Do Not Rely on Economic Forecasts

It amazes me how much free space and airtime global media gives to economists and their economic forecasts.

What is particularly amazing is how inaccurate these forecasts are.

In Australia, every quarter, economists attempt to predict the percentage rise or fall in inflation. Even this simple idea cannot be predicted accurately. There are wildly inaccurate predictions.

If economists cannot get this number right, how can they predict global activities over the next 1-5 years, as they pretend to do?

Their predictive attempts are like sports commentators trying to predict the score progression in any match, score by score. It is a nonsense!

My point is this: how much time do you spend reading such forecasts, predictions, guesses? Are you wasting your time? Observe your reactions when you read such forecasts, and decide whether you are gaining enough value for the probably waste of your more valuable time, when you could be reading much more useful material.

Become more conscious and aware of why you choose to read nonsensical predictions.

My guess about why the media publishes the forecasts is that they need something apparently scientific or professional to regularly fill their spaces. The media particularly loves bad news, because bad news sells more newspapers than good news. This is a proven fact.

Choose to do your own thinking.


Losing Your Retirement Savings

Newspapers and other media are full of the bad news: professional managers of the retirement savings of many people, usually ‘parked’ in their superannuation funds, have lost billions of dollars via their investment strategies.

Of course, these professionals ‘blame’ the markets. It’s nothing to do with them!

There are two ideas to consider.

Firstly, is it wise for you to contemplate retirement in any event?

And secondly, would it be wiser for you to learn how to invest so you can take control, rather than leaving it to professionals because you have chosen not to learn?

On the first point, I believe that retirement is an unnatural act. My definition of retirement is that point of life when you cease to make a meaningful contribution. It is nothing to do with earning, or not earning, money.

Nothing in nature ‘retires’: birds don’t, plants and trees don’t, lions and tigers don’t. The essence of nature is being in the game of life.

Retirement is trying to get out of the game of life, but have the benefits.

‘Meaningful’ is different for every person. When you make a meaningful contribution, your experience of life is enhanced. You will be healthier, more energetic, and more interesting to those around you.

I hope never to ‘retire’.

Do your own thinking: are you trapped by the majority view that the purpose of life is to work, to save money, to retire, and then really start living?

On the second point, the world is changing so rapidly that each of us has to become a lifelong learner, otherwise we have to hand control of important issues to others. If you choose not to learn about investing, you are taking a big risk: the risk of relying on professionals in financial services areas. I have seen too many examples of how hard it is to pick a reliable professional.

Think about the value to you of learning to manage your own retirement savings!



The Sense, Or Nonsense, Of Share Trading

Share trading gets massive daily exposure in the media. In every news bulletin, we are informed and warned about the share market fluctuations.

We are led down a path that demands our attention, to be worried about the share prices, even when we don’t trade shares!

Amateurs everywhere are wondering what they should do about this. The professionals are desperate to get the amateurs to retain their services.

Newspapers are also full of advertisements for sophisticated trading strategies, that are foolproof, amazing, simple and wonderfully profitable.

Does it make sense for you take an interest in all this ‘stuff’?

Or is it all nonsense for you?

You need to decide, because you can easily waste so much of your precious time on these issues because you have not consciously decided what your life is all about!

I suggest that you contemplate answers to the following 5 questions:

  1. What is my purpose, my meaning?
  2. What is the vision I have for my life in 5, 10 and 20 years’ time?
  3. What are my goals?
  4. What strategies will I use to achieve my goals?
  5. What are the values that are important to me, and that I wish to observe whilst pursuing my goals, vision and purpose?


Are you passionate about learning?

We live in amazingly changing times. Everything around us changes. Slowly or quickly. Tsunami-like, or grass-growing like! But it changes.

Every cell in your body is relentlessly changing.

How will you keep up with these changes? Learning is the answer. It’s the only answer.

But less than 10% of Australians, and similar percentages around the developed countries of the world, invest in their learning after they have completed formal secondary or tertiary education.

I gained four first class honours in my final year of school in Melbourne. I was pleased. My wise father congratulated me, and then said I know nothing. I have to keep learning!

I gained an Honours Degree in Law in 1974 from the University of Melbourne. I was pretty happy with this. But my mentor, a wise Jesuit priest, Father Zoltan Varga, then challenged me with my next challenge: he said I should get a Masters Degree. When asked ‘why’, he sagely replied, ‘because anyone and everyone can get a Bachelor’s Degree; wise people take the next step’.

So, I gained my Masters of Law from Monash University in 1980. It was difficult to do this, part time, while working full time as a tax lawyer. But I am grateful that I took the wise advice offered to me.

Even now, 31 years later, I am constantly investing time and money and energy in learning. I am constantly honing my skills and knowledge to be able to thrive and enjoy this beautiful changing world we live in.

If you aren’t passionate about learning and developing yourself, I promise that you will be left behind. Then you will be lamenting how tough your life is.

Don’t be like this. Become like a child. Be hungry about your progress. Be passionately inquisitive.