Life is full of challenges. When you find tips and tricks that work- you treasure them and remember them. Here are six hacks add value to my life and help me overcome challenges- financial or otherwise.
1. A little knowledge is dangerous.
When I first started reading books on investing, I tried to implement various stock-picking strategies supported by different authors. I would acquire just enough knowledge about P/E ratios or dividend yields and attempt to buy and sell stocks on a weekly basis using this knowledge. This caused me to rack up trading fees and short-term capital gain taxes, without actually making any profits.
Because of my lack of knowledge, I would also listen to personalities like Robert Kiyosaki and Jim Cramer who would attempt to predict market crashes or individual stock price movements. I would then attempt to move my investments around based on their commentary. This also turned out to be a suboptimal investment strategy.
It wasn’t until I started to read more blogs like Jim Collins or listen to podcasts like Invest Like the Best that I realized just how much thought and analysis goes into individual stock purchases by professionals, most of whom still don’t beat the market. Once I began to build up some financial acumen, I saw that index funds were the best investments for novices like myself.
Generally speaking, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know about most topics. It’s silly to think that I could become an expert on any subject in a short period of time, which means it’s probably a bad idea to make decisions (like investing) with only surface-level knowledge.
2. Living light is a financial life hack.
I have noticed this trend in other areas as well. On the How I Built This podcast, most of the entrepreneurs who start successful businesses explain that they live on a bare-bones budget when they’re first starting out so that even a low income can support their lifestyle.
Whether you’re looking to live in an RV full time, start a business, or just achieve financial independence as fast as possible, living light is a serious financial life hack.
3. Blogging improves writing and communication skills.
I’m no modern-day Hemingway but my writing has improved quite a bit since I first started this blog. This has a direct benefit at my day job. Whether I’m writing an email, making PowerPoint slides, or creating a report, I feel that I’m better at communicating my ideas since I have been practicing sharing my thoughts and ideas here on this blog consistently for over a year.
4. Going for walks is underrated.
I kept hearing about the benefits of taking walks on different podcasts and self-help articles from people like Ryan Holiday, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, and Cal Newport, but I always thought it sounded like a waste of time. That is, until I started taking walks.