The Stoic’s Arbitrage - Empowering your personal finance success.




Personal Finance and general financial literacy are critical for making the most of your financial resources. It is very doable! Unfortunately, financial literacy is often neglected.


There was a time in the United States when financial literacy was not as critical. Most companies provided a pension program (Defined Benefit). You did not really have to think about it. Your retirement was taken care of. Today, pensions are almost gone, replaced by portable, self-service-oriented 401(k) programs (Defined Contribution). Also, there are even more "gig workers" that need to completely self-service their retirement. The bottom line is, the need for self-driven financial literacy is greater than ever.


Unfortunately, many are falling through the cracks. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, Americans are having retirement challenges. It would seem the switch from pension to 401k has caught entire generations unprepared.


I've been asked "What is the secret formula to financial success?" The truth is there is no single "secret formula." I think of financial success as the long term outcome of a series of small but smart financial decisions. The hard part is, you don't realize financial success until after those smart financial decisions have been made.


The good news is, with a little preparation, your financial success is very doable. Your road to personal finance success is about psychology and broadly applying personal finance concepts to your life. Our ability to master our emotions, stay focused, and be disciplined is the key to victory. It has little to do with your knowledge about business, math, or trading strategy. In other words, knowing yourself, being patient AND persistent, plus applying stoic-like focused discipline powers your long-term wealth.


You may be thinking, this does not sound so hard, so why are so few people saving? Unfortunately, our brains are not wired for long-term savings. It is a result of our evolutionary biology. This is where the Stoic's Arbitrage comes into play. First, a stoic believes knowledge fuels personal power and that education is our greatest source of that power. Also, a stoic believes in mastering their emotions as a source of power to make the most of their life, including their personal financial ability. They tend to be practical and utilitarian-focused, choosing courage and calm over anger. (1) Second, arbitrage is buying or selling of assets in different markets to take advantage of price differences. A successful knowledge arbitrage results from making high-value choices between available options.


The Stoic's Arbitrage is where we use our stoic informed knowledge to make good personal finance choices. The Stoic's Arbitrage is a lifelong journey. Think of it as a series of regular, smart, and positive habit-forming financial decisions that leads to significant long-term value.

We are super excited to share our Stoic's Arbitrage personal finance curriculum! The curriculum is a series of “bite-sized” articles. The articles are written in a way that can be accessed in order, like a class. Or, they can be accessed as relevant to an anticipated life situation. No matter when you start, these articles will inform your personal finance success journey!


Your Personal Finance Journey Guide:


Core Concepts

1. Our Brain Model

2. Curiosity Exploration - An evolutionary approach to lifelong learning

3. Changing Our Mind

4. Information curation in a world drowning in data noise


Making the money!

5. Career choices - They kept asking about what I wanted to do with my life, but what if I don't know? - Part 1

6. Career choices - They kept asking about what I wanted to do with my life, but what if I don't know? - Part 2

7. Career success - Success Pillars - Maximizing luck with an adaptable mindset to reach your goals!

8. Career choices - Do I need to be a Data Scientist in an AI-enabled world?

9. Career choices - Diamonds In The Rough - A perspective on making high impact college hires


Spending the money!

10. Budgeting - Budgeting like a stoic

11. Car Buying - Auto buying and financing thoughts from a Behavioral Economist, a Banker, and a Dad

12. College choice - The College Decision - Framework and tools for investing in your future

13. College choice - College Success!

14. College choice - How to make money in Student Lending

15. Event spending - Wedding and event planning guiding principle


Investing the money!

16. Investment thoughts for my children

17. Using the Stoic's Arbitrage to choose a great investment advisor

18. Anatomy of a "pump and dump" scheme

19. The Time Value of Money Benefits the Young

20. How Would You Short The Internet?


Pulling it together!

21. Capstone - The Stoic’s Arbitrage: A survival guide for modern consumer finance products


Notes

(1) I think of stoicism as a practical, highly relevant philosophy for today's world. The philosophy is ancient and has stood the test of time. Some of my favorite stoics are:





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