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Generational wealth: The importance of teaching your children how to invest and thrive for the future.
In today’s post we will start to look at ideas for teaching our children healthy money habits from a young age, specifically an idea that my wife and I are trying out with our five year old son Liban.
Many of us as adults might have been a little further financially today had we been taught some of the basics of money management during childhood by our parents and through schooling. Money management is something that should also be taught in school.
The three jars
For my wife and I, the simplest format to start teaching our son Liban about money, we could think of was to use three jars;
1)One for savings
2)One for spending
3)One for sharing.
We don’t give Liban money freely. We dont believe in allowances, just because. There’s no weekly pocket money or other hand outs, so he has to earn it somehow, and it’s not “can you pay me to put away my toys” scenario, it is a reward for effort and hard work. When we feel he’s worked hard at something with us on our farm for example, we give him a dollar or two as a reward sometimes but not all the time, and ask him to put the money in the jars.
The idea being that he has to learn that money is not free and has to be earned, and valued as a medium of exchange for the hard work and effort.
When we give him a few dollars he has to decide where to put the money and how to divide it, if it’s dividable, we explain his top priority jar should be the savings jar, the larger part of what he makes should go in this jar first as he doesn’t have expenses of his own, we tell him he can save to buy something big like a bike, but ultimately it’s his choice where to put the money. The spending jar is for things like juice, snacks and toys, the spending jar should receive less money than the savings jar, as he doesn’t really need to buy anything much. We explain to him that when he spends money on something, he must find the best value, meaning good quality at a low price, and that, that doesn’t always mean the cheapest item, it’s about learning what value is, how good is the product for what you pay for it, be frugal, don’t spend it all at once, if you buy a small tub of ice cream, eat some and save some for tomorrow.
The sharing jar is for buying things to share, that could be with us, his sister, his friends, a birthday present for someone and things like that. The sharing jar only receives money after something has been put in the other two jars first. The idea here is that this teaches him to share and not be selfish but to also take care of himself first.
Soon, in about a year or two we will add a fourth jar. The fourth jar will be for investment capital. The first investment made from this jar must be to invest in himself. This should be the money saved to allocate toward some sort of entrepreneurial activity that will give him back in return more than he invests, something simple like a lemonade stand, making and selling something in a market, raising chickens and selling the eggs or one of many other simple businesses that a small child can do to begin to understand how business works by providing a service or product of value in exchange for payment in money. We want him to fully learn the concept behind the other three jars before we add the fourth one, but we have started to make small wood toys with him as a way to stimulate ideas of creating/producing and selling.
There’s one final point here, we also want him to understand that ultimately it’s not about the money, money is a medium of exchange only. It is something that’s in a format that’s readily useable to exchange for something else that you want or need, we do not want Liban to grow up having a love for money, rather we want him to understand how money works and how to manage it so that it grows over time into wealth.
To be continued,
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Building backwards to go forwards in Belize!
A year went by quickly almost without notice, in the rear view mirror and to our front view, we were still it seemed, no closer to buying a few acres, building our house and getting the vegetable garden going.
That would be the logical order in which to do things wouldn’t it?, buy the land first, then build the house and do whatever else we want to with the land, at least that’s what we thought, but sometimes being flexible and challenging assumptions may have advantages…….
Initially we planned to start with a six months trial in Belize to make sure we still liked the place and thought we’d be able to find and purchase what we wanted within about that time frame, this turned out not to be the case, where did all that time go?!
Before the year flew by us into the rear view, we did prepare as best we could.
Having at least a little awareness of the time and effort involved in what we wanted to achieve, (farming being probably one of worst businesses on the planet in terms of effort to financial reward base) ours isn’t exactly farming but becoming self sustainable, as best we can figure it would require similar amounts of effort.
we didn’t want to waste any time, and knew we should at least get a move on with whatever parts we could contribute to now that would ease the work load later.
First within weeks after arriving in Belize we started our tree and plant nursery where we stay in town.
over time it’s grown to somewhere north of 2,000 trees and plants happily growing away in pots and bags.
One of the main factors making this a priority is that Fruit trees take years to grow before they bare fruit so we wanted to give them a head start as much as possible.
Second we began making some wood furniture that we would use in our new house once built, the yard at our rental has been filling up quickly and looks somewhat like a commercial enterprise, thankfully the landlord doesn’t mind.
In our first year here in Belize. We viewed many parcels of land and learnt much about many things to do with land titles and purchasing, often not the lessons we had intended to learn, or the ones we wanted to learn either, but a lot of time past quickly with lots of learning and dead ends.
It seemed every piece of land we found was somehow encumbered, legally tied up in a way that either it could not be sold or it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to buy it in the first place.
The rose tinted glasses of what is promoted online (mostly from realtors) about the ease of doing business and buying land in Belize soon wore off and the stories of how this or that foreign person lost money on some dodgy land or development transaction grew louder and began to feel more like what the reality might be. (This topic is for another post)
Nevertheless we try to be positive thinkers and believe, if we kept looking and trying we would eventually find a few acres within our budget that ticked all the legal boxes. The search continued well into our second year, meanwhile……
The cart before the horse!
Slightly into our second year on the land search, we visited a local sawmill innocently looking for lumber to build furniture, which we were able to find, but as it turned out there was a lot of “rejected” lumber thrown to the side and available to take at next to no cost (it wasn’t fit enough for regular vendors)
I love a good deal! The wheels in my head quickly began turning and figuring out if it would be possible to use this almost free resource and make a prefabricated house flatpacked in the rented yard in town, while continuing the land search.
I know it’s probably a bit backwards to go ahead building a house without any land to put it on but sometimes I guess you really can get the cart before you get the horse so to speak, at least that’s what we decided to do.
We quickly went with this idea as it seemed like a reasonable use of time while we keep looking.
In our view, Building the wood flatpacked prefab house would accomplish several things at once and have a few advantages.
The first being a good use of time, since we were still on the property search I mistakenly thought I had lots of extra time which I could use effectively building a prefab house.
The second being to speed up the “move in” date considerably once we find our land, the idea being to more or less screw the whole house thing together and move in!
This would be a big advantage over endlessly driving back and forth into the bush everyday for probably a year or two while conventionally building our house on site.
The third being a financial decision, the flatpack prefab house would seem to enable an increase in our asset value relative to the investment into it, by way of a good use of time and the availability of very very cheap materials. Theoretically the prefab house could be built for a fraction of what it would cost otherwise.
Not everything in our lives is about finance, but I do write a lot on the topic here and in decentralized investor and for our paid service at decentralized portfolio, so it is something that comes up a lot, and
I still like a good value proposition even in family life, so if something can tick both boxes then I’m all in!
We went ahead and ordered a few truck loads of “reject” wood……the work is only just beginning!
The first truck of wood
How building a flatpack prefab wood house is turning out (a work in progress) will be up in a post shortly.
Until next time,
At some point during our first year here in Belize we were invited to visit a sawmill. Belize has some amazing tropical hardwoods we thought it would be interesting to investigate how it all works. As it turned out there’s a percentage of wood at the sawmill that doesn’t make the cut in terms of resale value, essentially some of the wood milled from the tree trunks is either to crooked, to short, or in some other way not quite good enough to be sold at a good price, so it’s called “rejects” and it’s tossed to the side and essentially thrown away to rot, what a waste of usable hardwoods and the rainforest!
The sawmill owner agreed to sell us the reject wood and deliver it to us (about two hours away) if we paid him barely more than the delivery costs per dump truck load. This was like Christmas come early for me, I had not imagined being able to get hold of beautiful tropical hardwood that is about as close to free as it gets in terms of cost to me. The reject hardwood is the waste product of the wood industry thereby i can use it without guilt that I’m contributing to deforestation but rather that I’m recycling a waste product and creating near zero in climate impact. Now I just needed to figure out what I can do with all this beautiful wood!
We had not considered building with wood due to not wanting to support deforestation of old growth rainforests, that’s hardly sustainable at all!
It didn’t take us long to decide we could make a house from the waste hardwoods, it would take a lot more work in terms of labour as the boards would need to be smoothed out, recut and pieced together somehow, due to where we currently found ourselves this seemed like a good idea, both in terms of effective cost and effective time usage. A deep value proposition is always something that gets us thinking especially if we can add value to our lives and future by creating a marketable result.
At the time we were still waiting around for word on our intended land purchase, so instead of getting frustrated with the time it takes to do anything at all in Belize, (another story/post) I thought we could use the yard at our current rental to start to build a small house in flat pack sections that we could bolt together on our land later once the purchase went through. At least this way we’d be a step closer to having a house here even without having land.I know building a house before having a place to put it is perhaps a little backwards to say the least but it’s better than nothing and use our time effectively.
We spoke to the landlord about using his space in the yard and he agreed. We spent an evening drawing up a rough sketch of what we thought would be both a doable project with the junk wood and also a viable livable house for the four of us.
It’s quite small at 1,482 square feet (38feet by 39feet under roof space). We picked this size for several reasons:
1: We wanted to address our current space needs while the kids are still small.
2: We wanted the project to be a size that wouldn’t cost much or take years to build.
3: Its a bit experimental due to it being built from waste wood so we wanted to scale back our ambitions to something relatively easy to achieve.
The basic breakdown is this:
The walls inside and out will be hardwood, so will the structure, roof rafters, doors, ceiling etc. The floor will be polished concrete (built onsite) and the roof will be simple corrugated metal sheets covered with living garden, (ok….so I’m making this thing a little more complicated but since we’re in a hot climate we want to limit solar gain and heat intake through the roof) soil and green living things do this very well. While this does mean the roof structure will need to be very heavy duty and from scrap wood I still think it’s possible but it is a challenge, mostly from a design perspective.
Our thoughts are this house will serve us well to get onto our land relatively quickly as it’s mostly built offsite and will be quick to install onsite. Later once we build the house we really want (yes another house entirely, this time from earth which is also very sustainable and durable but takes a lot more time and has to built onsite, we will write extensively about this later on).
With the wood house, we have a place for people to stay while they visit us, and we can rent it out either long term or on Airbnb as another income stream.So we decided to go ahead!
To be continued ………
Until next time,
When it comes to children the first thing anyone wants to know is how is their school? Although there are a lot of families that unschool, homeschool, lifeschool worldschool and the list goes on, most people are under the impression that in order to get adequate education one has to go to school.
Do your research, the main aim is to find what works for your family and how can you best support your childs growth? Covid and 2020 has thrown a lot of families into homeschooling unexpectedly and this has increased the conversation around the topic of schooling. Whilst this has given some parents who have been thinking about it for a long time but feared taking the leap the confidence to continue, others have had to take stock of their lives and have had to send their children back to school because this is not the right time in their life. There is no right or wrong way around this topic this piece is me sharing some of the thoughts and discussions that have lead to our decision about our children’s education.
The concept of school, brick and mortar, as we know it today in the western world has only been around for 150 years or so. The overall aim of school is to create obedient citizens. The structural element of schools all trickle down to what has been memorised to get a diploma/degree and how well you listened and absorbed what instructions you was given to achieve said grade. Did you play ball for 12 years? How much will you need to unlearn once you are an adult?
Although we are all in agreement about the need for children to be educated the difference is that mainstream society equates education to attending school.
” We might define education broadly as the sum of everything a person learns that enables that person to live a satisfying and meaningful life” Peter Gray, Unschooled. Some would argue that this is what school does for an individual. Finish school, get a job, house etc to go on to live a satisfying and meaningful life. One of the many problems with this argument though is that school is the opposite of individual learning. By the above quotes standpoint however knowledge differs and what one learns culture to culture, person to person is different. Understanding our unique, different personalities and characters as individuals shouldnt what is taught then be personalised? Instead of expecting every child to learn the same curriculum in the same way, only with other children their age in a authoritarian top down model? How does this lead to a meaningful and satisfying life?
The standard education system has little to nothing to do with the individual child, it is structured in a way which the child is to be molded into what society wants in terms of their education and their future occupation. We create a curriculum, a list of things that have been decided are important and its all packaged and all children are expected to deliver in the same way on the same timeline. This is not a sustainable and healthy educational model. Education, like the body, is treated like a machine one size fits all. Learning is for specifically gaining knowledge or skill in a particular field. Should the aim not be more about what makes a person learn & how can we support them in becoming fascinated with learning and gaining knowledge to lead a meaningful life, that they dont have to unlearn from as an adult.
Our aim as parents is to make sure that we support our children to be lifelong learners that do what they love for a living, to be true to their most authentic selves. For this reason we feel that lifeschooling is what works best for us. This means learning is apart for everyday. Learning about life cycle, kindness and compassion through caring for plants and animals. Maths through buying and selling, saving & spending. Reading every night before bed time and reflection by talking through what they have done that day, what they have learnt and at age 5 has he had fun? Drawing and writing as part of designing or decorating. As they grow older their education will be adapted to their age, whether it is tutoring and exploring different subjects they find interesting. We know what routes are available to them to ensure that they take relevant exams in order for them to enter higher education, if they want to go that route, and will ensure that they are done when the kids reach that age. Ultimately our aim is to lay out a path of choices and freedom, so when they are adults they have the necessary tools to go out into the world and carve their path.
Peace and blessings,
The argument for holding gold and silver over fiat currencies
Before we get to what’s going on around the world currently with paper currencies and the massive monitory mess that’s being created let’s look at historical data of paper currencies, to outline this let’s start with a simple reflection we can all relate too.
In terms of purchasing power, I think most of us will agree that over time the cash money that we use (dollars, pounds, euros, yen, whatever) tends to purchase less, prices of goods and services we use over time rise, food, houses, cars, etc. if you put some paper money aside under your mattress, in ten years you will be able to buy less with it than you can today, why is that?
To me, while there’s many complex reasons to justify this, including things like inflation, the simplest explanation is that it’s actually because the money under your mattress is slowly losing its value, it’s worth less 10 years from now.
Call it whatever you want but the bottom line is it’s currency devaluation over time!
We can see this in a chart tracking the purchasing power of the US dollar from 1913 (the creation of the federal reserve) to 2020, the USD currency has lost over 99% of its purchasing power (what you can buy with it) from 1913 to now. This chart is provided by the federal reserve.
The US dollar isn’t alone in this, more or less without exception every single paper currency has lost almost all its value.
Here’s how the British pound has preformed in terms of purchasing power) from 1760-2020, the British pound is the oldest paper currency in existence.
The next chart shows how a few major currencies have faired in keeping their purchasing power in comparison to gold
Keep in mind, the paper currencies were talking about here are supposed to be the good ones, the USD for one, is the worlds reserve currency, we’re not even looking at paper currencies issued by countries that have histories of defaulting. Like Argentina, Zimbabwe and the so forth.
The very basic argument I’m trying to outline here by the above charts is simply that all paper currency loses its value over time, meaning that historically it’s not a good store of wealth and savings. Paper currency has no actual value, it’s just paper, it can be manipulated and printed on a mass scale by its creators whenever they want.
Today’s post is an excerpt taken from a 26 page research report called “the current gold and silver bull market and how to profit”. Accessible through our paid subscriber service only. Decentralized Portfolio members have full access to this research report and all our in-depth research.
To be fair to our paid subscribers we can’t publish full research reports in our posts but If you’d like to join us at Decentralized portfolio click here Subscription Plan
Until next time,
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When i say natural health and healing i mean all things that were created in nature, not synthetic man made medicine. The idea of treating ourselves and our bodies with nature comes from the thought that our bodies are designed perfectly and in harmony with nature. The body can be and remain healthy given the right nourishment & support when needed. I guess you can say this approach to healing is based on the confidence in the perfection & precise design of the human body.
One of our earliest discussions in our marriage regarding natural health and healing came when i was pregnant with our first born. We were both people who have always gravitated towards natural medicine, but havent really addressed anything until the choice of birth came. Ultimately i had a unmedicated home birth. We also chose to have a home birth with our second born and it was two of the most powerful experiences in my life. Will go into more detail on unmedicated natural birth in a later post.
Neither of our children have needed any medication. Everything we have come across to date we have been able to treat naturally. With extensive research and daily healthy habits we have been able to treat ourselves from common illnesses that have crossed our paths. The healthy habits i mention are all elements that address our wellbeing from a holistic perspective. Wer by no means perfect but we try our best to ensure that we keep an eye on all things that we let into our bodies as well as our environment. This approach to life is what has encouraged our decision to move to belize, to decentralise our life.
The key to life is moderation, awareness & actively taking responsibility for ones health and environment. We live in a time where the extended community support is non existent. It does truly take a village to raise a child. But we live in a time where the human connections are more and more disconnected. Our children spend more time in front of a screen & every cough, cold and flu the pharmacy has a pill for. More and more families are living lives where the parents are over stretched to financially sustain the family, which takes them away from deeply connecting. Due to all these stresses by default hand the health of their families to doctors. Although we live in the information age and what is considered “health-conscious” societies, health problems and conditions are rampant. Children are being diagnosed with various different health problems that didn’t plague previous generations. Something isnt adding up.
So our simplest piece of advice is to educate yourself on what is in the medications that are prescribed you and your family. Evaluate current lifestyle and figure out what healthier changes you can make. Everything doesnt work for everyone but our hope is that you feel empowered enough to do your homework. We are by no means anti conventional medicine. It has its time and place, there are certain procedures that require medical professionals & hospital. What we dont need however is the constant bombardment of a cocktail of medications in our systems with their side effects, which cause more harm than good. The bottom line is you can treat common ailments and boost your immune system with herbal remedies that provide your body with the support it needs to defend itself against external pathogens. Some of the items we always have on hand are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Essential oils and carrier oils – Coconut oil, sesame oil, Peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, oregano, frankincense & myrrh amongst others.
- Assortments of herbal teas
- Clays- qasil, bentonite, turmeric, activated charcoal amongst others.
- All the plants we grow have various medicinal properties. Will have to go into them in more details in another post.
- Ensure we put garlic, ginger and honey in atleast two meals a day.
- burdock root
- Elderberry syrup and manuka honey.
This is not an exhaustive list but to give you a rough idea of some basics.
There are many steps to take to treat various ailments but the key always is prevention and ensuring we incorporate healthy practices everyday. I will revisit this topic and go through different steps of healing.
Below is a list of books that we have used as a resource to support & educate us on natural healing:
- Perscription for Herbal Healing, 2nd edition: An Easy to use A-Z Reference by Phyllis Balch
- The how to herb book: Lets remedy the situation by Velma J. Keith
- How to be your own herbal pharmacist by linda page
This is a very small list but a decent start to help you get your head around natural health and healing.
As always we are happy to help you get started with a more personalised plan you and your family. From a more in depth resource list and/or a starter pack to build on in your herbal cabinet.
In good health,
from me and mine to you and yours.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
I’ll try to explain in today’s post why it’s not that far fetched, it could become a reality.
I could be wrong but at least hear me out!
What I’m talking about here is monetary inflation, central bank money printing without added value bases to do so, it’s happening on a global scale.
Central banks around the world are pitching the idea of modern monetary theory (MMT).
This is basically an attempt to manipulate an economy through “quantitative easing” and “quantitative tightening” these are just fancy words, the former, a flood of new money printing and the latter, removing or restricting money from the economy. rarely if ever is the latter put into practice, so basically it’s just turning on the printing presses that sums up MMT! (I’ll write about this later)
Inflation happens when a central bank prints vast sums of paper or digital currency for which there is no added Gross domestic product (GDP)
Gradually over time there’s to many currency units floating around for the value of GDP so the value of the currency goes down by way of the cost of everything you can purchase with it going up!
Governments throughout the world pressure their central banks to turn on the printing presses when they get in a crises or other sticky situation and want a lot of paper money to try and fix it. (Papering over the problem.)
Turning on the printing presses to pay for government boondoggles adds virtually no gross domestic products of any sort to the economy.
It’s important to understand Governments are not in the business of producing anything at all, they get their money by taxing the people that do the producing.
With printing presses running at full speed …….What you end up with over time is a diluted currency in terms of purchasing power.
Most of us have heard of Zimbabwe and the trillion dollar bill, and maybe also Argentina, Argentines are pros at printing to much money and devaluing their currency, they’ve successfully destroyed the economy by defaulting on their obligations 9 times in the past 100 years.
For some reason Americans, Brits, Euro’s and well…..many other nations think their fate will be different, how so?
There’s not been an exception to the rule in all of history.
Let’s take the USA as a current example of trying to paper over the problem with the printing press.
The Covid shutdown debacle was the pin to burst the everything bubble in the markets.
The governments solution was to crank up the printing presses over at the fed and bail out Wall Street for starters, the feds balance sheet increased by almost 4 trillion in under three months, (that’s just a fancy way of saying they’ve added about 4 trillion of new dollars to the system) The stock market was the main beneficiary and prices have climbed back up almost to pre crash levels, everyone is saying “don’t fight the fed” many people now think the crash is over, everything’s recovered and is back to normal…but it’s not so…..
Ask yourself…….how much Gross domestic product has been added to the American economy during the first half of this year? Virtually none!
The lockdown has severely restricted more or less every industry, most have simply stopped functioning at all.
Unemployment numbers spiked to their highest in history, people without jobs can’t add to economic production and economic growth, they also can’t spend money that they didn’t earn and don’t have, so how come The financial markets are acting like the crash and covid was all just a bad dream?!
Maybe it’s because the fed is pumping trillions of fake new dollars into Wall Street!
Isn’t that called inflation?
Starbucks coffee hasn’t gone up?!
Inflation on Wall Street is different from inflation on main street in that temporarily it’s just leading to massively over priced shares and evaluations of publicly traded companies, most of these companies haven’t been making any profit whatsoever in terms of real output at all yet this year and probably wont.
But if it continues long enough it will trickle down and Americans will have inflation on main street too…..and that leads to a Starbucks coffee costing a lot more than it does now, maybe even $25 eventually!
This can’t all go on forever…..
Many investors currently using the “buy the dip” mentality will lose their shorts and shirts too.
In a bull market you buy the dip! In a bear market you sell the bounce!
We are in bear market territory now.
The current bounce is only due to the feds medaling with its money pump, it’s made prices go up, but sooner or later prices should come back down to reflect reality, this is called reversion to the mean.
(Reversion to the mean: markets and economies are highly cyclical, in one cycle things move from underpriced to overpriced and back to underpriced, each time in the cycle there’s a mid point that reflects the real actual value or price that’s referred to as the mean)
The current US printing extravaganza lallapalooza is only an example of the type of monetary policies the majority of governments are currently enacting,
The United Kingdom, most European member states, Japan, and the vast majority of the worlds economies seem to have completely lost touch with reality this is a global problem.
Most currencies are becoming in reality practically worthless through too much stimulus, debt and money printing,
Currently the US dollar is still accepted as the global reserve currency but that could change.
As long as everyone else trusts the dollar and keeps some as reserves it will probably do better than most of the rest, but when the world figures out Uncle Sam can’t pay his bills they’ll dump US dollars like hot potatoes and the party will most definitely be over.
in other words it’s a race to the bottom in terms of currency devaluation through inflation.
As a further example of the instability of fiat currencies around the world…….My family and I are currently in Belize, the local currency being the Belize dollar which is pegged two to one to the American dollar. Here the economy relies heavily on tourism and the central bank relies heavily on American tourists bringing USD into Belize.
Since the borders are currently shut, not many people are working, there’s long lines at the bank, some folks have to wait in line for two or three hours, all are people withdrawing the little money they have and not depositing the paychecks as there’s no work, the banks are now running out of cash, they’ve began limiting withdrawals and credit card expenditures, Dean Barrow, the prime minister of Belize reassured the people through press conference, that the banks “have more than enough money”……”the central bank has enough reserves for a few months”…..and that they “have a plan”.
So…..ummm…..if your central bank keeps so little reserves it has only enough money for a few months isn’t that an emergency situation all on its own?….saying that’s perfectly fine and not to worry then also saying “don’t worry we have a plan” a plan for what? We were just reassured “not to worry” everything’s fine! No plan needed…
In reality Belize has more or less run out of cash! Things might get hard here for a while….Thankfully here there’s also the option of black market money exchangers and
Fortunately for Belize it’s not in control of its printing press, if it were, rest assured they’d have printed up a whole pile of money and we’d have a paper shortage instead! (Both UK and US print the Belize dollar for Belize)
To be continued