Accumulating Wealth Requires Not Wanting Things

The accumulation of wealth ironically requires not desiring the things money buys.   The desire for things is what must be slain if one intends to accumulate wealth, and with it security.

Wealth is distinct from income.   Wealth is the income a person received and never spent.  The income came arrive via working, successful investments, inheritances, royalties, etc.   One may have a large income or a large amount of assets but if one is enamored with the things money buys one will quickly be out of money.

When one doesn’t desire things, one then has money to save.   When one doesn’t desire things, one then retains money one receives from others.

Loosing the desire for things, beyond a simple yet comfortable life, is only the first step.   Beyond that one must study investing, markets, economics, politics, taxes and all the rest.  One must make wise decisions.   The world is full of bad advisors.   There are so many bad investment opportunities.

Ultimately when investing one must again loose the desire for things, or in this case the desire for money.   One must learn to be content with less than one might have had.   All of the very bad investing decisions start with a desire to obtain returns that are unnatural.   Usually the building on some secret knowledge, or method, that will allegedly allow the one who posses the knowledge or skill to outsmart everyone else.    The investing world humbles all men eventually.  What goes up will come down.  Volatility works both ways.   The tortise and the hare should be remembered.

Ultimately think of money as a machine.  Its a golden goose.   You don’t eat the golden goose.   You protect it and feed it.   You maintain the machine.    Plan to use the proceeds of the investments in a time of need, not the money itself.  In this way the money will never go away, the golden goose will always live.   Again this requires, ironically, not desiring money or the things money can buy.

Why Is A Modest Rate Hike So Exciting ?

Several commentators and opinion articles in the financial press have been explaining why a modest rate hike should not be a big deal.  They question why everyone is so excited about this potential rate hike.

The reason is simple.  We’d like to know if the economy truly is strong enough to start returning to normal.   Nothing is normal right now.  There hasn’t been a rate hike since 2006.  Since 2008 the funds rate has been essentially zero.  That drastic measure still was not enough to keep the ship afloat and so quantitative easing was engaged in multiple times.   In the most basic sense the economy has been skimming along the treetop and we’d like to think the motor on this crop duster has recovered enough to get us back up into the air.

There are many good signs about the economy.  The largest lingering question is likely about China.  How significant is the malaise and how substantial is the cooking of the books to make the Party look good.

If we can raise rates, if we can do it repeatedly, and still maintain our current economic situation then it will truly be a very encouraging sign.   If it turns out we have to push the increase out then it means we are still running on fumes.

The Post Office Is Kinda Cool

Shopping around for a mail delivery box I was surprised to find the best service and cost via the USPS.   I’d used Mailboxes Etc. and later it became the UPS Store.   I had no complaints.  Originally I went that route because they gave me a street address, they could received USPS, UPS and Fedex packages, they had 24 hour access etc.

The Post Office now lets you have 24 hour access to your PO Box, they will receive UPS and Fedex packages for you, they give you a street address to use instead of a PO Box if you want.  But the really neat part is they will email you every time they put mail in your box.

The neater thing yet is that, at least around here, the post office is cheaper too.

The post office has improved a great deal over the years.

When I Was Young

A song of reminiscing on ones youth.

EPSON XP-820 Sheet Feed is AWESOME

I am finishing up the last few sheets of paper that I am scanning.   I decided to digitize the approximately 1 foot tall stack of notes and printouts with notes I have accumulated over the years.  I do not actively work with them anymore.

These documents were anything but pristine paper.  They had been stapled, unstapled, re-stapled.  They had dog ears.  They had creases that had started to separate.   They had torn leading edges.

The EPSON XP-820 just processed them flawlessly.  In one case I did have a single sheet jam and I butchered it extracting it.  So I just photocopied it on the printer and scanned the copy.  In all other cases it behaved beyond belief.  I fully expected nothing but problems scanning this stuff.  I am simply amazed at how good a job the engineers did with the paper handling system on this scanner/printer.

Surprisingly The Best Android Tablet Stand

I have discovered, quite by accident, that the best stand for a 10″ Samsung tablet is a cheap folding picture stand like the one pictured above.   It holds the tablet far enough above the surface of the desk so that you have enough clearance to attach a USB charging cable.   It holds the tablet at an angle suitable for viewing.  It can accommodate landscape and portrait.  Most importantly I can leave the tablet in my usb keyboard case, simply folding that out of the way.

I’ve never seen this marketed for a tablet stand, but I can say it works remarkably well.  Better than any other solution, and I’ve tried several.

Why Planets Have Which Atmospheric Gases

The image associated with this post is a slide taken from a MOOC called BUx: ASTR105x Alien Worlds: The Science of Exoplanet Discovery and Characterization offered at EdX. What it shows is the speed of various gas molecules at various temperatures. These are shown at lines showing the speed the molecules move at those temperatures. Notice that heavier gases move slower at a given temperature but all increase at a similar rate as temperature increases. Also plotted on the chart are various solar system objects at their temperature and on their escape velocity. A planet will hold all the molecules which are moving slower than the escape velocity of the planet at the planets temperature for as long as the solar system exists. Gasses above that will eventually drift away.

I just found this graph to interesting to pass up.


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