Sunday, May 06, 2018

How would Thanos manage his personal finances ?

I'm quite sure most readers have watched Infinity War by now. In my opinion, the Mad Titan Thanos can be a great role model for folks trying to achieve financial independence. After all, who wouldn't want all the assholes in the workplace (along with some friends ) to disappear at the snap of your fingers ?

As it turns out, a person's journey to financial independence mirrors Thanos' attempt to collect all the Infinity Gems :

a) Mind Gem

The Mind Gem represents the skills you would need to understand how money works. For the rookie, I recommend reading the Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. Then concepts of FIRE can be found in the works of Vicki Robin. After that you can try the more technical investing guides in the bookstore.

b) Power Gem

The power gem represents the ability to manage your energy. In personal finance it represents the ability to max out your life-energy exchange. A strong career and earnings signifies the ability to convert your life energy to money.

The power over life energy maxes out your earnings.

c) Space Gem

In the story, the space gem allows users to manipulate space and be at any location at the same time.

In personal finance, this represents the space between your earnings and your spending. The wider the space, the more savings you have. It is pointless having great life energy exchange when your excess cash is spent buying gadgets and useless stuff. This also explains why Thor is the God of Lighting, not the God of Hammers.

d) Time Gem

The time gem allows the manipulation of time and the ability to see into the past and the future. Now that you have adequate savings, power of time allows you to employ compounding to multiply your wealth. Compound interest is, after all, the eighth wonder of the world.

For astute fans, Dr Strange used the time gem to employ some of kind of Monte Carlo analysis to look into 1.4 million futures before deciding to conceded the time gem to Thanos.

e) Reality Gem

The reality gem allows everything in reality to be altered. To me, it means choosing the right reality of your investments. Picking a combination of stocks to you the best investment rewards.

Another aspect of financial independence that is not revealed in many books is that it is much better to test out your new lifestyle before adopting it. Otherwise how would you know that this new reality is the right one for you ?

f) Soul Gem

The Soul Gem is probably the gem that allows Thanos to snuff out 50% of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While it does not have a direct analogue in personal finance, we need to mindful of Nicholas Taleb's advice to always have Soul in the Game. To continue to engage meaningfully in the world around us, we need to retain some amount of soul or vulnerability in order for life to be meaningful.

I suspect that half of the universe is stuck in the Soul Gem with Gamora what's in the gem will be kep to undoing what the Mad Titan has done in the Infinity Wars.

So for readers who fantasise about making all the jerks and horrible people in the office disappear, it might be useful to ask yourself this question :

What would Thanos do ?