Author Topic: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?  (Read 15459 times)

vand

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #150 on: June 29, 2020, 07:09:01 AM »
The list of things I think MMM is wrong about is very short, and most of them are related to Elon Musk.  There's one big thing that I might get stoned to death for.  It's the 4% rule. 

MMM (like the other thousand or so FIRE bloggers) frequently cites that if your yearly spending is 4% of your net worth or less, you have enough that your money will last forever.  Except the guy who originally made the 4% rule never said that.  He said it means your money will most likely last 30 years.  He was studying conventional retirement, during a time when living past age 90 was almost unheard of so he decided that the 4% rule means it's safe to retire at 60.  The shockingly simple math behind early conventional retirement.

I understand that most early retirees find themselves doing part-time work, or finding some unconventional way to make money to fill the gap.  I also understand that an actual safe withdrawal rate is only like half a percentage point lower.  I still think it is irresponsible to tell people they can apply the 4% rule to something it was never meant for in the first place, and to make it a centerpiece of the blog.

No, there's nothing at all wrong with you recognising the limitations of the 4% rule guide.
In finance and investing there are no absolutes because we are dealing with the future, which is unknowable. The past can be our guide, but it is not a guarantee.

A popular myth on this forum (not sure if it's MMM's own position) is that stocks are almost certain to outperform bonds and everything else over the course of your investing career during accumulation.. after all, that is why everyone holds more stocks than anything else, right? Well you might be surprised if you count the number of years between now and your expected FI date how often stocks have underperformed bonds, and even cash over that number of years..
https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2020/06/how-often-do-long-term-bonds-beat-stocks/




mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #151 on: June 29, 2020, 07:16:29 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #152 on: June 29, 2020, 07:43:58 AM »
A popular myth on this forum (not sure if it's MMM's own position) is that stocks are almost certain to outperform bonds and everything else over the course of your investing career during accumulation.. after all, that is why everyone holds more stocks than anything else, right? Well you might be surprised if you count the number of years between now and your expected FI date how often stocks have underperformed bonds, and even cash over that number of years..

This seems to me to be an incorrect way to look at the situation. Who cares what the chance is that a stock-heavy portfolio is not the optimal return path for the next X years until your ER goal date? Worst possible case is that when that date rolls around you simply choose to keep working for another year or two until you actually hit your number. Are you expecting people to who had a bond-heavy portfolio to suddenly switch into a stock-heavy-portfolio when they retire?

What matters is what the total lifetime return on your portfolio is, because that's what's going to keep you out of the poorhouse when you're 90. I'm definitely not arguing against diversification, but your graphics seem to be demonstrating the exact opposite thing than the point you're trying to make.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #153 on: June 29, 2020, 08:02:33 AM »
I think it's even simpler than that: the graphic doesn't provide enough information to make a strong case one way or the other.

It doesnt' really matter that Bonds beat Stocks 27.8% of the time over a 5-year period.  It's good to know but it doesn't allow us to form a firm decision on what do with our money.  By HOW MUCH is equally important.  Ultimately time-to-retirement is also not directly applicable to that graphic, as it matters much less how long it will be until I retire as it does how long I plan on being alive. Even with traditional retirees their time-frame is more likely to be in the ≥20 year block than the 1 year block.

I've read enough data simulations and investor studies to know that some bonds heading into retirement are a good thing, and that total returns are comparable with less volatility holding a blended portfolio. 

vand

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #154 on: June 29, 2020, 08:12:32 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

Yes, "more often than not" is correct.. but would you put all your eggs in that basket? People are of course free to invest as they wish, but imo it doesn't make much sense that if you have a high saving rate and are on course to hit your FI number in a relatively short timeframe that you would be in such a hurry to hold a very risky portfolio (eg 100% stocks) like we often see. Why do that, when the majority of the heavy lifting is going to be done through your own contributions to the portfolio, rather than through long term compounding?

There is significant risk that an all-stock portfolio is going to underperform over as long as 2 decades - it just seems like a typical human failing that people are not willing to accept a 5% risk of falling out of the 4% rule's portfolio survival rate but are conversely very willing to accept a 20-30% chance of their portfolio underperforming during accumulation by being so heavily in stocks.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:14:40 AM by vand »

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #155 on: June 29, 2020, 08:17:16 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

Yes, "more often than not" is correct.. but would you put all your eggs in that basket?

Well the counter-argument to this seems to be: would you bet on something which happens a small minority of the time?
Every time someone points out that there have been 20y periods when bonds outpaced stocks (~9% of all such periods) to emphasize owning bonds, it seems logical to say: which odds would you prefer - one that wins 91% of the time or 9%?

Further complicating such matters is that those periods when bonds outpaced stocks, it did so by a very narrow margin (i believe it is ~1% per annum).  Whereas the median difference among the majorioty of cases where stocks outpaced bonds it did so by 4x as much.

vand

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #156 on: June 29, 2020, 08:19:45 AM »

What matters is what the total lifetime return on your portfolio is, because that's what's going to keep you out of the poorhouse when you're 90. I'm definitely not arguing against diversification, but your graphics seem to be demonstrating the exact opposite thing than the point you're trying to make.

This is a very dangerous statement, and this is where you need to dig deeper - the stability and predictability of your portfolio matters just as much as the long term CAGR % when you are making regular withdrawals from it. It can easily be demonstrated that a portfolio with more stable but lower growth rate survives better in decumulation than a portfolio with higher return but also higher volatility... this is why the 4% rule thread runs to as many pages as it does. It's not just about growth rate during decumulation.

Chris Pascale

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #157 on: June 29, 2020, 08:26:15 AM »
2nd hand story:

There was a speech by another FI person who told Pete he wanted to chill like him, but also wanted to change the world like Elon Musk. Pete, according to this guy, said, "be like Elon Musk for an hour a week," or something like that.

You don't get to Mars on your own at 1 hour a week. You don't generally get anything done at 1 hour a week. You either go more-than-neck-deep, or you abandon the project, or you fund someone else doing it.

I had a science experiment I wanted to pursue (I'm not anything close to a scientist), and my wife and I were talking over a full retirement to a LCOLA, and setting up my own lab in our home. As we talked it through, I thought maybe I'd also teach business at a nearby college, and, of course, I'd be writing, and then I realized that if I wasn't willing to at least consider giving up everything, I'd be wasting my time and money while uprooting everyone when we've finally settled into our current community.

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #158 on: June 29, 2020, 08:28:08 AM »

What matters is what the total lifetime return on your portfolio is, because that's what's going to keep you out of the poorhouse when you're 90. I'm definitely not arguing against diversification, but your graphics seem to be demonstrating the exact opposite thing than the point you're trying to make.

This is a very dangerous statement, and this is where you need to dig deeper - the stability and predictability of your portfolio matters just as much as the long term CAGR % when you are making regular withdrawals from it. It can easily be demonstrated that a portfolio with more stable but lower growth rate survives better in decumulation than a portfolio with higher return but also higher volatility... this is why the 4% rule thread runs to as many pages as it does. It's not just about growth rate during decumulation.

Again, I'm definitely not arguing against diversification. I guess I just don't understand the point you're trying to make.

If you're 1 year from your expected RE date the fact that there's a 37.5% chance that long-term bonds outperform stocks in that 1 year seems completely irrelevant to me. I'm personally following a bond-tent strategy to reduce Sequence Of Return Risk, is that all you're trying to suggest that people do?

BicycleB

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #159 on: June 29, 2020, 08:32:42 AM »
@vand, thanks for the charts and article. The article is a great summary - just sent link to a friend.

vand

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #160 on: June 29, 2020, 08:42:36 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

Yes, "more often than not" is correct.. but would you put all your eggs in that basket?

Well the counter-argument to this seems to be: would you bet on something which happens a small minority of the time?
Every time someone points out that there have been 20y periods when bonds outpaced stocks (~9% of all such periods) to emphasize owning bonds, it seems logical to say: which odds would you prefer - one that wins 91% of the time or 9%?

Further complicating such matters is that those periods when bonds outpaced stocks, it did so by a very narrow margin (i believe it is ~1% per annum).  Whereas the median difference among the majorioty of cases where stocks outpaced bonds it did so by 4x as much.

Yes, this all comes down to risk. Stocks tend to beat bonds increasingly the longer you hold them but they are also more volatility and suffer bigger drawdowns. Therefore, because of the uncertainty that life throws our way, you may want to carry more bonds in case the worst happens and you are forced to liquidate assets at inopportune moments. Even if you say that you have no plans to sell anything in the next 40 years and so a 100% stock portfolio is most suitable, life doesn't unfold on a spreadsheet and so there is always a risk that you may need to abandon that plan.

And the social scientists have known for a long time that investors feel the hurt of losses more than they feel the upside of gains - by a factor of about x2.5 times. Therefore its not just a mathematical "highest expected return" solution here. How you feel about your investments and how easily it lets you sleep at night is just as important as how well it performs in backtested models.. because the studies all show that investor behaviour is the most important factor in long term investing success.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #161 on: June 29, 2020, 08:48:17 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

Yes, "more often than not" is correct.. but would you put all your eggs in that basket? People are of course free to invest as they wish, but imo it doesn't make much sense that if you have a high saving rate and are on course to hit your FI number in a relatively short timeframe that you would be in such a hurry to hold a very risky portfolio (eg 100% stocks) like we often see. Why do that, when the majority of the heavy lifting is going to be done through your own contributions to the portfolio, rather than through long term compounding?

There is significant risk that an all-stock portfolio is going to underperform over as long as 2 decades - it just seems like a typical human failing that people are not willing to accept a 5% risk of falling out of the 4% rule's portfolio survival rate but are conversely very willing to accept a 20-30% chance of their portfolio underperforming during accumulation by being so heavily in stocks.

I'm definitely picking up what you're putting down here, and I've actually made similar arguments in the past. Short term volatility is important, especially when you're talking about a really short working career.

The bold is rather interesting too. We love having the "pay off mortgage" debate around here, but the reality is that if your goal is to retire in your mid-30s to early 40s, the margin you get/give up by leveraging 3-4% house debt to invest in 8-9% returns doesn't add up to much. You need to work longer and stay invested longer for that kind of thing to pay off.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #162 on: June 29, 2020, 08:49:00 AM »
@vand unless I’m misreading your charts, doesn’t that say that over every time horizon, stocks win more often than not?

I think there’s good reason (volatility) to hold bonds and cash in some situations of course, but I think the idea behind “stocks above all” is that very few people can identify when we’re in the universe where bonds will beat stocks. If you can’t do that, you’d might as well go with the answer that is usually correct.

Yes, "more often than not" is correct.. but would you put all your eggs in that basket?

Well the counter-argument to this seems to be: would you bet on something which happens a small minority of the time?
Every time someone points out that there have been 20y periods when bonds outpaced stocks (~9% of all such periods) to emphasize owning bonds, it seems logical to say: which odds would you prefer - one that wins 91% of the time or 9%?

Further complicating such matters is that those periods when bonds outpaced stocks, it did so by a very narrow margin (i believe it is ~1% per annum).  Whereas the median difference among the majorioty of cases where stocks outpaced bonds it did so by 4x as much.

Yes, this all comes down to risk. Stocks tend to beat bonds increasingly the longer you hold them but they are also more volatility and suffer bigger drawdowns. Therefore, because of the uncertainty that life throws our way, you may want to carry more bonds in case the worst happens and you are forced to liquidate assets at inopportune moments. Even if you say that you have no plans to sell anything in the next 40 years and so a 100% stock portfolio is most suitable, life doesn't unfold on a spreadsheet and so there is always a risk that you may need to abandon that plan.

And the social scientists have known for a long time that investors feel the hurt of losses more than they feel the upside of gains - by a factor of about x2.5 times. Therefore its not just a mathematical "highest expected return" solution here. How you feel about your investments and how easily it lets you sleep at night is just as important as how well it performs in backtested models.. because the studies all show that investor behaviour is the most important factor in long term investing success.

I don't think anyone here is arguing with you about that.  It just seems that 1) your supplied graphic doesn't make this point (at least no eloquently) and 2) you are attributing a stocks-only approach to Pete when he's said far more on the matter than you indicate.

Yes, owning some bonds can be a very good thing.  yes behavior trumps all else - if you can't follow your path it doesn't matter how great that strategy is on paper.  Yes Pete has discussed the psychological side of investing and how to not to panic many times.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #163 on: June 29, 2020, 08:54:50 AM »
Yeah the "VGSAX is infallible" line of thinking is more pervasive in the forums than it is in any of the classic MMM writings.

slappy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #164 on: June 29, 2020, 09:06:08 AM »
Yeah the "VGSAX is infallible" line of thinking is more pervasive in the forums than it is in any of the classic MMM writings.

Are you familiar with ChooseFI? VTSAX is practically a religion over there. It scares me a bit.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #165 on: June 29, 2020, 09:07:28 AM »
Yeah the "VGSAX is infallible" line of thinking is more pervasive in the forums than it is in any of the classic MMM writings.

Are you familiar with ChooseFI? VTSAX is practically a religion over there. It scares me a bit.

Hahaha, I'm not familiar. But I know the type. It's not bad advice at least. The collective value of US companies seems pretty strong, and DCA smooths out some volatility anyway.

ender

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #166 on: June 29, 2020, 09:12:37 AM »
What matters is what the total lifetime return on your portfolio is, because that's what's going to keep you out of the poorhouse when you're 90. I'm definitely not arguing against diversification, but your graphics seem to be demonstrating the exact opposite thing than the point you're trying to make.

This isn't true.

I could come up with a lot of very high lifetime return scenarios that fail. Sequence of returns risk is one of the largest risks for an early retiree.

Meanwhile, a 4-5% CAGR is by definition guaranteed to support a 4% SWR indefinitely.

The way I'm personally planning on reconciling this is to take as much advantage of tax advantaged accounts (401k, IRAs, HSA) and then dump extra cash into my mortgage. This defacto results in a larger bond portion of my portfolio during my accumulation years.

It would be really interesting to see some analysis on whether this benefits your FIRE date - paying down a mortgage throughout accumulation - and right before you FIRE, doing a cash out refinance to then invest all that money.

BicycleB

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #167 on: June 29, 2020, 09:14:11 AM »
Yeah the "VGSAX is infallible" line of thinking is more pervasive in the forums than it is in any of the classic MMM writings.

VGSAX? (Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Real Estate)

VASGX? (Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund)

VSGAX? (Vanguard Smallcap Growth Admiral Index)

VTSAX? (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index)

Just curious :)

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #168 on: June 29, 2020, 09:24:09 AM »
What matters is what the total lifetime return on your portfolio is, because that's what's going to keep you out of the poorhouse when you're 90. I'm definitely not arguing against diversification, but your graphics seem to be demonstrating the exact opposite thing than the point you're trying to make.

This isn't true.

I could come up with a lot of very high lifetime return scenarios that fail. Sequence of returns risk is one of the largest risks for an early retiree.

Agreed, see above where I say I'm doing a bond-tent to reduce SORR. I just don't see how this is related to vand's post.

The way I'm personally planning on reconciling this is to take as much advantage of tax advantaged accounts (401k, IRAs, HSA) and then dump extra cash into my mortgage. This defacto results in a larger bond portion of my portfolio during my accumulation years.

It would be really interesting to see some analysis on whether this benefits your FIRE date - paying down a mortgage throughout accumulation - and right before you FIRE, doing a cash out refinance to then invest all that money.

Or just don't do a cash-out refi and instead account for your paid-off home as part of your "bond" portion of your diversified portfolio. Lower living expenses = lower required distributions during the down years ~= doing the work of the "bonds" part of your portfolio. You only need to do the cash-out refi if you want to truly be 100% stocks, which seems surprising given what you wrote above.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #169 on: June 29, 2020, 09:26:14 AM »
Yeah the "VGSAX is infallible" line of thinking is more pervasive in the forums than it is in any of the classic MMM writings.

VGSAX? (Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Real Estate)

VASGX? (Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund)

VSGAX? (Vanguard Smallcap Growth Admiral Index)

VTSAX? (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index)

Just curious :)

Hahaha. VTSAX.

Better?

MilesTeg

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #170 on: June 29, 2020, 10:04:24 AM »
One thing I disagree with is buying cheap garbage instead of high quality products. This is more something I see on the forum, but MMM does it to. For example, he endorses Harbor Freight Tools which are complete and utter garbage (and on not rare
occasion they are such garbage that they are likely to cause injury or death even when properly used).

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/consumer-advisory-harbor-freight-jack-stands

If something is worth buying it's worth buying good quality -- even if you aren't risking life and limb. If good quality is too much expense for your use case you probably shouldn't be buying. In the case of tools, that means renting or borrowing.

Another example: I will never, ever buy cheap clothes again. I can't remember how many $10-15 shirts I've had to donate over the years because they shrank from too big to too small in only 2 or 3 washes. Now I buy $30 shirts, and they last hundreds of washings and only get demoted to rags due to damage or stains.


ericrugiero

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #171 on: June 29, 2020, 10:18:58 AM »
There are a few things that MMM posts that I tend to disagree with but none of them are major enough to bother me.  I really appreciate his blog in general as I think he has helped a lot of people (including me) to realize that it's possible to design your life to focus on what's important to you and not be locked into a traditional retire at 60+ working career.  Prior to reading his blog, I always thought I would have to work till 60 and then retire with more money than I needed.  The items I tend to disagree with include:
-He leans much further left on the political spectrum than me.  It's been good for me to understand more of the beliefs and though processes of people I don't agree with.
-I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.  I'd like to give mine a head start while not giving them an entitled/lazy mindset.  It's a delicate balance that I still have time to think through. 
-I won't be skipping out on either home or health insurance like he does.  The health insurance seems particularly risky. 
None of these are a big deal to me and I very much appreciate his thought provoking and entertaining posts. 


A popular myth on this forum (not sure if it's MMM's own position) is that stocks are almost certain to outperform bonds and everything else over the course of your investing career during accumulation.. after all, that is why everyone holds more stocks than anything else, right? Well you might be surprised if you count the number of years between now and your expected FI date how often stocks have underperformed bonds, and even cash over that number of years..
https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2020/06/how-often-do-long-term-bonds-beat-stocks/




Lets say my retirement is 10 years out and I plan to live another 40 years.  My investing career is 50 years so 100% stocks is "probably" best but in the early years of my retirement I would choose to do some % of bonds and cash to reduce the sequence of returns risk.  Over the 10 years leading up to retirement, I will probably choose to stay close to 100% stocks and play the odds that it will work out for me.  If stocks perform poorly, I might work a little longer.  If they do well, I might work less.  The odds are in my favor (83-85% according to your link), I just need to understand and accept the risks.   

Right now, I probably have 5-10 years before I have the option to retire.   I will probably start to transition to more cash and bonds in the last year or two before my anticipated retirement.  A market drop between now and retirement doesn't scare me but an extended drop right after is much more worrisome.  I lost zero sleep over my 401K balance (~97% equities) due to the covid crash because I don't need the money yet.  Post retirement mindset will be much different and I will probably invest more conservatively (60/40 stocks and bonds with a years cash sounds reasonable right now).
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 10:20:50 AM by ericrugiero »

Aunt Petunia

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #172 on: June 29, 2020, 11:54:46 AM »
One thing I disagree with is buying cheap garbage instead of high quality products. This is more something I see on the forum, but MMM does it to. For example, he endorses Harbor Freight Tools which are complete and utter garbage (and on not rare
occasion they are such garbage that they are likely to cause injury or death even when properly used).

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/consumer-advisory-harbor-freight-jack-stands

If something is worth buying it's worth buying good quality -- even if you aren't risking life and limb. If good quality is too much expense for your use case you probably shouldn't be buying. In the case of tools, that means renting or borrowing.

Another example: I will never, ever buy cheap clothes again. I can't remember how many $10-15 shirts I've had to donate over the years because they shrank from too big to too small in only 2 or 3 washes. Now I buy $30 shirts, and they last hundreds of washings and only get demoted to rags due to damage or stains.

HF guarantees their hand tools and will exchange them no questions asked if they break.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #173 on: June 29, 2020, 12:10:02 PM »
One thing I disagree with is buying cheap garbage instead of high quality products. This is more something I see on the forum, but MMM does it to. For example, he endorses Harbor Freight Tools which are complete and utter garbage (and on not rare
occasion they are such garbage that they are likely to cause injury or death even when properly used).

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/consumer-advisory-harbor-freight-jack-stands

If something is worth buying it's worth buying good quality -- even if you aren't risking life and limb. If good quality is too much expense for your use case you probably shouldn't be buying. In the case of tools, that means renting or borrowing.

Another example: I will never, ever buy cheap clothes again. I can't remember how many $10-15 shirts I've had to donate over the years because they shrank from too big to too small in only 2 or 3 washes. Now I buy $30 shirts, and they last hundreds of washings and only get demoted to rags due to damage or stains.

HF guarantees their hand tools and will exchange them no questions asked if they break.

For tools I'll use repeatedly I will spend money on quality.  For a one-off job I have no qualms recommending Harbor Fright.  We use them frequently for remote field stations where the cost of transport and the exposed environment means any tools won't come back with us. FOr us they've held up just find for intense but short (couple of week) projects.

I've encountered safety recalls on lots of tools from lots of brands.  HF doesn't seem more (or less) prone than others.  Everything sold in the US is required to be underwritten, usually by UL.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #174 on: June 29, 2020, 01:24:12 PM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.



« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 01:42:31 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #175 on: June 29, 2020, 01:49:03 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #176 on: June 29, 2020, 01:58:00 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #177 on: June 29, 2020, 02:07:48 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

Constitutional Law bots aren't known for their subtlety (my initial assumption of JGI!'s account).

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #178 on: June 29, 2020, 02:13:39 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

Thanks. I agree. Seems reasonable to me. There's this line here:

Quote
When your own needs are capped, it becomes only logical to find an efficient outlet for the surplus money. So there is an understanding that we operate with an informal, non-billionaire’s version of the “giving pledge“, meaning there will be no large Mustache family inheritance – each generation will be left free to generate its own massive surplus.

But "no large inheritance" doesn't mean that he isn't going to use his wealth to bestow all sorts of advantages on to his son.

ericrugiero

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #179 on: June 29, 2020, 02:16:20 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

I do like many of his points in that post.  I've already stolen the part about paying his kids interest on their savings. 

The reference to not leaving an inheritance is the part I'm not so sure about.  As mentioned, I'm still working through my plans. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 02:18:25 PM by ericrugiero »

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #180 on: June 29, 2020, 03:12:14 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

I do like many of his points in that post.  I've already stolen the part about paying his kids interest on their savings. 

The reference to not leaving an inheritance is the part I'm not so sure about.  As mentioned, I'm still working through my plans.
I think it’s perfectly Appropriate to adjust ones strategy as you and your children age.
I don’t want to leave my daughter a large inheritance (or have her know she will get one) when she’s still a minor. When she’s in her 30s or 40s with an established career I might think differently, especially if she has already shown financial responsibility.

Regardless, my aim is that my child will have no need for an inheritance and instead I can gift it to charities I want to support. That, to me, would be parenting success with regards to finances

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #181 on: June 29, 2020, 05:12:17 PM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.

There’s gotta be some room for utilitarianism here though, right? If my kid, like me, can easily make ends meet to a first world standard by pushing keys on a keyboard at a desk... well, it’s hard for me to imagine loving them so much that I want to spare them that at the expense of utilitarian charitable giving.

MilesTeg

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #182 on: June 29, 2020, 05:43:18 PM »
One thing I disagree with is buying cheap garbage instead of high quality products. This is more something I see on the forum, but MMM does it to. For example, he endorses Harbor Freight Tools which are complete and utter garbage (and on not rare
occasion they are such garbage that they are likely to cause injury or death even when properly used).

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/consumer-advisory-harbor-freight-jack-stands

If something is worth buying it's worth buying good quality -- even if you aren't risking life and limb. If good quality is too much expense for your use case you probably shouldn't be buying. In the case of tools, that means renting or borrowing.

Another example: I will never, ever buy cheap clothes again. I can't remember how many $10-15 shirts I've had to donate over the years because they shrank from too big to too small in only 2 or 3 washes. Now I buy $30 shirts, and they last hundreds of washings and only get demoted to rags due to damage or stains.

HF guarantees their hand tools and will exchange them no questions asked if they break.

Absolutely nothing worse than a tool breaking in the middle of a job, or worse, being poorly constructed and making the job harder.

Even as just a shade tree wrench turner, I will never use crap hand tools. Wrenching is a great fun hobby. Wrenching with sub standard tools is a nightmare. Dull, brittle bits, crescents with obscene play, sockets and end wrenches that aren't precise sizes, torque wrenches that won't stay calibrated for more than 10 seconds, soft metal screwdrivers, cheap ass screws and bolts that shear, etc.

Decent tools will last decades and can be passed down through generations or bought and sold on a secondary market. Most of my tools are at this point family heirlooms or estate sale purchases.

Don't get me wrong, HF is not the only source of crap tools, they are just the biggest offender. Cheap tools just aren't worth the hassle.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #183 on: June 29, 2020, 06:44:48 PM »


Constitutional Law bots aren't known for their subtlety (my initial assumption of JGI!'s account).

I dislike ambiguity because  it's the tool of duplicitous politicians, et al.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #184 on: June 29, 2020, 06:54:29 PM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.

There’s gotta be some room for utilitarianism here though, right? If my kid, like me, can easily make ends meet to a first world standard by pushing keys on a keyboard at a desk... well, it’s hard for me to imagine loving them so much that I want to spare them that at the expense of utilitarian charitable giving.



My first-blush response is "charity begins at home."

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #185 on: June 29, 2020, 09:01:21 PM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.

I didn't enjoy an easy life to get to where I am and I want my kids to face challenges too.

If you want your children to have advantages it's a lot better to gift them good genes (insofar as you have some control over that) and a loving, stable, nurturing environment with lots of mental stimulation. Give them that and they won't need your money, or any other material legacy.

scrunchythief

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #186 on: June 29, 2020, 09:25:52 PM »
Not sure I've ever read MMM's thoughts on passing down money. Is this for inheritances? Or for things like college/opportunities/connections/financial help?

Some of his thoughts were covered in this blog post:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/05/20/what-im-teaching-my-son-about-money/

It seems like a well reasoned and researched position, and not at all an ipso facto conclusion that inheretence is negative.  Reading through it one will notice that he’s actually helping his son a great deal - including financially (one example is rewarding him for ‘investing’ his earnings by providing him with a guaranteed return).  It’s a more nuanced argument about teaching him the skills and behaviors to be successful rather than just pushing him out into the world on his own.

I do like many of his points in that post.  I've already stolen the part about paying his kids interest on their savings. 

The reference to not leaving an inheritance is the part I'm not so sure about.  As mentioned, I'm still working through my plans.
I think it’s perfectly Appropriate to adjust ones strategy as you and your children age.
I don’t want to leave my daughter a large inheritance (or have her know she will get one) when she’s still a minor. When she’s in her 30s or 40s with an established career I might think differently, especially if she has already shown financial responsibility.

Regardless, my aim is that my child will have no need for an inheritance and instead I can gift it to charities I want to support. That, to me, would be parenting success with regards to finances
I like this idea of evolving what we plan to pass on as time goes on.  Right now, if we died, she/her guardian would get everything since she's only 4 and would need it to support her.  If we die at the same age as our ancestors, she could well be in her seventies when that happens, so I'm not sure how much difference an inheritance would make at that point. 

We do want to provide at least the help we had in launching, which for us, materially, means paying for college.  I don't think it means trying to make it so she wouldn't have to work (assuming we continue to be blessed with her good health so that she's able to work).

In the end, the money's not going to automatically make her happy.  My birth family was happier when we were lower middle class than when they were making 100k.  I partially attribute that to our life having been simpler by default.  But I at least want to give her the tools and some support so that she doesn't need to overly worry about meeting basic needs.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #187 on: June 30, 2020, 05:17:55 AM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.

There’s gotta be some room for utilitarianism here though, right? If my kid, like me, can easily make ends meet to a first world standard by pushing keys on a keyboard at a desk... well, it’s hard for me to imagine loving them so much that I want to spare them that at the expense of utilitarian charitable giving.



My first-blush response is "charity begins at home."

Did you read the blog post in question?

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #188 on: June 30, 2020, 12:03:28 PM »
My first-blush response is "charity begins at home."

Yeah it's generally easier to have a strong impact on the lives of people the closest to you. But for my money (hehe), I can't imagine being wealthy and having a kid who is in the ballpark of me earnings wise, and wanting to give them much of anything post-childhood.

Or to put it in a less confusing way, there came a point in my adult life (around 24 or so) where I realized that I was gonna be okay. At that point and since, I don't think anyone should be giving me money or helping me out in any expensive way. My parents (or any secret unknown benefactors out there) should spend money on themselves or preferably, the less fortunately.

simonsez

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #189 on: June 30, 2020, 12:51:55 PM »
My first-blush response is "charity begins at home."

Yeah it's generally easier to have a strong impact on the lives of people the closest to you. But for my money (hehe), I can't imagine being wealthy and having a kid who is in the ballpark of me earnings wise, and wanting to give them much of anything post-childhood.

Or to put it in a less confusing way, there came a point in my adult life (around 24 or so) where I realized that I was gonna be okay. At that point and since, I don't think anyone should be giving me money or helping me out in any expensive way. My parents (or any secret unknown benefactors out there) should spend money on themselves or preferably, the less fortunately.
Ah, variety is the spice of life!  I do like reading on different philosophies regarding money and future generations.

I don't think having a good career and life largely figured out at age 24 is the norm though kudos to the healthy proportion that do.  Also, while it would be nice if it was this obvious, I don't think there is always a sign blinking above a son or daughter's head of when this maturity occurs, if ever.  Plus, that misses a lot of the point.  Sometimes it's just nice to give someone a gift or to do something directly or indirectly (especially when FIRE plans work out really well and maybe you have more money than you planned on).  It's an expression of love.  It can be tricky to refuse that or tell them to spend their money, time, and acts of kindness elsewhere. 

If a family member keeps giving you money and you don't need/want it, donate it or accelerate your path to financial freedom (or your own children's).  It's a nice position to be in, both on the giving end and the receiving end.  I think the spirit of giving should be paid forward as much as possible and encouraged.  Charity may very well often start in the home but it would be a shame for it to end there.

For me, anything with the pecuniary side of estate planning is viewed more toward potential grandchildren rather than children for the very same reasoning you allude to (children will be grown by time I'm gone, it will be the generation(s) after that that will benefit more from a little $$ to kickstart college, a house, relationship with investing, etc.).  Not that I'm going to be putting in extra years of work for this, just if things go that way and my retirement plans end up being more secure than I initially realized - I'm going to want to give some nice gifts.  As it usually does, YMMV.

Imma

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #190 on: June 30, 2020, 03:18:18 PM »
Hmm, I'm not a huge fan on topics such as this.  I feel that knit-picking the negatives in an overtly positive blog is counter-productive.  Whether you like his hyperbolic writing style or not, it's clearly the most read and most successful blog in the personal finance sphere.

- In Britain we have the National Health Service, we have to insure our homes to get a mortgage and our cars must be insured to be road legal.  So insurance is a non-issue here.  I think in America I'd personally add insurance into my FIRE number.

- As someone who isn't frugal by this forum's standards, I'm not offended by the idea of 'Face Punches'.  It's a comical and entertaining way of bringing the reader to a realisation of their finances.  I don't think he ever really implies that we should point out our acquaintances' spending errors, but some people do.  It's similar to family members giving unwanted parental advice, unwanted fashion advice from friends etc.  People sticking their oar in is a part of life and when you frequent a forum such as this, it's unavoidable as it's the main topic of discussion.

- I don't think he should post more about race-related or political subjects.  Everyone's views are different and as his political views are not the subject of his blog, then why risk alienating readers with something unrelated.

- He's produced a ton of free content that helps educate people.  He doesn't owe his readers anything (pictures).  He's gained his money because he gave us something.  That's not to say he couldn't have given a selfie, it does seem unnecessarily awkward and peculiar in the example mentioned above.  I met Noel Gallagher at a football match once.  I asked for a picture and he turned to me and told me to F off.  Never meet your heroes and all that.  :P

I don't know if Pete even reads or posts on the blog.  I know the OP hasn't meant to offend anyone, but it seems a bit unfair to create a thread where people voice criticisms about him as a person.  Whether you like him or not, he isn't advising anyone to do anything he hasn't done himself.

To be fair, what did you expect from one of the Gallagher brothers? ;) At this point it would probably ruin his reputation if he smiled and let you take a picture.

I can totally understand why Pete wouldn't be comfortable taking a picture and as he's just a regular polite guy and not a hooligan rockstar maybe he replied in a slightly awkward way. Honestly I would be a bit freaked out too if I were him. It's clear he never set out to become a "celeb" and now people want to take pictures with him and google his divorce.

I think MMM makes it clear his advice applies mostly to middle class professionals. I do seem to remember he did a case study about someone on minimum wage though?

Still I would love to see some tips and advice for people who are going through challenges, like chronic health conditions. Because those challenges are so big, many people in the personal finance world are shying away from this topic. I have learned a lot from this forum though. I am lucky to be in Europe where I know I'll always get a minimum level of healthcare, but it still took me some time to figure out my path. For people in the US it's even more difficult. My interest in FI stems from my health condition: I want to make sure I don't need to work anymore when I feel my body can't take it anymore, not when some person in the disability benefits office decides I can't, and I want to make sure I have money available for private medical procedures if that's ever necessary.

MMM has a quite cavalier attitude regarding health issues, but most healthy people have. Of course salads are good for you but they don't prevent or cure all illness (I actually eat homegrown organic salads every day and I still need more and more medication to stay where I am, healthwise). I don't blame him for feeling like he's in charge of his health.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #191 on: June 30, 2020, 08:10:44 PM »
I can totally understand why Pete wouldn't be comfortable taking a picture and as he's just a regular polite guy and not a hooligan rockstar maybe he replied in a slightly awkward way. Honestly I would be a bit freaked out too if I were him. It's clear he never set out to become a "celeb" and now people want to take pictures with him and google his divorce.

I'm so confused by all of this.  Seriously, if I showed up at an EscapeVelocity Meetup that was inspired by my philosophy and writings and someone told me I had inspired them and wanted a picture, I would not think it was unusual.  I would have thought about it all beforehand or probably had it happen to me many times, and I'd have a stock answer or work-around - like the group photo. 

My impression of Pete, to be honest, was that he liked to come up with quirky photos like him eating celery in a tree and would go with gusto into figuring out how to make the photo unique or memorable.  So maybe that was what was so awkward about the situation that was mentioned earlier.  But thinking that the namesake of an event is supposed to be a no-body at the event is unrealistic. 

marty998

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #192 on: June 30, 2020, 11:46:35 PM »
I’ve seen that celery in a tree photo a few times now.

It’s an odd one, but the fact I remember it as being unique probably means it is serving its purpose.

brooklynmoney

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #193 on: July 01, 2020, 05:03:03 AM »
Love the whole concept and the persona except I disagree on the low information diet. I think it’s our duty to be engaged and try to understand the world around us and what is happening from different perspectives.

MoolahLula

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #194 on: July 01, 2020, 06:13:06 AM »
If you live like a hermit and do not have to interact with a lot of people every day, then feel free to forego showers, soap, deodorant, washing machines, etc. 

Walking and biking to work is NOT for everyone.  Salad and pushups are not the cure all for everything physical. 

I stopped reading Get Rich Slowly when JD divorced his wife, I'll admit.  I suspect if I knew MMM in real life, I'd find him a bit of a jerk.  But my biggest take aways over the years have been keep your home expenses and transportation expenses in check, first and foremost.  Also the concept of millionaires become millionaires $10 at a time. 

slappy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #195 on: July 01, 2020, 07:14:46 AM »
If you live like a hermit and do not have to interact with a lot of people every day, then feel free to forego showers, soap, deodorant, washing machines, etc. 

Walking and biking to work is NOT for everyone.  Salad and pushups are not the cure all for everything physical. 

I stopped reading Get Rich Slowly when JD divorced his wife, I'll admit.  I suspect if I knew MMM in real life, I'd find him a bit of a jerk.  But my biggest take aways over the years have been keep your home expenses and transportation expenses in check, first and foremost.  Also the concept of millionaires become millionaires $10 at a time.


Was it because he got divorced or because he sold the blog? I think they happened around the same time. I mostly stopped because the blog changed so much, and then I came over to MMM. I do read his blog occasionally now.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #196 on: July 01, 2020, 08:52:49 AM »


I stopped reading Get Rich Slowly when JD divorced his wife, I'll admit. 
Curious why? Or why someone would stop reading MMM or any FIRE blog because of divorce. I don't know any details of anyone's divorce but I would think it wouldn't change the message about FI and could actually be a good learning tool to know that divorce doesn't have to mean the death of someone's FIRE plans. I talk about the financal effects of my own divorce here for that reason and would like to see more PF bloggers talk about it too. That and dating/new relationships if one is FIREd..
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 08:54:25 AM by spartana »

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #197 on: July 01, 2020, 08:55:46 AM »
I'm so confused by all of this.  Seriously, if I showed up at an EscapeVelocity Meetup that was inspired by my philosophy and writings and someone told me I had inspired them and wanted a picture, I would not think it was unusual.  I would have thought about it all beforehand or probably had it happen to me many times, and I'd have a stock answer or work-around - like the group photo. 

I can see this side of it too. If you make a lot of money being a public personality, and then go voluntarily engage in being a public personality, you shouldn't be surprised if people expect you to act like a public personality.

I guess what I'm saying is that if someone doesn't want to take a picture, that's 100% cool and you should respect that decision. But you're not wrong to silently judge that person :)

Monkey Uncle

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #198 on: July 01, 2020, 09:14:49 AM »
If you live like a hermit and do not have to interact with a lot of people every day, then feel free to forego showers, soap, deodorant, washing machines, etc. 

Walking and biking to work is NOT for everyone.  Salad and pushups are not the cure all for everything physical. 

I stopped reading Get Rich Slowly when JD divorced his wife, I'll admit.  I suspect if I knew MMM in real life, I'd find him a bit of a jerk.  But my biggest take aways over the years have been keep your home expenses and transportation expenses in check, first and foremost.  Also the concept of millionaires become millionaires $10 at a time.
I'm pretty sure these things have been discussed ad infinitum in previous threads. They work for some people and not for others. My wife can go a few days without showering and still not have BO. I can't. Walking to work was a good solution for me because of where I live. We wear clothes multiple times before washing, as long as they don't smell and aren't dirty. The power in the blog is not that it mandates that everyone do these things, it's in the fact that it opens our eyes to a host of options that most people aren't aware even exist. It lets us think about what is really important to us and how we might arrange our lives to focus on those things.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 06:54:55 PM by Monkey Uncle »

bloodaxe

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #199 on: July 01, 2020, 09:33:52 AM »
Love the whole concept and the persona except I disagree on the low information diet. I think it’s our duty to be engaged and try to understand the world around us and what is happening from different perspectives.

My argument against this is there aren't many actionable things you can do after watching the news.

If the news reports a politician is misbehaving, you can choose not to vote for them if they are in your area. But you can only vote every 2 years or so.

If there is some disaster somewhere in the world, you can't do anything about it. Except maybe send money. You should already be donating to charity and needy causes though ;)

Weather info can be actionable. Based on a report, you might choose to go to a park if it isn't raining later that day, or stay inside if it is.

Unfortunately, news today is mostly entertainment and speculation. And just something for us to talk about with others.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman is a great read, if you haven't had the chance to pick it up.