5 Things I’ve Learnt Trying to Plan a Wedding (So Far)

What’s up ladies and gentlemen!

Hang on a moment, “drinks large gulp of water”.

That’s better, sorry guys – it’s been crazy these last couple of weeks with work, wedding planning, moving house and all the usual bedlam and chaos that occurs in December.

You know how that feels!

Luckily I’m not doing it alone and MrsTheFrugalSamurai-to-be has been behind me every step of the way.

That’s right, tell the audience how much I’ve supported you. Yes dear, can you remove the knife from my back now? No, not yet – here let me give it an extra twist. 

I’m joking of course, behind every man is a woman doing all the work.

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Love you babe.

I was thinking on what to post about today when I realised I had the answer in front of me.

The astronomical time, money and effort poured into planning a wedding (ours).

Those of you who have gone through the process, I applaud and envy you.

We’ve only started planning for 3 weeks and already feel like I can’t wait to get that day over and done with so we can move on with our lives together.

I was bemoaning the financial impact to my friend and he remarked “by the end of it, you don’t even know what you’re spending money on, money just turns to water”.

Far out – I’ve watched Titanic OK, I know what happens when you let water do its own thing.

So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve picked up on our planning journey to dare I say it, yes I will, stem the tide.

Elope

So many times I’ve heard couples say that they just wished they eloped or spent the money on an amazing holiday or a nice car – this is so true.

The average cost of an Australian wedding is around $36k, but man I’ve heard many stories of numbers double sometimes triple this amount. That’s serious coin.

It amazes me that having gone through what other couples have gone through thus far, why are we spending so much money to be stressed out? Are we suckers for pain?

No wonder everyone is so happy on their wedding day!

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Not antelope, you fool, elope.

Seek Professional Help 

How many times have you come home from a hard day at work to REALLY want to talk about whether to have Hydrangeas or RanunRanancu… can’t even spell the fucking word… Ranunculus flowers? Yeah same.

That’s why we both made the conscious decision to seek professional help.

So last night we met with a wedding planner.

I was going to post something very witty about the two hour meeting we had but honestly after about 15 minutes, I had this existential moment and decided to have a crack at solving the meaning of life in my head instead.

Luckily MrsFrugalSamurai-to-be was there to keep things at an even keel – bless her.

But to be perfectly honest with you, if you have/want to invest sufficient time in planning a wedding or a bit tight with budgeting, go right ahead – plenty of people have DIY and it turned out great.

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A wedding planner in action.

Just that both MrsFrugalSamurai-to-be and I decided the amount of time and effort involved is better spent on ourselves instead – we’re happy to outsource the process out for a fee.

Everything’s Negotiable

Happy to outsource doesn’t mean that we will be paying whatever is quoted, no sirree – I learnt very early on that everything in life is negotiable, a wedding is no different, $500 for Ranunculus flowers? Someone can do it for $350 – can you do lower?

We haven’t even gone close to our final spend amount, nowhere close, but as they say – every dollar counts.

You’d be surprised to see how easy it is if you only ask. Weddings are an insanely lucrative business for suppliers – they want to have as many days booked as possible, even if that means they offer a discount.

You don’t ask, you don’t get.

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Get fucked Ranunculus.

Use Your Networks

We really leveraged our existing networks of family and friends as unfortunately being the only child(s) from our respective families we don’t have any older siblings to piggyback off so everything was done from scratch.

Your support network is very important and no one should think they have to do it alone.

We’ve both been asking everyone – family, friend, acquaintance, stranger we’ve come across if they know any wedding suppliers/caterers/vendors for the multitude of items to be ticked off.

I find word-of-mouth to be the most potent form of marketing. As there are only so many people in the Wedding game in Sydney – it’s quite easy to determine who are the better ones out there.

Nothing beats research like experience.

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Not a recommended wedding supplier.

Keep Things in Perspective

At the end of the day, the wedding is only one day in your life – it’s one of the most important for sure but keep things in perspective.

One good day does not mean a good life.

What I’ve learnt talking to people who have gone through it is the overwhelming majority state that when they look back on their wedding day, they’re glad they went through the process but they would 100% do things differently, keep it simpler, less stress, less hassles, less time commitment.

Why is that? Because they’ve moved on past their wedding day and are actively building a life together with their better half, that’s more important.

There you have it guys! A few things we’ve learnt so far on this wedding journey.

MrsFrugalSamurai-to-be and I have certainly grown together more as a couple during this process. It’s almost impossible not to!

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Awwww.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower! Thank you greatly!

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4 Things I Gained From Losing $40,000

It’s December boys and girls! Don’t you just love it!

Summer’s finally here in Old Sydney Town and everywhere you look people have that look of hope and joy and love in their eye.

It’s true what they say about the weather and how it affects people’s moods – have a look at this, unless you club baby seals in your downtime – it’s hard not to feel some warmth.

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A photo from the internet.

MrsFrugalSamurai-to-be and I spent our weekend diligently planning our upcoming wedding next year. We even interviewed a couple of wedding photographers.

“Do you have a camera?” S…si senor

“Can you take pictures with it?” Si senor

“You’re hired”. But senor… I here only two weeks on tourist visa.

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Wedding photography in action.

It was on the way to a meet that I randomly bumped into a friend on the street. KD said he was following the $40k series (I lost $40,000 through poor investment decisions) with interest and if I could post what I did after because he wanted to find out.

Geez KD, a “how you going?” first wouldn’t have hurt would it?

Only kidding KD! Great to see you again and hope those genital warts go away soon – fight the good fight buddy.

So following on from the previous articles here’s what I got up to help me with my financial journey:

Don’t be a lone wolf.

Aoooooo – hey stop that.

Sorry got carried away.

Don’t be a lone wolf, what I mean by this is that up to that point my entire financial journey was DIY. I did everything myself, the research, the decisions, the allocations, everything, all carried out by yours truly.

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Another guy on a DIY financial journey.

This is what the cliches say right? If you want to do it properly, do it yourself. Caveat Emptor – buyer beware, do your own research. You are responsible for your own life. Etc.

Fair fair, these are good cliches… up to a point. You see, doing it yourself takes time. Doing it yourself means you have no frame of reference, no one to point out what it is you are doing right or wrong. No yardstick to measure progress.

It’s a pretty lonely journey doing everything yourself.

Trust in others.

When I realised that doing it myself ended up with me losing $40,000 – I thought, maybe doing it myself isn’t the right way of doing things. I need help. That’s when I made the conscious decision to trust in others.

This was a big turning point in my financial roadmap.

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Financial roadmap up to that point.

You see, I grew up poor (not as in below the poverty line poor, but always turning off the lights and power-points after leaving the room poor, washing dishes with cold water only in winter poor), that’s just what my environment was.

Growing up this way means you develop a scarcity mentality, you don’t trust anyone and you have to pry every dollar out of my cold, dead hands.

The problem with this way of thinking is that it is very restrictive – if you don’t trust in others, you don’t share, you don’t share then others don’t know, if others don’t know then no one can help you.

So quite simply, I decided to do a 180 – I went on to as many investment forums as I could and started reading, then posting, then messaging, then meeting, before you know it – I accelerated my financial learning just by sharing and trusting others.

Find a Mentor.

They say finding a trusted mentor is the easiest way to move forward two steps at a time, learn from their mistakes to fast-track your own progress.

When I first reached out to people, I was genuinely surprised as to how many wanted to help me. You’d be surprised how altruistic people are.

I loved to connect with the old-timers, the ones who have been through the wars – most were no better than mere “punters” (gamblers aka pseudo-investors) but they were always ready to regale an old war story or two about their investment journey.

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Not a suitable mentor.

History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme as they say – might as well receive a history lesson from someone who’s been through it.

Of course, then there were the REALLY successful investors – the ones who have seven or eight figure income streams – I learnt the value of patience and discipline through them.

I found mentors across multiple mediums – in person, on the internet, reading books, following blogs, and my personal favourite, the school of hard knocks – nothing is more memorable than say losing $40,000 on the stock market.

Stay Positive.

You know what the difference between the punters and the successful investors were?

Mindset.

The successful investors were always positive no matter what the underlying economic or financial conditions were.

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A successful investor showing off his mindset.

I remember telling my $40k story to one such investor and he replied “It’s the best thing to have happened to you because it happened early, I lost half a mil last year and now it’s all back and then some – same will happen with you”.

That’s why whenever possible I keep on re-iterating affirmations and positive reinforcement via Youtube videos and podcasts.

My top 3 are Eric Thomas, Jim Rohn and Mel Robbins – check them out!

Hard to not be badgered and pushed this way and that in our lives I know – but you gotta stay positive!

Through discussing and talking to numerous investors, I slowly diverged from investing in the stock market to investing in real estate. The fundamental principles are the same (make money) but there are some distinct differences – come back and find out what they are!

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower! Thank you greatly!

My Friend’s Lessons In Love And Finance

Ding, Dong, the witch is dead!

Which old witch?

The Wicked Witch!

Sorry guys, had that humming in my head all day, my friend Juggsy’s been love-struck recently and been moaning about his “witch” – (some mythical creature none of us has seen) which has his heart on a string.

Poor bastard, he falls head over heels EACH time a girl flutters her eyelids at him. “LEAVE ME ALONE, I just want to play the piano and stroke my baby’s hair”.

Just wow, REALLY feel for him.

But the more I think about Juggsy’s predicament the more I can see parallel’s between what he’s going through with lurve to what I went through with finance.

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Both cost money.

First and foremost, Juggsy’s a good guy with a good heart – so many of us are. But in love, guys with good hearts get killed first.

“Hey I won’t be able to make it tonight, too busy”

“But, I’ve been waiting for two hou…CLICK”

This is similar to finance – if you’re a good guy with a good heart, the sharks come to you for a feed first.

Lesson for Juggsy – fight off the sharks.

Secondly, Juggsy’s heart flutters each time he looks at a female with a pulse, he can’t say NO. It’s in his nature and he knows this.

No matter how hard he tries, if she says hello to him at the mall – she’s the next Mrs Juggsy. She’s perfect.

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Um… not this kind of pulse.

This is similar in finance – there are so many investment vehicles, options and alternatives out there that it’s hard not to notice people who make money from anything and everything.

These days, we have stocks at record highs, cryptocurrency at record highs, housing at record highs, we all know people who have done fantastically well from them.

Everywhere you turn, you can see “DUMMY’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A BITCOIN MILLIONAIRE”, “HOW I MADE $6M IN 6MTHS”, “YOU TOO CAN BUY 400 HOUSES”.

Only problem is everyone highlights their success and so very, very few actually showcase their failures, you have to scratch the surface to see if she is Mrs perfect.

Lesson for Juggsy – don’t get too emotional if something attractive reaches out to you and sings to your heart at the start.

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Sorry B – have to scratch your surface first.

Thirdly, following on from the previous point, with the few who show their vulnerabilities and failures, explore them further, they tend to be more transparent.

I really like that guy from “The Big Short” Michael Burry aka Christian Bale who when narrating how he met his wife stated that in his profile online he described himself frankly as “a medical resident with only one eye, an awkward social manner, and $145,000 in student loans”.

The honesty is refreshingly different – mind you he did make over $100m from the GFC with his one eye. I think it’s because he could only see the buy side, not the sell side, oh wait, the big short… so the sell side not the buy side? Doesn’t matter, big kudos to him.

Point being, if you know what you’re getting into, your expectations should match reality. It’s only when expectations don’t match reality that we are disappointed – like that time I really wanted a McDonald’s Chocolate Sundae but they ran out of Chocolate, who runs out of Chocolate, McDonald’s, why?

Similar to investments, if you understand what you’re getting into – you’ll make better decisions. If it doesn’t feel right at the beginning, chances are it won’t be at the end.

Lesson for Juggsy – if she shows her ugly side at the start, don’t expect her to stay beautiful.

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I’m more of a dog person.

There you have it folks a… WOW – TheFrugalSamurai, you’re amazing! Did you just highlight the similarities between love and finance? 

No, no, I’m just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose remember?

You’re great TheFrugalSamurai – I wish you can have my babies!

No thank you, I wouldn’t know where to put them.

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Here’s What I Did After Losing $40,000

Hay Guys! How you all going!

Summer has well and truly come to Sydney and I spent most of it outdoors with friends, how about you?! Hope you had a cracker of a weekend as well!

After the crazy week at work I’ve had, I needed this! Don’t you just love social interactions with good friends, good food and good times? What life should be all about.

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Love this city.

I got a bit of banter from a couple of friends about the last post as well – “hey funny guy, why don’t you actually post what you did instead of some Santa Claus fairytales?”

S…sorry if my darkest childhood memories got in the way of your entertainment.

So to appease those bulli… friends, here’s what happened after I had recovered sufficiently from having my finances bush-whacked:

Research, research, research.

The absolute key take-away from this experience is I could not just rely on “gut feels” and “because it feels right” when making investment decisions. Sure there’s an element of luck involved with investing but first and foremost without education and research, you’re relying on blind luck.

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Mr Nazgul sir, did you read TheFrugalSamurai’s post on education and research?

This meant I actually had to spend the time to learn what I am investing in. This concept is not rocket science mind you, but just like everything in life – if you don’t prepare and be educated, you won’t be making any informed decisions.

What I did in this aspect was to read and learn and absorb as much as possible from one of the greatest investors out there, the one who everyone wants to be and quote from – Kim Kard… sorry, wrong. Warren Buffet.

There are so many books written about the great man and his investment style it’s hard to choose which book to start from. It didn’t matter, I spent about 6 months dedicated to reading every article, book, memoir, excerpt I could find about Buffet and then applied it to practice.

The next 6 months I spent trawling through the ASX200 (Top 200 companies of Australia) using the principles learnt from my readings.

The results of which was (Schindler’s) lists upon lists of shortlists of companies.

Haha, sorry I lost my thought process watching that video. Hm… where was I – oh yeah! Lists of companies… yeah so I came up with a few names out of the 200 or so companies out there and watched them like a hawk. I was excited, I was back!

Then months past. Those stocks just sat there, scratching their nose and looking bored.

Nothing happened, no material price movement, no company announcements, no major events.

Fuck this, I can’t sit around all day – so I bought into one and IMMEDIATELY the price moved…

… DOWN.

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Haha, good one Woolworths.

It dropped over 50% in two days, as in the two days after I bought.

What a punch in the guts! Fuck this stock market game – GG, I’m out.

But you know what? I didn’t GG, I didn’t panic, I didn’t freeze, I didn’t ignore it – I researched what happened.

Reading through I rationalised the company took a severe blow to its bottom line – but not a mortal one.

So naturally I added to my position given the reduced price and began accumulating more.

Slowly the share price reflected what I guesstimated and now 5 years later it’s around triple my buy-in price.

It’s not the biggest position in my portfolio, but it’s my proudest. Mind you if I had only waited 2 days…

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Me, after waiting 2 days.

What, TheFrugalSamurai – are you a stock market guru now Homie, eh Ese? 

Why are you speaking like a Mexican gang banger? Anyway just because you apply a couple of principles of Warren Buffet doesn’t make you a guru, I mean, I didn’t even have the patience to catch the big break.

But from where I came before researching to where I ended up after, it felt a big leap.

Understanding the importance of research and preparation was the big highlight of what happened next after losing $40,000. Of course there were other important take-outs, what are they? Find out in the coming posts!

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower! Thank you greatly!

 

What I Did After Losing $40,000

Back again folks! Hope you guys are doing well!

Been a TOUGH week so far for yours truly, so earlier tonight I decided to do something different to reset my head-space and cheer on my friends as they played a quality game of futsal (indoor soccer).

The effort from the guys was very inspiring and the social connection did me a world of good.

Who won you say?

“Football was the real winner” quipped one spectator.

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Sepp Blatter is the real winner actually.

Following on from this I’m going to continue the series on me losing $40,000 – which by the way has racked up a decent amount of views so far (please share and comment and like and talk about TheFrugalSamurai to everyone you know – do the right thing).

My friend Waffles was correct – you guys DO love reality TV. I don’t blame you, I’m secretly fascinated with other people’s lives as well – it’s the human condition. WHAT JEMMA IS SLEEPING WITH TROY BUT NOW SHE LIKES ANDRE? GET OUT OF TOWN.

I’m happy to share of course, it’s why I started this blog, that and cos I’m just an awesome kind of guy.

I re-read what I learnt about losing the $40,000 and it does bring back nostalgic memories. It seems so long ago now, that I look back on those times with fondness.

Why fondness? Did you enjoy losing the $40k?

Um, I haven’t met anyone who “enjoys” losing money – more so the fact that it shaped my investment journey to date.

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Investment Journey up to that point.

What do you mean TheFrugalSamurai? TELL ME NOW!

O…OK…I…I will.

You can imagine after losing such an amount, it does take some time to recover psychologically, emotionally and financially to be in a position to contemplate investing again.

It’s sort of like that time when I was a kid riding my bike at the local park and this drunken old man came up to me and asked politely if he can steal my bike.

You can never forget if a dopey Santa Claus look-alike slurrs his words and asks “Excuse me, young man, “HIC”, can… can I steal your bike please?”

“No, you may not sir”, is what I should have said instead of pedalling away like the wind. Forgive me, I was but a child.

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This man is wanted on numerous breaking and entering charges.

I saw that man on TV many times each year around December – “THAT’S HIM”, I would shout at the TV, frustrated as to why the police haven’t caught him yet.

Even now, I hesitate when old men ask me to sit on their knees and tell them what they can give me for Christmas.

Once bitten, twice shy as the saying goes.

I digress slightly but I feel an important point has been made, that these moments in your life are what shapes you as an individual. The raw memories are the ones we remember most.

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I think we ALL remember this.

There’s a good saying out there that history does not repeat but it does rhyme.

I think the best lesson losing $40k has taught me, is the fact that having gone through it I recognise the noise, signs and signals of when to hold em and when to fold em a little bit better now. This has done me wonders in the years that followed and I hope in the years to come.

But I’m moving ahead of myself because the first thing I picked myself back up was to…

What’s that? You have work to do? Well so do I but I’m still here! Stay a while!

Sigh, OK fine, I’ll save it for next time but promise me you’ll come back yeah?

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower! Thank you greatly!

 

 

Amazon is Here!

Hi guys! How’s everyone doing!

“Cough cough”

What’s wrong TheFrugalSamurai?

Excuse me, I’ve been knocked out and about with the flu all week. What’s that? Of course it’s not man flu! It’s a Jen-u-wine flu.

I was going to continue the short series on my experiences of losing $40,000 but a couple of days ago something exciting happened here in Australia – Amazon launched their online store.

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Even mother nature has gone capitalist.

ABOUT DAMN TIME.

Here in Australia – retail is suffering, rising rents, lower consumer spending, flat wages growth and soaring house prices have coincided with the toughest trading conditions for many years.

But can you blame us? For years we have had to put up with duopolies and monopolies across industry sectors. David Jones/Myer, Coles/Woolworths, the big 4 banks – all setting their prices at take it or leave it rates.

Then came the first of the big household disruptors – ALDI, which has ingrained itself in our psyche and continued to increase its share of the supermarket pie sitting around 13.2% as of this year.

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Who doesn’t love Choceur?

Did you see what happened when Coles and Woolworths began to take notice of ALDI? PRICE WARS.

Yeah that’s right, we all learnt in Economics 101 that one of the fundamental factors to influence demand is price. When you want to increase demand, the easiest way is to lower the price.

YAY!

This also happened when IKEA came to town – local furniture retailers such as Nick Scali and Domayne dominated TV ad times, tried to compete initially and where are they now?

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If only Nick Scali had Swedish meatballs…

You can’t really compete on price with a global conglomerate which has better efficiencies and more streamlined processes up and down the supply chain. Especially one which is tailored for the mass market with solid quality products at affordable prices.

This brings us to Amazon, the latest entrant to our shores. I know a lot has been said already about how quickly they can gobble up market share – but it’s kind of scary when you factor in just how big this company is and it’s potential reach. Here let me explain:

Look at that revenue growth.

Amazon’s model is to enter the local market and damnit man if I won’t be the cheapest operator out there, profit be damned. It’s about grabbing a piece of the pie through scale and low-prices.

Yes that’s right – they don’t care about profits, in fact it’s only in the last couple of years where they have recorded any meaningful profits despite it trading since 1994.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t generate revenue (see below), it’s just they reinvest so much cash into the business to make sure it continues to be one streamlined muthafucka that there is not much profit to speak of (revenue is income or sales, profit is revenue minus expenses in case you’re wondering).

Amazon will force lazy Australian retailers to step up their game.
So ridic.

Hey, can I sell on Amazon?

Yes you can, which is what makes it so over-reaching, Amazon acts as a middle man who helps to grease the wheels of any transaction between you and you and you “points to the audience”.

You can pretty much sell anything on its platform, from hydrocholoric acid to chocolate scented teddy bears, Amazon just takes a cut of each transaction.

Many e-commerce sellers also use Amazon to sell their own products via Amazon’s fulfilment processing centres – large warehouses where Amazon store the goods for you and assist with delivery and customer service. Your customer orders via your website and Amazon ships it out to them on your behalf.

When barriers of entry to sell on Amazon are so low, competition is fierce… HEY what happens when competition is fierce and you want to increase demand? Drop the price people! When prices drop, demand increases, more people buy, more people want to sell – it’s a vicious cycle.

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Here is a vicious cy… wait WTF is going on here.

Their company culture is ruthless.

This is a controversial topic because much has been said about how Amazon treats their employees, seems very much the work/life balance is skewed towards one side here. Point being though, Amazon retains the best employees, the ones which dedicate their entire life around making Amazon great.

We are so often told that a company is only as good as it’s people – so if the best people remain to work at a company which wants to make itself the best, well…

Similarly look at what Jack Welch did with GE in the 80s, Welch was notable for popularising the “rank and yank” policy i.e. each year he would fire the bottom 10% of his managers, regardless of absolute performance. GE had 411,000 employees in 1980 and 299,000 in 1985…

Now of course, Welch is widely regarded as one of the best CEO’s in recent history.

Image result for Jack Welch
I’m one of the best CEO’s in recent history.

Finally, get off your ass.

Amazon’s entry should serve as a wake-up call to the big Aussie retailers out there.

It’s so obvious that the average consumer cannot afford the high margins charged by our standard retail outlets in this day and age when we can find a comparable product online for 20%, 30% sometimes 40% off.

Do you remember how good it feels to receive a good deal? Of course you do!

I’m excited and hopeful to see how both Amazon and our local companies react to this newest player to our shores. Maybe some of our dinosaur companies finally catch up to the digital age!

Now, if only a couple of banks could do the same.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this post? Please help me out if you enjoyed this and click on the little “follow” button at the bottom right and be a follower! Thank you greatly!

What I Learnt From Losing $40,000

Back again guys!

I hope everyone enjoyed my previous post – the one where I gave myself a good paper-cut and squeezed some lemon juice onto old memories just for your viewing pleasure.

There’s been a fair amount of messages about that episode, mainly around what I did next, what I learnt, what I’m wearing when I type out a post.

fail-no-learning-b38aabb7
Fuck off Velociraptor – no wonder you’re extinct.

To be frank (Anne – come and find me, oh dear “shakes head”) I took that hit pretty hard.

I mean it wasn’t like I blinked twice slowly and then continued with whatever I was doing, it was a good 18 months or so before I could contemplate investing again and recovered my nest egg sufficiently to be in a position to do so.

Here are the CRUCIAL lessons I’ve learnt:

$40,000 can be earned back.

At the time, $40,000 represented the vast majority of my net wealth – to have it disappear was a crushing blow to self-confidence and your sense of worth, especially if you have grown up in austerity. For a long time afterwards, I’ve thought about what I can do with $40,000 – even now, wouldn’t $40,000 make a difference to your life?

baccarat-in-vegas
Making a difference with $40,000.

Fact is though, I was fortunate in the sense that this occurred early in my income generating years. You can recover from a bottom line hit of $40,000 when you have the next 30 or 40 years of earning capacity to make up for it.

I saved and scrounged and was back to that mark just over a year later.

Learn to control your emotions.

In investing there’s a mantra which is don’t get emotional. Yep, got it – up, down, sideways – doesn’t matter, just don’t get emotional.

So easy to say when you’re not actually involved – “My shares tripled overnight!” Are you a noob? Don’t get emotional. “Oh shit, I lost $40,000” It’s OK, don’t get emotional. Fuck off don’t get emotional – only a machine or pulse-less being does not become emotional when it’s their money at stake.

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Don’t get emotional they said. Plenty of lifeboats they said. Unsinkable they said.

The best traders, the best money managers, the best investors – they all get emotional, we are humans, we all have emotions.

True success is how you control your emotions to generate superior returns. Not “don’t get emotional” – it’s not possible with our psyiology, pyhsiology, with our genetic makeup.

I did not learn to control my emotions, not when I was up $40,000, not when I was down $40,000.

Why didn’t you stop the train?

A few people have asked me, Hey, TheFrugalSamurai, why didn’t you just sell out when you were, you know, not down $40,000?

A very good question – it wasn’t like that $50,000 position (I had $50k invested in that sucker, lost it, but had $10k from other positions so net $40k loss) decided to play hide and seek one day and disappeared, it went something like this:

OH YEAH BABY – GOOD TIMES ROLLIN IN -> at this point I was flying (proverbially) and happy and life was good.

WHEW – LEMME TAKE A BREATHER -> of course, that’s fine – you’ve worked hard recently and you deserve a break or two.

OOPS – MISSED A STEP THERE, DON’T MIND ME -> hmm OK, you’ll still take me out to dinner Friday night right?

HA, HA – HAD TOO MUCH TO DRINK LAST NIGHT, I’M GOOD NOW -> of course you are, always believed in you.

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To be honest, the signs were there.

UM – SO ABOUT LAST NIGHT -> …. yes?

NOTHING, NOTHING FALSE ALARM -> t…tell me.

SO I SLEPT WITH YOUR SISTER AND NOW WE ARE MARRIED -> WTF

The warnings were there of course, but being naive and inexperienced I had nothing to go off.

When the position was moving down slightly, I didn’t bother to check why.

When the position was moving down a lot, I left it there thinking it will come back.

When the position wasn’t even moving anymore, I thought, I’ve come this far – no point in selling out now.

It was only when the position wasn’t there anymore that reality hit me like a wave.

Money is just money. 

I’m learning this lesson every day as I become older – when I lost that $40,000 wow did I feel shit. The world was a darker place, the birds and the bees weren’t as chirpy anymore and this spiralled into other dimensions of my life.

But you know what, money’s just numbers on a screen or pieces of paper. Of course its important and of course its what makes the world go round – but end of the day it’s only one facet of life. The world spins with or without you.

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10,000 TIMES? YOU SUCK EDISON

Do my family stop loving me because I lost money? Do my friends stop being my friends because I lost money? Does me dog stop being so excited to see me because I lost money?

Nah – life goes on, we all have setbacks in life. It’s about climbing out of the abyss and constantly learning from your mistakes.

It’s what you do next that counts.

So what did I do next? Follow this blog and find out!

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