jacob lund fisker

+ Follow
since Jul 01, 2011
jacob likes ...
urban woodworking
Chicago, IL, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 75
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by jacob lund fisker

paul wheaton wrote:
Personally, I would much rather receive a thousand nickels from a thousand different people than the same amount of money from one person.  If I put out a new video and get some nasty comment, and i get 400 nickels, the nasty seems about 20 times smaller because of the nickels.

If I spend $10 per year on nickels, I think I'm doing a lot more to make the world a better place than if I gave that same $10 to some charity.

I agree with the sentiment.

I don't care for the money as much as I care for the sentiment behind the money. Like with my book sales, it's not so much the money I'm making on selling it as it is the fact that people are willing to pay money to read my ideas. In the same same, 400 people with a nickel means that 400 people are willing to give up a hard earned nickel because they thought you did good. That would be a huge signal compared to one person giving $10 or even $100.

I can say though that I'm having a hard time even getting people to click on a facebook like button which costs them nothing. A really well-liked post will get maybe 8 likes ... and that will have been read by 8000 people. It could of course be that my stuff overall sucks, but that's really not the impression I'm getting.

I suspect that reality simply is that only about 1% is willing to give back.

Tiptheweb is useful because it's way faster/convenient than clicking on a paypal donate button. However, facebook is equally easy and it's not used very much.
We recently had a similar discussion on the ERE forums, see http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/topic.php?id=1463 , about how jobs were no longer a good way of distributing money, especially given the value someone contributes. This is, of course, a very old discussion in economics why compensation doesn't match the value provided, e.g. why is an ad executive who's marketing junk compensated more than the garbage collectors who keep people from dying.

A certain blogger expressed some bitterness about making substantially less than the (literally) tens or hundreds of millions in annual savings provided for his readers. There were some suggestions about charging 1 cent per pageview or $1/hour of reading time. Naturally, this turned out to be like pulling teeth.

I've previously experimented with paypal donations. About 0.5-1% will actually donate.

I'll try tiptheweb.org and see what happens. I just suspect voluntary payment is somewhat low on the list of what people will do. The distribution of donations is extremely skewed towards a few making large donations (like $10) while most make nothing at all compared to everybody donating 1 cent (which would make a much bigger impact).
Whoops! I meant to say that the US IMPORTS most of its commodities. Countries that export commodities are, for example, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East.
9 years ago

Campy in Nashville, Tennessee, USA wrote:
I am having a math problem with the savings part of this.

If inflation is running at 7% annually as in the USA:


Since Bretton Woods but especially since deficit spending and Reaganomics, we've had a growing credit bubble for 30-40 years. The central bank buys treasuries which increases the total return of bonds. It also sends cash/credit (think of it as 0% bonds) into the system. This lowers bank interest rates since banks are not interest in holding non-interest bearing paper. So it makes its way into the stockmarket. Until recently, the same happened with real estate. Some of this credit spills into the consumer system as well. Then it's called inflation. What matters, however, is that the financial asset inflation outpaces consumer inflation. It has done so, so far.

Since it's a way of levering up, it gets harder to navigate. If there was no credit manipulation, you'd have 0% inflation (from credit) and a 3% real return which seems to be the natural growth rate of population and nature. Instead you have 7% inflation and 10% nominal return. There's more uncertainty there. Imagine 20% nominal return and 17% inflation---in that case, only a small perturbation would kill your 3% spread.

So there's a need to stay on top of things to avoid getting creamed by exponential decays. As an investor, monetary policy makes this harder. You can't sit in cash for sure. You can sit in silver but then you'd need to save your entire life's worth of expenses instead of 33 years of it corresponding to a 3% return rate.

As a hedge against inflation, gold is more useful because it's not a commodity like silver. Silver is more like oil. It's fine to have, but in a recession (with inflation) people are not going to value it UNTIL they actually start bartering with it instead of using it to make electronic switches. Same with oil.

As a general hedge: Few things beat skills, tools, and land. I'd focus on those first which I think most here do. You may be interested in a book called The Alpha Strategy written by John Pugsley in the late 1970s. Great strategy at the time, but he didn't predict that Volcker would raise interest rates to double digits to crush inflation. It was his black swan. Bernanke is probably not going to do this but his replacement might.

Also, the world may move to a commodity based monetary system. The US will not like this. As it exports most of its commodities, that would spell the end of American dominance on the world scene. It's hard to predict how this would play out since the other major industrial countries also import their commodities.
9 years ago
With financial independence, you buy health insurance on the free market instead of getting it subsidized by some corporation as part of a benefits plan.

I pay $95/month for a $4500 deductible plan. I've checked the prices of the same plan as it currently sells for someone who's near Medicare age and it's about twice that. This is not expensive. These are California numbers. In Oregon I can get a $10,000 deductible plan for $50/month.

Job loss is irrelevant, since obviously, I don't need a job to receive dividends from the companies I own. A stock market crash/economic recession may cause some of these companies to cut their dividends, but then you buy another one. It's a lot easier to find a new investment than to find a new job, especially in a recession.

I understand trust fund hippies get their money from their relatives. I worked as an employee for all my money. I just didn't spend very much of it and so I still have most of it to do what I do now.
9 years ago
The risk is that interest rates go down. By taking on a mortgage when you have the money, you're essentially using leverage. What you suggest is the equivalent of owning your 100k house and then taking out a home equity loan for the entire amount at 4% to invest at 6%.

Leverage works fine as long as the interest rate you pay is lower than the interest rate you get. But it's very risky. If your investment return drops to, say 2%, you're losing money.

For example, since 1999 the market has gone exactly nowhere. Evaluations are as high as ever (P/E > 20), so this may well the story over the next 10-12 years as well.
9 years ago
I use the old fashioned razor blades, the ones that are sharp on each end. Not the cartridges. I change blades 2-4 times a year and it takes me the better part of a decade to get through a package. So my cost is maybe 50-60 cents/year.

I don't use shaving cream either.

The trick is to shave right after showering and DON'T dry your face before you do it.

9 years ago
You could do it without having saved a nest egg.

I picked up the editing job mentioned above (it paid $30/hour on a 1099 basis) while I still had my career/salary as a fun side-job. After quitting my career, I kept the editing job until I got serious on finishing up my book. Then I quit the editing job too. I found that working 20-30 hours per month was enough to pay all my expenses. That's basically 45 minutes to an hour per day.

Of course if you don't have any investments, you don't have the option of quitting, but comparably speaking, working an hour a day from anywhere you like as long as there's an internet connection is not bad.

The main thing is really learning how to live well without spending money and be so self-reliant that you only need to spend $500/month. If you can't get below $1500/month, it would be a whole other story. The journal I worked for didn't have enough work to make that much on a consistent basis and so one would have to seek out multiple clients and before you know it, you'd have a full-time job again.

I'd also recommend Charles Long's "How to live/survive without a salary".
9 years ago