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Monday, March 27, 2017

Selling Out Our Dreams

Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 9, 2009

So when did you sell out on your childhood dreams?  Noticed I asked ‘when’ and not ‘if’.  Well that is because I’ve run into so very few people that are living their dreams.  What happen to us that this is so common now?

I’ll offer myself up as an example I could have chosen another path that was better in line with my creative side, but no I was practical instead and took an engineering degree.  I chose it because I knew it was a more sellable degree that offered a higher and consistent income.  Ironically I have done very little true engineering work during my career, perhaps a third of my career so far, but that doesn’t matter it still got me a steady pay cheque.

Yet why did I do it?  I think perhaps because in our society we value financial security over happiness.  Happiness is a nice ideal, but people are typically more driven to pick the choice that offers financial security.  Yet is that security an illusion.  If you don’t believe me ask any one of the thousands of auto workers that have been laid off recently.  I’m fairly sure a year ago they thought their jobs were secure.

So why do we sell out if the security isn’t there?  I think we do it because we want to take the easy way out.  We want the arrangement of show up and do your work and we send you a cheque every two weeks or twice a month.  To do what truly makes us happy would entail a lot of self examination and likely hard work to make that dream come true.  Then after all that you wouldn’t even be sure how much you would be making.  It would be a questionable investment of time for an unknown rate of return.  We would be living on what we produced and none of us is sure enough of our talent to make that bet.  Our self doubts haunt us so we take the easy way instead.

Yet how many of us are really suited for this whole slave away at a job we don’t like for pay cheque?  What would happen if more of us took a risk on happiness?  Would the world change or would every look the same except for a lot of happier people?  I don’t know.

So what’s your story?  What did you sell out for or are you one of the rare ones who are living your dreams?  If you feel like sharing, leave a comment.

The Gloom and Peak Oil

Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 7, 2008

Ok I have to admit. Investing today is getting a bit more difficult. Why? It looks like the gloom is setting in over everything. News stories seem to be focusing on “X number of jobs cut”, “stock markets down”, “home sales cooling off” and my personal favorite “oil choking global economy”. It’s just a depressing kind of place where money goes into something and I actually expect it to go down further.

So what to do? Simple. Keep investing and put on your blinders to some of the noise. The media often seems to overstate the trouble of everything. For example I don’t recall a news release with an oil companies profits lately. That should cheer up some investors for a little while. At the same time if oil does keep going the way it is we would have entered the peak oil world which brings up an interesting question of if we should continue to invest they way we have.

Assuming for the minute peak oil is true as a theory (for those of you not familiar with it read this) and that it is here now or will be shortly. This would result in a rather fundamental shift of how people do business. Up until now transport was always taken for granted as being cheap. So getting something made in China where labour is cheap is possible do to cheap transportation costs. It is cheaper to do that than let someone in North America do it due to the difference in labour costs. If transportation is now more expensive that China may lose that advantage and now it makes sense to do things more locally. Why? Cheaper transport costs due to less distance traveled.

So if the shift for companies becomes local based will they get squeezed out of the local market due to more nimble small businesses which can react faster to the changing economy or will the big business world adjust to new reality of expensive transportation costs and continue to produce profits?

Overall I don’t know, but in any case a shift of some kind is likely soon. 6.5 billion people and growing population and cheap oil can’t go on forever. So what do you think? Is peak oil valid or bullshit?

This post is now part of the 161st Carnival of Personal Finance.

Carnival of Personal Finance #154

Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 26, 2008

Good day all and welcome to Canadian Dream: Free at 45. My name is Tim and I’ll be your host today. In honour of my second son being born early this month I’m basing the theme of this carnival on the classic poem: Monday’s Child.

Monday’s child is fair of face (or at least wrote a great post which caught this editor’s eye).

Tuesday’s child is full of grace (perhaps owing to the fact they learned their money management and savings skills well).

Wednesday’s child is full of woe (potentially because they didn’t use their credit wisely and now have some debt).

Thursday’s child has far to go (but so does everyone who is investing for the long term).

Friday’s child is loving and giving (at least by providing a review or teaching about being frugal).

Saturday’s child works hard for a living (by looking into the economy or real estate)

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day, Is bonny and blithe and good and gay (well with that many descriptors I think I can safely call this the misc posts section)

So that this the Carnival. Make sure to check out the main site for who is hosting next week.

PS: Sorry for the delay getting this published, but I had some sever issues this morning.