Those Were the Days

Those Were the Days

Sometimes I feel sorry for kids growing up today.

Not that life is more difficult now, but that life is probably too complicated.

At least it’s not as simple as when I was a kid.

Growing up in the 1970’s was special.

We spent a lot of time outdoors. In fact, in the summertime we would leave the house in the morning and not come home until night time when mom would holler for us at dinner. (Holler is a technical term, look it up.)

We’d skate. Ride bikes. We’d build ramps for both. No helmets of course.

We’d Jump rope, play home run derby, basketball, kick the can. We’d swim in ponds, creeks, and rivers.

There was no internet. No cell phones. Hell, most people had one rotary phone in the kitchen with a 20 foot handset extension so you could have “private” conversations. Fancy people had push button phones. Fancier people had two phones.

My baseball team had one or two games a week and we played at the local field.

Gas for cars was expensive so folks didn’t make unnecessary trips. Most families had only one car, which we would pile into without seat belts and head to the local drive-in movie.

Yeah, the seventies were special. In a weird kind of way, what made things so special was a certain sense of scarcity.

Instead of an infinite amount of television options we only had four channels to choose from and on a good day we could pick up a few channels from Dayton.

Baseball was on television but only the away games. Home games were only available on the radio. Going to a game was a rare event.

Kings Island was a special trip. We’d normally only go on GE day! Thanks Uncle Jerry. LOL.

Believe it or not, going to a restaurant was a treat.

Attending a movie for most people wasn’t a weekly event. It was rare. Special.

As a kid, a visit to the Dairy Whip was only once in a while. It was truly a treat.

Cartoons were only available on Saturday mornings. After my morning cartoons I’d start looking for my favorite show of all time, This Week in Baseball, a half hour show that covers the entire major leagues in one show. No ESPN. No 24/7 coverage. That show was special!

As I think about today’s land of plenty, and our 24/7/365 internet connected world, I feel like it would be good to consider that simpler lifestyle.

Maybe we only visit restaurants and movie theaters on special occasions. Maybe the drive-in.

Maybe we consume less in general.

Maybe our kids don’t play on teams that play 60 games a summer.

Maybe instead they ride their bikes, play in the creek, and build some ramps.

Put Yourself Out of Business

Put Yourself Out of Business

Now that our kids are raised, my wife are looking towards the future. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m getting older and probably need to get prepared for the Golden Years.

What’s next and how do I prepare? Especially financially. How do I build wealth?

Plenty of my writing over the last few years has focused on the five capitals. Capitals are assets for which we all need to operate successfully in life. The Five Capitals are : Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Relational, and Financial.

All of these are valuable and although I’ve given quite a bit of attention to the first four, lately I have begun to focus more intensely on finances.

I’ve become obsessed with investing.

Stocks, bonds, real estate, (of course) and a new subject for me–digital assets.

In the not too distant future, every asset on the planet is going to be digitized. Real estate. Stocks. Bonds. Securities. Cars. Boats. Everything.

Digitized so you and I can buy or sell them online from our computer in an online marketplace.

In order to purchase those assets, you will need a digital form of money.

Crypto currency is a fascinating subject. It’s money, but in digital form. Instead of paper cash and a leather wallet, users employ digital tokens and a hard wallet such as a computer or a USB storage device.

Crypto is short for cryptology, which describes the technology and computer code that allows for security and privacy of the information. Blockchain technology makes the online transfer of the currency possible by giving the two parties involved verifiable evidence of the chain of custody.

Bitcoin is the best known crypto currency. As of today, it’s selling for about $10,000 per coin. When it first came out, you could get one coin for 3 cents or in many cases folks were giving it away for free.

I’m not really a fan of Bitcoin as it has no intrinsic value. It’s not tied to a real asset. It’s value is arbitrary. Is Bitcoin worth 3 cents or $10,000? It’s just a matter of opinion because it’s not tied to a reliable and stable asset like gold or silver. It has no utility.

Same goes for the U.S. dollar. Also, tied to nothing. Fiat currency.

The word fiat is latin and means “let it be done.” You know, kind of how parents explain complicated questions to their kids –”because I said so!” Lol.

Fiat currency will be displaced. Digital currency, tied to a real tangible asset like gold or silver, is the future. This displacement will negatively impact many businesses. One is a company called SWIFT.

Currently, they dominate the cross border payments industry. In essence, they settle payments from one entity to another even though they have different currencies. For example, an institution in the U.S. sells a product or service to someone in China. China pays in Yuan, yet SWIFT allows the U.S. entity to collect in Dollars.

It’s cumbersome and expensive to translate one currency to another and SWIFT profits from the transaction. However, their technology was built in the 1970’s and hasn’t been improved much since.

SWIFT knows that crypto currency and blockchain technology threatens their very existence yet they seem to be fighting the change.

Instead of fighting the technology, wouldn’t it be better if they adopted and embraced the technology?

Years ago I heard Gary Vaynerchuk tell his audience, “everyday I try to put myself out of business.”

Brilliantly, Gary realizes that your competition, or technology, will ultimately put you out of business, so why not beat them to the punch.

What about you and me? Should we put ourselves out of business?

How you and I operate today is obsolete. Eventually.

In our business life.

In our personal life.

Change is coming and along with it will be exciting opportunities.

Let’s put ourselves out of business.