Saturday, June 16, 2007

Some of My Secrets

Let's face it. Most PF Bloggers are coming from a similar space. They're working hard to get rid of their debt and build a nice, safe retirement fund. They're trying to increase their net worth. They've read all the same books about personal finance, which, as far as I can tell, all say the same thing...pay down your debt and increase your savings and investments.

I'm not knocking this at all. I read a lot of the PF blogs and I really appreciate hearing everyone's different stories about their struggles or accomplishments. I think it's infinitely more interesting to hear about Joe Schmo's "journey to riches" than it is to read Suze Ormond's same old same old "story of how I got there and how you can too".

This is a safe space to be in. I know that if I write an(other) article about the best way to attack your debt being to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate and work your way down, I'll get nods of approval from PF bloggers.

But in a lot of ways, this is not who I am. I've hesitated to "come out" with who I really am because in some ways it's a little scary. I know that I'll set myself up for a lot of criticism for not "following the rules", or even for not believing that those are the actual rules to begin with. I worry that without having those "5 Ways to Decrease your Debt" or "Investing 101" types of articles to fall back on, I'll run out of things to say. In presenting a truly alternative perspective, will I alienate myself from the PF Blogging community?

Yet the time has come to really let you know who I am. Following is a list of 10 things that you probably didn't know about me. 10 things that you might not have ever expected a PF Blogger to say. 10 Dirty Little Secrets. I don't pretend that they make a whole lot of sense when you put them all together. I have strong opinions without facts to back them up and I'm not ashamed of this.

I present...me:

1. I'm 30 years old and I don't have a 401k, IRA, or any other sort of retirement account. When I first had a corporate job, they showed us those little comparisons of how much you have if you start saving when you're 25 vs if you start saving when you're 35. I was only 22 at the time, so I thought "Hey! I've got a few years to start!" I never started. Then I moved to Japan, where that wasn't an option. Now, I'm starting a business and have no income.

2. Despite what all the experts say, the fact that I don't have any retirement savings doesn't concern me.

3. I don't believe that the stock market is a worthwhile investment. And yes I also mean index funds and mutual funds. I think it's going to explode and everyone will lose all of their money. I don't have any proof of this or facts to back it up. It's just what I think.

4. I used to work as a psychic friend for the Psychic Readers Network. So you should probably go back and read number 3 again.

5. I did once get burned by the stock market. This may be why I have such animosity towards it.

6. One reason that I don't really care about not having retirement savings is that I think the world (as we know it) is going to end in about 5 years. Part of this "ending" is that money and time will cease to exist. And no, I don't mean that we will switch to using only electronic funds and thus "physical money" will cease to exist. I really mean that the entire concept of money will cease to exist.

7. My freshman high school teacher had us read Ayn Rand's Anthem. I liked it, so I also read many of her other works. My favorite is Atlas Shrugged, except for that whole like 100 page speech at the end. However, every time I would be heavily into reading Ayn Rand, my mom would point out that I was acting like an asshole. I'm pretty sure that's not a coincidence.

8. The only debt that I've ever had is student loans. Student loans are now down by more than half. I could pay them all off right now, but then we wouldn't have money to live off of while starting our business. I have a credit card, but I pay it off in full each month. I'm a hippie and I don't like expensive things.

9. Number 8 was a bit of a lie. I had a $250 limit credit card when I was in college that I didn't pay off. I also had a dentist bill around $750 that I didn't pay until it was in collections because I had been told that insurance was covering it and I didn't realize that I had to pay it. Luckily, those things are not on my credit report anymore. Hence, they don't exist and I can rightfully claim number 8.

10. If you're the type of person who likes to put labels on people, well...I'm an "anti-capitalist anarchist". I'm also starting a business. I'm not sure what I think of that either.

So there you have it...a bit more of a complete picture of who I am. What are your secrets?

3 comments:

Amy said...

Ummm could you elaborate on # 6. As in why you think that or do you just think that will happen and have no reason to back it up. The only way I see it happening is after and apocalyptic event that kills off most of the population. No one I know is giving up their credit cards or 401K anytime soon.

Frank said...

I'm a little confused about the world ending. Obviously you believe what you want, and far be it from me to tell you you're wrong. That being the case, however, don't you want any sort of safety net? Suppose you're wrong and the world DOESN'T end in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years. You are putting an awful lot at stake.

shannon said...

Sorry for late responses and I don't even know if anyone else is reading this...
About the world ending. It's hard to explain, but I think that suddenly we will all experience a sort of mass enlightenment which will render things such as money useless.
And yes, I do want some sort of safety net. But my idea of a safety net is quite different from other's ideas. I don't think that a 401k (or other ways of saving real money) will be effective. I mean, after all, what sort of a safety net will it be if there is a huge market crash.
Hmmm...this is going to be long and I think that it might be better as a full post. Will write soon.