar: The Bitter Truth, a lecture by Dr. Lustig. In this lecture, Dr. Lustig argues that too much fructose and not enough fiber appear to be the cornerstones of the obesity epidemic.
It’s knowledge like this I wish I learnt in school.
Now, I’m collecting tools, information and resources I wish I learnt in schools.
- Cognitive Bias: Our beliefs are shaped by the stories our minds tell us. Our experiences are subjective, based on the stories we tell ourselves.
- Attachment Theory: The way we relate to others can be influenced by our childhood and how we grew up learning to relate or rely on others.
When you market yourself, start with the benefits first. Lead with how your work ethic, experience and energy will contribute to the team. Yes, this includes writing your cover letters and resumés.
I recommend Stomp the Pavement for modern day career advice.
I grew up quite frugal and still am, but there are some things that you can learn to invest in in order to make more money and improve your life overall.
Building monthly financial security is the first priority.
Once you have that set, you can start looking at purchases as an investment. For example, I recently bought a Garmin watch (Forerunner 45) as a tool to start tracking my runs and improve as a runner. I chose to buy this investment used.
Detach your identity from your net worth. When you can detach yourself from your net worth, you have an easier time looking at it and creating an action plan.
- I use Personal Capital as a resource to connect my bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards and loans.
- You can see your net worth and how much you spend each month.
- For something more specific, you can use a tool like YNAB to track your budget every month.
Stocks make money in two ways: going up in value + paying dividends while you own them.
One investing strategy I’ve adopted is dollar cost-averaging, which means you invest a fixed dollar amount on a regular basis, regardless of share price.
If you’re confident that what you’re investing in will be worth more than what you’ve paid in five years (or 30 years when you retire), the share price should be irrelevant.
It’s not timing the market, it’s time in the market.
Other Interesting Things About Money
When you’re looking at financing a car, or purchasing a house, how much is the total cost of ownership?
When you stretch out the payments you make on a mortgage or auto loan, you increase the cost of ownership.
If you have a 30-year term on a $500,000 mortgage, you actually end up paying $466,279 in interest alone. That nearly doubles the amount that you pay on the home.
Use this amortization schedule calculator to understand how interest works and see how payments break down over a loan term.
Protect Your Assets
After you acquire wealth, you need to protect it.
- Liability limits on insurance
- Personal Liability Umbrella Policy
Here are some things I’ve learnt about taxes, deductions, and retirement:
- If you claim Foreign-Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), that brings your AGI to $0 or below. However, this means you are ineligible to claim tax deductions from an IRA.
- If you are eligible for an IRA deduction, then that’s considered an above-the-line deduction. This means that you can take the deduction whether you itemize or take the standard deduction!
This is a work in progress and I will continue to update this project. I would love to dive deeper into topics like logic, fallacies and how our mind works; compound interest; and more.
What’s something you’re interested in learning about? Conversely, what’s something you’ve learnt that you wish you learnt in school?