The Australian media has taken a break from Covid hysteria to whip up a new wave of hysteria about men behaving badly in federal parliament. There was an accusation of rape committed inside the parliament one drunken night, with a police complaint being made two years after the alleged act. Then a senior politician was accused by a dead, bipolar ex-girlfriend of raping her decades ago. Yes, dead. She wrote something about these ‘recovered memories’ before she died.
So far, so Narrative-friendly. Men are bad! Believe all women!
There are different investment categories. Some, like cash and bonds, are better for short-term investment because they are more stable but they generally have a lower rate of return. These are called ‘defensive investments’, i.e. they defend your wealth against the vagaries of fortune. Shares and equivalents are better for long-term investment because, while volatile, they offer higher potential (not guaranteed!) returns and you will have time to recover from losses. These are called ‘growth investments’ because they can increase, and not just preserve, your wealth. You will probably need a mix of both defensive and growth investments.
People often talk about how much Western values have transformed since the 1960s, an interval of 60 years, but social change can happen much, much faster than that. Cultural norms can shift in 15, 10 or even 5 years under the right circumstances.
In 2006, 49% of Americans believed that it was ‘very important’ for couples with children to be married. By 2020, that percentage had fallen to 29%.
As an adult, you need to understand investing, just as you need to know how to drive a car, eat and exercise properly, wipe your bottom, or be able to independently support yourself through paid employment. No one is exempt.
Review of Under the Nihil(pronounced like the river Nile), by Andy Nowicki.
Many saints are lunatics.
Catholic figures such as St Catherine of Siena seem driven by inner demons that combine with contemporary values. The same might be said of secular martyrs – soldiers who insist on doing ever more tours of duty in some unwinnable hellhole; Western doctors choosing to work in African war zones; animal shelter ladies. Julian Assange, Edward Snowden.
A normal person lives his life, tries to get a job, get married, raise kids and pay off the house. He might give twenty bucks to the Salvos at Christmas, help the odd beetle back onto its feet and consider himself a good sort. For the average person, it is enough to obey the law and not to be too obnoxious.
The protagonist of Under the Nihil decides at a young age to become a priest. He is troubled, socially awkward, unpopular. Religion gives him strength and direction. One day, he thinks, I’ll be a priest and everything will be okay. I’ll have a vocation helping others. He prays and waits for this release from his uneasy life.
If you want to do the math yourself, it works like this: In general, if you can live off four percent of your savings then that nest egg should last you a very long time, probably until death. We will get to the important provisos in a moment. First, let’s look at an example. Say you want to retire today on $50,000 per annum. Nice, hey? Let’s calculate: