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Author Topic: On Getting Ahead Financially  (Read 1667 times)

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Offline Tairis

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 08:47:57 PM »
It's not the government's job to support you if you don't want to work. I own my own house, car, have a 401k, etc. I didn't get anything handed to me. I don't have a college degree. It just requires that you actually go out and do it. Which means you don't get to only work the hours you want to work. And from your post in the slacker thread you made it pretty blatant that you don't want to work. Because if that you want everyone to accommodate you. Sadly that's not the way the world works.

That's not to say that there aren't problems with the wage gap in the US or in the real estate market. But the person complaining about those things that has stated that they intentionally avoid work isn't going to elicit much sympathy from me.

Offline alextaylor

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2013, 11:37:00 PM »
My counter point to this is fairly simple: luck is always a factor in life, an unavoidable one. No matter how hard you work and plan, if a company doesn't have an opening in your area of expertise you're not going to be able to advance in that area. You can develop additional skills that qualify you for other positions, attempt to find other ways to move up, etc, but some things are just going to come down to timing.

There's nothing wrong with this nor is it something you can change. It is something you can mitigate with proper planning etc, but there is always going to be an elemental of it in everything you do. The real trick is exploiting it to its fullest when those opportunities do arise.

True, it's always a factor, but statistics and persistence covers it.

You might have say, a 5% contacts of getting a job through contacts every month. Or if you searched for jobs full time, you could have a 15% chance of getting a good job from job searching, and none from contacts that try to poach you. Most people will look at this as about the same odds... 10% is not worth the risk.

Over 6 months, the person who waits and hopes for a better job will have a 26% chance of getting a better job. The one who quit will have a 63% chance of getting a better job. Thanks to statistics, the person who persisted in looking for a job now has a 37% advantage, and good odds. They may still get unlucky. But if they kept persisting, the odds over a year would be 55% vs 86%.

There's the cost of quitting a job and staying unemployed - lack of a salary, lack of a portfolio, no contacts. But there's also the cost of working - dealing with an abusive boss, using up time and energy.

One doesn't simply look to Luck and say, "I can't risk this." Instead one looks to Statistics and decides, "Which will cost me more? Waiting for things to get better or taking a loss to try and make it better?" and make the decision on the spot, until the factors like probability or cost changes.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2013, 04:33:11 AM »
Let's just ask: Does a person working full time for the minimum wage have a reasonable chance at finding affordable accommodation?

 No, because over the last few decades wages have been left in the dust by the increased cost of housing.

 Same with a car, what chance does a person making minimum wage have of purchasing and maintaining reasonable transportation: next to none.

 Back in 1972 a tract house sold for $21,000... the same house goes for almost $400K today, $550K at the peak of the RE bubble.

 The house costs 20 times what it did in 1972...generic bread over the same space of time has just about doubled... cars and gas are expensive, but not 20 times more expensive, in 1973 gas was under 50 cents a gallon, it would have to be $10 a gallon to have kept up with houses...

 Even rents for many are just out of reach, I know lots of working homeless who are maybe $100 or so shy of being able to rent.

 For the working poor the choices are rent a rundown room in a slum, share a house or apartment with someone or pitch a tent or live in a vehicle... buying a house or even just renting a place is just an impossible dream.

 If the govt. were not so busy giving tax breaks to millionaires, starting bogus wars and "misplacing" $2.3 trillion dollars (like Rumsfeld admitted just two days before the 911 attacks...) if their priorities were different they could have set up lots of affordable housing and maybe even turned a modest profit on them...

 But nyoooooo that's "sochulism!".

Who would pay for this affordable housing?  If the government is to pay for it, then where do they get the money from? The government gets its money from tax paying citizens who earn their own money. Without people who enough money to support the government and themselves, the government would be broke.  This is not a sustainable model.




Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2013, 10:54:38 AM »
Other advice is to be a frugal spender, and save!

Saving an extra $100 per month is an extra $6000 in 5 years.

Offline Torch

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2013, 11:18:38 AM »
Other advice is to be a frugal spender, and save!

Saving an extra $100 per month is an extra $6000 in 5 years.

Actually, investing an extra $100 per month for 5 years will yield almost $9000, assuming an 8% rate of return.

The beauty of compound interest.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2013, 11:31:40 AM »
Yeah I made a post about that earlier, retirement savings are easier than people think.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2013, 02:43:26 PM »

That's true about compound interest, but is there currently any way to get that sort of interest rate? As far as I know, savings accounts are only giving a few percentage points - which really doesn't add up to much. Not sure if banks still offer CD's.. they used to be good but that was a while back. There's the stock market, but you really have to know what you are doing, otherwise you might as well be throwing darts at a board. Its easy to say that if you invested in company X 20 years ago you would be rich now, but without that 20/20 hindsight, you would have had no way of knowing that they would have been successful.


Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2013, 03:12:29 PM »
If you don't know what you're doing in the stock market, I recommend conservative mutual funds based on your retirement year.   They are called target retirement funds. 

For example, T. Rowe 2035 Target Retirement Fund (TRRJX) or Vanguard 2050 Target Retirement Fund (VFIFX)

If your retirement date is far away, investments will be riskier in the fund, as the manager will take bigger gambles.   But as the year approaches, they put more into bonds than stocks, so it is much safer.

I highly discourage investing in a single stock company, use mutual funds instead.  Most of these funds average 5-10% annual returns.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 03:18:30 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Retribution

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2013, 04:03:18 PM »
I have been putting money into my personal retirement account for about 17 years. I kick $40 a pay into this account and I get paid twice a month so $80 a month. This is a work sponsored program and I am not taxed on that money as long as I do not draw it out. I had a financial adviser help me with the intial setup of the account and I have not touched it since. We went with a moderate risk and spread the money over a variety of stocks. Looking at my quarterly statements of course the loss/gain goes up and down. But I have -never- failed to have more money in that account than I have put in. The rate of return I have gotten on it over the course of time is 8.5%.

When the economy went bust it got close to what I had invested but was still above. I know co-workers who panicked and pulled their money out then. They are drawing about 1.5% interest on that money now. The economy recovered and I held my water and the last year has shown a growth of about 25% on the money I invest. It fluctuates but you get the idea. And this is with a whole $80 a month. So if you keep a long view as in decades it is possible to get a nice nest egg. Hell, if you have the extra coin to put a larger sum in each month you can probably get well off relatively fast. IMHO the key is do not panic but ride it out when you can.

Offline Torch

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2013, 04:25:06 PM »
If you don't know what you're doing in the stock market, I recommend conservative mutual funds based on your retirement year.   They are called target retirement funds. 

For example, T. Rowe 2035 Target Retirement Fund (TRRJX) or Vanguard 2050 Target Retirement Fund (VFIFX)

If your retirement date is far away, investments will be riskier in the fund, as the manager will take bigger gambles.   But as the year approaches, they put more into bonds than stocks, so it is much safer.

I highly discourage investing in a single stock company, use mutual funds instead.  Most of these funds average 5-10% annual returns.

Index funds are usually a good choice, as well as stock funds. Bond funds not so much at the moment, now that the bond market has tanked. Investors should look for low expense ratios (ideally less than 1%), and pay attention to the investment objectives of each fund. As Valthazar stated, the closer one is to retirement, the more conservative and stable the investment should be. A 25 year old investor can ride out fluctuations in the market that a 55 year old cannot.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »
It's not the government's job to support you if you don't want to work. I own my own house, car, have a 401k, etc. I didn't get anything handed to me. I don't have a college degree. It just requires that you actually go out and do it. Which means you don't get to only work the hours you want to work. And from your post in the slacker thread you made it pretty blatant that you don't want to work. Because if that you want everyone to accommodate you. Sadly that's not the way the world works.

That's not to say that there aren't problems with the wage gap in the US or in the real estate market. But the person complaining about those things that has stated that they intentionally avoid work isn't going to elicit much sympathy from me.

Fortunately the POOR INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX is alive and well between the government people whose job depends on the poor, charity do gooders and the fact no one will tolerate a woman disabled in a wheelchair with poor eyesight starve in the streets (human nature is human nature) so play it off to add to my tips. I know the fact I'm disabled and trying makes people like you far more generous when they have dollars in their pockets to toss me one. And I do work. But Busking my main skill set is simple there are factors that make it work: lots of people around, they happy, they having cash in their pockets and being appealing to give that money to (talent, disabled). In my area there is ,besides special event days,, about 10 hours or so a week where the four factors click and I get good money. If I worked twice as much and I did that my income would be maybe 25% more since the tips drop off (not a lot of people for example less tips). So I fit my income and built a lifestyle around it.

But I pay taxes and qualify for the Federal Exchange I just didn't take my usual tax deductions so my income was over the lowest limit, so I don't see the issue I don't care about owning a car, don't want to own a house, not interested in lots of stuff and frankly I could be on SSI and all there was a time I cold have gotten it.

I would argue I just have priorities other than working but since I'm not a ward of the state, living with family (multigenerational) and I think most of the "normal people" are nuts Slackers fill a place in society showing there is another way. How come workaholics are fine but their natural opposition is evil?

Offline Blythe

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2013, 06:58:56 PM »
I would argue I just have priorities other than working but since I'm not a ward of the state, living with family (multigenerational) and I think most of the "normal people" are nuts Slackers fill a place in society showing there is another way. How come workaholics are fine but their natural opposition is evil?

An average working person is not a workaholic. They are simply working the hours they want to sustain a lifestyle they want to maintain. There is nothing wrong with that. A workaholic is someone addicted to work. An average person is simply working as a necessity or out of pleasure.

And there is a difference between someone disabled who needs support due to an inability to work and someone capable of working who chooses not to. One of those groups is entitled to government aid. The other is taking advantage of a system meant for those who need it and is  usurping valuable resources for someone who could use them more. Essentially, a burden. And taking advantage of a system not meant for oneself and instead meant for the needy shows a distinct lack of morality to me, because funding is not infinite. That's why programs meant to fund the disabled are on budgets.

Taking from a finite amount of aid allotted for.......let's say Group A, when one is a member of Group B, takes away from the total aid meant for Group A. Group A suffers financially for that, because someone in Group A will not have access to necessary aid when Group B has already used it.

In this case, Group A is the disabled, and Group B consists of "slackers." So yes, I believe it is morally wrong for someone in Group B to take from resources that should go to Group A and potentially cause suffering, when Group B is capable of providing their own resources.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 07:22:34 PM by Blythe »

Offline alextaylor

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2013, 09:07:11 PM »
That's true about compound interest, but is there currently any way to get that sort of interest rate? As far as I know, savings accounts are only giving a few percentage points - which really doesn't add up to much. Not sure if banks still offer CD's.. they used to be good but that was a while back. There's the stock market, but you really have to know what you are doing, otherwise you might as well be throwing darts at a board. Its easy to say that if you invested in company X 20 years ago you would be rich now, but without that 20/20 hindsight, you would have had no way of knowing that they would have been successful.

Not sure what other countries are getting, but I'm only getting 6% at best and I maxed that out. Later it occurred to me that it was quite dumb, because even though I'd get a million in 20 years, investing the money now matters more. Why would you want a lot of money in the future, when money is worth less?

If you're not sure what to do just buy precious metals or land. As long as there's inflation, limited resources are a great investment.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2013, 09:27:38 PM »
Not sure what other countries are getting, but I'm only getting 6% at best and I maxed that out. Later it occurred to me that it was quite dumb, because even though I'd get a million in 20 years, investing the money now matters more. Why would you want a lot of money in the future, when money is worth less?

If you're not sure what to do just buy precious metals or land. As long as there's inflation, limited resources are a great investment.

The rate of inflation is about 2% or so, so even getting 6-7% compounded interest is a very reasonable return, if you are simply looking for long-term stability, rather than looking to get rich.

Are you referring to investing in gold/silver in the market, or actually buying gold bars?  I wouldn't recommend this for people who don't know what their other options are, because this is not a fool-proof investment channel like some people claim.  I don't know the exact numbers but the price of gold has fallen more than 30% since around this time last year.  Also, it is not a very good idea to have thousands of dollars worth of gold sitting around in your house.  You'd probably want to get insurance on the gold bars, and that's just another hassle to worry about then.

The most important thing to remember is to not get greedy.  Just be content with modest 5-8% returns, and you'll have a stable retirement.  If everyone is saying that one stock is a winner, be weary. 

Edit:  corrected percentage
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:41:27 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline alextaylor

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2013, 09:45:52 PM »
Ah, I guess 'stable retirement' seems to be a huge turn off for me. It's foolproof to live a safe life and do whatever you like when you're 55. But then you'd be 55, unable to eat the kind of 5 star food you wished you could afford, unable to go on the kinds of adventures you wished you could. I mean, living shouldn't about trying not to die.

Also it assumes some stability in the world. If we get hit with a war or alien invasion or some idiot president who hyperinflates the economy, all that stored up money isn't going to be worth so much. A few gold bars makes your wealth easier to transfer across borders, should it come down to that. Your mileage may vary, though. Precious metals make more sense in somewhere like Pakistan or Egypt, more than in a stabler place like Norway.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2013, 09:55:31 PM »
It's simply a difference in perspective.  I would much rather get consistent 5-8% returns, live modestly, and ensure a decent standard of living for my future children, afford their college tuition, etc. - rather than take a gambler's perspective to the stock market, and risk poverty.  As far as the unpredictability of life, I remind myself that the most important things in life are not derived from money.  I view money as being a necessity for sustenance and progress, rather than as representative of my happiness. 

Regardless of my investment habits, I could die tomorrow in a car crash - that is something that is out of my control whether I am rich or poor.  What I can control, however, is my financial security.  Personally, it helps me sleep at night knowing that I live modestly, and that I don't need to worry about losing my portfolio due to risky investing habits. 

Most people who are 55 are not even dreaming of eating at 5 star hotels or taking outlandish adventures.  Most of them are struggling just to find a place to live and put food on their table.  Having the basics is what is important to me, and I don't think you can just take that for granted in this economy.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2013, 10:49:23 PM »
I remember when gold went for about $300 an ounce. Sometime later, we had the housing bubble in the US and the stock market ( which was over priced ) crashed. It was at this point that investors started pulling their money out of the stock market and started buying up gold. This investor's demand for gold is what made it skyrocket to $1800 an ounce. I don't know what it currently goes for, but when you see a bubble like this, you know its just a matter of time before it pops. Once it gets dumped for something else, it won't recover. ( in a reasonable amount of time )


Quote
"Ah, I guess 'stable retirement' seems to be a huge turn off for me. It's foolproof to live a safe life and do whatever you like when you're 55. But then you'd be 55, unable to eat the kind of 5 star food you wished you could afford, unable to go on the kinds of adventures you wished you could. I mean, living shouldn't about trying not to die."

I think there's a balance between "too old to really enjoy your fortunes" and "Dying of hunger because you're too old to be gainfully employed." Exactly where the balance lies will be different for everyone. For me, I assume that there will be no government supplied social security benefits when I'm ready to stop working. I'm convinced that they will have been depleted by then, so I'm proactively trying to build my own source of wealth while I'm relatively young.

Yes, 40 is the new 20...

>.>




Online Callie Del Noire

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2013, 10:58:12 PM »
Well the TSP of the DoD bombed on me. The managers got selective hearing and when the International Fund started to tank while I was on deployment they never got any of my messages/emails or whatever. So I lost like 85% of my investment.

So now that I got a new job where I will have very very little expenses (the contract covers housing, cars and such)  and a BIG salary and an end of contract bonus, so I've been looking and listening. And when it comes to see my brother and his wife, I'll be asking some questions. Saving accounts and CDs don't seem to have really BIG percentages at this point.

Offline Cecilia

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2013, 09:12:24 AM »
The stock market averages about 100% ROI every 7 years.  If you are looking for long term investments, I would suggest finding a long term mixed fund that has a good long history and leaving money there long term.  There are plenty of funds out there that require no set up fee, and you can add money to without any costs.  Do some research and read before spending any money.  Finances for Dummies is actually a very good book to get you started. As is "TheWealthy Barber."

By the way,if you think retiring at 55 is something you want to do, you need to have a pretty huge retirement plan.  There's a formula for it somewhere, but 55 is awfully young to be retiring.  I can't imagine retiring before 65...if ever.

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2013, 03:50:07 PM »
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Offline alextaylor

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2013, 12:12:33 PM »
By the way,if you think retiring at 55 is something you want to do, you need to have a pretty huge retirement plan.  There's a formula for it somewhere, but 55 is awfully young to be retiring.  I can't imagine retiring before 65...if ever.

That's a bit odd.. 55 is considered the standard retirement age in my country. There are many who even retire at 50 or younger then become writers and such. Depends on how you define retirement, though... a lot of people here mean it to say no longer working a 9-5 job, and doing what you like. Which may well be 'work' like full-time politics, taking a bunch of degrees, planting and selling herbs in the backyard, or some other creative output that doesn't guarantee a return.

If people in the richest country in the world are worrying about eating when they get old and people in a backwards, developing country are living in lavish homes at 50 complaining about not being physically able to fine dine... I don't even know what to think about the economy anymore :P

Offline Valthazar

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2013, 08:02:00 PM »
That's a bit odd.. 55 is considered the standard retirement age in my country. There are many who even retire at 50 or younger then become writers and such. Depends on how you define retirement, though... a lot of people here mean it to say no longer working a 9-5 job, and doing what you like. Which may well be 'work' like full-time politics, taking a bunch of degrees, planting and selling herbs in the backyard, or some other creative output that doesn't guarantee a return.

If people in the richest country in the world are worrying about eating when they get old and people in a backwards, developing country are living in lavish homes at 50 complaining about not being physically able to fine dine... I don't even know what to think about the economy anymore :P

Malaysia is a country with extreme income inequalities.  One segment of the population can live the comfortable lifestyle you describe, but another sizable majority is living in poverty.  I think a lot of your experiences are the result of having an inheritance from your family, and some of your posts reflect an inability to empathize the with the plight of people trying to simply stay afloat.  Even in your own country, I urge you to look at the experiences of people who were not privy to having large inheritances. 

You are completely ignoring Malaysia's widespread governmental corruption and rural poverty.  I think the purpose of this thread was to provide straightforward, simple tips for financial stability, but approaching this from the perspective of privilege only does an injustice to people genuinely trying to start off.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2013, 09:11:40 PM »
Malayasia wasn't any worse than any other country in that part of the world in that respect ValthazarElite. The little time I got to spend there showed me a MASSIVE split between the classes but no more than some of the other areas I saw.

Offline Kythia

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Re: On Getting Ahead Financially
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2013, 04:23:47 AM »
With the greatest respect to Malaysia and South East Asia in general, though, "no worse than any other country in that part of the world" is not a terribly high bar.