Meet The Financial Frolicker

Here at the Financial Frolicker we advocate a highly-opinionated and completely alternative view of how to organize your financial life.  Our approach is not centered around a mythology religion that stocks and real estate always go to the moon, or around the platitude that if you work hard you end flush and happy.  Our approach is centered around the reality of the randomness of life, particularly financial aspects of life, and the expression of your actual life aspirations and interests.  

We take a truly different tack to the mainstream of what media, politicians and community will present you.  We back that up with raw personal experience and educated expertise.  We will show you how to avoid the pitfalls prepared carefully for you by vested interests in the financial and real estate industries, and how to ignore the siren cry to work forever offered to you by governments.  We advocate frolicking freely, and early, in the knowledge that you have not been subsidizing chicanery to your personal loss of money and time.

Let's start with several opinionated views that you will never hear from the mass media, from the financial industry or its pundits, or from politicians.  Here at The Financial Frolicker we believe an absence of loud support from organized sociopaths and vested commercial interests is a substrate for wisdom.   Let us challenge you with several anti-establishment truths immediately...

  1. We insist stringently that the core of a personal financial portfolio is provision for a non-employed future, provided at-core via a portfolio collection of social pensions, supplemented with the liquid assets to survive very long layover periods in active income-earning life.
  2. We support the accumulation of private tax-privileged, non-tax privileged, and employer-based pension funds as a later supplementary measure in liberating ourselves from the twin bipolar hells of the organized workplace and financial risk-taking.  We like to be able handle earnings layovers that occur at any stage of life, not just those that occur after age 60 as is the general constraint for these funds. Easy access and liquidity matter in an earnings crisis.
  3. We hypothesize that the residential real estate asset class has been the beneficiary of a 30 year long ponzi-scheme in economic macro policy, in particular monetary policy extremes.  Ponzi schemes, by their nature, become brittle with time and collapse under the weight of their own excesses.  We suspect the global housing mania ends particularly badly, far worse than your average stock market mass ponzi scheme.
  4. We believe that geo-arbitrage is a fundamental personal toolkit for dealing with life and lifecycle transition.  We do not believe that any country is the best country on earth.  Captain America may disagree belicosely - and remain in Florida in an over-priced diner thank you very much.  We believe that different countries may be the best place on earth for you, at different times, for different purposes.
  5. We hold a strong antipathy for the millennial FIRE movement because its financial principles are both unsound and anti-society.  The notion of retiring at a particularly young age is neither good for individual, personal, and professional growth or society generally,  Mass participation and a mutualized social contract is how humanity evolves.
  6. We propose that couple life and family is a natural portfolio strategy which holds enormous value in dealing with the uncertainty of life, financial and otherwise, and suggest it is a vastly under-utilized pillar of strength in financial success.  Single life is financially fruitless.
  7. We lament the reality of mass migration from the third world to the first world and the systemic impact this has had on employment opportunity, stablity and tenure.  'If you build it, they will come' certainly appears to be a mantra that does not work in reverse.  We believe our own children should probably get places in education and jobs before mass migrants do.  We are not big believers in promoting diversity over ourselves at The Financial Frolicker.

I warned you we were opinionated...  We certainly do not believe that american politicians should be telling us what our global opinions and values should be.

The private account strategy requires you to sacrifice liquidity from your income for many years and take market risk in relatively narrow categories of financial asset, that have been in a macro-ponzi scheme for 30 years, despite several significant financial crashes during that period.  Private pension accouts are also subject to extreme regulatory risk as political temptation to turn a 50 year accumulation of private pension accounts to political purpose of backstopping a fiscal balance disaster are running very high.  That dam is going to leak and break folks.  You do not own your private pension accounts.  Rather, they are owned by regulations with you as a rule-taking beneficiary - and regulations can be changed very aggressively and quickly.  Exactly this kind of quick political annihilation of a social contract element immediately after they have claimed it for themselves has been a repetitive feature of 30 years of baby boomer political control premium.  (student debt, mortgage tax relief, defined benefit pensions, the gig economy, etc ad nauseum.  It is the prime directive of baby boomer governance, every time.  One beneficial rule for we baby boomers and another punitive rule for the kids and grandkids.)

  1. We believe that housing has been used as a political tool by the baby boomer generation against the following 3 to ensure it controls society economically by holding the housing asset base, and then essentially running a macro-ponzi scheme for itself by abusing monetary policy to the end of a perpetual wealth effect in housing  Here at the financial frolicker we believe you are better off renting, waiting for ponzi housing to crash, and probably better off buying a retirement home as a first home purchase rather than a working district family home.

    We believe housing is going to be the worst investment in history over the next ten years.  The categorical reason - the inevitable reversion of interest rates to historical norms in order to deal with an inflationary surge not seen since the 70s, itself a consequence of said ponzi-scheme on the yield curve level.  

    A pretty cynical deliberate macro ponzi scheme has been operated by collectives of western baby boomer politicians and central bank decision makers in their generation's exclusive cohort wealth interests for decades.  Macro ponzi schemes can survive for decades with enough policy abuse, and this one has.  They do not survive forever, and ponzi schemes based on yield curve suppression fail when the yield curve reverts to suppress inflationary pressues. It is not essentially more complicated than that.  

    Sadly, the kind of housing crash that would bring housing back to fair value at historical average mortgage rates would absolutely destroy every western banking system and cause a worse depression than The Great Depression.  We strongly suspect at The Financial Frolicker that private pension pots are going to be the floor for housing in the next downturn rather than money printing.  You do not want to be the guy who's pension pot is making ponzi betters whole, and you a lot less than whole, while you still cannot buy the home your pension pot is providing price support for.  Now that truly is cynical baby boomers - but we know you will do it.  

    At the Financial Frolicker, we also believe in labor mobility and predictable costs because these are prime fundamentals in managing your liquidity balance in the short game.  Both of these features are expressed by renting during your working life, not owning.  We believe in, and actually evangelise strong international labor mobility, and we do not believe that fixed primary home assets have a place in that strategy.  While a 30 year ponzi scheme in housing is unfortunate for the unindoctrinated, for the FF it is irrelevant.  He knows there is always cheap crashed housing somewhere on the planet with nice beaches and cheap beer.

We will help you achieve a happy effective profitable solution to the 5 key economic pain points facing every single human being in western society who is not a baby boomer.  Non-baby boomers have been uniquely compromised by a 30 year ponzi scheme in secondary assets, and secondary abridgements of the social contract in areas such as student debt, erosion of social welfare, elimination of tenured employment in favour of the 'gig economy', and the use of mass immigration as a source of substitute labor to eliminated wage spreads for the highly skilled and educated.  

Apparently. there is an active political contention that it is morally right to give a job to somebody from some other country who does not speak your language and does not hold your cultural values or respect them, rather than your own kids,  They call it 'encouraging diversity', market it as a moral issue, and drop their kids and grandkids on the streets in the name of promoting diversity and equal opportunity.  I humbly disagree.

Yeah - it's been a fairly provocative divisive 30 years on secondary assets, economic policy extremes and social contract abridgements on the whole.  Politics is when one group controls it, but baby boomer pandering really has destroyed any inter-generational social contract pretty much absolutely.  The results over 30 years speak for themselves really.

The 5 key areas we are going to focus on here at the Financial Frolicker are :-

  1. How to achieve a housing lifecycle without getting caught in a late-stage multi–decade ponzi scheme as it evaporates, and how to make sure your long-term protected savings do not just become a cash buffer supporting that ponzi crash.  (All ponzi schemes crash.  Some last decades - this one did.)
  2. How to effectively use the global economy to further your own career and personal opportunities, rather than sitting around at risk of being displaced by the Global South and its offer of cheap semi-skilled labor substitution.  It is a game for the whole global village after all.
  3. How to step around the core ponzi schemes in housing and stocks and end up positioned properly after the ponzi collapse.
  4. How to use the global economy to diversify the obligations that generation baby boomer has to you, rather than suffer the domestic economy they use to concentrate your financial obligation and exposure to them.
  5. How to transition from the 40 year mouse-on-treadmill-at-peak-unviable-debt reality that generation baby boomer has planned for you and achieve semi-retirement between 30 and 40, while a collection of governments pay you the equivalent of a professional wage from your normal retirement age, just for still being around.  We will also show you how to build a global lifestyle prior to the age of 30 and exactly why you should and must.

In the end, we will have transformed the way you see your financial life, the way you see the world, and your place in it, and the way you see your social contract with generation Baby Boomer.  (Hint:  We jail ponzi scheme operators, but it is tough when a generation does it by power proxy.)

Wait on!  You must be wondering by now who this guy is who tells me you can semi-retire at 30 and have the government pay you the equivalent of a professional income from your normal retirement age, whilst frolicking the world?  How dare he suggest that when risk assets go up at 10-12% per year on average over 30 years in an economy that grows overall at 2-3% it is a ponzi scheme that ends inevitably in a serious economic depression?  He must be some dangerous semi-sane financially illiterate Dr Doom-supervised failed economics phd student right?

Let's talk for a moment about the expertise and journey behind Financial Frolicking.  Your author has always believed in targeted effective knowledge-centric experienced expertise as a basis for better decisions.  He personally has a finance degree, an engineering degree, a masters in mathematical finance, and has completed the CFA and FRM certification programs.  He spent over 20 years drifting into and out of investment banks globally occasionally as a quantitative analyst and software developer, and he has heard more financial propaganda of markets than anybody would really want to in any 3 lifetimes.  He's a financially and mathematically savvy high-tech dude, who began adult life as an infrastructure engineer, giving him a grasp of the financial and real economies.  But you do not need to do all of that study and work to be an effective FF.  It's all about attitude and the right knowledge, the right tools, the right decisions, and the right implementation, at the right time - or close enough.

... He's also apparently worse than that Mr Money Moustache crowd when it comes to throwing an unmerited social pose about money and the cultural western establishment, unashamedly...

Your very opinionated and somewhat-savvy guide to Financial Frolicking has been merrily FF'ing for some time now.  As a lead-edge gen Xer, he became deeply disillusioned with the capers and caveats of financial life, and its scaffolding in the form of work and swathes of escalating debt, fairly early in the adult piece.  A genuine moral dissatisfaction and malaise at the ponzi-rich reality of generation Baby Boomer and their behavior across a political control premium led to the distillation of creative solutions.  

Life is about creative effective solutions to real drama, in the end.  What you will not hear from your Financial Frolicker is any of the social posing about living frugally, or FIRE, the 4% spending rule, or getting rich quick, or growth mindset, or the endless nonsense in cult-building and behavior modification that is pervasive across society and media.  He is a zero-bullshit, facts-based, show-expertise-or-go-home-poorer-and-frolick-less guy.

By age 30, over 20 years ago, your Financial Frolicker was living in multiple countries, setting goals, building action plans, and re-designing a working lifestyle balance globally that focused on you, the individual human being, caught in the midst of life and ponzi stocks & housing, rather than on enriching the ponzi operators with his labor-based capitulation.  While the FIRE founders were still playing with matches in their mother's basements, and Mr Money Moustache was too young to grow fine chin-stubble, your FF had done it all, and been all over.  

There will be more on the evils of the financial propaganda of economic asset ponzi schemes, how to sniff them out, and the quite amazing reality of financial regime change - later...  More also on the cognitive trap of adopting social posing as a fake solution to a real problem...  A declining inter-generational standard of living through one generation's political action is a genuine problem - and living frugally or investing more riskily may not necessarily be valid solutions, rather they might well just be cute and dangerous social poses over the top of capitulation, rather than any real expression of core values or rational expertise-guided choice.

Your guide frolicker lives a genuinely global life spread generally between the USA, UK and Germany, with frequent European stopovers (shop-overs?), occasional asian prolonged multi-year stopovers (rest-overs?), and a bit of an appetite for some lat-am enhancements (sulk-overs?), or even some african excursions (drift-overs?).  He grew up in Australia and has had a very significantly diverted reality from that of the aussie urban suburbanite, which is not the way of the FF at all.  (Big Hint:  Lots of ponzi-debt, Lots of weekends in the office, Lots of very large Baby Boomer property portfolios to pick a cockroach mansion to rent from...)

So, to the point, what is a Financial Frolicker?  A merry FF is an individual who has built a toolkit and a personal wisdom designed at ensuring that financial plans and decisions lead to more frolicking, and less obligatory sub-optimal employment, and certainly less risky long-term ponzi-debt exposure.  Hopefully, arming one with the individual astuteness to avoid even moderately risky decisions, or worse - that can only harm future frolicking if things go in the wrong direction rapidly.  The Financial Frolicker knows a calm patient acceptance that ponzi schemes disguised as financial volatility are going to be with us for a long time to come yet, as are taxes.  You have to pay your taxes, but you do not have to pay the ponzi scheme operators.  A merry FF certainly knows who the ponzi operators are, and how to side-step their organised approaches, meaningfully.

What an effective Financial Frolicker does need is financial goals and frolicking goals.  ... and he needs to understand the long end of the game, better than the short end of the game.  Not understanding the long end of the game better than the short end of the game is the hallstone and hearth of both poor financial literacy and a poor sense of fulfilment or personal vision in life.  Our society is built from the bones under the barrio upwards to take advantage of this lack in a myriad of unfortunate and socially predatory manners.  We are going to spend a few posts, right at the beginning, talking about the long end of the game and how to secure it...

For the next few episodes we are going to outline our first anti-establishment truth, and give you an alternative portfolio that is superior in all ways to the chicanery we all hear every day in the press and on the television.  We are going to investigate the humble social or state pension and how to acquire a portfolio of them cheaply.  After that, we will move on to our second truth and give the western housing markets the absolute bollicking they deserve after 30 years of a continuous ponzi run based on lowering interest rates to extreme levels to ensure one-way betting was the only game in town - until it wasn't.  We have a solution for that too, and we will share it with you.  Stay tuned! .... and start reading..