Advice for Women: Never Get Married #WhiteRibbonDay

Yesterday was White Ribbon Day. A girl was walking around selling white ribbons that are meant to raise awareness about domestic violence against women. My manager and I both bought these ribbons and wore them. Many other people around work wore these ribbons as well.

I felt a bit weird wearing these ribbons because I really felt like I was showing off to others. The ribbons did raise awareness because I read a few articles online about violence against women, and supposedly “financial abuse” is a real thing that occurs.

According to the media, because women are encouraged to have children, they get pregnant and end up with the responsibility of looking after the children. They then leave the workforce and then become financially dependent on the husband who then has economic power over her. This makes her less likely to want to leave him and may mean that she accepts abuse because she needs him to pay for necessities like food and shelter.

When I thought about this more, I realized that women really need to stop looking to men. I agree that men should not be violent towards women, but women need to be careful as well. Women are partially to blame and need to take responsibility for their lives. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that women should not marry and should not have children. If a woman has a child, she has to get out of work and look after it. That is not good. She will lose money and be reliant on the man. Women love to think that men are caring beings who will save them, but this is a Hollywood fantasy. How can she be sure if the man she marries will always have this attitude? Humans are not robots. Humans are emotional, and emotions change over time.

My mother made the same mistake. She thought my dad was a caring and honest man. Turns out he was cheating on her in secret. He had a separate family with another woman and kept this secret. Sure it was the man who is at fault, but it doesn’t matter who is at fault.

It’s similar to crossing the road. Even if the traffic lights tell you that you should cross the road, you should always look left and right. If you cross the road without looking left and right expecting cars and trucks to follow the laws, you may be disappointed. Even if you cross the road legally, it makes no difference if a truck runs you over. It doesn’t matter if you’re right if you end up dead.

Likewise, even if it is discovered that the man is cheating with another woman, and it turns out that the man is ethically wrong, at the end of the day, he will be happily living with his new family and younger wife while the older wife is alone and likely broke due because she is out of the workforce because of pregnancy and responsibilities to look after children. She is also unable to remarry because she is old, and being old does not help with job hunting either. Even if she is ethically right, it makes no difference. 

Women are lucky in that when they are young they are physically attractive, so they can use this to make money whereas men simply cannot do this. I have heard of many young girls making a lot of money online selling sexual services using their webcams. There are also plenty of jobs out there for women that do not include sex work. Many people are very willing to hire young girls simply because they look good, and young girls in customer service roles are more likely to boost business because customers like to deal with beautiful women. Women then have it easy when they are young and pretty, but they should not waste their time and blow their good looks on marriage because marriage doesn’t really provide anything. If they marry a rich man, they might get ahead, but it’s risky because a rich man is like to have a very strong prenup, and rich men will almost certainly cheat. In fact, even if women marry, they will get old, and when they get old, there is a good chance that any man will cheat on her or try to divorce her because old age makes women unattractive. This is not nice, I am aware, but it has to be said. This is the reason why marriage exists, in my opinion. Women know that when they get old they will become unattractive, so marriage exists in order to bind the man to the woman so that he will not stray and seek a younger female. 

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Women should focus on their careers and focus on saving up money for themselves because money in investments will look after her better than any man would. Money will feed and clothe her. Investments will never abuse or rape her. Investments like shares and ETFs will pay her dividends. Men may pay their women an allowance, but they may abuse their women as well.

I’ve got some female friends and they are always telling me about the fights they get into with their boyfriends. I just tell them not to bother with relationships, but they never listen. If they break up or have a fight with a boyfriend, they’re usually back with him or they get another guy within days, and many women say they need men because men provide security.

Girls need to focus on being financially independent rather than look for a man to provide for them because men are not reliable investments. Girls need to invest for themselves. Shares will pay dividends silently and reliably, and shares in good companies will grow these dividends over time. With men, you never know what will happen. Men react differently to how pretty girls are. If women are young and pretty, the man will splash cash on them, but when she is not, he will close up his wallet. He might cheat, he might divorce, or he might be abusive. All in all, for a woman (and even for a man), marriage fails the cost-benefit analysis and risk-benefit analysis. It’s a bad investment. Women need to go their own way.

Dividends vs Capital Gains

There are many people who claim that dividend investing is a bad idea because you end up paying more tax.

Although it depends on country, generally dividends are classified as income, and income is usually heavily taxed whereas capital gains are normally not taxed until you sell the investments. Investors typically sell all their investments when they retire. When investors retire, they are typically earning zero income (because they’ve stopped working), so any tax they pay as a result of capital gains tax is usually minimal.

If you invest in dividend-paying stocks, you are being taxed on those dividends, and in countries with progressive taxation, the tax you pay is usually very high because your salary from work is counted as income as well.

There is also an argument made that companies that pay high dividends sacrifice capital gains because money that the company pays out as dividends could have been reinvested back into the company for expansion.

One in hand is better than two in the bush

While these are all fair arguments, I still believe that investing in dividends is better even if you pay more tax. The reason is due to risk. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. When companies pay dividends, you get cold hard cash in your hands. If instead you sacrifice your dividends and instead allow the company to reinvest that money, you don’t know if that reinvestment will work or not. Most people employing a buy-and-hold strategy typically wait multiple decades expecting capital gains to accumulate throughout that time, and when they retire they sell their investments. However, if you wait three or four decades and amass large capital gains, what if, just before retirement, there is a very large global recession that sends asset prices down? Decades of work has been flushed down the drain.

Money printing, negative interest rates, automated trading, and high leverage have made capital gains unreliable

Dividends are simple. A company sells something, they make money, pay their expenses, and a portion of whatever is leftover is given to investors as dividends. Dividend payments therefore depend on the quality of businesses, the quality of their management, products, services, etc.

Capital gains, however, are completely different. In today’s world of constant money printing and stimulus and high leverage products that increase volatility, it’s hard to trust asset prices because asset prices can be instantly manipulated. Asset prices are now so divorced from reality that it’s difficult to know what real or fundamental value is. If a bubble never pops and is continually inflated, is it a bubble?

In my opinion, the lost two decades in Japan following the crash in its asset price bubble in the early ’90s will play out in Western countries. Japan was an economic leader but the crash of the ’90s was its peak, and since then they have simply tried to reinflate their economy with no success, and the economy has gone sideways ever since.

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The Nikkei 225 since the ’80s

What has played out in Japan will play out in Western countries where peak growth has been realized. We will see a zigzag pattern as stock markets crash and then are reinflated before crashing again, and this continuous forever. The best way to make money in such an economy is to forget about prices and focus on dividends.

Dividends and capital gains are not necessarily a trade-off

Empirically, dividend-paying stocks don’t necessarily perform worse. Below is a chart of the S&P 500 index versus the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index.

Dividend Aristocrats vs S&P500
The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index vs the S&P 500

Source: https://www.indexologyblog.com/2014/12/12/inside-the-sp-500-the-dividend-aristocrats/

Dealing with Dissatisfaction in Life

I’ve been having boring days at work. I go to work and I don’t really have any motivation to work. I just do the minimum. If something is due soon, I do it. Otherwise, I literally just daydream. I could look out the window or stare at the wall for hours. I have a to-do list that I follow. I just work my way through the list doing one item at a time, almost like a machine.

My manager left in the afternoon because his family had an appointment with the dentist, so I took the opportunity to go the gym (there is a gym at work). While at the gym, I noticed something interesting. If I imagined that there was a beautiful girl watching me, I worked harder. My lifts at the gym became stronger. I started to use this technique and noticed that my workout improved quite a bit, and after the workout I felt really energized. I also employed this technique at work. While working I imagined there was a beautiful blonde girl watching me from behind. I am not sure if it helped me become more productive because I still felt unproductive, but maybe I was more productive than normal. 

I do admit that I am feeling empty. Life is getting boring, and I can just feel myself getting into that trap of trying to spend money to feel happy. Luckily I am quite disciplined. My total expenses equals my income from dividends. I am quite a disciplined person. I eat a healthy plant-based diet, I go the gym fairly regularly, and I invest all the money I earn from work. If these are not the mark of a disciplined man, I don’t know what is.

Nevertheless, I still feel dissatisfied, and I keep wondering what I can do to cheer myself up. There are times when I go on Tinder and start swiping, but then I think more carefully about what I’m doing. I think about all the negative experiences with dating I’ve had in the past, so I simply uninstall the app. I’ve done this about three times recently. Because I watch Netflix, I’ve been watching many Hollywood movies, and of course Hollywood movies almost always promote romantic love, so those urges to be intimate with a woman come back to me, but I know better than to give in to these urges. I feel a need to always be resisting temptation and to always be disciplined. I certainly give into female intimacy sometimes but I always correct myself and get myself back in line. I give into temptation often, but where I differ from other people is that I don’t give in completely.

Appeasing Donald Trump Supporters

The week before the US elections, I remember being overcome by a surreal feeling. I was worried because I feared Donald Trump would win. I was always concerned about this, so many months ago I purchased over $20,000 worth of GDX (a gold mining ETF) and about three weeks before the election I bet $50 on Trump to win at $5.00 odds. I had a feeling the events of Brexit would play out again. Just by browsing various Internet forums, I could feel the distrust in the American people. I could feel the pain and anger they were feeling. I knew that the markets were wrong. Those who feel they have been disrespected by the elite live in a completely different world to the investors making the bets.

It turned out I was right. Donald Trump won. It all started to go wrong a little before lunch. I was watching both the betting odds as well as the ASX200, the main Australia stock market index. The ASX200 surged initially but at lunch it completely turned around and started to crash. The betting odds also turned around. I went for a walk in the gardens during lunch. When I left the office the probability of a Trump win was about 20% but when I came back it was around 60% and was climbing fast.

Everyone around me was shocked. I am pretty sure everyone expected and wanted Hillary to win. One of my coworkers I think is a closet Trump supporter but by far most people didn’t want Trump to win.

My concern is that this victory empowers the crazies. The racists and sexists who believe it’s okay to bully women and non-whites will have the power of the government behind them. It is illegal in workplaces to sexually harass women, but when the harassment is done by those more powerful than you, you have no choice but to submit. There’s no telling whether Trump’s racism and sexism will result in policies that will disadvantage women or non-whites. Some people say he will moderate his position. Just because someone boasts about grabbing women “by the pussy” it doesn’t mean he will necessarily overturn legislation that criminalizes such behavior.

Among those who are disgusted by Donald Trump’s behavior, there is a lot of wishful thinking. The reason why the markets were wrong about a Trump victory was because no one wanted to believe that it was possible, so the suggestion that it could happen was easily dismissed. There was a lot of wishful thinking, and I think yet again people are engaging in wishful thinking by entertaining the idea that Trump will moderate his views or that he was only acting crazy during the campaign.

Supposedly Trump was elected mainly by working class people in swing states who were fed up with wealth inequality and the dominance of Wall Street. I don’t see how Donald Trump will fix any of that. His idea of applying a tariff on Chinese goods will only lead to a protectionist trade war. China will simply retaliate by not buying American exports such as Boeings, and this will only lead to more job losses. Meanwhile, the American working class is fixated by feminism, multiculturalism, Muslims, and homosexuals as if they are the reasons why they’re poor. It is as if rich people eat cake and everyone else fights over the crumbs. Instead of focusing on why the rich are eating all the cake, the white working class is fixated by the crumbs eaten by a Mexican person.

Now more than ever, the idea of a universal basic income is starting to sound good. Basically you tax the rich and give, say, $10,000 per year to everyone. This ensures that everyone has enough money to live. Technological advances through automation and robots as well as artificial intelligence as well as free flow of labor and capital will all create immense chaos. It is all part of the creative destruction of capitalism, and even if, as a whole, we benefit, there will be losers, and there needs to be a way of appeasing these losers. The easiest way to do it is to simply transfer money to them or, to make it fairer, to transfer money to everyone so that no one needs to work.

All in all, I’m trying not to think too much about politics. We don’t have much control over what happens in the world, so we should try to think about what we can control.