On gadgets and goals

Last week was a little tough.

It started with my phone's sim dying. But that's not a big deal. Last time I had to buy a new prepaid sim. This time I got it replaced for free (postpaid; plan zero!), I just needed to report it to globe.

But then my PC sorta died too. It kept shutting down after 10 or 15 minutes. That isn't as small a problem. Last time that happened to me I had to replace the CPU - and the motherboard since the new CPU wouldn't fit my old motherboard.

To make it more interesting I noticed my phone now has about half the battery life it used to have. It won't last 24 hours even with only reasonable usage.

They're both around at least 5 year's old, so it's not a total surprise they're breaking down. I just wish they didn't do so at pretty much the same time!

But then last week, my MEG shares where shooting through the roof. I had a pretty decent profit! And just in the nick of time, it seemed.

If You Want To Achieve Your Goals, Don't Focus On Them

Keep your eyes on the prize, right? I mean, that's how it's supposed to work.

Once you have a goal, keep it mind, right it down, tell people about it, yada yada yada.

Apparently that's not how it works, or at least that's not enough...

8 Modus Operandi To Rob You Of Your Money

8 Modus Operandi To Rob You Of Your Money.  There's been a lot of scams over the years (decades, probably) and it might be helpful to go through them, since criminals are likely to cycle through them until it doesn't work anymore.  So here's a list of 8 modus operandi, that hopefully will never work on anyone again.
Lately there's been another rash of ATM hackings. It just goes to show how persistent and resourceful some people are when it comes to chasing "easy money".

The rest of us just have to be vigilant and be aware of these things in order to protect ourselves.

But that got me thinking, there's been a lot of scams over the years (decades, probably) and it might be helpful to go through them, since criminals are likely to cycle through them until it doesn't work anymore.

So here's a list of 8 modus operandi, that hopefully will never work on anyone again.

Insurance You Don't Need

Insurance You Don't Need.   Are there really insurance you don't need? And is life insurance always necessary?  It really depends on your situation and what you really need.
A while ago I read an article on Yahoo Philippines about saving money by avoiding some unnecessary, though not necessarily frivolous expenses.

I browsed through the comments and was surprised to see that a mini-argument was brewing about the necessity of life insurance.

The article was saying you could save money by not buying insurance you don't really need. A couple of commenters were insisting that insurance is always a necessity.

So that got me thinking, are there really insurance you don't need? And is life insurance always necessary?

Keep It To Yourself

In order for you to achieve your goal, it's been said that you should tell your family and friends. So that way they can hold you to it.

But telling someone your goal may actually lead to you not achieving your goal...

On Living Simply

(This is going to be another one of my longer posts...)
On Living Simply.  My opinion has always been that to live simply means not trading in my years-old smartphone for the latest model. Or basically not chasing any of the latest trends.  That's true, but apparently that's not the entirety of it.

My opinion has always been that to live simply means not trading in my years-old smartphone for the latest model. Or basically not chasing any of the latest trends.

That's true, but apparently that's not the entirety of it.

Is It Better To Get A Bigger Basic Salary Or A Bonus?

Given the same annual salary, is it better to have bonuses or a bigger basic salary?  They have different pros and cons but in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter. What's really important is how we use the money, and not how we receive it.
Given the same annual salary, is it better to have bonuses or a bigger basic salary?

I used to work for a company that gave out bonuses quarterly. Inevitably I'd hear different people express how wonderful that was. I remember all my coworkers would be excited whenever the bonuses were about to be paid out. Including me. Everyone loves bonuses, right?

Eventually though, people would move on to higher paying jobs. Usually those jobs would only have 1 or two bonuses a year, but annually they earned more.

But I always wondered, if everything else was the same, which "method" was best? They have different pros and cons...

Risk Reward Ratio

Risk Reward Ratio  In an earlier post, I talked about position sizing. Basically, if you don't want to lose your shirt in the stock market, you have to buy "smartly" - never placing a good portion of your money on a rather risky stock.  That tells you how much to buy. But how do you know if that stock was worth pursuing in the first place? That's where the risk/reward ratio comes in.  If you're going to make a risky investment, you might as well take the one with the highest payoff, right?
In an earlier post, I talked about position sizing. Basically, if you don't want to lose your shirt in the stock market, you have to buy "smartly" - never placing a good portion of your money on a rather risky stock.

That tells you how much of a stock to buy. But how do you know if that stock was worth pursuing in the first place? That's where the risk/reward ratio comes in.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle


Life is like a jigsaw puzzle.

The good news is you get to decide what the picture looks like. Sure, you're dealt a specific set of circumstances at the start, but change is constant.

The bad news is the picture gets put together anyway, even if you don't do anything. You can go through your whole life just going with the flow. But you may end up not liking the outcome.


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photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

On Expenses, Passion and Savings

On Expenses, Passion and Savings  In the end what matters most is that you are able afford the life you really want.  Sometimes that involves a lot of sacrifices, especially when it comes to expensive future goals - house, tuition, etc.  But it's not a bad idea to indulge your passions as long as your goals aren't jeopardized. Who knows, they might be expenses now but income streams in the future.
If you've read a lot of personal finance articles or attended seminars on the same, you've probably become aware of a few similarities.

For one, starbucks is a popular target. Inevitably, a quick summation of designer coffee expenses is bandied around.

After that, the "list" usually includes gadgets, shoes, clothes, and high-end (or high-priced) food.

There's probably a good reason for that. Keeping finances in check is the first step towards financial independence. You can't invest without money and how can you have money if you don't save, right?

But life is usually more complex than what we are able to verbalize. And the same is true in this case.