Business Magazine

The Digital Hypocrite

By The Contender @The__Contender

Financial Independence Through Technology

Useful Technology?

I started out in life fascinated by new tech. I adored the BBC computer in school, learning a little bit of programming and playing the odd game such as Boffin, Manic Miner and Castle Quest. I was in awe with my Commodore 64. Technology was new, changing fast, cutting edge and innocent.
Roll on 2014 and the technological innocence has almost been lost. Devices used to be were stand alone and you really had to learn how to use them, write some code. Now everything is connected 24/7 you can access pretty much anything on the web including stuff that one should not have access to.
We have social media - plaster loads of personal information about you across the WORLD. Better still give all of the important information about you FREE to advertisers to target your desires and weaknesses!
Without the internet is was not as easy to read a freedom of speech article. Alternative views such as this blog would only be available in a magazine such as The Idler. First you would have had to find it and understand its content, ideally reading a copy to see if it was what you would like. Then subscribe to the magazine and wait each quarter or year for the latest edition. 
Desolation of the young
Technology is changing the young in ways we still do not understand. Providing access to violent video games and sex at earlier and earlier ages through their tablets and smart phones is including their adolescence and destroying their innocence. Shooting a human being becomes more and more real on the screen leading some to act it out in real life. Internet porn is heaping extra pressure on them to perform (and perform what) when that special moment occurs.
Does this really encourage respect for each other and the formation of strong families?
Further attacks are taking place on their attention spans. Sit down and read a book - no let's watch the movie instead. Interface devices encourage 'browsing' and consumption of goods and services. Snippets of entertainment news have replaces the investigative journalist and the need to think about the content and challenges in the world. Back to the bedroom from the fields - it is save there with def recon armored pursuit 10.
In our eldest child's pre-school in London tablets computers were made available to the kids. Instead of learning to play together, develop 3D dexterity and interpersonal skills they are tap tap tapping at a flat screen that is 'educating' them to work quickly and jump from sugar rush app to app. It is easy to learn how to use a tablet and play computer games so why so young?
Ah but this IS progress one might say? So should we sit back and as Bill Hicks would say "Enjoy the Ride!". We have marvels at our finger tips that our grandparents could never have imagined. They would have made their lives easier....Should we rebelling from the technological revolution? It has become so ingrained can we actually turn it off?
Work is changing and you need to keep on top of the technology to stay employed. What happens if there is an accident and you don't have your GPS smart phone? Not following investments could mean one day you look and to your horror the money has been lost. There is clearly a need for certain types of technology in our modern lives
Technology has Created Investment Apathy
I find it interesting in the investing world that it it not deemed worthwhile understanding what you are investing in just buy the whole exchange through an ETF.
What about the morality of this, investing in every industry regardless if it is good for society? Don't get me wrong the low costs involved are a huge advantage.
If are morals are for good health should we be investing in companies that provide unhealthy products loaded with stimulants? If we care for the environment should we be investing in companies that drive unnecessary consumption?
Unfortunately the nice people get crushed in the current capitalist system. It is designed for profit over everything else. The companies that entice people to buy the goods get the massive "profits". Those are the companies that will get you to financial independence faster.
Are ETF's (or Vanguard funds mentioned below) the RIGHT way to invest or only choose the winning companies whatever industry they are in - only the individual can make that choice.
Digital Financial Independence Friend or Foe
Friend: #Vanguard low cost funds, on line brokerage accounts, e-money mania to name a few technological get rich and gain a passive income tools.
Seeking Alpha
Motley Fool (UK link)
Dividend Monk
Foe: "The Top 12 money saving aps" is an article from the This is Money Website. Although it has a good intention of saving money on purchases unfortunately it is just another one of those articles on the web that actually involves spending money!
First you have to buy the expensive state of the art mobile phone. Secondly you need to buy the "money saving app". Third you are going to buy something but "save" on the purchase price. Hmmmmm.
Friend: Financial Blogs and alternative media. These are the real sources of freedom of speech. Admittedly  criticism can be brought to bear on these areas:
  • lots of bloggers and alternative media sites do not provide their real identity - can we really believe what they say? My reply to this can you really believe what anyone says? The real believing is your own self perception of the information that is given.
  • Is he covertly selling anything?
  • Does he have a hidden agenda or is secretly working for someone else's benefit
  • I follow his advice what is in it for him and what is in it for me
  • Does he really know what he is talking about!
on the flip side
  • It is a different point of view - does the blogger really worry if people don't like it does it have to be conformist along the lines of the mainstream media
  • Real life education - take very early financial independence planning and happiness - is that taught in school - I think not!
  • What is happening with old but important events in the world such as nuclear accidents.
Mr Money Mustache
A Good Day To live
Brave New Life
Zero Hedge
Foe: Tablet computers and smart phones: Distraction, consumption and cost. Social Media - yes, yes, yes it is useful to keep in touch but spare the life story, updating what you had for breakfast - get out an live you life.
Friend: Spreadsheets. On line calculators are available but do they really contain all of the calculations and scenarios that exist in your life? Where as a spreadsheet provides infinite options and the possibility to simply copy and change the scenarios.
Take the life planning tool - PERL on this website as an example. It can keep information such as rules and habits, pull in external data on stocks and shares, calculate net worth, years of living without a salary and saving years to complete financial independence.
The timeline planning tool is a scenario tool where investment returns, large purchases such as a house, pension planning and inflation rates can all be played with. This can help to work out a personal financial plan.
Finally there is the stock screener and market review to play with.
Foe: Main Stream media. Short sensationalist stories to get readership and ratings hence more profit. There is little to nothing that really affects the real life of the person reading the media. It is probably an expensive subscription, contains lots of advertising making them feel inadequate so they must buy the fix.
Technology is a friend to the #financialindependence seeker, the planner, the dreamer. We have access to a world of information through the Internet to help us thrive and work out what is right for us. There is a blog, app and investment to cater for everyone's taste and if you can't fine one you can easily create your own.
Peace, prosperity and happiness
A new documentary In Real Life is a look at the effect technology is having on adolescent teenagers, biased maybe but a challenge to the status quo - yes.

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