Forget Investing, Let’s Spend

With so many strange goings on in the investment world lately, it’s not surprising there’s a bit of confusion around the office. Specifically, Diggers and Drillers editor Alex Cowie and Sound Money Sound Investments editor Greg Canavan are lost. Lost in time that is. Going by the subject lines of their recent emails to subscribers, one reckons we’re in 2007 and the other in 2008.

Reading their actual emails explains the subject lines. Greg reckons there’s a second subprime bust coming. Not in Australia, but somewhere even more important for Australia. Alex is pointing to what happened to gold stocks in 2008. He’s as bullish as ever.

But what if you’re tired of investing? There’s more to your wealth than placing bets. Let’s talk about spending instead. Right now there are dozens of ways you can spend money in a way that benefits your life far more that investing ever will.

For example, you could spend money to reduce your living expenses in the long run. Or you could spend money on everyday items that actually increase in value even as you enjoy using them. Why not generate some cash by ‘downgrading’ parts of your life you don’t really want or value anymore?

The investment world doesn’t make much sense these days anyway. Stock markets are rallying without improvements in the economy. Gold prices were smashed and then staged a recovery even though nothing much changed. Central banks are printing money like madmen and governments are spending and cutting back like loonies.

In the midst of all this, investing is more difficult and dangerous than usual. In The Money for Life Letter we try to make sense of what’s going on. There are some investment strategies that defy even this environment. But there’s a fundamental change happening in the investment world you need to be aware of. It’s a ‘trend’ we missed when launching the newsletter last year.

In case you missed the original video, we explained there are three new trends which have changed the investment landscape fundamentally. Well, there are four now, but we’ll get back to the fourth in a moment. The original three are as follows: The Income Trend replaced the Growth Trend. The Safety Trend replaced the Risk Trend. And the Rip Off Trend needed to be dealt with. Three special reports provided ways of benefitting from these trends.

But now another trend has emerged. We haven’t thought of a name yet. If you have a suggestion, email it in to with the subject line ‘Trend Name’.

Here’s the basic idea: rather than focusing on the world to try and find investment opportunities, take a look at yourself. Examine your preferences, spending habits, future plans, inefficiencies and abilities. All of these could represent ways to make, save and enjoy your money more. Rather than thinking about quantitative easing, company balance sheets, and price charts, think about you.  

What are some of the ways you can put this new trend into practice? Well, we can’t give away our ideas just yet. Apart from this one which featured investing in something you can consume, but in a way that uses time travel to generate profits. And then there was this one which could see you escape your mortgage without selling your home.

What’s yet to come in future issues of The Money for Life Letter?

Well, power bills are a topical issue, so let’s start there. Are there ways you can generate your own power cheaply, efficiently and without an environmental impact? Yep, there are two different ways. The first involves using Europe’s number one source of renewable energy.

(Hint: it’s not wind or solar and you’ll think we’ve lost the plot when you first hear about this idea.) The other option is all about a big upfront investment for a trickle of benefits. Whether or not you’ll benefit from this ‘investment’ is a matter of calm and cool calculation.

When The Money for Life Letter was first launched, feedback revealed retirees and those looking to prepare well for retirement are concerned about their future health. It just so happens that we’re at a turning point in the history of healthcare.

At the moment, all patients are diagnosed and then given a certain treatment. But what if it was possible to completely personalise medicine? What if you knew exactly what ailments you’re likely to develop, how to prevent them, and how to deal with them in advance? And if you still got the sickness, your treatment would be 100% personalised based on what drugs will and won’t work for you. Along with knowing the side effects in advance.

You could change your lifestyle to avoid getting ill in the first place. You wouldn’t spend money on drugs that don’t work. And you don’t have to get unnecessary tests. Put all this together and you could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses over your lifetime. Not to mention a better quality of life. All it takes is one simple test you only need to do once in your life.

It turns out that this isn’t just an imaginary future. The technology to do all this exists. Celebrities like Steve Jobs and Richard Dawkins used it. In Taiwan, if you want access to a certain drug, you’re required to do a version of this test because the side effects of the drug are severe but predictable.

Recently, an American company has made it financially viable for you to run a limited version of this test. You can find out the following things about yourself:

  • Whether you are a ‘silent carrier’ of 50 different diseases
  • Your chances of developing 120 different diseases
  • How you would react to 21 different popular drugs
  • And more

Now this is only a limited version of the full test which will one day be available to you to completely personalise your medical affairs. But it’s still valuable information to know if you want to prevent illnesses, save money on drugs that won’t work or cause devastating side effects, and much more. In the next monthly issue of The Money for Life Letter we’ll be telling subscribers more about why they should take the test and how to do it.

The point is, retirement isn’t just about investing, profit, and maximising returns. It’s about you as a person too. And there are plenty of ways to make, save and spend money based on the unique person you are.

Last but not least, how about this for an investment? One very kind subscriber recently dropped by with a bottle of homemade whiskey. If you’re sick of the Rip-Off-Trend when it comes to luxuries in Australia, just invest in what you need to make your own! 

Nickolai Hubble.
Markets and Money Weekend Edition

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About the author: having escaped from academia, Nick decided to drop his tights (the required attire of a trapeze artist) and join Port Phillip Publishing. Instead of telling everyone about the Markets and Money, he now spends his time writing for the weekend edition.

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Having gained degrees in Finance, Economics and Law from the prestigious Bond University, Nick completed an internship at probably the most famous investment bank in the world, where he discovered what the financial world was really like.

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