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.

VIDEOS AND POSTS OF THE WEEK

Creating Powerful Friends: Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge

There’s a fun hypothesis saying that you are the average of the closest five people around you.  I believe this to be true, do you?  What’s interesting about the blogosphere community is that anybody with enough intention can start a website.  Some are interesting, some are not, but regardless we can all compete with the ProBloggers and the Huffington Posts of the web in our own niche way!

Alexa is a dynamic website ranking and information company owned by Amazon, which has over 40 million users world wide.  The tool bar is free, and easy to download.  The Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge is straight forward.  If you’re outside of the top 200,000, get in the top 200,000 within 6 months.  I can’t even name 100 sites, let alone 199,999 sites.  Can you?  If you’re already in the top 200,000, get in the top 100,000.  And if you’re already in the top 100,000, get in the top 50,000.

There are some who poo poo the Alexa ranking system, and I recognize their two main arguments:  1) The system only tracks visitors who have the Alexa Toolbar installed, and 2) There are cases where some websites with bazillions of users have a worse ranking than sites with less users.  We don’t know why, because we don’t fully know what goes into the calculations.  It may be because readers don’t visit and just read off their RSS.  That said, the Alexa ranking system continues to grow, and is the best system we got.  At least 40 million webmasters around the world think so, and there has to be something to it if Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube are ranked #1, #2, #3, and #4, respectively.

Since starting this site, I’ve been rejected as a guest poster, didn’t even get responded to, let alone make it as one of the 7 finalists for one site’s staff writer tryouts, denied admission to a personal finance blog network, and even got my first carnival submission rejected.  But through all the rejections, I took comfort in my friend, Alexa, who is always by my side motivating me to keep going.  I’m sure many of you have been rejected as well.  Here’s your chance to create our own network of powerful friends by joining in on the challenge!

BENEFITS OF BEING IN THE TOP 200,000

Book Review & Giveaway: “Your Money Ratios”

your-money-ratiosPublisher: The Penguin Group.  Hard cover. 257-pages. Price: $26.

Author: Charles Farrell, JD., LL.M., investment adviser with Northstar Investment Advisors, in Denver.  He writes the “Retirement Roadmap” column for CBS Moneywatch.

Review: “Your Money Ratios” sings to me!  For someone who loves using ratios such as the 1/10th rule for car buying, and 30/30/3 rule for home buying, I absolutely adore this book.  Charles’ writing style is very balanced and easy to understand.  When it comes to math, many people, including myself fall asleep.  But, if you can just do simple division and multiplcation, this book will keep you on the right path towards financial security.

Charles’ “Unifying Theory of Personal Finance” is his core philosophy that all decisions you make should help move you from being a laborer to being a capitalist.  In other words, make money work for you, and not the other way around.  It’s important that with every single monetary decision you make, you ask yourself will this help you become a capitalist or not.

Capital To Income Ratio

An Ambulance Screams By, Do You Feel Happy Or Sad?

There was once a time I felt very sad every time an ambulance zoomed by with sirens blazing.  I knew someone was suffering, and sorrow would fill my heart not only for the injured, but also for the person’s family and friends.  Nothing is permanent, and the ambulance reminds me of this fact every time I hear one.

Over lunch, I was sharing my feelings with a friend, and she changed my mindset.  She mentioned, instead of feeling sad, feel happy. Be happy the ambulance is out there saving someone’s life.  Feel emboldened help is on its way!

My friend was right.  I chose to feel sad about an unchangeable past rather than focus on the good act of trying to make things better.  It was this simple epiphany 12 years ago that changed the way I looked at everything, forever.

Rather than sulk about those personal finances on life-support, why not change the way you see your outlook?  Instead, look at your massive debt, or your crummy income as an opportunity to recover.  The worse you are, the more upside you have!

Shop around for health insurance:  The internet has really helped lower the cost of insuring yourself and your family. eHealthInsurance has some of the lowest rates and best coverage due to its largest network. They are based right here in the Bay Area, and I have met a number of their representatives. The Affordable Care Act debacle has proven to be more expensive and more cumbersome to sign up so far.

Keiju,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

The Katana: Randy Pausch and Basketballs 12/21

Basketballs For Chinatown Rec Center!

Randy Pausch made a difference.  He was a Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon who died of liver cancer at 48.  Before he died, Randy left a heartfelt video full of inspiration for us all to appreciate.  More importantly, however, was his message to his wife and three kids.

The most memorable quote from the video is when people ask Randy what’s his secret to obtaining tenure so early.  Randy responds, “Call my office at 10 o’clock on a Friday night and I’ll tell you.”

Why more young folks don’t come in first and leave last I don’t understand. If you’re not showing your work ethic and inquisitive spirit from the get-go, you aren’t going places.  Unless you know everything, work longer than everybody else, work harder than everybody else, succeed like nobody else!

Thanks to reader suggestions, we’re spending the $500 on more kids, rather than less, and in piece-meal amounts.  Our local recreation director mentioned they just got a $1,000 grant and suggested we look at a higher traffic center such as the one in Chinatown, so we did.  $200 down, $300 to go!

FAVORITE RANDY QUOTES & POSTS OF THE WEEK

You’re Rejected! How I Use Rejection To Motivate Me Every Single Day

Unless you’re perfect, there will be times when things don’t go your way.  You’re last to be picked in PE class, Yale says, “thank you, but no thank you”, and your girlfriend/boyfriend dumps you for another man/woman.  Do you start sulking?  Or do you get up, get angry, and prove to yourself you’re worth it?

Some people are so afraid of rejection, they never put themselves out there.  They reject themselves before even giving others a chance!

Lame Excuses:

“Why would this school accept me?”

“Why would she want to talk to me?”

“I don’t deserve a raise so I’ll never ask.”

“I’m not good enough to work for this firm, so I won’t bother applying.”

“What if everybody thinks what I say is stupid?”

“My writing is horrible, why would anybody want to read anything of mine?”

These types of thoughts crush dreams, lead to low-self esteem and mediocrity. 

Change the way you view rejection with these 5 strategies: