Easy Money

How you treat your parents might be related to how well you think your life has turned out. Once you’re near the pinnacle of your life you’ll probably ponder how you arrived there. You’ll realize your dad was grooming you for success and deserves much of the credit or sometimes parents tried their best but it wasn’t quite good enough. Sometimes their best was pathetic and should have been illegal. If your parents were unsuccessful in life then you’re at a disadvantage.

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If I had a dad or mom who had an interest in the stock market it would have at least given me an edge. The most common Canadian investments in the stock market are Canadian banks due to the oligopolistic banking system and conservative regulations. Even as a considerably safe stock they generate good returns.

In 1995 an 18-year-old could have about $1000 worth of Royal Bank stock or they could have bought a sound system for their car that went boom…boom…boom. Look at me…boom…boom…boom. If one could have delayed gratification that $1000 could be in the area of $15,000 today…BOOM! One could and probably would entertain the idea that a stock can go to zero. The odds of someone stealing your boom box within 1 year at 3 AM is about 1000 times greater though.

If I was someone’s dad I would say to my kid, “hey butthead, you want to spend all of your money looking cool to your friends for 5 minutes or do you want an opportunity to laugh at them forever?” Even better, I’d get them started when they’re pre-teen and buy them shares of a company to get their interest. 10 years will go by and they’ll be like, holy shit! You can’t tell kids anything, you have to inspire them.

Above is a Toronto Dominion bank investment calculator. Just $1000 invested in 1973 with dividends reinvested would be $517,758 today. This beats investing in real estate on many fronts. You don’t have to mow your stock’s lawn or worry about your loser tenants plugging up the toilet.

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You do the math

 

If this stock chart could go back to the beginning the line would be touching your feet. Sure, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns but if I had to invest my money this option looks promising.

No one in my family embraced the stock market which is why it was never included in the family curriculum. They probably heard you could make money in the stock market but more importantly to them you could also lose money. Humans are very uncomfortable with anything that involves risk especially if there is any possibility in their mind of their money going to zero.

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s too risky to feel safe.

 

 

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A Great Time To Be Alive

It’s been said that the invention of the washing machine has had a bigger impact on people’s lives than the internet. As my dog attempted to jump onto the couch a piece of shit fell out of her butt. It’s a similar situation to when a person is naked during a strip search and asked by the officer to split their butt cheeks apart and cough hard. I say “attempted” because for whatever reason she chose the highest part of the couch to clear.

As I confronted her about the mishap she felt bad about what had just happened and went to her bed where she then peed all over. It’s been raining very hard these past few days and even though there’s a doggy door to the yard she is very reluctant to go outside in the rain or snow. When her bladder and bowels are full it only takes a slight move in emotion for the flood gates to release.

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The washing machine is a blessed piece of technology yet I live the majority of my life wearing semi-clean clothes instead of thoroughly rinsed and spun material where I would be able to breathe in the nice scent and go aahhh. Why do I wait until I’m down to the last piece of underwear to think about doing laundry? Why do I put myself through frantically looking for an acceptable semi-clean shirt by doing sniff tests? That’s just the human condition.

It couldn’t be any easier to wash clothes. You gather them and huck them in the machine, pour some soap, spin the dial and pull, and walk away. Not a lot to ask in exchange for a continuing rotation of clean clothing. Any easier the clothing would have to self-clean.

I picked up the dog’s bed and did what I had just described. It will be dry by tomorrow morning and it will be like no one even wet the bed. Life is good.

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Forced Discipline

Like many others in this world I have difficulty doing things that I don’t fully believe I have to do which is why most people have Santa Claus bellies and are not very good at anything.

It’s common for prison inmates to become quite muscular because there’s nothing to do in prison besides lift weights. Just within this last hour I came up with the idea of chaining myself near the piano with only a couple of books within arms reach. If I don’t feel like practicing piano then my only alternative would be reading or push-ups. This only works if I throw away the key so I’d have to strategize a way for someone to release me before I shit my pants. I suppose a bucket nearby would handle that issue. It could all end badly so it would be best if I had bolt cutters beside me in case an extreme situation arises like arson or a passing ice cream truck. There really isn’t any excuse not to go through with all of this other than it just seems very unconventional.

Winning Matters

Not knowing or avoiding the laws of life landed me in Nowheresville by the time I was 30 years of age. Life is a competition. If you’re not competing then you’re not playing. If you’re not playing then you’re just watching other people score(I stole that line from a TV show).

The name of the game is being better than others because that’s the difference between feeling good and feeling like a loser. A few try to win but most play not to lose. The common mindset is to tell yourself that you don’t want to win so that you don’t feel so badly about yourself for chickening out. Spectators in the arena criticize the competitors but also secretly envy them.

People feeling inferior about their lives while in my presence should have been my goal in life. It may be lonely at the top but sheep get slaughtered, they just don’t see it coming. This all sounds slightly primitive and unevolved but to believe otherwise is pretending we’re fundamentally different than our recent ancestors. The game changes but the rules stay the same.

 

 

Dear Diary: Binging/Addiction

On The Doctors they featured a woman who for many years was addicted to physical exercise. I’ve been experimenting with different workout regimens trying to find one I can stick with. As with most things in life it’s been a trial of trying to find an acceptable level of pain for reward(loser’s attitude). If I could just develop 1/10th of that woman’s addiction I’d be better than 9/10ths of the population. Having 1/10th of a crystal meth addiction would be perfect. The exercise-addicted woman discovered one day that her addiction was a means to block out childhood trauma from sexual abuse.

Many people binge watch television shows not to block out memories of a perverted uncle but often they’re blocking out something. It could be as innocent as procrastinating housework or maybe something else more sinister like wasting life. It’s easy to throw in the towel and decide that there’s nothing else to life besides a job and maximum screen time. Maybe sometimes you just run out of 91 octane for life.

The last 2 days I binge watched a docuseries on the Roman Empire. I usually feel a bit like a loser when I binge watch TV shows but I convinced myself that I was binge learning. I was educating myself while being entertained at the same time. It may not have been about the Roman Empire as much as it was a story about the Roman Empire because it’s anyone’s guess what really happened 2000 years ago. A person’s propensity for bullshitting can have no limits especially in certain situations. Like the saying goes, history is written by the winners. 

 

 

 

 

Decision Making

The ones who make better decisions will do better in life. Most people don’t do so well in life. They do okay, satisfactory maybe, average. In other words, they would do things much differently if they could do it over again.

If you could figure out how to make good decisions then you would be set. Some figure it out but often only after they have handcuffed themselves to the consequences of a series of bad decisions.

Since I have no positive residuals to show for from any decisions I made in my 20s then I may have made no good decisions during that era. My path in life during that time may have been attributed from the lack of a decision. Like the saying goes, not making a decision is still a choice. 

To be able to make good decisions requires the appropriate knowledge, experience and objectiveness. Too often the beliefs, ego and emotions interfere with rational decision making by ignoring statistics, science and math. 2 + 2 = 4 except when you want it to equal 5.

Fear is often the constant emotion involved in bad decision making. Being blinded by love is more often a case of being plagued by fear. The occupation that one chooses is often a decision based on a perceived probability of not losing. Settling too soon for too little feels safe but the guarantee you’re also promised is that you’ll never win.

An immediate catastrophe is often not the consequence of our decisions which allows people to prolong the idea of an improbable rosy outcome. There can be substantial comfort in the time between a bad decision and the day of reckoning.

If your life has not gone or is not going the way you would have liked it to then you have to question your decision making ability. If your main priority in life is to not feel down on yourself which is often the case then you will make many bad decisions. The universe does not care about your feelings.

Make your decisions as if the right or wrong answers would mean life or death the next day.