Friday, March 25, 2011

Newest Obsessions: Investing Money and Chinese Philosophy

I've picked up two new obsessions since moving back home. I started reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and felt compelled to do something about my finances. One of the points he makes early on in the book is the difference between assets and liabilities. Assets are things that make you money and adds to your income. With some long term planning and investing, I want to get to a point in my investments where my monthly expenses are being paid for by my investments instead of my every day job.

This is definitely a long-term goal and is easier said than done. But it's definitely something that I want to work towards. I never thought of myself a someone who "manages a portfolio" and invests in the stock market. But now that I start reading about investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, it doesn't seem that difficult. There's a lot of terminology and things you have to know. But I feel like they're things that I should know.

It's not enough to just stick money into these online saving accounts since the interest is so low. I have some loans that I need to pay off and the interest on those are much higher. Which means, unless I find some place that can invest at a higher interest rate than my loans, I should just focus on repaying those loans. Frankly, repaying loans is not that exciting. There's no gain.

Another thing that I want to pursue is Chinese philosophy. I think there are some deep wisdom from Confucius, Menicus, and other people that are worth reading and thinking about. I met someone who is doing a PhD in psychology who is studying how using proverbs in everyday life makes people smarter. She is Nigerian and says that Nigerians tend to speak with a lot of proverbs. Later on, I realize that this is true in Chinese society as well. I just don't know very many proverbs and stories. The difficulty here is that some of the translations are very difficult to read. The original texts were written a long time ago and I am definitely not familiar with that kind of writing style. So I'm starting out with very diluted stuff and hope that I can get something out of them. We'll see how this new hobby goes.


docey101 said...

cool new hobbies, both should add more value to your life :)

yalu said...

Mike got me Rich Dad Poor Dad last Christmas! I really liked the house metaphor (how a house is a liability) but the thing is, it is an asset in many ways even though it may not feel like it. Most importantly, the tax code and financial aid places see it as an asset.

yalu said...

Living off a portfolio would be really cool. But it seems like you'd need to have a lot of money for that to be sustainable, or at least not have to pay for rent/mortgage. Maybe it's a goal for 40s - have paid off mortgage and be able to live off portfolio? I heard kids cost a lot.. ;-)