An Opportunity To Speak With Consumerism Commentary

I had the pleasure of speaking with Flexo & Tom from Consumerism Commentary the other day about the genesis of this site, The Samurai Fund, as well as various Codes of Honor.  To go soon after one of my favorite authors, David Bach of the Automatic Millionaire series is a treat!

Why is it always so funny to hear yourself speak?  For a couple minutes before the interview I tested out my native Australian accent.  Realizing the audience would hail mostly from the US, I decided to scratch my bush tongue and speak in a more conventional “American” accent.  Hope the enunciation was clear.  Thanks to my mates Julian McMahon who plays Dr. Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck and John Noble aka Dr. Walter Bishop on Fringe for the inspiration!

To listen to podcast #43 on Consumerism Commentary click here.  When the Plutus Awards come out, they’ve got my vote for “Best Podcast” for sure!

Three main points of contention in the interview:

1) How much do you think luck plays in investment success?

2) Do you believe people can truly retire after 20 years of work, no matter what job they do?

3) Why are some people against the code of “get in first, leave last” during the initial phase of one’s career?

Readers, feel free to share your opinions on any of the above points and provide feedback from the podcast!

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”


Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Investor Junkie says

    Great interview to hear the voice behind the site!

    1. Short term, less than 5 years very much so. Longer, not so much
    2. I define retirement where your standard of living would not decrease no matter what you do (or not do) as a job. If someone who doesn’t make a lot of money, stays that way yes, I think it’s possible. Obviously the more money it should make the easier. The book Stop Acting Rich” shows otherwise though.
    3. Me personally, I’m not. As far as others I think it comes down to their goals and what motivates them. I really don’t think it’s an issue, as I’ve met a lot of lazy old people :-) In general we humans are too short term gain orientated.
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Do You Value Your Time Or Your Money More? =-.

  2. David @ MBA briefs says

    1) How much do you think luck plays in investment success? My opinion is you make your own luck; the more you know about the market and the companies you’re investing in the more luck you’ll have.

    2) Do you believe people can truly retire after 20 years of work, no matter what job they do? Every active duty military person I know who retired after 20 years moves on to do something else. Even if you hit the lottery I would think you’d get bored eventually and have to find some kind of work to do.

    3) Why are people against the code of “get in first, leave last” during the initial phase of one’s career? I haven’t made it all the way through the podcast yet but I think this is more of a generational thing; boomers don’t seem to have a problem with being the first in and the last out, and most GenX’rs I know don’t have a problem with it either. I don’t work with enough GenY to say one way or the other with them.

    Congrats on your 1st podcast!
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Easy ways to improve your memory =-.

  3. Money Reasons says

    Great job in the podcase interview!

    I agree with “Investor Junkie”, it was great to hear the voice behind the site!”

    1) How much do you think luck plays in investment success?
    I think luck it a big part of investing! Look at the investors in Worldcom and Enron, both companies look like investment stalwarts, but as we now know, the investors in those companies were very unlucky. Then on the opposite side of the court you have “Microsoft” that basically created a product (DOS, a CP/M like variant, operating system) that the big boy of the day (IBM) didn’t think had any value. Initial investors in that company are very rich!

    2) Do you believe people can truly retire after 20 years of work, no matter what job they do?
    To a point! Ironically, the less you make, the more intelligent, frugal and determined you will need to be to accomplish the 20 year goal. If not intelligence, you at least need to follow instructions in some of the financial books to the T, and even then cut corners on expenses more than they recommend… Many sacrifices and creative maneuvers will need to be made at the lower income levels. For middle to upper levels, as long as we follow common sense, and some of your Codes of Honor, it’s a much easier task to retire in 20 years…

    3) Why are people against the code of “get in first, leave last” during the initial phase of one’s career?
    I think we remember when we were kids how much fun we had. Those were good times, and the raging hormones made it difficult to concentrate on business issues. Plus we were naive and idealistic (movies mold us into thinking life is something that it is). But you are right putting the time is when you are young is a important to success in employment. Other important elements to success (IMHO) would be the combinations of focus, effort and communication (or social interactions).

  4. admin says

    @Investor Junkie
    Donno, I have to argue that long term investment success is much to do with luck too. Maybe less so, but still way more than 60%… and 80%+ for short term. Long term returns generally just hug the index = zero alpha.

    Interesting definition of retirement. I guess I definite retirement as “absolute freedom”.

    The American accent was OK yeah? I’m assuming so as you didn’t bring up any quirky pangs in the intonations!

  5. admin says

    @David @ MBA briefs
    David, I totally agree with ‘making your own luck.’ My father told me this several times growing up, and it has stuck with me.

    I don’t know how people can’t get bored doing the same thing straight for 20 years! Actually, most people don’t, since the average job change is like 7 or something. It would be great if this site was still around in 9-10 years, to keep me busy for several hours a day when I’m hobbling around.

    Still don’t get why even the younger generation would be against getting in first, leaving last. Maybe it’s just the internet demographic.

  6. admin says

    @Money Reasons
    I really like the point you make about those who make LESS having an easier time retiring after 20 year. When you make less, you figure out how to make due. Whereas, every step of the way when we make more, our lifestyle/inflation creep hits, and we end up screwing ourselves with too much leverage.

    The temptation is hard for upper income earners! Imagine if every year you came into a wad of cash… say $100,000 after taxes that just sits there. You’d be so tempted to spend it on SOMETHING… which may or may not improve the quality of your life. I know I have pangs of desire to buy an outrageous sports car every year, and I’ve been good for the past 3 yrs.

    Regarding point #3, yes, indeed… the “EQ” vs. the “IQ”… or emotional quotient. So key, and future in depth topics of discussion! Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. Investor Junkie says

    @ admin

    Regarding long term investing… I look at this way, good (and bad) luck eventually catches up with you. No different than going to Las Vegas. If you stay at the table long enough, eventually it will catch up with you. Skill is the one that either wins more, but more often in investing looses less than say an index.

    No different than in business (which I consider both very inter-related to investing and I wanna write a blog post about). You might be lucky in the short term and sell a business for 1 mil. If you continue with future business successes, than it’s not luck.

    Regarding “absolute freedom” I do too! To me, retirement in the traditional term = death! Both figuratively and literally. I know of too many people that died soon after retiring.

    I never know if you are serious or not about things like your “accent”. Goday mate?
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Do You Value Your Time Or Your Money More? =-.

  8. Money Funk says

    So you’re Australian, eh? Had no clue. Did a good voice over. ;)

    I know nothing about investing (unfortunate to me), but I do think luck does play a part in. Although, I am not sure at what percentage. Then you have those people that have a knack for that sort of thing. Their luck combined with knowledge/skill are a killer combination.

    And i do think you can retire in 20 years if you play your finances right. No matter what job. I hear people living off what I make and have a great retirement account (unfortunate, not me again. but working on it. starting late). And you’re not going to die after retirement, its time to live out what you want to do.

    BTW, I really liked what you had to say about the whole retirement issue; working all those years to say, ‘that’s it’. I don’t want that as much as you. So I am slowly doing something about it. To live and work the life I want. I think Tim Ferriss has something going good about the whole mini-retirements in his book.
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – I am going on a diet! =-.

  9. admin says

    @Investor Junkie
    It’s scary to think about dying early due to an early retirement. I read a couple of those studies, how retiring early can take 7 years off your life. Yikes.

    BTW, it’s “G’day mate” not “Goday mate” :)

    @Money Funk
    Yeah, don’t want to work all these years and then say “that’s it.” I’d be sorely disappointed. I realize there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…. so it’s best to pick up some gold coins a long the way and maybe give them to others as you realize you don’t really need so much.

    It’s fortunate you know very little about investing. You could have lost a lot over this past decade! Good luck to you and your journey!

  10. Daniel says

    3. For me, the main reason is because I don’t see how the effort will be rewarded. I am in a very structured company, and I know that I will not be eligible for a promotion for the next 6 months. I know the goals that have been set and if I make progress on them, I will receive a moderate salary increase, with the opportunity for another 1 or 2 percent increase. For a few hundred dollars a year, it worth the extra hours?

    I also know that the quality of my work is a lot more important than the quality. My boss would be the only person who would notice that I work late, but the truth is that in the past two months, I have been noticed by him, his supervisors, and managers for the quality of work I have done. When I worked on an important project and presented to the company VPs, it had a much larger impact than staying late

    Time doesn’t matter as much as getting larger projects and doing a good job on those. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to present, even when more experienced employees were willing to do it. And it paid off very well.

  11. Jane says

    Thanks for sharing your thought Sam! I was imaging someone like Hiro Nakamota from the TV shoe Heroes instead! Lol.

    The older I get, the more I think about mortality. It is sad so many die so young, and that’s good encouragement to really try and do our best and have as much fun as we can in life!

    Looking forward to hearing more podcasts with you.

  12. Investor Junkie says

    @ admin

    ““G’day mate” not “Goday mate” ” Yea I know. I hit the submit button too fast and you don’t have the plugin to edit after posting. It’s also lose not loose!
    .-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..Do You Value Your Time Or Your Money More? =-.

  13. Little House says

    Okay, I’m currently listening to the pod cast and right away I’m thinking:

    1) Luck! And timing. Okay, and intelligence. The fact that you were thinking of investing in stocks years ago and hit it as just the right time (the dot.com boom!), shows you have a bit of all three.

    During the dot.com boom, I got in at the tail end and was out of a job a year later. Bad luck on my part. I was too wet behind the ears to even think about investing, but it did get me thinking years later.

    2) I disagree with you, I don’t think everyone can retire after 20 years of working, unless a person is really financially savvy. There’s nothing guaranteed in life, that has been proven over the past two years. The people I know who are nearing retirement, at least in the teaching profession, are putting off retirement for a couple of more years because they don’t feel like they can afford it.

    Yes, of course death is a guarantee at some point, but we can’t go around worrying about dying, now can we?

    I do agree with your view on “do what you love.” I think that people need to constantly work towards a goal, even after “retirement”, or whatever that means.

    3) In complete agreement, I do believe in working hard. So many corporations over hire because many people put in little effort, requiring more people to complete a project or position.

    During my corporate days, I worked twice as hard as my colleagues. They would stand around and chat while I worked my butt off. I quickly realized, corporate world wasn’t for me and got out.

    I really like your 30/30/3 house rule, I’m totally with you on that! I live in LA and saw the housing market skyrocket out of control. I couldn’t understand why people were buying fixer uppers for over half a million dollars.

    P.S. would never know you had an Australian accent, but would love to hear it!
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Making the Most of a 3-Day Weekend =-.

  14. admin says

    @Daniel
    Gotcha. If you see no real upside in putting in the time, than maybe not bother. How long have you been at your current place? How did your manager and other seniors get to where they are though in the first place? Perhaps use that time to figure out how they did it? Quality over quantity anyday, but playing politics is also super important the larger your organization. Will write about this in the future!

    @David @ MBA briefs
    20 years is just an awfully long time to do one thing, or even a couple things. I swear I won’t be on my death bed wishing I worked more!

    @Investor Junkie
    Good find! Yep, he’s got a phenomenal American accent. I think of Monevator when I see Hugh cuz he’s English. Unfortunately, or fortunately I’m not English.

    The BEST current American accent is played by a Brit is Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham on Fringe. Awesome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGT9GHo9WnA
    .-= admin´s last blog ..Do “C” Students Deserve “A” Lifestyles? =-.

  15. admin says

    @Little House
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You are overestimating my intelligence. :) Making some money in the markets was purely luck and being in the game.

    We definitely can’t go worrying about dying prematurely, for that would be too depressing indeed. Although, once I got use to believing I may not live to be the average, I’m happy with that fact, and have tried to anything and everything possible to give myself a decent chance at life.

    Sounds good. Maybe in a future podcast, I’ll bring out a little bit of twang!

  16. Bucksome says

    I’m not sure if you’re pulling our legs about being Australian. You worked at McDonalds in Australia?

    Anyway, I enjoyed the podcast and your interview. I totally agree about working hard to get ahead in your career. That’s definitely something that is considered at my company when deciding who is an up and comer.

    Investing is both luck and knowledge. You have to know to diversify to really come out okay in the end.
    .-= Bucksome´s last blog ..6 Expenses for Man’s Best Friend =-.

  17. admin says

    @Bucksome
    Glad you enjoyed the podcast Bucksome! Believe it or not, there are a lot of McDonalds restaurants in Australia. From Perth, to Sydney, to Melbourne, they’re everywhere! I bet there is a McDonalds in Kabul as well!

    @Elle
    Thanks Elle. The 1/10th Car Rule is something that has really motivated me to make more and do better in my career, while keeping my honest about my car buying addiction!

    Congrats on finally moving into your new home! Nice picture of your blogging station! :)

  18. Ryan @ Planting Dollars says

    Very nice… got a great radio voice and sounded quite intelligent ;) if I do say so myself. Think you’ll be fine when you have to do an interview on the Today show.

    1) How much do you think luck plays in investment success?
    Depends what you’re investing in. Tech stocks, a lot, real estate not so much. Big fan of Buffett’s thoughts on buying a business that you wouldn’t want to sell for at least 100 years and that have moats.

    Although not as sexy as iphones people will always need somewhere to live, something to eat, and something to wear.

    2) Do you believe people can truly retire after 20 years of work, no matter what job they do?
    Easily, just about priorities.

    3) Why are some people against the code of “get in first, leave last” during the initial phase of one’s career?
    Because they hate their job and don’t want to get there any sooner than they have to!
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Hiking Diamond Head and Snorkeling In Waikiki =-.

  19. admin says

    @Ryan @ Planting Dollars
    Thanks mate! I’ll let you know when the Today show comes calling, but I ain’t holding my breath!

    Good answer to why to get in first and leave last! It’s a pity though, for an employer to hire someone and have the employee hate their job so quickly! It’s sad, but very true.

    How’s the weather in Hawaii? Heard it was getting in the 60′s during the night!

    @Credit Card Chaser
    I like Olivia Dunham much much more!

    @Moneymonk
    Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

  20. Charlie says

    sweet! Awesome podcast :) I agree there are people out there who think they deserve it all right off the bat. I personally think it does have a lot to do with the younger generation and the way society is changing. Technology is speeding up our lives left and right. For those career newbies who have always had the internet, always had a cellphone and a high speed internet connection, everything has always been pretty easy for them & they’re used to getting things fast without much effort. Those of us who actually had to use the card catalog at the library, write presentations on a type writer, and remember many a day when the internet didn’t exist yet appreciate time in a different way I think.

  21. admin says

    @Flexo
    Thanks again for the opportunity! Maybe we can do another podcast towards the end of the year, or next year on other topics. It was really fun.

    @Charlie
    It is crazy that in HS we did have to use the library and card catalog, and now it’s just Google! It’s a different mentality. And the good thing about younger folks wanting it now ASAP is that they help create innovation. Facebook and other sites have helped connect us to more people easily than ever before. For that, I’m grateful.

    @Ryan @ Planting Dollars
    Nice. Donno what it’s like on the mainland, cuz I’m not there right now for the rest of the week :)

  22. The Rat says

    1) How much do you think luck plays in investment success? Very little. In fact, I think luck comes into play more if you’re actually a business person. Long-term investment success will come with knowing the companies you are investing in while not chasing ridiculous yields and speculative plays.

    2) Do you believe people can truly retire after 20 years of work, no matter what job they do? Yes.

    3) Why are people against the code of “get in first, leave last” during the initial phase of one’s career? No idea. My motto: Get in and get out whenever the hell I can.

    Congrats on your 1st podcast; great thread

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