Now I’ve seen everything!
Why I’m Bullish on the American Tech Sector
Now is a great time to invest in the American technology sectors, for example, investing in companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
The internet is the next frontier. It is highly disruptive and will grow strongly in the future at the expense of many traditional industries. For example, the rise of the internet has destroyed traditional print news and media.
Are we in a bubble?
The price earnings ratio of the tech sector is very favourable.
What if there is a crash?
There is a possibility that we are about to face GFC 2. However, there is quantitative easing available for the government to correct for any downturn.
Convention economic theory states that printing money makes no difference for an economy because it is offset by inflation. However, I believe this is not the case.
As the government prints money, it uses printed money to buy up bonds and effectively lower interest rates. As interest rates go down, businesses borrow more, expand, and produce more. This higher output should push prices down.
Even if there is inflation as a result of money printing, this is not necessarily harmful for the economy. Inflation will push up the price of shares, bonds, and property, which will increase wealth.
Higher inflation will also encourage hard work. If the price of food were to double, wouldn’t you work harder just to survive?
How to invest in the American tech sector
Americans can buy shares directly in, say, Apple or Google. There are also ETFs available that invest in the entire sector.
For Australians, buying American shares directly is difficult and costly, so ETFs are the best option. An ETF I use is the Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF that trades on the ASX under ticker symbol NDX.
Fear of Being Fired and Fear of the Future
Today is Sunday. Last night I stayed up until three in the morning. I woke up today at nine, which means I got six hours of sleep, which is not good. It would explain why I feel so horrible today. I don’t want to sleep in because I know I’ll have trouble waking up early tomorrow for work. I know poor sleep increases cortisol and destroys muscle. I had a lunch catch up with a friend booked in today, but I didn’t feel like going, so I texted him and told him I was busy. I didn’t get into the detail. He seemed cool with it.
It’s all hitting me, I suppose–my girlfriend ignoring me, my career completely stagnating, my lack of sleep, my lack of good friends. I’ve recently been mulling over in my head a new income goal. I currently earn $80k a year in income. About $5k of that is from investments (conservative estimate) and $75k is from my salary. I aim to increase gross income from all sources by $5k per year. This means next year I should be earning $85k and the year after that I’ll be earning $90k and so forth. I can increase my income by getting promotions or progression at work, but if that fails (and it probably will) I can save up more and rely on investment income. I am also going to get serious about starting a side business on the internet so I can earn money online. I need some goal to keep me motivated otherwise I will start to get lazy and depressed.
I’ve heard rumours at work that senior management will fire a few people in the next few weeks. Supposedly they have a few people they want to target. I can only hope I don’t get fired, but even if I do get fired, it’s not like I love my job or anything. I’m not fully certain what I’ll do if I get fired, whether I’ll hunt for another similar job, start over and do something completely different, or fly over to Asia and retire. There are always options, I suppose, so I don’t have too much fear, and I do have savings. I’ve always been paranoid about the future. I avoided marriage, mortgage, and children for this reason alone. This is the thing about the future: it is always uncertain and scary. You want to give yourself the best opportunity as possible to tackle the future. That means you need good health, no debt, and no massive obligations or commitments.
Love and Frugality
Last night I watched a romantic movie called Before Sunrise. It is about a young boy and girl who meet on a train, get off at Vienna, and spend the night in the city before they need to separate from each other the next day. I thought the movie was absolutely beautiful and I suppose by watching it I feel great loss that I never really fell in love with anyone. I’ve been on quite a few dates (most of which are first dates) and had one relationship that lasted for a year, but otherwise I’ve lead quite a simple life. I would love to fall in love like they do in the movies.
Of course, the frugal side of me tells me that just because something is glamorized in a movie it doesn’t mean I should follow it. Movies, TV shows, books, and other forms of art have a way of making you desire things more and creating greater expectations. Greater expectations normally lead you into spending more money than you otherwise would.
Saving up money is simple. You simply don’t spend much. Of course, if it were this simple, why are most people living under enormous debt? I think it is because most people have high expectations. An average person may earn $50,000 per year, but if his expectations are such that he needs to spend $50,000 per year in order to afford the things he feels he needs, he will not save anything. However, if his expectations are lowered. If he were to suppress his desires such that he can live on $10,000, he’d be able to save much more.
Where do expectations come from? There are two sources: internal and external. Expectations can come from yourself when you tell yourself that you need something or that you don’t need something. But expectations can come from others: friends, girlfriends, TV, movies, salesmen, etc.
When we talk to ourselves, we can try to convince ourselves that we don’t need something that we may desire. To react to external influences, we can avoid friends who spend more than we do.
To suppress feelings of love or desire, it is probably best if I avoid romance movies or books. If I keep watching these movies, I desire more.
The point I am making is that love is the tool that other people use to make you desire something, and desire leads to greater expectation, and this normally leads to greater spending. Marketers try to make you love a product so that you buy it. Women try to make you love them so that you spend money on them. It is sad then that in order to be successfully frugal that you must suppress your love. They say love is a beautiful thing, and it can be, but when I look at all the examples of love in the real world, I have trouble separating acts of love from acts of greed, envy, or hedonism. From one perspective, love is beautiful, but look at a different perspective and love is also vile or vulgar.
Can I live a life without love or desire? I doubt it. I am willing to spend money to pursue love, but it must be controlled.