21 February 2021

The Employee Consumer Pays All Taxes

Probably due to the absolute lack of financial literacy education in U.S. public schools, there's a persistent mistaken belief that taxing "the other guy" more means that they are the ones paying the higher tax bill, not the people voting for the tax (which is often why they go ahead and vote that way). 

So your average person hears "raise taxes on corporations!" or property owners, or "the rich", etc., and they think, "yeah! Make THEM pay!"

They don't though. You do. 

The cost gets passed on to you in the asking price of goods and services that you buy, and in reduced wages (or wages that grow at a slower rate).  

The employee, uninvested consumer pays all taxes, period. 

That's what makes memes like this one I found this morning funny: everything in it is just basic fact, but it's that so many people are ignorant to this reality that makes it funny:

(I'm not sure if the pic got cut off at the bottom or if the creator did that on purpose; I was hoping that the final punchline would be that the added cost of rent and the wage cut/reduction of hours would total to $3000, lol.)

13 February 2021

Free Webinar on C. America Teak Investing

Ever thought of buying into forestry projects in Central America to tap into sustainable wealth generation with a positive environmental impact, and potentially gain a second residency in a foreign country? 

Probably not. I'm guessing you've not heard of this before. Here's how you can find out more, just for the cost of some of your time. 

I signed up for this free webinar (via Zoom) that's going to take place on February 16th, 5pm EST (17:00 -5 GMT): 

This aligns with my interests on multiple levels, not the least of which pertains to what's going on in my corner of the world right now...


08 February 2021

Why I Increasingly Don't Care About "The Disadvantaged"

Harsh headline, but it's the most succinct way I can sum up what I am going to write about in this post. At the outset here I'll throw out this disclaimer: this is not about people who suffer a misfortune that they did not bring upon themselves. Examples: someone crippled in an accident caused by a drunken driver, someone with a congenital birth defect, someone who lost everything in an accidental fire, etc. Rather, this is about those of you out there who are constantly presented with opportunity, and you respond by doing nothing. 

I frequently post referral links to programs I participate in that profit me. I put in the time and effort to first find out if they're legit, and when I have first-hand proof that they are legit, I share them. It is absolutely meant to profit me, but the types I like to focus on and share are the ones that also profit you; I go for the win-win stuff, for both our sakes. 

Why do this? I do it because I have a long standing personal belief that showing others how to strengthen their financial house also strengthens mine. The less their needs are unfulfilled, the less they want what is mine.

(Now before you dipshit socialists get all excited and think that I'm admitting that your idiotic beliefs are valid, I'm not and they're not. What I'm talking about there is creation of value, of wealth, and its mutually beneficial, voluntary exchange, not your lazy ass, parasitic, narcissist demands that everyone be forced by .gov redistribution at gunpoint to support  you and the things you like simply because you exist. Forced redistribution doesn't strengthen my house because it (temporarily) strengthens yours, it weakens mine and puts sand under the foundation of yours: you need me, but I do not need you, so guaranteed I will remove myself from your reach and leave you with nothing, every time.)

Today Bitcoin rocketed higher on the news that Tesla has made a move that many have been aware of as a looming trend: corporations adding Bitcoin to their treasuries as a hedge against the U.S. Dollar, which due to rampant debasement (money printing) is now a liability to hold.

I use and have recommended numerous programs that help people tap into this action, such as:
  • Lolli - a means of earning Bitcoin on your everyday purchases (i.e. food, things you need anyway)
  • Fold - an opportunity to win a little Bitcoin every day, totally free, plus via shopping opportunities
  • BlockFi - a platform where you can deposit Bitcoin you've earned and begin earning 6% annually on it, paid in Bitcoin, offering a $10 bonus once you've deposited $100 worth of crypto into your BlockFi Interest Account
  • Gemini - a crypto trading platform offering a $10 bonus on your first $100 USD traded within 30 days of opening (soon to offer interest earning opportunities like BlockFi, too)
  • Coinbase - another trading platform, also offering a $10 bonus once you've traded at least $100 of crypto
If you had taken advantage of these opportunities I've researched for Bitcoin, you would be on today's rocket ride, potentially with a 30% gain right out of the gate: with $100 you can first sign up for Gemini or Coinbase, make your first purchase, collect your $10 bonus, then sign up for the other of the two, transfer your hodling to the new account, get your second $10 bonus, then transfer it all to BlockFi, get the third $10 bonus and begin earning 6%! The whole time you could have been getting more satoshis with Lolli and Fold!

Similar programs I use and have promoted before, ones that pertain to assets other than cryptos include:
  • Acorns - a way to break into stock and bond investing with "spare change" from your everyday spending, plus bonuses from select merchants, with a $5 bonus just for signing up
  • The Acorns browser extension - automated alerts providing you with notification that a bonus opportunity exists for the merchant whose website you are visiting so you don't have to try to remember them all
  • Worthy Bonds - $10 "micro bonds" that fund U.S. small businesses, paying a fixed 5% compounding rate (they were giving away one $10 bond just for signing up, but this one currently isn't available for new sign-ups; you've missed this one, too!)
  • M1 Finance - a self-directed investment firm offering brokerage and retirement accounts, currently offering a $30 sign-up bonus on $100 deposited to a brokerage or $500 to an IRA account
All of these programs notify me when someone takes advantage of the opportunities that I share with the world. Some of them even show me the progress my referrals have made toward completing the offers. 

You know what I see when I look in on those status updates?

Most of you quit before reaching the finish line. 

When I open up financial media websites these days, many of them are full of narratives about "the growing wealth gap", "increasing inequality", "the shrinking middle class", etc. Setting aside the interpretation of the how, the why, interpretations of the data and their actual relevance, this is a dominant theme these days: people are falling behind, or believe they are falling behind. 

Yet when I put in the time to explore opportunities that virtually anyone can take advantage of, and make the effort to describe what they are, how to use them, and point people directly to them; when the people behind these programs put their energy and effort to engineering and constructing them; when it literally cannot be made any easier for you to jump onboard and profit; a majority of you stop short of the finish line, which is basically doing nothing (in fact, it's worse than doing nothing!).

I just have to sit back and wonder: is there any point to trying? Should I just keep all of this stuff to myself since most people, even ones who claim they're "go-getters" and want to better their situations, don't? Have we reached a point where the vast majority either openly or secretly are sitting around waiting for Uncle Scam to just steal from people who have built themselves up and hand it off to those who've never even glanced at a work boot? Or is it that most of you actually don't mind the thought of going to work for 30-40 years where someone else dictates how much you can earn, to maybe retire someday after you're old and used up?

Why should I even give a thought to people who could improve their situations, but just don't?

If it sounds like I'm angry, I am. Because I've worked my way up to a relatively comfortable spot, I get bombarded daily with accusations of having somehow done something wrong, that I don't deserve it, that my wealth is "an injustice", that it should be taken from me, blah blah blah, even as I try to show people some of the ways I've pulled off what I have and how they can, too. 

Then I see, first hand, what a lot of you actually do when you're offered a hand-up to reach the bottom rungs of the ladder. 

Well fuck you then.*

If you're finding this post personally insulting, good! If I am describing you and it's pissing you off, ask yourself this: why are you getting defensive about your shitty behavior? How is repeating shitty behavior over and over again going to improve your situation? CHANGE! GET OFF YOUR ASS! NOT LATER, RIGHT NOW!

People like me are literally growing wealthier every single day. A few of us, myself included, keep trying to get more of you on this ride. Wealth is not a zero sum game, we do not have to hide any of this stuff from you, in fact the opposite is true! 

There is not a mutually beneficial way for us to do this for you, however. We can lay out many paths forward for you, draw a map and hand it to you, but you have to travel the path on your own two feet. We can't carry you, and you will get absolutely nowhere if you won't even take the first step.

You have a shrinking number of days on this earth. What are you waiting for?


* I don't sincerely mean "fuck you", that's just to punctuate the point here (Unless you're a socialist/communist, then absolutely, fuck you, I hope you die. Well, ok, just the ones who push forced collectivization. You folks forming voluntary co-ops/collectives, you're fine, calm down). But seriously, people, this stuff has never been easier to get into and profit from than it is now, and as hard as some of us try to get you prospering, you just don't! It's hard to make this much easier than free, and absolutely none of it is going to work for you without you!

07 February 2021

Learning Spanish with Duolingo

As part of my ex-pat ambitions, I've been learning Spanish. Several of the places I've explored and will be exploring in the near future are those where Spanish is the dominant language, so I've taken to studying it. 

I've been using a free app, Duolingo, to do this. You can use this app to not only learn Español, but dozens of languages, without paying a penny if you don't want to (like a lot of opt-in products, you get more features if you do subscribe). 

I've typically spent just five to ten minutes per day with the app, but today I went on a bit of spree and worked with it for about a half hour. 

My recommendation: speak out loud the words and sentences you are reviewing as you go, and when prompted to type in translations, use your phone's speech-to-text feature instead. That kind of practice really helps to cement in your brain the new language you are attempting to pick up. In my experience, this makes the lessons more fun, too. 

Maybe some day I'll return to here, Bogota, Colombia, to try it again with more language skills under my belt (and probably Cartagena; I really enjoyed my brief visit to Bogota, but it is at a relatively high elevation, 8600 feet, so I'll be keeping it on my "Southern Hemisphere Summer" list as ¡yo no quiero estamo frío! :)  ).

A panoramic shot I took of Bogota from the monastery atop Cerro de Monserrate, 27 December 2018

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