by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: How to Understand Money, Smart Money Management
You do not need to be an accountant or a financial wizard to handle your investments. There are some basic principles to follow, known as the KISS principle. KISS is generally know to stand for “Keep It Short & Simple” but I think the acronym can also apply to investing: K – Keep invested I – Invest in stocks S – Self-direct your investments S – Small investments possess an advantage K – Keep invested and don’t become discouraged There are lots of people who enter the stock market, get burned, drop out, and then hand their finances over to a broker or mutual fund seller. That is the wrong thing to do. Losing money in the stock market is all a part of learning how to invest. I have lost thousands on bad investments but I have also made more thousands on good investments. I still come out ahead because the good investments are that much better and I have invested wisely. The worst thing I could do is become discouraged and drop out of the market. Investing is like any skill. It takes practice and knowledge to master. You need to keep investing and learning. The trick is […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Corruption of Democracy, Human Condition, Political Opinion
Months ago, I was doing some Google searches on different philosophical tangents and one of them was “Critiques of Democracy” and I stumbled upon an intriguing website called Promethea. What caught my interest was its statement on its notes page that “all things should be examined according to their impact on life, and popularity by itself is not enough endorsement.” Wow! That struck home and made so much sense. Democracy is not about rationally evaluating what matters or counts most, but about simply giving power to people who are not necessarily capable of measuring or judging competently. Instead voters resort to treating democracy as popularity contests. The site is extensive and I personally find the reference to a mythical character of Prometheus to be very cool. It speaks about Individualism but appears to understand that there is no such thing as a self-made person for we are dependent on the sacrifices of others. Its anti-collectivist stance appears to be a bit too rigid – if individuals have freedom, then surely they have the freedom to join (and leave) a collective. Its something I will peruse over the next year and write a more extensive summary. Check it out… Promethea.org
by Chris Billowsin Spirit Speculations0 commentstags: Defining Life, New Types of Intelligence, Quotations
I stumbled across a highly recommended website that deals with emotional intelligence, but defines it instead as Emotional Competency. My own experience in working with people and with meditation is that emotions are essential components of our being. Those who advocate sterile logic and academic intelligence fall into the trap of ignoring emotions and thus disabling their understanding of what makes people human. I would say it is like Oscar Wilde’s quote that the cynic knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Replace the term ‘cost’ with ‘measurement’ and we can see why emotions are ignored since they impossible to measure. But because emotions are not measurable we should not ignore them. Doing so is at our own peril. Check it out… www.EmotionalCompetency.com
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Corporate Corruption, Foolishness, Human Condition
I was reading about Bernie Madoff’s investment scandal and it suddenly struck me that defined-benefit pension plans (public and private) operate on the same principal as Madoff’s Ponzi plan. Bernie Madoff defrauded his investors of $65 billion dollars with a massive ponzi scheme. Madoff was smart by never offering suspicious high returns to everyone, but did guarantee a steady and modest return regardless of the state of the stock market. This latter point should be suspicious to any intelligent investor. Yet that is exactly what our public and private defined benefit plans are doing. They guarantee a return or benefit rate. Yet how can they do this? Just like Madoff did, by using new money brought in from new investors (or pension contributors) to help meet the payout obligations. As long as new citizens grow up and are forced to contribute to the pension plans, the plan remains viable. But, perhaps we would all be better served by a defined-contribution plan, where the return is based on how well one’s money is managed, instead of compelling citizens to make pension contributions to maintain unsustainable payouts.