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Curse of Obsession with Making Money
Old 07-06-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
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Curse of Obsession with Making Money

Maybe obsesssion is too strong.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur and my dad continued the business. That must have instilled this thing in my brain.

I went into college, then to megacorp. But I was always thinking about ways to leave and start my own business. Alas, cojones were not sufficient, and now I'm on the short countdown clock with megacorp. But retirement thoughts keep circling back to something that will make some money. As just one example, rather than "buy a boat and sail the carribean", I think "build a boat, sail for a while, then sell it for a profit". That was just a passing thought spurred on by one of our awesome members of this board who's just bought a 48 foot catamaran (sorry, don't have the user's handle on the tip of my tongue). There are other examples I won't enumerate. Let's just say it's common in my thinking.

The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Maybe obsesssion is too strong.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur and my dad continued the business. That must have instilled this thing in my brain.

I went into college, then to megacorp. But I was always thinking about ways to leave and start my own business. Alas, cojones were not sufficient, and now I'm on the short countdown clock with megacorp. But retirement thoughts keep circling back to something that will make some money. As just one example, rather than "buy a boat and sail the carribean", I think "build a boat, sail for a while, then sell it for a profit". That was just a passing thought spurred on by one of our awesome members of this board who's just bought a 48 foot catamaran (sorry, don't have the user's handle on the tip of my tongue). There are other examples I won't enumerate. Let's just say it's common in my thinking.

The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--

Nah, I am one and no doubt many others here,... but I always think "what would make barrels of money and also be fun?" The happiest and most contented people I have heard of or known [not many] had that combination going. The problem I have is that many things that are straight-up enjoyable are ruined when commercialized and "clients or customers" come into play.

What would fit my style would be to wake up each morning and pull a lever that would cause everyone in the three west coast states to give me a penny. They wouldn't miss it, nobody even picks them up in the street anymore. I'll give anyone who can make that happen for me half the money.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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I dunno. While I enjoy managing my money and investments, and I spend a lot of time doing it (and arguably more time than is really necessary) I don't think I am obsessed with making money. If I was, I would still be w*rking as I pulled down a good comp package.

My dad was both a company man and had some businesses on the side (and I ran one of them for him at a young age - in my teens). I followed in his footsteps in that I was also a company man but rather than side businesses my interest was investing. Dad wasn't good at it in his youth, lost a lot of money on "hot" stock tips as I understand it (but he never really talked about it) but he learned from that and focused on mutual funds once he retired.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:48 AM   #4
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To answer your question I am not like that, but the most important thing to me is financial independence. Making money is one way to get there. Saving money, LBYM, invest without taking too many risks is another way.
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The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:32 AM   #5
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I'm obsessed, but not with the process of making money but rather with getting all the retirement calculators to turn green ("your plan is successful") using reasonable assumptions. Once they all turn green, I'll be happy to not make another dollar ever again in my life.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
no. If you have 35 x your annual burn rate that means thAt worst case scenario you cud live to 90 and still live the
lifestyle you are accustomed to if you quit work. 2 simple
questions for you are:
1.If you have kids or other beneficiaries, how much you want
to leave them
2. How much value you place on being engaged in making money as opposed living life, if u have enough already
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
No, you're not the only one. It's not about the money, it's about having options and not being backed into a financial corner and restricted as to what you can do.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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I've considered turning one of my "collecting" hobbies into a small part time business to buy and sell for profit. I really don't need the extra money and every time I seriously think about it, I start seeing the working side of it so I quickly move on to something else. Maybe someday if things get boring. I guess you might say I spend some time making money by managing my investments.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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In principal there isn't anything wrong with doing something for profit as long as you are doing what you want to do. You obviously place significant value on making money in terms of defining your happiness. Turn it around and ask yourself why you don't think you can be happy without making money? Are there other types of rewards that would work for you. You might consider trying to live without monetary reward to explore what it is like. Give yourself a time limit to continue doing something before collecting the money. Maybe time will change the way you think about this.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Maybe obsesssion is too strong.

The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
Perhaps you could sit with the question of why continuing to make money is important to you. It sounds like at the moment you are not sure, but until you know *why* you feel this way it is hard to know what to do with those feelings.

If you are driven by fear of not having enough, this might be an irrational motivation that you can let go of eventually.
If you are driven because you think making money is really fun, then it's less problematic. Go have fun!

I really enjoy the thrill of earning income from my business(es) - to me it's almost a competitive charge. That feeling of accomplishment. So that is why I see myself continuing to consult part time even after I am FI. Nothing wrong with that.

SIS
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:26 AM   #11
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While I don't have the drive you do to constantly increase cash flow/income, I DO have the drive to constantly minimize costs/get the best bang for my buck/maximize enjoyment.

And it's not limited to $ - whether it's figuring out the most efficient flight schedule, or most fun among a choice of activities all having a similar cost, etc. But I do love it when $ is involved, because it gives my mathematical side a way to value the different variables and see what results in the 'best' outcome (depending on whatever variables are the most important for a given decision).

Some people might lump it in with OCD, and I'm sure I (and you and others) have some similarities with OCD-like behavior in this...but I view it differently, because the compulsion for me is not the end in-and-of-itself (i.e. I don't minimize and maximize things just for the sake of getting the lowest cost, I do it because I want to save the most money to use on other things, or I want to save some time, etc.). In my understanding, people who are more OCD will tend to do their OCD behavior just for the sake of doing it, without any care of the reason behind it (i.e. if I did my maximizing thing to save $250, then simply took the cash, left it on a public bench and walked away, not caring about the result of saving the money).

Having a natural inclination or predisposition towards a certain behavior is natural, as we all have this to some degree with something. It's how you manage it, and how it is expressed in your life that's the challenge, so it remains just a tool for you to use to enrich your overall life (in the happiness sense), rather than your overall life becoming focused and arranged around the tool becoming the main focus.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Maybe obsesssion is too strong.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur and my dad continued the business. That must have instilled this thing in my brain.

I went into college, then to megacorp. But I was always thinking about ways to leave and start my own business. Alas, cojones were not sufficient, and now I'm on the short countdown clock with megacorp. But retirement thoughts keep circling back to something that will make some money. As just one example, rather than "buy a boat and sail the carribean", I think "build a boat, sail for a while, then sell it for a profit". That was just a passing thought spurred on by one of our awesome members of this board who's just bought a 48 foot catamaran (sorry, don't have the user's handle on the tip of my tongue). There are other examples I won't enumerate. Let's just say it's common in my thinking.

The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
Unless you were born yesterday, you know that you are not the only one who thinks this way. Many people think this way, perhaps most upper middle class Americans anyway.

Ha
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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I have enough that I quit working. Now if I could make money and not have it feel like work or be work then I'd do it. But since I don't know what that is I'm content as is. I value my free time more than making money. I could get a PT job for $8 or $9 an hour but why. I like paying less and will look for bargains and be happy if I get them, I won't pay more for X when I know another store will have it for less whether today or next week. Everyone here values money it's just to what degree. You have to decide for yourself what is enough or whether to pursue more even if not for yourself but for your heirs or charity.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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I'm obsessed, but not with the process of making money but rather with getting all the retirement calculators to turn green ("your plan is successful") using reasonable assumptions. Once they all turn green, I'll be happy to not make another dollar ever again in my life.
I remember the first time I put my ER plan to the test of a retirement calculator. It was back in early 2008 when I visited my local Fidelity investor center (I am a Fido client and have been so since 1990) and met with a rep/advisor. I knew about Fido's Retirement Income Planner program but had not done anything with it. The rep entered my assets including the company stock I planned to cash out upon leaving the company I was still working for at the time. She also entered my expenses and ran the program and we reviewed the results.

I still remember what she said after that, about my ER: "You're good to go!" I left there quite happy.

Eight months later I ERed and all has been great since.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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I have enough that I quit working. Now if I could make money and not have it feel like work or be work then I'd do it. But since I don't know what that is I'm content as is. I value my free time more than making money. I could get a PT job for $8 or $9 an hour but why. I like paying less and will look for bargains and be happy if I get them, I won't pay more for X when I know another store will have it for less whether today or next week. Everyone here values money it's just to what degree. You have to decide for yourself what is enough or whether to pursue more even if not for yourself but for your heirs or charity.
Your thoughts mirror mine...My days of thinking and leading are done. I have thought about getting that type of job especially in the winter, but after all the taxes and everything, there wouldn't be anything to show for it. I don't obsess over money, but I am a bit obsessive with long term financial security. For example, I almost bought a 70 inch tv that was a great buy this week. But I passed because that would have meant I missed my arbitrary monthly savings goal. In the long term, that $1200 in itself isn't material to my long term financial health, but it would have ticked me off short term.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Maybe obsesssion is too strong.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur and my dad continued the business. That must have instilled this thing in my brain.

I went into college, then to megacorp. But I was always thinking about ways to leave and start my own business. Alas, cojones were not sufficient, and now I'm on the short countdown clock with megacorp. But retirement thoughts keep circling back to something that will make some money. As just one example, rather than "buy a boat and sail the carribean", I think "build a boat, sail for a while, then sell it for a profit". That was just a passing thought spurred on by one of our awesome members of this board who's just bought a 48 foot catamaran (sorry, don't have the user's handle on the tip of my tongue). There are other examples I won't enumerate. Let's just say it's common in my thinking.

The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
Hi Dale you are among friends here at money makers anonymous.

The first step is to admit that isn't a problem.

I enjoy watching financial porn (aka CNBC), but just like watching porn isn't as good as having sex, I wanted to get a little more involved without actually having to hard work of starting a business.

Investing in individual stocks is also related to being a bit OCD about making money.

After 7 years of investing in money losing ventures as an Angel investor (which isn't very unusual in this last decade). I have finally come to admit
that evaluating other peoples business plans and sharing a bit of guidance is the real attraction to my participation. If I make money that is just a bonus.

Warren Buffett feels that is hard wired to make money and I think the evidence is pretty strong he is right. Anyway I don't think it is much of a problem.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #17
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Main benefit of true FI is ability to do whatever you enjoy. If that happens to be 'making $$', you should be free to pursue that (within legal & ethical limits, of course ).
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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build the boat
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:18 PM   #19
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I definitely feel like I'm obsessed with making money. I've turned a hobby into a side business with a really good profit margin (although a *very* small customer base), and am always coming up with ideas for side businessess. I think a lot of this comes from my dad who did very similar things, but having seen some friends try to start businesses, I think that I'd be way better than them.
I don't know if it'll stop once I have enough to retire, but I'm guessing not. My plan is to get a little closer to FIRE, and then quit megacorp and do some of these side projects part time to make a little money.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
The "problem" is that I've got 35+ times my annual burn rate in investable assets, I'm 54, so don't NEED to think about making money. But I can't stop!

The question to my wise friends here is...am I the only one?

--Dale--
Let's see: you actually don't have to MAKE money (OK, maybe some money), but you say you have a need to THINK about making money. So, if you didn't think about making money, what would you think about instead?

Or, you build the boat, you sail somewhere and then you don't sell the boat. What happens then?

In any case, apparently you are not the only one.
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