In today’s Exponential Investor…
- Déjà vu
- Are you really free? Can you be?
- Do these two things before anything else
I had a really bad case of déjà vu yesterday.
I swear it was only a couple of weeks ago I was writing to you about my “tech rage”.
My wife’s iPhone packed it in.
It had a software problem, effectively bricking the phone.
Cause for much disruption to her and to her small business.
Well, guess what?
It’s happening again. Her iPhone decided to auto-update to a new iOS update. And lo and behold, it’s bricked itself again.
That means a morning wasted arguing with Apple and subsequently Vodafone (where it was originally bought) that it now needs replacing, not attempts at fixing it again.
I can handle a fault happening once and it getting fixed. But when that same problem happens again, that’s a problem that needs more serious consideration. And for multi-billion companies surely a little customer satisfaction goes a long way.
Instead, we’re passed on from pillar to post. These giants of industry are very happy to take your money, but the moment you need a little help, they’re quick to fob you off.
Maybe that’s exactly why they’re giants of industry. But the question must be asked. When you behave in that way, surely that’s an unsustainable position to continue? At what point do these giants, succumb to the competitors that do offer better ways?
Or is it a lost cause. Are we all eternally beholden to tech in our lives and the inevitable failure of it? Hence are we now so tethered to the teat of “big tech” there’s no escape?
Have we given away our freedoms at the expense of progress? Can we get it back?
Freedom is the question of the day
This idea of freedom is one that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I mean, we are “free” aren’t we. We can go freely go about our business without interference from…
The state? Nope.
From other people? Nope.
From corporations? Nope.
Hmmm. Maybe we’re not as free as we might consider. Maybe freedom is an illusion. I guess that we’re free, but only on a sliding scale of what others allow us to be free for.
Example: I can’t fly home to my home city of Melbourne, Australia right now. If my Dad, my brother, any other family were to fall gravely ill or have an accident, I’d be stuck here.
There’s literally no way I could legally get home. And I’m still an Australian citizen. Hence the state is preventing my freedom of movement to the country I was born. That’s not freedom.
I have a few friends, not loads, I like it that way. But if I wanted to I’d probably be able to gather together more than six.
It was my birthday last weekend. Could I have organised a social meeting with seven or eight of them for dinner? No, not this year.
Ed note: it ended up as just my wife and I out for dinner, which I actually preferred, but shhhh, don’t tell my friends!
I can’t even have one or two mates around for a beer. Or if I do, then my neighbours are now encouraged to “dob me in” and report me to the Gestapo… I mean local authorities.
It’s a reasonably dire dystopian reality that’s playing out in front of our eyes.
But it’s not all bad.
Dare I say, in fact there’s even cause for optimism. I’m eternally optimistic. I believe that with the right moves financially you can actually shake free many of the shackles imposed on you.
After all, when I read that the rich get special dispensation to do as they please during all this while others are forced to exist under the ruling thumb, doesn’t that make you want to be in that echelon of “untouchableness”?
There are ways to get there. Granted you might not get there to shake these shackles tomorrow. Or probably even next year. But I’ve long held the contention, that with the right long-term strategy and investment moves, anyone can become a millionaire.
When you’re up at that level, then many of the shackles the “everyman” has quickly dissolve away.
In short, the best way to achieve freedom, I think, is to build your fortune.
That’s a mix of risk assets namely focusing in on stocks and crypto assets. It’s about using the most effective structures, such as ISAs, to protect as much of the potential returns you can.
It means a little sacrifice over a long period of time to better allocate the capital you have access to. It means having a plan and sticking to it.
Where to start?
Well the big question here is, where to start? What steps do you take to become a millionaire?
First things first, if you’ve never invested a dime in your life, start now. It’s never too late to start. The best way to start is to utilise the benefits of a stocks and shares ISA. Ideally one that will let you invest in stocks all over the world too – Interactive Investors is a good one for this without too much hassle.
For me, it’s the smartest way to hold stocks when you’re just getting things going.
You also need to set up an account with a crypto exchange. There are many out there, from Coinbase to Bitpanda and Binance. A list of potential exchanges to use in the UK can be found here.
This way you’ll now have access to stocks and access to crypto. Just that step of having access to these things is the best thing you can do to get yourself started on all this.
Or if you’re already there, then make sure your mates, your kids, your grandkids, your brother, sister, aunt or uncle are all doing it too.
Talk to your mates and family about it. Why don’t we all talk about what we’re invested in or buying or looking at? I don’t know, it’s a weird and stupid social thing.
But the more we share, the more we learn, the more we can all take that step forward. The conversation with others is as important as doing it yourself. Have that conversation. Why not? It’s not like they’re going to steal it all from you.
Little steps to start. These are the things you need to do first before anything else. And then once you’re ready and willing and able, then you start to fill your stocks ISA, fill your crypto portfolio with the opportunities to get you moving towards that end game.
That’s how we work towards freedom and building a fortune along the way.
Editor, Exponential Investor