Christmas Time and Consumerism

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Did you figure out what to put in your budget for Christmas?
As every year we are submerged into a new wave of consumerism, shopping madness and uncontrolled expenses. Some times you have a hard time just finding out what you are going to offer as a gift.
Because a simple, full of love and meaningful gift doesn't have to be expensive. But, would it be appreciated?

We are stuffed ourselves with things. How many things did you buy, then you used it only once and is forever kept in a box?
The other night we went to one of the most fantastic restaurant in Paris, food was great and servers were kind, and even prices were quite affordable!
But reading comments on the forums later, there was someone who said: they don't even have any live music on!
As you can see some people always find a reason to complain, but when you go to a concert you don't get invited to dinner by the musicians, do you?

People are already stuffed with things but Christmas time and consumerism go together well, so people get stuffed up with even more things for fear of lack.
But it is the perception of lack that blocks abundance. Those needs are not real, but the belief of lack and loss are a real thing that make unwanted needs to come true.
We create it.

Christmas and Consumerism
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We've got all an automatic reaction towards lack and need. It provokes a permanent dissatisfaction and marketing and publicity people know about it so they are trying to make us believe that with this or that object this feeling of need is going to stop to allow us step on a life of plenitude.
But promises are only for those who listen to them.

We live in an abundant world

In the very ancient times we had to hunt and fight for our lives in order to survive, but today you do not have to kill a bear who is trying to kill you, so you can get rid of it and go and kill a rabbit for your breakfast. Those were hard times, times of survival.

Today we must take a step forward and realize that we've got more than plenty, in opportunities and in values.
I think that that is the mind of a millionaire, the spirit of somebody who sees abundance, who appreciates what he's already got and only get new things when he knows that is going to be enjoyed and used, or just because he likes it and not to fill up a hole of unreal lack.

A millionaire doesn't fall into the trap of Christmas time and consumerism, that is an unreal feeling of lack that will enslave you more into debt, and you are looking for financial freedom, remember?

So, what do you think?
Enjoy

Creativity is Creating the Life You Want

Sunday, November 24, 2013
We are all artists as we are already creating the life that we want. In fact you do not have to be a so called artist, you do not have to be a painter, writer, photographer o any other form of accepted artist to be creative.
If you are creating a family then you are an artist and your family is your master piece or your best piece of art.
If you are creating a business of your own, that is also art.
Are you writing a blog? that is also art and it's intended to be the best possible blog that you can produce.

Putting your art into action

There is one thing I like about creativity the way I understand it, and that is that it is not only imagining things in a sort of long daydreaming state, laying on the clouds playing a harp but it's also manifesting and putting your ideas into action.
Daydreaming with no action it's a pitfall but creativity is putting feet to your thoughts.

Creativity is creating the life you want
Image courtesy of [khunaspix] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So many artists were not creating the life that they wanted because they confounded creativity with inspiration and they stayed hanging in a world of ideas only.
They though about their inspiration but never crowned it with the needed action to achieve their work till the end including promoting their master piece, so no creativity!
Here is a simple principle:
Creativity = imagination + action
When you are manifesting you are creating the life you want, it is productive and by far the best work you can do.

Manifesting your own thoughts and not someone's else   

One key step in all this is knowing what you really want and detecting that your desires are your inner ones being born from your deepest heart and not someone's else.
Sometimes we want to please our loved ones and we take a role in life that is not truly ours and we may end engaged into doing something that we don't really want to, filling up the needs of others, but we convince ourselves that we've got to.
It's like lying to yourself, you adopt the desires of another person, to please him/her, that's what happens with contagious emotions, but those needs are they really yours?.
If you don't manifest your own thoughts the voice will quite down and you’ll be unhappy, but this doesn't have to happen. You may also get to a real agree together and use the synergy power to boost your lives.

Ask yourself, am I creating the life I want?

When you ask questions deep inside yourself there is always an answer and you can go beyond and ask yourself: what action can I take today to create the life I want?
That is called aligning with your inner self, that's what I did when quitting my job or when I started this blog, just listening to my inner voice.
I’m sure you will find that little thing to do that will light up your day and get you in the right way to manifest your creations.

How to Quit a Job

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You know I’ve been thinking a lot lately about quitting my job and there are three things that I need to make clear to my self before I jump out:
  1. To know real reasons why I'm quitting my job
  2. To face my fears before I jump into the emptiness
  3. To quit my job gracefully
The first thing was to tell my loved one that I wanted to quit my job and I was encouraged when I've heard the answer: I see that you stagnate. That was a confirmation and a relief too.

I also had a coffee with an ex-colleague wich quitted a year ago. He gave me real good counsel about how to quit a job and he was a sample of gracefulness all the time.
He told me to get a break as he did by negotiating with the boss to be able to quit the job with unemployment aid or unemployement benefits to which you are eligible right away if your employer laid you off for lack of work.
This is true here in Europe, the thing is that in my case there is no lack of work for me in my company.


1. To know real reasons why I'm quitting my job

I really pondered about this because it is better to know why you are quitting your job before you do it and not find out that you could have stayed when you are in the middle of the process. So I did this little exercise and asked myself:
  • Do I see myself working here for the next five years?
  • If so, could I progress, get promoted or get new knowledge and new experiences?
Well, the answers were negative and I feel my time's finished. I read once that people do not quit companies, but they quit other people. Leaders should stop managing people and just manage the work to do.

2. To face fear before jumping into the emptiness

The defy is about trusting in your capacity to raise funds in the future, to live and pay the bills and to have more than enough money left to enjoy life.
But fear is paralyzing, it just stops you from acting, it's telling you: you are here so cozy in your comfort zone, no need to stir up things, just quite everything down... hush, hush!
But let me tell you that if you don't act, nothing changes, nothing happens and water get darker and muddier and as the time passes by it becomes more difficult to make a move.

3. To quit my job gracefully

I planned my resignation meeting as I planned my first interview to get the job. I had meditated on every word I was going to say to make it really positive.
I explained that the main reason for leaving was the need of new technical challenge and new projects to enhance my experience as a programmer.
I'm also accomplishing and finishing tasks in the best possible way, I've never talked bad about any person, so I'm ready to quit gracefully, ready to start my new adventure.

Money and Couple Problems: a Very Delicate Matter

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Why do couples argue about money and how to better organize home budget.

Money and personal values can happily go together with your couple life.
Let numbers speak.
Putting money goals together should boost your finances, like a sort of synergy effect (1 + 1 = 3), and in many real situations money and couple problems can be solved with a basic organization and a simple budget.

But which are the basis for happy domestic economy?

Step one: define common expenses

Just sit down together and take pen and paper, or open up an Excel worksheet if you prefer it and type in detail all monthly expenses which may be:
  • Rent
  • Electricity
  • Food
 ..and so on,.. please write down all the expenses in detail even if they are very small..

The goal is to quantify monthly expenses and to determine the exact amount to pay it all.

Step two: how to contribute to common expenses


Money and couple problems
Image courtesy of [sdmania] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
To find the formula to contribute to expenses and to organize the bank accounts are the key to solve this money and couple problems.
I've found two methods that seem interesting to me:

1. By giving 50% each. 

This method is very interesting when the two salaries are similar. Each one pays half of everything because each one consumes just half of everything.
I will not advice you to split expenses by two like saying: I pay the rent and you pay food and the rest of invoices.

2. Contributing in proportion to each one salary

If there is a difference of more than $500 between the two salaries, each one should contribute in proportion to the amount he/she makes.
This seems right to me because even if salaries are not similar the individual participation is fair.

Step three: create a common accounting system

Even if it is a very simple thing it is always good to keep track of money flow, when things are clear on paper (or computer screen) things are also clear on each one mind.

A common bank account comes handy to pay monthly expenses, once a contribution method is established.

The principle of paying one self first it also works when you are in couple, and in order to work it out you can set up a simple automatic money transfer system that will feed the individual bank accounts with savings.

Each one should keep and watch his/her individual bank account and so you can offer your loved one a present and it always be a surprise without affecting home economics!

And of course these are not the only systems, if you make $2000 more than your loved one you will want to share it with her (or he) so she can get as much personal money as you.
We are talking about love, not a corporation accounts report, and with love balance and sharing are the keywords.

How to make all this work

Each one could have a personal bank account that receive the salary.
Each month an automatic money transfer will pass the accorded amount to the common bank account which will pay common expenses, feed common saving projects and investments.
Each month you would sit together to check bank movements and correct the necessary things to attain the ideal budget together.

There are many more solutions to money and couple problems, of course, it all depend on you, the way you both like it and agree, all that seems fair to you both.

And so, they lived happily forever and ever by letting numbers speak.

How Does the Stock Market Work?

Sunday, November 10, 2013
The stock market is all about companies and dividends and before investing your money in stocks options you need to understand how does the stock market works.

The birth of a company

At the beginning there are entrepreneurs with an idea and a vision. That is transformed gradually into project, but to materialize it they need capital or assets such as machines. These assets are brought by investors, sometimes the contractors themselves. In exchange for these contributions, each investor was awarded with shares of the newly created company.
Then investors become shareholders each with a percentage of the company determined by their contribution. It is important to remember that an action is nothing more than a share of the company. You therefore become owner of a part of the machines, the stock of cash and everything the company owns. The company is therefore launched and can start its activity.

How does the stock market work?

Actions and shares, how does the stock market works?
Image courtesy of [photokanok] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The search for new capital on the stock exchange.

After some time the company needs to invest to continue to grow.
There are two options: to borrow money or to issue shares.
When it borrows money from a bank or investors, it works int he same way as it would with you with  your banking institution with regular repayments.
The second option is to offer shares on the stock market. Investors buying these shares bring new capital to the company.
This means that if the total number of shares of the company increases, the share of the company for each share or action decreases.
It is better for the company to have an action from the available 100 which gives right to 1% of the company than 1 action out of 10000 which gives the right to 0.01%. Investors are therefore the new owners of the business.

As long as they keep their shares they receive a part of the distributed dividends and have the right to vote at the general meeting of the company.

In the mean time the stock trade evolves. One day a shareholder decides to sell his shares, he sells them to the market price and gets back more value if the course has mounted since its purchase or a less value otherwise.
As soon as the shares are sold, the rights to the company are obviously lost.

How to buy shares on the stock exchange

There are two markets for the purchase of shares:

The primary market.

When the company goes public and offers directly to investors the shares at a fixed price determined by the company itself.

The secondary market.

It is when investors exchange shares between themselves by buying and selling in the stock market without the intervention of the company.
The price is then determined by a confrontation between supply and demand. Note that companies may decide to buy back some shares which is a sign of good health and good news for shareholders. The stock exchange is a market regulated by the financial markets authority in your country. The companies listed should have the obligation to provide information regularly about:
  • Their annual accounts once per year.
  • A financial report, an activity report and report of the Auditors.
Many companies have habit to publish quarterly financial and activity reports to inform investors.

Why not all companies are in the stock market

Do you see how does the stock market work? Some times investors are making decisions on the company and certain managers don´t like that. Specially if they don´t own a mayor number of stocks, they´ll have no voice.
Being ruled by investors add pressure on performance and reports but especially this imposes additional pressure on leaders. If the stock price is too low, the company could be acquired by a competitor or by investors who would impose a different management policy.

The leaders of the largest companies have part of their remuneration which consists of actions, they have therefore every interest in the fact that the course rises to make a profit on the future resale. Another advantage of a high stock price is that it facilitates the supply of new capital.

Let´s say that the company needs $ 1000, and its course is € 10 then it will issue 100 shares. If its course is € 1 it will be obliged to issue 1,000 shares.
The more it issues shares and the more the value of each is one 'diluted' or low, which is not interesting for investors.

What is a stock market index

A stock market index is a set of values which reflects the global movement of the companies that make it up.

Some examples in America are:
  • Dow Jones
  • S&P 500
  • NASDAQ
In Europe:
  • FTSE 100
  • CAC 40
  • Swiss Market Index
In Asia:
  • Nikkei 225
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index
Usually the number after the name represents the number of companies that are included in the index. For example, the CAC 40 index is made of 40 companies.

There are many other products that are traded on financial markets besides the stocks, such as bonds, warrants or raw materials. I did not go in the details on this article on how does the stock market work because they are more complex and need to be explained more extensively.
And now, do you understand how does the stock market work?

Investing on Dairy Cows

Monday, November 4, 2013
Have you ever heard of investing on dairy cows? It sounds funny, but it is a real thing! Here is how it works:

The investor buys heads of cattle (dairy cows), then he addresses to a specialized manager who rents them out for him at a selected breeder or farmer. The breeder provides work, buildings, equipment and land. He raises the cows, feeds them and pays for the illness and accident insurance.

Each cow who dies is replaced by another of the same quality, the owner suffers no loss of profits as everything is covered by the insurance. The farmer keeps the milk, manure and males.
The female offspring are shared between the farmer and the owner, after a levy designed to keep a young flock (this levy ensures sustainability of the flock).
Therefore one does not become a breeder... It is all about investing money.

At what interest rate? 

Investing on dairy cows, buy cattle and get the return
Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The owner (the investor) collects about 4-5% of its population a year in nature. He then has the choice between reinvesting its earnings (heifers will be added up to his flock each year, with an average growth rate of 4.2%, then the flock will double in 19 years) or sell.
If he decides to sell, the heifers due to him are sold as soon as they are adults.
In short, this is another investment not often proposed by bankers, but it is a way to diversificate passive income.


Small farmers can benefit from cattle he didn't have to pay for and owners (investors) can colaborate to grow our planet resources and get money from a real "tangible" thing.

An example of investing on dairy cows


There are two options for the return of benefits:
The grow option (keeping new born heifers and no yearly cash income)
A yearly cash income (by selling a fixed number of animals every year)

These are the costs and benefits.
- cost per head 1 167 €
- average yearly yield (in number of heifers) 4,20 %,


The thing is to start buying heads and chose the growth option for a number of years (let's say you grow your cattle) and then get the return of investing on dairy cows.

Let's say we start buying ten heads and then we buy two extra heifers for a period of five years.

Start 1 167 x 10 = 11 670
Buy two extra by year 1 167 x 2 = 2 334
In five years you will have 20 heads, worthy 23 340 wich will yield 980.28 euros/year

It seems that this idea comes from the the middle age, the old times of Richard Lion Hearted, where herd was considered as the real richness.
All this figures and conditions are samples here in France, to read more:
http://www.afic-ass.com/anglais/cadre_ang.asp?savoir=0&choix=ex
Cows will always be a growing market, what do you think?

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