Do you suffer from apathy? If you do, you need to figure out how to care more ASAP. When you suffer from apathy, you no longer put in your best effort. That could be dangerous for your career, your relationships, and for your children.
If you suffer from apathy, I’m pretty sure your finances will suffer. Given this is a personal finance site, my goal is for you to care a great deal about your money soy don’t have to stress about money later on!
My Trip To Switzerland
Everybody warned me about the incredibly expensive prices in Switzerland and for that reason I found things to be just fine. I caught myself saying in my head, Is that it? a number of times I opened my wallet.
For example, the cost of a one way train ticket to Lucerne from Zurich was only 20 CHF (~$22 USD). Is that it? The cost per night at the Hotel Pilatus in a quaint town called Hergiswil was only 120 CFH. Is that it? Even a plate of gooey raclette was only 9.5CFH, leaving me more than good enough to get three scoops of gelato for 5 CFH afterward!
I decided to visit Switzerland for three reasons: 1) I’ve never been and heard Switzerland to be one of the most beautiful and livable countries in the world, 2) To test the upper limits of what my income can comfortably afford and 3) To get firsthand experience about Swiss neutrality, which I find synonymous with apathy.
The first things that comes to people’s minds when they hear the word, “Switzerland” are chocolate, mountains, and cheese. There aren’t any sort of negative connotations about the country except for perhaps the high prices. Try the same exercise with North Korea, and you get a completely different set of nouns and adjectives. What we also don’t get from Switzerland is any feeling of emotion due to its neutrality. Switzerland suffers from apathy!
We Eventually Stop Caring Due To Selfishness
The reason why Wall St research analysts have Neutral ratings is because they don’t want to take the wrong stance for fear of being ridiculed or fired for being wrong. Instead, it’s better to stay apathetic and massage their argument whichever way the stock goes after the fact. You can’t lose!
One of the key benefits of being financially independent is that you care much less about what other people think. If you don’t depend on a job to live a comfortable life, do you really worry about saying “the wrong” things? Of course not because nobody controls your livelihood.
A large part of the reason why there’s so much opinion on Financial Samurai is because I’m 100% not dependent on any online income. That’s what saving an investing for the past 13 years was for. The more neutered the writing online, the higher the dependency.
Suffering From Apathy Slowly Online
I’ve noticed a shift in my attitude after my 4th year of writing online. Slowly, my most opinionated soul gradually started suffering from apathy. If someone attacks me on some topic, I really don’t care as much anymore. Especially if I know they’re still working for a living and inhabiting some wretched place where no tourist ever visits. I actually feel a little empathetic to my detractors because it’s tough being miserable. The louder the criticism, the more pain they are going through.
My attitude shift is evident in the article, “There’s No Need To Worry About Other People’s Finances.” I think we’re too nosey and a little too judgmental when it comes to what other people do with their money. If you want to blow your money on fancy things, go for it! You can always deal with the consequences later. When it comes to my own children, I’m going to embed the mentality of deserving only what is earned. But when it comes to other people’s children, I have no jurisdiction and all parents should enjoy the freedom of going their own way.
Apathy might seem like a default negative given caring is a fundamentally important attribute to progress in society. We stop caring because we’ve got everything we need and that’s pretty selfish. However, let’s take a look at the benefits of apathy to better understand those who are apathetic.
The funny thing is, once you have F-You Money, it’s hard to tell others to F-Off! You just become apathetic to all the grenades thrown your way! It’s so weird how easy it is to suffer from apathy once you have enough money. It’s more fun being hungry!
The Benefits Of Apathy
* You don’t get hurt. Thanks to Swiss neutrality, the country remained largely unscathed during WWII. If you are neutral, there’s no need to enslave yourself to the winning side and risk being wrong. The same thing goes for not standing up for your friends or loved ones in battle. If your friend is getting beaten to a pulp by a mugger, just pretend you don’t notice and walk away. So long as you block your borders and stay out of harms way there’s a good chance you’ll keep all your arms and limbs.
* You enjoy more stability. The main reason why Switzerland became such a huge financial center is because of its stability. Offshore money poured into the country because of the strong belief it would be the least likely to be invaded or overthrown. The Swiss government has been very stable for almost 200 years and will probably continue to be this way for the foreseable future. The last place you are going to put your money is in an Egyptian, Greek or North Korean banks at the moment. The United States has become a financial powerhouse for the same reasons.
* You will have a higher chance of getting rich. The per capita income of Switzerland is one of the highest in the world at roughly $79,000. That’s more than 50% higher than we poor folk in the US. With little fear of upheaval or confiscation of property, the playing field for meritocracy levels out. You can build a foundation of wealth that will last for generations. Online, those sites with the least amount of opinion tend to be the largest and most lucrative sites. People like blasé, even though they say they want personality.
But What If You Care A Great Deal?
Those who care the most tend to be the most successful. The best employees stay until whenever is necessary to get the job done. The best athletes practice long after the crowds go home. Even the best bloggers figure out ways to not only entertain but to involve the community and educate.
There is guilt associated with not doing our best. I don’t want to stop caring because it simply feels good to do my best every single chance I get. I’d like to stand for something and help others a long the way.
If you use the words “whatever” too often when someone asks what you want to do, you’re likely very apathetic. If you are very apathetic you might as well be dead because you’re adding no value to society. Sometimes apathy is used for survival reasons, such as the Swiss in World War Two. Maybe you’re being apathetic to appease others by just going with the flow. However, most of the time apathy is either due to being too comfortably numb to care.
Sometimes you’ll feel that it’s pointless to care because suffering is never ending. But if we individually make an effort, such as with recycling or spending time educating our children, surely things must improve eventually. If we can start giving even just a little bit more than we receive, then there will be a surplus of goodness to go around.
The best way to start giving a damn is by being so financially and emotionally secure with ourselves that we can’t help but give. When we are secure we can give our money, our time, and our love to others. If we’re too busy just trying to survive then we’ll always be just an apathetic taker.
Readers, do you suffer from apathy? If so, why? Do you agree that it’s very hard to care for others if you can’t properly care for yourself? What are ways to get out of an apathetic funk?
Achieve Financial Freedom Through Real Estate
I no longer suffer from apathy because I’ve got two young kids to raise. As a result, I’m saving and investing aggressively and smartly for their future.
Real estate is my favorite way to achieving financial freedom because it is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. Stocks are fine, but stock yields are low and stocks are much more volatile. The -32% decline in March 2020 was the latest example. However, real estate held steady and appreciated in value then.
Take a look at my two favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms that are free to sign up and explore:
Fundrise: A way for accredited and non-accredited investors to diversify into real estate through private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and has consistently generated steady returns, no matter what the stock market is doing.
CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations, higher rental yields, and potentially higher growth due to job growth and demographic trends.
I’ve personally invested $810,000 in real estate crowdfunding across 18 projects to take advantage of lower valuations in the heartland of America. My real estate investments account for roughly 50% of my current passive income of ~$300,000.
Passive Income X Factor – Starting Your Own Site
I started Financial Samurai in 2009. Today, I’m actually earning a good passive income stream online. Starting an online business is one of the best things you can do today, especially after a global pandemic!
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like mine. It’s cheap and easy to start.
Photo 1: Back of the boat on Lake Lucerne. Photo 2: The top of Mt. Pilatus. Photo 3: Bird in flight on Mt. Pilatus. Photo 4: 6am in Lucerne, Summer, 2013.