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!


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

The Katana: Happy Chinese New Year!

Double HappinessWhat a coincidence that both Valentine’s and Chinese New Year fall on the same day.  In fact, if you’re Chinese who celebrates Valentine’s Day, this could be the luckiest year of your life!  For those who aren’t, you still have 20 more years until 2030 to change your identity.  Let’s look at a couple of similarities between Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year.

COLOR: Red is the default color for love and happiness.  Love > Money = Happiness as we explored recently.  If you’ve got love in addition to money, well then, you’re really one lucky barbecue pork bun!

TRADITION: The Chinese give young-ins “hong bao”, or red envelopes stuffed with money to sway them to be good.  Lovers also give their honeys money indirectly through dinners, flowers, chocolates, and spa massages, to sway them to do…. you decide.

Chinese civilization has been around for over 5,000 years.  Perhaps they are the original inventors of Valentine’s Day, spaghetti, sushi, and the running man dance.  Hmmmm.

The Samurai Fund: We are killing it team!  We didn’t capitulate on Toyota Motors, and dog poop Monster Worldwide wins this year’s #1 Super Bowl commercialTSF is up 0.13% year to date vs. the S&P 500 down 3.55%. As a result of our massive outperformance in this rocky market, Warren Buffet is giving us another $100 million to invest.  With these new proceeds, I invite Flexo to be our newest member.  His selection is Flextronics (FLEX), a vertically integrated electronics manufacture based in Singapore.  Welcome aboard!  (Click TSF link for updated chart.)

Week In Review: Gotta say, it was fun auditioning for Cosmopolitan Magazine with “How To Get Your Super Motivated Boyfriend To Marry You“.  The post turned off some women, found support from other women, while speaking to some fellas as you can see in the comments.  Of course, when the guys went back and asked how their girlfriends felt, they all disagreed.  After the 5th year of dating, have a read again and share your thoughts.

Every guy has some degree of SMB in them.  It’s not possible to always feel secure, never have any pressure, and marry the girlfriend by year two.  The 50/50 equal effort split is also just a pipe dream.  Someone will always feel more affection than the other.  Persecuted men out there, this one’s for you!  Helping ladies help men so men can help ladies sounds like a win-win scenario.

Rest of the Month: We’re going to slowly blend back into more personal finance related topics.  I’m happy to present a couple more guest posts, and at least one more book review and giveaway to readers.  As part of the Yakezie Alexa Challenge, I will continue highlighting your work here and on Twitter.  Perhaps you will do the same.


The Katana: Rough Waters On The Horizon

Friday’s post entitled, “The People Asked To Get ROCKED And A Boulder Fell On Their Heads” wasn’t supposed to go up.  I’m trying to limit the amount of big government love related posts, but “every time I try and get out, they pull me back in”!  Let the record show that I’m not against Democrats, I’m just disappointed in the system.  I do apologize to readers for the John Edwards of the world though.  At least politicians make life a little less boring.

The Samurai Fund is down 2.7% YTD, which compares favorably to the S&P 500 down 3.7% YTD.  Still, losing money is disappointing and I wonder if we have to change our outlook and investments given the anti-capitalism rhetoric by the government.  Should we raise cash?  Sell some of the winners?  Need some thoughts from the contributors and readers in general who have investments in the markets.

Perhaps now is the best time to open up the fund to 2 or 3 new entrants given the declines.  I will need help from someone to do a screen shot each week, because my 12″ monitor on my rocking 5 year old iBook G4 can only fit 17 entries!

The Freedom Fund continues to chug along slowly, with a $2,000 increase for January.  Nothing special, just savings from cash flow.


The People Asked To Get ROCKED & A Boulder Drops On Their Heads

Feel The Pain And Like It

The Rock Of Gibraltar, Only Backwards

Anybody want to guess what happened on Wed, January 19th right before the market fell off a cliff?  If you guessed Obama delivered a politically charged speech to rally for his own support and crucify others, you’re right!  On Wed, January 19th, Obama went on national TV to tell the world, “we want our money back” and “if they want a fight, a fight is what they’ll get.” The “they” of course, are “greedy rich” people.  The markets immediately started to sell-off and the S&P 500 is now down about 6% since.

Good old fashion class warfare is never good for the economy, neither is continuous political jibber jabber.  Do you ever remember a president being on TV as much as our current president?  The risk of overexposure is very real, and the record low approval rating for any president at this point in his term shows this.  The State of The Union address is supposed to be an opportunity to unify the people.  Besides the typical feel-good rhetoric, what I heard was a continued attack on others, protecting personal interest groups, and maintaining giant silos.


The Katana: Advertising For A Cause

Ready, Set, Go! From now on, all advertising revenue after operating costs will be donated to charity!  I’ve finally got off my rump to figure out this peculiar aspect of blogging.

For the past 6 months I’ve been very disinterested in advertising.  The only thing that did interest me was practicing “free-writing”, meeting new folks, and learning new things.  I played around with various advertising platforms like Adsense early on, and I just scratched my head wondering who would click on ads such as “600% Penny Stocks”?  What if the advertiser was a scam?  For those who use Adsense, more power to you.  It’s my own personal issue for not being entirely comfortable with their platform.

As I learned more about advertising online, I realized there were other solutions to my pre-screening desires.  One solution is to sign up with affiliate advertising networks such as LinkShare (thanks Matt Bell), where I can screen hundreds of advertisers beforehand to provide relevant solutions or interests to readers.  We still will never know with 100% certainty the veracity of the products (Enron anybody?), but at the very least, it’s one level higher than putting up contextual advertisements where we have no control over.

It’s important that advertising never alters the spirit of this site. We will not be like politicians, swayed by corporate interest groups and their tantalizing dollars.  If there’s a product we like we’ll endorse it and introduce the product to others.  If not, we just won’t bother no matter how attractive the incentives.  Making money online is a learned skill that takes time to cultivate.  The best ads are those which are unobtrusive and relevant.