Deliberate Ignorance of Net Worth

When I started working, I tracked my net worth religiously. I did it every month. I was living with my parents and saving 80% of my salary. I invested in shares, ETFs, etc, and now I am putting a little into crypto.

However, something that annoyed me was that everyone kept asking about my net worth and they would automatically compare me to this person or that person. Gradually I increased my savings rate to 100% of salary and lived off my investments, but now I don’t bother with checking my net worth. For some reason, everyone keeps trying to pry into my finances. So now I don’t keep track of my net worth. I simply spread all my pay into many different investments and don’t even look at it. I don’t keep track of the performance. I keep myself deliberately ignorant.

People keep asking me when I am going to buy a house, when I will marry, when I will have children, how much I’ve saved, why I am still living with my parents, when will I grow up and be a man, etc, and now I simply tell them that I am a minimalist so don’t want much. I don’t want to be burdened by debt or obligations or social customs. I also don’t keep track of anything so I don’t know my net worth.

The benefit of this is that all the consumerism is gone. People cannot compare anything to me and I too cannot compare myself to others simply because I don’t know how much I am worth. So long as the dividends come in, I just live off it. This I believe is what money is all about: living and having freedom. However, an obsession over net worth distracts people into thinking money is about comparing yourself with others to see who is better, who is “more of a man” or who “has his life together.”

After living like this for a while I found that it is more calming. I no longer compare myself to others and others cannot compare themselves to me. Because I am limited by how much I can spend because I can only spend investment income, I cannot splurge on anything. This keeps me from indulging in consumerism.

My main point is that net worth is important but not as important as passive income. Passive income can keep you alive but net worth doesn’t necessarily do so as your wealth may be locked up in illiquid assets. Furthermore, an obsession on net worth seems to make you obsessive with consumerism and materialism as you’re comparing yourself with others. At the end of the day what matters is freedom, and freedom comes from having no debt, no obligations, and passive income.

Why People Hate Charity Workers

After finishing work today, I went to the gym, spending approximately one hour on cardio and weights. While walking to the train station, I saw a young man smiling at me. He had a World Vision tag around his neck, so he was clearly working for the charity and was asking for money.

This young charity worker was smiling and he was saying friendly things. He noticed I wore a blue shirt, so he made a comment about it.

I smiled at him and walked off. Most people didn’t smile. They ignored the charity worker and pretended he wasn’t there.

On the train, I wonder to myself why charities bother with this method of collecting money. I understand these workers work on commission and only get paid if they raise money, but charity organizations need to understand these hustlers do great damage to the reputation of the charity and the brand. These workers are not genuine. They greet you will false smiles and fake friendliness, and this does not work on a population that is already very cynical, a population desperate for authenticity.

The lesson from all this is to be genuine. Be yourself. Express your true colours. Don’t try to hard to fit the mould. People are not that dumb. They can often detect fakeness. There is so much fakeness in this world now that, owing to scarcity, authenticity is highly valued.