Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Lego Tradition

My mom has a Christmas village that she gets out every Christmas and I've been contributing to it, for the last few years, by buying Lego houses that we build together. The one I got this year is from the Harry potter set that contained 2 houses.

I had a blast building it but it was painfully obvious that my mom wasn't enjoying herself. What I found, through this ordeal, is that my mom isn't really comfortable doing things that she's not used to do regardless of how simple it is (Lego steps are simple) and all she wanted to do was to give up however she stuck to it and was very proud of herself once it was completed. 

If I look at myself, I share this with my mom in the sense that I, too, want to give up relatively easily when I do something that I'm not comfortable in doing but I usually tend to stick to it, with some complaining, and am usually proud of myself once it's completed due to the extra struggle I felt doing it.

I told my mom that I was getting a bigger Lego house next year. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I changed My Mind on Debt!

We live in a financial system designed to make us work until the day we die if we let it. It's our responsibility to learn about the rules of the game and how to apply it to our advantage.  The sooner we learn about these rules the better it'll be for us as the earlier we begin the better it usually is.

Recently, I came across some information that changed my mind on debt. Before, I was against debt but there's some very specific situation where debt can be to our best interest and the secret is to look at the interest rate on that debt vs the interest rate you would get from investing that money. 

You have 10, 000$ in the bank to buy a new car and you can have a loan to buy this car at 0% interest for 5 years. The best thing you could do in this situation is take the loan and invest that 10,000$ somewhere that will likely have a return better than 0% over that 5 years. If you want to play it safe, you can invest in things that have a guarantee that you won't loose the money you invested. At the end of 5 years, you will have paid that car and made money on the investment that you've made.

Obviously, this requires us to investigate the market at the time of purchase/investing but doing so definitely has benefits that I hadn't considered before. Debt, in those conditions, can be a benefit. When it comes to investing, however, I will always follow the rule of "never invest what you can't afford to loose".

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

My Credit Card was Stolen

My Credit Card information was recently stolen and I've taken some additional steps, with my new card, to protect it and thought I would share it with you.

While it can be difficult to know where my credit card information was stolen, I believe it was stolen at a local store either via the security cameras or via a RFID reader someone would of used over my wallet in my back pocket. Knowing this, I've taken the following steps to minimize the risk going forward:

  1. I bought a RFID blocking wallet. This wallet is designed to block scanning signals normally used for credit cards.
  2. I've covered the important information on the credit card with black tape. It's not clear to me why things like credit card numbers are so easily readable but it's now hidden. I can still use the card in the machine but now nobody can see the number unless the tape is removed.
  3. I use the tap feature whenever I can as it's always possible for someone with malicious intend to put a small card reader inside the machines where you swipe the card.
While there's never any sure way to protect your credit card information I believe the above steps are steps in the right direction. Do you have any other suggestions? 

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

I'm Tired of Fakes

What I mean by fakes are people that built careers out of lies and deceits. We can see them in all areas of life with mixed results. Some, like Theranos, managed to lure in many investors for billions of dollars on the promise of a revolution in the Health industry but alas it was all a lie. Others, like Stephen Seagal, Uri Geller, Billy Mitchell (and more) have been a little bit more conservative in their scam only doing things to make a profit for themselves.

Of course, some are better at lying than others but the very fact that there's an environment for them to thrive is annoying to me.

How can these lies go for so long unopposed?  

Well, often these lies are being opposed by some people but nobody listen to them until it's too late. The cracks of Theranos were shown to the field experts ever since the company first came to be. In-fact, the only investors that Elizabet Holmes was able to lure, or wanted to lure, were people outside of the medical fields. Those that had the experience were either avoided, by Elizabet Holmes, or wanted nothing to do with the business feeling that it was a scam.

These lies sounds good, they appeal to people but they're just lies. It hurts me that this is the world that we live in. 
Will we ever reach a point in our society when these things will come to an end?

Well it does look that the Internet is helping in exposing the scammers of the world (while also creating some). The "MeToo" movement is an example of a wrong that's society is trying to rectify. Scammers are surely adapting but the truth will always come to light and perhaps the Internet is helping this endeavor.

I think that the responsibility also falls on us to insure that we do research on all things that sounds too good to be true in an attempt to find what's genuine and what isn't.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Secret to Confidence is Discipline

Confidence is something that's difficult to come by as a child but today I see that a child is more likely to feel confident when he feels likes he's capable of doing great things at something. A child that's good in sports, for example, is likely to get some sense of confidence from it. Discipline is key to get good at something and is one of the steps of getting confidence. 

I played soccer as a child but never really became good at it and therefor never achieved any meaningful confidence from it and the root cause of this is because I wasn't discipline. I was never taught to stick to things when they were difficult. I was never taught to work hard at something until I become good at it.
In my family, we always had a misunderstanding of where talent originated from. We used to think that some people were born with innate skills that made them better when in reality it's the person with the best work ethic/discipline that gets good at things. Because of that misunderstanding I never really become good in anything that gave me any sort of meaningful confidence.

It took me a long time to connect discipline with confidence as this isn't something that was taught to me in school or in my personal life growing up. It makes so much sense, however, as we do come to feel confident when we're good at something and the only way to get good at something is to be discipline with it.

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