The 5 levels of financial freedom

This is an extract from my book, The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.

This is not a get-rich-quick guide.  It does not require business genius, crazy risk taking or complicated financial techniques.  It is a step-by-step, layman’s guide for organizing your money, getting ahead and reaching your goals.

This book is not a replacement for getting professional advice.  In fact, there is a whole chapter devoted to how to find a good financial advisor and how to get the most value from that advice.

A word of caution: this book is not a genie in a bottle that, upon reading, will magically grant your wish for financial freedom.  To get any benefit from the book you will need to Read More


Yes, you all saw the story.  The UK’s Mr Lockdown, Neil Ferguson, resigned from his role as health tyrant after being caught breaking his own rules – by banging a married woman on the sly.

Ho hum, you thought.  Just another one of our hypocritical overlords making a fool of himself.  But digging deeper, we can learn a lot from this case.

Charles Murray was wrong.  Our overlords are not a cognitive elite.  They are a Twitocracy – ‘rule by twits’, and they are appointed by strange means we shall investigate.

For a while, higher education and the professions really did reflect IQ, and selective breeding among the elite genetically reinforced it.  However, universities now select for Read More

Lady writers

Breathtakingly cheeky book review of several books I have mostly not finished, including To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and Tirra Lirra by Jessica Anderson.

I looked at several ‘greatest books’ compilations in order to get a stack of stuff to read in the wifi-free jungle, and Virginia Woolf’s name kept popping up.

Orright, orright, says I, and I got a collection of her books for a buck.

The most highly recommended one was To the Lighthouse, so I started there.

I’m about a quarter of the way through and Read More

Mad Dog Bridge,550x550,075,f.jpg

Now for something completely different.  Rather than write a story, I found one.  From open source and archive material.

Police interview transcript obtained under the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 and reproduced here under Public Interest provisions.  Edited for clarity and readability. 

While no details from this transcript are subject to privacy regulations, I have chosen to change some names and locations in order to avoid unwanted attention for those affected.


Waratah Police Station, March 19th, 1991, 3:45 p.m.


This interview is being tape recorded.  I am Detective Seargant James Corcoran from the Homicide Squad.  Present are my colleague Senior Constable Sarah Baker, based at Waratah Police Station, Person of Interest Trevor Barnum, and his solicitor, Ms Jane Huld.

I remind Mr Barnum that he is here voluntarily, and has the right to remain silent.  Mr. Barnum, do you understand?


My client understands.


We are interviewing all persons connected with your wife, Mrs Tracy Barnum, in order to determine why she has gone missing and her present safety and whereabouts.  Local officers have already spoken to you, but now that she’s been missing for some days, the Homicide Squad has been brought in to conduct further investigation, and we’ll need to ask you some questions that you may have already been asked.  Please tell us the whole story of your wife’s disappearance, starting wherever you think most appropriate.


My client has no comment at this time.


Yes, I bloody well do.


No, he does not.  I instruct my client to make no comment.


Ms. Huld, do you need more time to confer with your client?


No, she doesn’t.  I told her Read More

Can you depend on a government pension?

This is an extract from my book, The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom: A Realistic, 10-Step Manual to Building Liberating Wealth on a Low to Medium Income.

Some people assume they don’t need to save for retirement because their country has a national pension system.  They might also be expecting a pension from a government agency like the police department, fire service or board of education.  In addition, some people think they’ll never need an emergency fund because the government can help out with unemployment benefits, public health coverage, and anything else they may need.  Let’s see what The Poor Man’s Guide to Financial Freedom has to say about that:

But won’t the government look after you?

Don’t bank on it.

We’ll come back to social security in a moment, but first consider this:

Imagine there’s a tiny island nation in the Pacific.  Let’s call it Bananastan.  It being a very quiet place, with most people meeting their economic needs through fishing and subsistence farming, not much trade takes place.  In fact, over the whole of 2019 the only goods and services paid for were: Read More