Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

‘The Moon cannot be stolen’ (The Financial Athlete, #4)

May 22, 2008

Here’s another one from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simple life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief entered the hut only to find nothing to steal.

Ryokan entered the hut and told the prowler, “You may have come a long way to visit me, and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan, sat naked, watching the moon, “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

Ryokan connects to the moon on a spiritual plane. At that moment, the intangible moon is his most prized ‘possession.’

Sports and investing are crafts. Cherish a craft like Ryokan cherishes the moon. People envy the results produced from a craft, but the process toward mastery in a craft is the real prize.

All will not go smoothly in the process. You will lose, make mistakes, and get frustrated. Accept this as part of the long process to mastery. Don’t try to rush into mastery. This results in injuries…physically for the athlete, financially for the investor. Mastery cannot be rushed into.

Placing a large percentage of your portfolio in chasing very high returns with high risk is a form of rushing into mastery. Never sacrifice proper money management for the potential of exceptionally high returns.

(above picture: ukiyo-e by Utagawa Hiroshige)


‘The truth about saturated fats’ by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon

May 21, 2008

The truth about saturated fats
by Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon
authors of: Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

This is one of the most important articles I have ever read on nutrition. It’s long but probably compelling enough to change your eating habits.

How to get rich by screwing up

May 6, 2008

Now there’s a way to make millions by being a complete failure! The trick is to convince a company’s board of directors you’re the perfect candidate they seek for CEO and to hire a good CEO employment attorney to back you up.

Before you go on on that executive job interview, it’s handy to read The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit to refresh your memory on the intricacies of business terms. Confidently spew out those fancy words during the interview, but lean on your trusted attorney to negotiate compensation for “termination without cause,” which is a nice of way saying, “You’re fired!” He’ll argue you deserve accelerated vesting of stock options and/or a massive amount of shares when they figure out you’re worthless. Don’t worry about no self-respect or damage to your reputation. Compensation for termination without cause has become standard practice. Think of it as a severance package.

Stir clear of interviewing for companies with a corporate culture of meritocracy. You’re above pay-for-performance and require downside protection just like professional athletes and movie stars demand in their employment contracts.

Lastly, after you land that coveted executive position and you don’t know what to do, just flip a coin for guidance. Don’t worry about the consequences of your decisions. You’ve got the only get-rich-quick scheme to come with a guarantee!

How the west was nearly lost

April 27, 2008

Western civilization — that is, from which blossomed democracy, art, philosophy, literature, science, and the industrial revolution.

Under General Sabotai the Mongols were prepared to invade Vienna in the first winter months of 1242. No question they would have decimated the city with their vastly superior army of nomadic warriors. At the time no other military force in the world could match their lethal combination of speed, maneuverability, discipline, and weaponry. From there, the Mongols would have pursued conquest into the Low Countries and then France and Italy. Had Antwerp, Paris, or any other European city resisted, the Mongols’ would have destroyed the city to ruins and murdered all of its inhabitants. The alternative of surrendering wasn’t much brighter; the cities would have been torched and the women and children spared for a dreadful life of slavery. This was the modus operandi of the Mongols, who left a trail of blood and tears stretching for thousands of miles, from China to Central Asia to Southern Russia and as far west as Hungary.

How then was Western Europe saved from this horrific fate? The turn of events was spurred by the timely death of Ogadai, Khan of the Mongols and third son of the infamous Genghis Khan. General Sabotai followed the Mongol law which required him to be present in the homeland to choose a new Khan. The formidable Mongol army never returned to Europe again.

For source material, read ‘The death that saved Europe‘ in the fascinating book, What If?, edited by Robert Cowley.

Unhealthy “health food nuts”

April 17, 2008

An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away. Even an organic apple won’t do! Some vegans, raw foodists, macrobiotics, food allergy elimination enthusiasts, and vegetarians are learning this the hard way through debilitating health.

What begins as a desire to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food can turn into an eating disorder called orthorexia. While the anorexia and bulimia sufferer fails to eat enough food or is in the habit of vomiting, the orthorexia sufferer is obsessed with the quality of food. Junk food, artificial ingredients, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup never reach anywhere near their lips.

Sadly, the obsession for “pure” food often deepens to an extreme, leading to a too strict diet. A puritanical witch hunt for ingredients plays out in the mind of the orthorexia sufferer when reading labels and preparing foods. Lost is the most fundamental principal of healthy eating: a balanced diet.

For more on orthorexia read Health Food Junkies by Steven Bratman, M.D., who coined the term for this eating disorder he had suffered. Can’t trust a medical doctor who may prescribe “unnatural meds”? Then consider what this inquisitive cyclist has to say on the matter (and yes, I know it’s satire).

“Think rich to get rich!”

April 7, 2008

So says T. Harv Eker in his book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Others who write about the thinking patterns of the rich such as Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, would agree that our “money bluebrint” (thought processes regarding money) has a major impact on our net worth.

I find books on how to think rich entertaining…it’s sort of a reverse Lazarus story. You’d think the rich have halos around their heads. Nevertheless, I also believe these books can be instructional on how to have the proper mindset to receive abundance. There’s nothing wrong with abundance. It’s what you do with it that reflects your character, like being condescending to the poor.

Here are Eker’s “Wealth Files” discussed in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind:

1. Rich people believe, ‘I create my life.’ Poor people believe ‘Life happens to me.’

2. Rich people play the game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.’

3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.

4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.

5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.

6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.

7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.

8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their values. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.

9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.

10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.

11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.

12. Rich people think “both.” Poor people think “either/or”.

13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.

14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money.

15. Rich people have money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.

16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.

17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.