The Katana: Deflation Is Out Of The Question

I don’t talk much about my finances, but I will tell you that I’m in the process of refinancing a couple mortgage loans down by 1% each.  The interest savings is tremendous, making me very positive about consumption trends going forward as 10 other people I know are also refinancing.  It behooves you to at least call your local bank and check their latest rates.

It does make me wonder with the strength of the stock markets lately, how the bond market can still be so frothy to provide such record low interest rates.  Do remember that the higher treasury bond prices go, the more yields fall.  Could there really be deflation on the way?  I highly, highly doubt it but the bond market is telling us otherwise.

To humor our minds, lets say there is deflation on the horizon.  What would you do with your spending habits?  You’d probably stop consuming due to the assumption that whatever it is you want to buy will be cheaper in the future.  As a result, you’d hoard cash and de-leverage.  Bingo, that is exactly what plenty of folks are doing, including myself.  This self perpetuating mentality is very damaging to economic progress.  In addition to delaying consumption, you will probably seek ever higher yields.  With the 30 year treasury yielding 4% right now, it sure looks like a buy compared to only 2.85% on the 10 year.

When talking about deflation, keep in mind that money is simply a medium of exchange.  The more money currency you have, the better as the strength of your currency improves vis a vis the goods and services which it can buy.  Frugality really is en vogue again, and I just can’t wait until Samurai September when I spend the whole month buying nothing!

POSTS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE:

Buying Blogs, Selling Blogs: How I Built My Blogging Business

Blogging to live the good life!Three years ago, I was told by many bloggers: “You will never make money blogging. And if you do, $200/month will be your highest peak ever”.

Three years ago, The Financial Blogger was averaging 500 visits per month and I was ecstatic when I made my first deal of $10 for a link.

Three years later, I now run three financial websites, bought two of them and flipped a blog within a year for over $15,000. I am now able to work one full day per week on my online business (while I still have to keep my “day job” in the meantime). I really like buying and managing finance blogs as I think it is currently one of the best investing opportunities we can find.

When I asked Sam if I could write a guest post for Financial Samurai, he asked me to include more details on how I appraised blogs and how do I decide or not to send $10K over the wire (or more!) simply to buy a “.com”.

Look at Blogs as a Real Estate Investing Opportunity

Staying Calm Under Pressure

Even at 7:30pm the night is hot.  That’s what happens when you go barbecuing somewhere in the South Pacific in the middle of summer.  You can almost taste the grilled chicken from the remnant fumes simmering off the grill.  Dinner is served!

The family gathers around the picnic table.  We take a deep breath and begin to eat.  In just the first bite, my father freezes, tries to swallow and let’s out a little gag.  We ask him what’s wrong, and he shakes his head not knowing.  One of us gives him a glass of water, and still, no change.  My father raises up his hand, excuses himself and says that he has to go to the emergency room.

DOUBT AND CONFUSION

The White Cloud of Happiness

My mother is a white cloud.  Every time I see her, she smiles even bigger than I can ever smile.  She loves to talk stories about any of life’s teachings she’s discovered, and I generally just keep quiet and listen.  Sometimes I don’t understand everything she says, but that’s OK.  It makes me happy just knowing she’s happy imparting wisdom onto me.

One of the holiday presents I got my father was a signed copy of Andre Agassi’s autobiography, “OPEN.”  To me, the book was gold, because Andre is my idol.  It was my only copy, and I decided to give it to my father because I remember him loving to read and enjoying the game long ago.

When my father opened his present, he did thank me and showed his appreciation.  However, a week later, the book still lay on the coffee table unread.  Somewhat dismayed that Agassi was being ignored, I spoke to mom about perhaps taking the book back since I cherished it so much.  She mentioned her unused Barnes & Nobles gift card and had an idea.

Later that evening, my parents went to the Mall for date night without us.  Apparently, Carl’s Junior had a two-for-one special and my father was just dying to go!  When they returned, my mother brought me over to the kitchen and told me, “Shhhhhh, take a look at the book.  I bought another copy of “OPEN” and swapped it with your signed copy, so you can take it home!  Dad will never know!” We laughed so hard it hurt and gave each other high fives!  My mom was right, dad never found out.  Mom, who knows very little about tennis, was encouraged by my enthusiasm she even read “OPEN” before dad!

LESSON LEARNED

Nick Vujicic Shows Us How to Get Up And Never Quit

Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs.  He admits to us there were plenty of times when all he wanted to do was give up.  Nick didn’t understand the point to his life and therefore wanted to end it.  Thank goodness he’s alive because he’s shared his story with millions of people around the world, inspiring them to keep on going.

Just the other day, someone forwarded me an article about this young woman venting because everybody is a workaholic at her office.  She tells us how incredibly amazing it is that she gets in at 8am and works until 6:30pm everyday.  In other words, she’s asking for praise and sympathy for working normal hours.  The kicker?  She was unemployed for over half a year and just started this job!

Whenever I feel like complaining about how unfair life is, I stop and think about people like Nick who have it just a little bit harder.  Is he complaining?  No.  He is trying harder, and so shall I.  Perhaps so shall we all!  Let’s eradicate the sense of entitlement that lingers among everyone of us; some more than others.  We shall not whine about our jobs or complain why our love lives crumble.  Let’s take ownership of our own actions.  If you are a complainer, please go somewhere else!

Readers,  who inspires you to keep on going?

Regards,

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

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Other 8 Hours

Author: Robert Pagliarini, author of The Six-Day Financial Makeover and president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors.  You may have seen him on Dr. Phil or 20/20.

Publisher & Book Info: St. Martin’s Press, hard cover, 301 pages, $25.99.

Review: The main premise for Rob’s book is that everybody’s day is split into three eight hour parts: work, sleep, and everything else.  Rob’s hope is to get you motivated to do more during the everything else portion to maximize your own potential.  First of all, I don’t know anybody who only works 8 hours a day.  10 hours of work a day seems more realistic.  Second, who gets to sleep 8 hours a night?  Sounds like elusive bliss to me.   Let’s assume 6 hours of nightly sleep instead, which ironically leaves the same 8 hours of time for everything else!

The Other 8 Hours is an enjoyable read because each chapter contains not only practical advice, but real life inspirational stories to help motivate readers to action.  Too many times we just come home, plop on the sofa, and do nothing.  That’s no way to live.  Below are Rob’s top 10 things he recommends doing with your spare time to help increase wealth and purpose.

Top 10 Creator Channels:

The Katana: Spring Cleaning and Moving Forward

So that’s it.  One quarter of the year is done, and a new quarter begins.  How’d you do?  Did you just meet expectations set forth in the 4th quarter of 2009?  Or did you beat expectations and prove to your shareholders and yourself that you’re investment worthy?  Executives of public companies go through this thought process all the time, and so should you.

There’s never been a better time than right now to go through all the clutter in the house and donate it all away.  Clutter should drive you nuts, because it’s a sign of excess.  Why do you need 7 pairs of jeans, 50 pairs of shoes, and all those magazines?  You don’t!  I don’t and I’m very disappointed in myself for accumulating so much junk over the years.

It really makes me sick to have so much stuff.  When I lived in a studio apartment, the place was filled with crap.  Now I live in a house, and it’s no different.  Consumerism has infiltrated me thoroughly.  On the bright side, thank goodness for counterbalancing mechanisms. If a person never feels full (sick of clutter), they’ll eat until they explode!  Today, let’s de-clutter and simplify.

MARCH FAVORITE POSTS ON FINANCIAL SAMURAI

* “The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle”

* “Insuring The Uninsured Is Worth It”

* “Wealth Is An Illusion Of Happiness”

Heads up Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Bloomberg, if you want to do an interview, better let us know quick because The Samurai Fund is now up 11.5% vs. only +5.6% for the S&P year-to-date!  LEN, HAR, BIG are leading the way.

HIGHLIGHT POSTS FROM AROUND THE SPHERE

Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge Update: Progress Through Adversity

Financial SamuraiIt’s been just over a month since the Samurai Alexa Ranking Challenge was announced, and I’m pleased to report we’ve made tremendous progress!  With 35+ members strong, we are actively helping each other achieve our respective goals.  I’d like to use this opportunity to recognize several Yakezie members for their achievements and initiatives in helping the team.

* Daniel-San from Sweating The Big Stuff took the initiative to compile the list and keep track.  His efforts have in turn created a home for us members to visit once a week and get pumped.

* @Elle_CM from Couple Money has been amazingly selfless in retweeting my posts and many other posts.  She is exactly the type of member the Yakezie Group seeks.  @FinEngr created a Yakezie Twitter Group to keep track of us and follow.  Pls follow so the group can follow you back.

* Monevator, The Amateur Financier, Evolution Of Wealth created weekly wraps to specifically highlight posts from the Yakezie Group.  Meanwhile, Money Funk wrote a derivative post on how to increase your Alexa ranking.

* Eliminate The Muda and Planting Dollars have busted through their 200,000 goal and should obviously now shoot for top 100,000!

THE RULES HAVE CHANGED AND WE WILL ADAPT

Getting Busy This Valentine’s Weekend! (Singles Especially)

Well folks, the weekend of love has arrived!  Some are going to eat by candle light, while others will walk the beach during sunset here in California or Hawaii.  For my friends out in Snowmageddonville, perhaps marshmellows in front of the fire place while playing a fun game of Scrabble.  Amazingly, there are some who believe their significant other when they say, “don’t get me anything. If you actually believe this line, you also mistakenly believe taxes aren’t going up next year!

I’m absolutely sure there are those against the Valentine movement, how it’s one big marketing gimmick for guys to spend more money than they should.  Unfortunately, you’re right, but there’s no stopping the movement. If you end up doing nothing, not even a small gesture like a back massage, you’re screwed, and not in a good way!

The one thing I caution ladies not to do is push.  The more you push about what you want or want to do on Sunday, the more your guy won’t want to do anything.  If you keep hinting about chocolate covered strawberries, you’re going to get one big fat biscuit of nothing!  So shhh, let the man figure something out and get creative.  Of course, ladies can always do something for us men too yeah?  Nah, it’s always on us men.

WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SINGLES EVERYWHERE!