Category: Life

Invert. Always Invert!

The Jacobi (or is it ibocaj?)

 The (now) famous Mr. Jacobi (or is it ibocaJ?)

The 19th century mathematician Carl Gustav Jacobi is attributed to have said “Invert, Always Invert!”.   His words never had it so good until recently.   His name and work might have forever remained within the cocoon of academic mathematics if not for his quote made famous in recent times by Charlie Munger.  The modern life application of Jacobi’s urging covers all forms of societal, economic and even personal issues where the concept of inversion can be useful.  The concept can be applied at a global level or at an individual level. For example, the question “How do we increase our country’s exports?” can be inverted as “What are all the ways by which we can reduce our exports?”.

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You cannot shrink your way to FI

'Utils' is how an economist defines satisfaction. Quantity can be anything that you have or want (money, time, no. of vacations you take etc.).

‘Utils’ is how an economist defines satisfaction. Quantity can be anything that you have or want (money, time, number of vacations you take etc.).

In the pursuit of financial independence (FI), you will have to deal with frugality. Frugality, like many things in life, is relative.   I always find it curious to read how someone can live under $10,000 a year or under $15,000 a year with family (in a developed country.  This qualifier is important because these figures are a comfortable middle class income in many developing countries).   I read such articles more to understand the full extent of human ability to shrink their expense footprint beyond what many consider as feasible.   

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Entrepreneurship Hype – It Will Cost You

The idea is nice, but the odds don't make it real.

The idea is nice, but the odds don’t make it real.

One of the common themes among self-improvement seminars, self-help gurus and life coach experts is this idea that you are limiting yourself by working in a job and that you must own your own business. The clarion call for entrepreneurship is tempting indeed.  One well-known blogger has built a thriving business telling others to create their own business and not to be the ‘slave’ by working in a job.   Personal development is critical for everyone, but do you have to start a business to develop yourself?  

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What can investors learn from Donald vs. Hillary?

Mr. Emotion vs. Ms. Measured

   Mr. Emotion                    vs.          Ms. Measured

Elections are an exciting time in a democracy – campaign rallies, conventions, debates, allegations,  mud-slinging and fund-raising.  The end objective is to earn the investment (vote) of as many citizens as possible.   Amidst all the hoopla, one only hopes that truth and fair process get a chance to influence voters on the best candidate to lead the country.  This Presidential election season in U.S. has moved up the excitement scale, mainly due to the polar opposite candidates fielded by both major parties.

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Oh, dear latte! You have been crucified. Fear not, Mr. TFR at your service. Always keep me happy with your frothy texture and warm liquid company.

Sensibly Frugal

Oh, dear latte! You have been crucified. Fear not, Mr. TFR at your service. Always keep me happy with your frothy texture and warm liquid company.

Oh, dear latte! You have been crucified.   But don’t worry.  Always keep me happy with your frothy texture and warm liquid company.

Folks, you have all heard this before.  “If you don’t indulge in that Starbucks coffee every day and invest the savings, you will get rich” or something like that.   I have heard this story far too many times from far too many ‘experts’.  It has even found a place in some bestseller books that sold a million copies!  Time to put this overused latte story to test.   Let’s compare the latte math with the real math @ TFR.

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I have my roots in an unshakeable market so I am invincible. Buy me! I am a no-brainer!

Buying vs. Renting: A Capital Tale

I have my roots in an unshakeable market so I am invincible. Buy me! I am a no-brainer!

I have my roots in an unshakable market so I am invincible. Buy me! I am a no-brainer!

This post took 10 years in the making.  It has its origins in 2005 when I moved to the Washington DC area during the peak of the real estate bubble.  Soon after, I have been recommended, advised, urged and sometimes even warned about my foolish decision to rent.
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The Ten Factors

There are 10 factors in my life journey that I see as integral to a meaningful and successful life, and net worth is only one part of it.   Each of these factors directly or indirectly contribute to my financial and well-being goals.   I hope to share my experience (both pains and pleasures) and learn from your comments on each of these areas.  Here we go:
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About TFR

Hi, I am Roman (or “Mr. TFR”).  Glad to have you here!  I am a 45+ corporate senior manager working in a consumer products company, who values financial independence.   I have a family (including my elderly mother) to support but that’s not why I need my job, it is because I am doing (so far) interesting […]

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