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Is money the last taboo?

Discussion in 'Investing Strategies' started by Nigel Ward, 18th Oct, 2005.

  1. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    From some extended observations of my work colleagues I've come to the conclusion that money is the last great taboo subject!

    People are more than happy to discuss:

    1) sex
    2) sport
    3) religion
    4) politics
    5) weather
    6) property (but only in Sydney)
    7) drinking
    8) sport
    9) sex
    10) sport

    but talking about money and investment is somehow vulgar. Who makes it, how to make it and how to keep it and people clam up or become very embarrassed.

    Why is it so? I think the psychology of money and how we relate to it is fascinating. Perhaps it's because our sense of self-worth (no matter how much we'd like to think otherwise) is intrinsically linked to how much money we have or earn. (Or at least how much RELATIVE to others ;) )...is it because it's how we keep score?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    :confused:

    I'm with you on this one Nigel.

    Maybe I'm coming from it from a slightly different angle, but I had an interesting encounter yesterday which I think is all too common.

    I had an older friend mention quickly in passing how he was finding things pretty difficult as he wasn't on a great wage and Land Tax etc. was really hurting. I knew from earlier comments he'd managed to acquire at least three properties over the years and he was a classic example of asset rich, cashflow poor.

    I really felt for him since he'd obviously been trying to do the right thing and provide for his future.

    I said he should obviously seek professional financial advice but then I asked him if he'd considered a couple of options that could've turned his situation around considerably. :D I then added again that he should seek professional advice.

    When I finished he looked at me blankly, smiled and asked me whether I thought we'd get more rain this week? :confused:

    What is it about us as a society that allows us to think that at least a partial financial education should be number 199 on our top 200 things to do?

    I guess Forums such as this create a rather non-typical cross section of society. Almost by definition, everyone here has an interest in talking about investments and wants to further their education in this area to some extent. This in not typical though.



    :)
     
  3. Tropo

    Tropo Well-Known Member

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    Nigel,

    Money always was a taboo and nothing will change ( I think ) in the nearest future.
    The case you are talking about might proof that people have money complex.
    It's easier to talk about somebody who made $ 40 K under 20 minutes than talk about own investments which increase in value $ 40K but in the last 5 years.
    Jealousy is another aspect - so a lot of people refuse to tak about personal finances.
    Personally I found that people are more reluctant to talk about religion or politics than about money.
    I guess that you are working with a very enigmatic personalities...

    Keep $miling !!.

    :cool:
     
  4. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Isnt sex and weather the same thing? They're both loud when they come, but take your house with them when they leave :D :D

    On a more serious note, I'm more than happy to discuss finance / investing / money / etc with just about everyone, but I always scare people away or offend them. Such is life :p

    Cheers,
     
  5. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    Agree completely. To put it in perspective, I recently posted in this forum that I had bought units in NavTrade Retail. I had posted the specific $$$ amount of my purchase as talking about money is second nature to me and I have no hang ups. But, after consideration and a few brief words to Steve over a coffee, I edited the post to take the $$$ specifics out. I concluded that people "didn't really need to know about my specific situation". I think I might have broken some unspoken netiquete rule with my initial post, sorry. :eek:

    PS, on the $$$... Suffice to say, without being specific, I'm in big! :D Let the good times roll!

    Cheers,
    Michael.
     
  6. Simon

    Simon Well-Known Member

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    In my line of work big is relative (I am talking $$$ here Jax) Some clients are in a cold sweat over a $100K loan whilst others are very blase with several $M being bandied about.

    I suggest that if you read back on what you wrote in the future you might think that was small change! At least I hope so!! :D

    Cheers,
     
  7. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Simon,

    Good point! Its all relative... And I hope you're right that in years to come I scoff at the meager amount I used to think was big money! ;)

    Cheers mate,
    Michael.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    Yep........good point Simon.

    Let me try.......

    'I currently have hardly anything in the Fund but I hope to build it up to a very small amount indeed in the future........' :D



    :)
     
  9. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Alan,

    Nice one! And "hardly anything" was enough to pay off your mortgage with the distribution! :eek:

    I wish I had hardly anything in the fund... :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Michael.
     
  10. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    Michael,

    It may have been a very small mortgage......:p




    :)
     
  11. kennethkohsg

    kennethkohsg Well-Known Member

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    ***********************
    hiya Dave

    Not with me when we last met in Perth early this month.

    How did the Perthrites' Meeting go?

    Looking forward to seeing you and the other members in Perth again next month.

    Cheers,
    Kenneth KOH
     
  12. kennethkohsg

    kennethkohsg Well-Known Member

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    Dear Nigel,

    1. I'm not sure now if I can personally agree with you at all, in particular regarding your claim about open public discussions regarding topics like religion, among Australians in general.

    2. Over at the Jan Somer Property Forum, there is an "fiery" exchange among its members over references made to a person's faith and personal beliefs until a good thread discussion has to be abruptly closed down.

    3. I have always thought that Australia is an free and open society where its people are socially matured enough to openly discuss any topics under the sun, like the Americans in USA do, given its present multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-racial society make up.

    4. Unfortunately, from what I have read (and seen) at the Jan Somers Forum today I am greatly disappointed and saddened by some of the members' responses.

    5. I also feel sad and sorry for Australia as a nation. I can now sense and know that the risk and probability of a terrorist attack happening on the Australian soils in the near future, is very real one, given some of the present Australians' attitude towards other people's personal beliefs and value system, especially if what I see at the Jan Somers forum is indeed truly reflective of the actual wider social climate in Australia. This is despite I want to wish Australia well, and hoping that such attacks will never, never happen to Australia at all. However, I know that I will be deliberately lying to myself if I were to ignore the seriousness of this potential terrorist attacks risks against Australia, having lived midst the predominantly Muslim area within ASEAN Region for the last 40 odd years myself.

    6. For your kind update, please.

    7. Thank you.

    regards,
    Kenneth KOH
     
  13. Glebe

    Glebe Well-Known Member

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    Kenneth,

    Forget about it mate...
     
  14. kennethkohsg

    kennethkohsg Well-Known Member

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    Dear Glebe,

    1. Thanks for your kind support and consolation..

    2. Personally, I do not feel offended by what are being posted there, in the Jan Somers Forum. Neither do I think I am being personally attacked at all. The strong emotions and languages used in some of the posts, merely serve to tell me that some of the members are truly "uncomfortable" and are still not "psychologically ready" to openly discuss such kind of topics to date.

    3. Having said this, however, I truly feel sad for Australia as a nation, and cannot with full honesty to myself, rule out the risks of terrorist attacks on Australian soils in the near future, given such kind of underlying sentiments among its own Australian peoples.

    4. Thank you.

    regards,
    Kenneth KOH
     
  15. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Kenneth,

    I think you'll find that Australians as a whole are a free and open society. Hence the willingness of people to post their responses on that thread you are referencing. If we weren't then people would have said nothing right!

    The point being made over there was that some topics, such as religion, are divisive given people have different heart-felt points of view, and as such can be very inflamatory as that thread has borne out. Not one post that I read suggested an intolerance of any particular religion, just some sage advice to limit discussions on potentially divisive topics that are unrelated to the forum's reason for being.

    I reckon you're a cool dude and appreciate your participation here and at SS. Please don't mis-interpret the "intent" of those posts.

    Cheers,
    Michael.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28th Oct, 2005
  16. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    There are three things that will generally get heated responses from people in a discussion ... politics, religion and (in Australia), sport !

    What can tend to happen in large communities that have been around for a while, is that a minority of voices tend to dominate the discussion.

    It is unfortunate that some people are too narrow minded to either maintain a useful discussion on some of these topics - recognising that other people may differ in their opinions, or if they simply aren't interested in that topic, to ignore the conversation and move on.

    There are many topics and issues that many of us don't want to deal with for many reasons - and that is okay. What is not okay (to me personally) is attempting to shut down a topic of conversation because it doesn't suit your interests.

    There are, however, some exceptions and guidelines that I feel must be taken into account:

    1. if a topic is likely to lead to legal trouble for someone, it is better to avoid that topic than to have to fight the legal battles that will usually arise (unless you are intending to make it a legal battle for whatever reason - in which case, do it yourself and don't drag others into your personal battles).

    2. where possible, threads should be kept on topic. This doesn't mean stopping the conversations that arise from existing threads, but it is important to preserve the integrity of the original topic where possible (especially when there was a question that hasn't really been answered fully yet).

    3. people have the right to express an opinion - but only if it is expressed in such a way that they understand it is only an opinion. Stating an opinion as fact and refusing to acknowledge that other people may feel differently is unproductive and offensive. For example, stating that all people from Melbourne are bottom-feeding-scum-suckers because they stole the Grand Prix from Adelaide, while this may be true ( :D ) is unfortunately just an opinion - and is rather unproductive. (But we will never forget, you event stealers you !) :D :D

    4. People do not have the right to post hurtful, slanderous, unprovable, or untrue accusations about someone or something. If you have a problem with something someone has said or done, "airing your dirty laundry" in public is less than flattering, especially when the accused is not able to respond or defend themselves. Such attacks are usually made out of spite or a desire for some form of vengeance, and are not productive. Many people do this out of a desire to "help their friends" avoid getting burned - and that's fine ... tell your friends, but do it privately - that way it is clear that this is your opinion, for it is nothing more than opinion - regardless of how you feel about it.

    5. Beliefs are opinions. This is a very important concept. I have very strong beliefs in some areas (religion and IT particularly), and additionally, one of my beliefs is that everyone not only has the right to choose their own beliefs, but it is very important that they be given the freedom to do so. My opinion is that it is wrong to force your beliefs onto someone else - and this is why I feel strongly about "crusading", which I define as telling someone what their opinion should be - I believe this is wrong, people should be made comfortable in choosing their own beliefs.

    Note that I do differentiate between what I call "crusading" and what I call "evangelism". Evangelism is marketing. It's what I do at work - I spend my time extolling the virtues of the software I sell, encouraging people to "see the light" - making sure they understand what value it can bring them.

    I don't have a problem with someone evangelising their beliefs to others - think of it as standing on a soap box on a street corner telling the world what you believe. What I do have a problem with is when that starts to become negative and attacking. If someone was to stand on a street corner and proclaim what they believe - that's fine ... however if they were to stand there and proclaim that if you don't believe it too, then you will "rot in hell" (or some other such claim), then this starts to become crusading. Such attitudes, when taken to an extreme, lead to attempts to physically force people to believe something. Consider the crusades of the middle ages - forcibly trying to convert non-believers.

    Anyone who uses violence, coercion, derision, or any other such physical, mental, or emotional attack to further their own beliefs is, in my opinion, causing destruction and removing the basic liberty I think all people should hold - the ability to freely form your own opinions and beliefs.

    Now, of course, there are some interesting paradoxes and dilemmas in what I say - if someone chooses to believe that crusading is the right way, aren't I suggesting that they have a right to believe that ? If someone chooses to believe that terrorism is the right way, aren't I suggesting that they have a right to believe that ? If someone cooses to believe that to overthrow a government using violence to force their own political methods onto them is the right way, aren't I suggesting that they have a right to believe that ? All these are interesting topics for debate, for which there are no easy answers. When it comes to paradoxes and dilemmas, I prefer not to debate these issues in public ... late night "deep and meaningful" discussions are the best time to investigate these things I find :D

    Back on the topic of the taboo of money ... I suggest that taboo topics are held by those people who don't have it.

    Most people have religion, politics, sport, and all those other topics. They are comfortable talking about it because they have formed their own opinions.

    People who don't have religion (I'm not talking specifically about a belief in God as such, I'm talking about a more broad definition of religion - which includes atheism), often don't feel comfortable about talking religion because they have no beliefs to discuss - they have no convictions to fall back on, they don't anything to relate to in the discussion.

    People who don't have money don't like talking about it because they either don't understand it, or they fear it, they don't have anything to relate to in the discussion.

    As with most things, unfortunately, I believe it is ignorance (a lack of understanding) and fear, which drives most people's lives.

    Building understanding (education, appreciation), can help overcome fear. People who are not afraid, can build tolerance. People who have tolerance, can reach self-actualisation.

    If someone understands money, if they have overcome their fear of money (or fear of lack of it !), if they have toleration of money and of others who have it, then they might finally start to realise the potential of what money can achieve. Note that greed comes under the fear aspect - greedy people are fearful people, and are not self-actualised. In my opinion !

    mmm ... enough philosophising for one day I think !
     
  17. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    Kenneth I agree with you that Australia is a terrorist target. However, I disagree with your views as to why that is so and implicitly what you seem to suggest is the solution.

    You say:

    One of our great freedoms is the ability to freely express our attitudes and opinions about issues. If saying things like: "we don't accept in Australia fundamentalist Islam's subjegation of the position of women in society" or "we won't stand for violence or terrorist acts made in the name of Islam" makes us a target then so be it. We are liberal enough to permit people to worship freely, so long as that is done in a way which is peaceful and does not cause or advocate harm to others. If others are going to attack us for beliving in and preserving those sorts of freedoms then we're going to take steps to defend our way of life.

    What you seem to be suggesting is that by vigorously and robustly airing our opinions about religion we increase our risk of terrorist attack and that therefore we should curtail that debate. That would, in my opinion, be letting the terrorists win. I'm rather fond of the view of Irish statesman Edmund Burke who said something like: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    Now certainly many opinions expressed about religion (and lots of other topics) are ignorant, ill-informed, rude or just plain wrong...But so are many people! :D That doesn't mean we should stifle their voices...merely treat them with the disregard such opinions deserve!

    To paraphrase Voltaire, I disagree with your views, but I respect your right to air them in your usual sincere and polite way.

    Cheers
    N.
     
  18. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    Nigel,

    If I could give Kudos on this forum, then I would for that reply. If only I had the clarity of thought and eloquence of expression that you demonstrated there... Gee I feel inadequate! :D

    Cheers,
    Michael.
     
  19. kennethkohsg

    kennethkohsg Well-Known Member

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    Dear SIM,

    1. Very Interesting philosophical thoughts, indeed!

    2. Use Education to overcome fears and ignorance - Good. To it, add Experiential learning in real life situations applications and practices - even better. To help people realise their TRUE REAL SELF + SELF Actualisation-Excellent!

    3. You says, "People who don't have money don't like talking about it because they either don't understand it, or they fear it, they don't have anything to relate to in the discussion.".... To it, I will reply by saying, "we can all be like little children, innocent and pure, and yet always ready to listen and learn from the Master (of Money), be truly educated about MONEY and eventually moving on to become its Master! It's always better to be a Money-Master, rather than be a Slave to/for Money!"

    4. It is said that Money must be freely circulated to help others and to make this world a better place for all to live, for it to grow and multiply effectively before returning itself into the hands of its rightful and worthy owners. Freely give, Freely receive. Money hoarded will Slowly and Surely die and disappear from its present owners' hand. Such is reportedly said to be the Nature of Money and its Money Stewardship..

    5. Do you happen to know and understand this spiritual principle? If so, care to enlighten me further as I will like to learn and find out more about this fascinating but equally baffling mystery, please.

    6. Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Kenneth KOH
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28th Oct, 2005
  20. kennethkohsg

    kennethkohsg Well-Known Member

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    Dear Michael,

    1. Do you not sense the underlying REAL FEARS and INSECURITY/EMOTIONs outbursts among certain members such that they acted not their normal (rational) self?

    2. With strong emotions flying all over the airs, how then do we sit down together to discuss things rationally and in an open manner when we do not even have the basic self-discipline (to control our own emotions and exercise proper self control) by continue to show basic respect and courtesy for one another as fellow human beings, despite our differences, within the context of a reportedly socially matured society like Australia?

    3. It is AS IF we are having an open mob riot then, with many people running around "amok" and trying to survive; or/and AS IF some foreign troops have now invaded into Australia- when all is actually required from the members to resolve their differences, is a cool head , with a soft and gentle courteous response, like a simple, "Yes", "No", "Sometimes" and finally, "We agree to disagree" responses, if we are indeed socially matured and truly open to all.

    4. Some members also prefer to choose to focus on their differences, rather than on the common grounds/similarities which they share with the opposing views camp, when we should all be celebrating our cultural diversity and show due respect for the uniqueness of each and every MAN.

    5. When people start behaving lowly and start to bark madly and to scream and shriek around openly without any sense of personal shame and self-control, they are inviting others to respond to them equally in the same or similar hurting and mad manner.... finally what we will all see is the worst of Man - the selfishness, madness, anger etc and not our own human goodness.

    6. No, I do not think that I have mis-interpreted the situation. The contents/manner in some of the posts clearly shows out the authors' underlying strong emotions and hidden intent to impose one's own views upon others to the extent of shafting it right down people's throat even when they disagree and continue to choose to strongly disagree.

    7. It is this kind of sudden human "madness" and low behaviours among certain Australians, which is likely to pose the real danger that will cause the terrorists to strike back in return.

    8. For your kind update, please.

    9. Thank you.

    regards,
    Kenneth KOH