SavingNinja published another interesting thought experiment. I always wonder how he does it: Ask inherently thought provoking questions that I simply have to respond to. I enjoy these thought experiments a lot, but I have to admit: This new one is not easy.
“A different opinion is somewhat frowned upon in our clique based society, but some of the greatest minds of all time were outliers. They weren’t scared to go against the grain and stand up for what they believed in. So, for this Thought Experiment, I’d like you to reveal yourself: What opinion do you have that most of your peers do not share?”
Oh hi, Marc!
This is probably going to be my most rambling post ever. A part of me wants to be an outlier. Different. I want to unveil my inner rebel, unleash my inner genius. Talk about something outrageous. Come entirely clean. The earth is actually a cube. In that league. Something that will fill everyone with awe. Or make me the laughing stock (but that’s okay because the world will eventually discover I was right).
Have you seen the movie ‘The Disaster Artist’? About Tommy Wiseau and his movie ‘The Room’? If you haven’t, go binge watch and watch ‘The Room’ first and then ‘The Disaster Artist’.
You will then understand the following quote…
I did not hit her. It’s not true. It’s bullshit. I did not hit her. I did naaaht. Oh hi, Mark
Why do I bring this up? Because Tommy Wiseau is and was an outlier. He made one of the worst movies in history. People ridiculed him. But he’s a cult figure now. People all over the world watch his movie. Because it is so bad, it is actually good.
You are tearing me apart Lisa!
Tommy Wiseau did something he believed in. By objective standards his movie may fail in every possible way. But it still delivers for me. Was he crazy? A genius after all? It’s irrelevant if you ask me.
Going against the grain for the sake of it serves no purpose. That’s fake. Going against the grain because you believe in something is real and requires a strong character. People will disagree with you. They may laugh. They may become hostile. Worst case? They’ll kill you. Lots of examples of that unfortunately.
So Marc, are you an outlier one way or another?
It all depends on perspective. I may go against the grain relative to one group of peers, but when compared with another group, my opinions may fully harmonize.
Relative to my colleagues I am going against the grain with my plans for FIRE. But the FIRE community sees me as one of them.
This is boring Marc. Give us something better!
Okay what about this? I actually believe in crypto currency. So much that I 1) invested money in bitcoins, ether and a bunch of other coins, 2) built a mining rig that ‘digs’ for crypto currency and 3) stake crypto currency in a delegated proof of stake/blockchain protocol, developed to facilitate scalable, decentralized (peer to peer) live video streaming.
Or rather, I believe in the future of decentralized, block chain based solutions (like this live video streaming network) and the role of crypto currency in the incentivisation mechanisms that keep these solutions running.
I believe in the future of decentralized applications (and hence block chain). Crypto will play an important role in that.
So how exactly does that make you an outlier?
For many FIRE is about predictability, passive income, diversification, avoiding risk. About sleeping well while other investors suffer from insomnia.
To a large extent I subscribe to this, apart from the diversification part maybe as I currently have one of the most concentrated portfolios in the industry… 😉
Crypto currency doesn’t really fit the FIRE narrative. It’s abstract, unknown, risky, shady. Putting money into crypto assets is the opposite of what a FIRE wannabee should do. It’s gambling. Right?
I look at it differently. I earmark a relatively small portion of my investable funds for ‘higher risk’ investments. This doesn’t mean I am gambling with FIRE. The total risk for not reaching FIRE as planned is largely unaffected by it.
Investing in crypto currency – or rather the blockchain space – is perfectly okay as far as I am concerned. I am not investing in crypto currency for the sake of it. I believe in the technology. In the added value of decentralized, block chain driven solutions that will pop up all around the world.
Does it mean I will earn a hefty return on my investments? I have no clue. There are so many different currencies, so many different solutions and initiatives that it is difficult to know which ones will survive. Blockchain has a future, no doubt about it. Crypto currency is here to stay. And I am investing a small portion of my funds in initiatives that I find promising.
Note that you don’t have to buy crypto assets to invest in this space. You can invest in NASDAQ listed companies as well. You can buy some shares in tech companies that develop blockchain solutions. With good old local currency.
Why can’t we see these investments in your portfolio Marc?
Good question. As I said, these investments don’t really fit the FIRE narrative. But now, thanks to Saving Ninja, you all know there is more to my portfolio than you see in my charts.
It’s not a lot. Less than $2K at the moment. But I will consider adding it to my charts and visualize my journey into crypto space.
Delegated Proof of Stake
Staking my crypto currency in the delegated proof of stake protocol which I mentioned above earns me a form of passive income. It’s like buying dividend paying stocks.
By staking my crypto coins I cast my vote and support a specific ‘transcoder node’ in the decentralized live video streaming network. As a reward I receive a portion of the additional coins that are minted each round (roughly once a day), which I can convert to local currency.
Effective annual yield between 25-50% (taking the protocol specific, built-in inflation into account). That’s the theory at least.
Other outliers among personal finance bloggers
- Saving Ninja
- Caveman @ DitchTheCave
- Mr A Way To Less
- Miss A Way To Less
- Merely curious