Friday, July 19, 2019
Treat your personal finances like a balanced RPG party.
As it turns out, while I was reading Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen, I was also playing Pathfinder:Kingmaker so I was able shoehorn one of Kristy's frameworks into something that RPGers can relate to.
You have to imagine your personal finances as a party of fantasy adventurers. These are the archetypes you have in your party :
a) Fighter ( Tank )
The fighter is a the mainstay of the party, holding back monsters, and ensuring that most of the aggression is targeted on them. Fighters are highly defensive and focus on dealing consistent damage to their opponents.
In Kristy's framework, fighters are the optimizing function for your personal finance. Strong financial optimisers find ways to minimise their expenses and get the most bang for their buck. This comes from finding the best deals on Shopback or figuring out the cheapest Chai Png you can order that sates your hunger. While fighters do not become fantastically rich, they are most consistent ally to bring you to financial independence.
Finance books that have an emphasis on optimization are books like Your Money or your Life by Vicki Robins.
b) Rogue (DPS)
The primary bringer of massive damage to the monsters are the rogues of the party. In many other RPGs, rogues are also the skill monkeys, solving role-playing challenges by engaging in subterfuge and diplomacy.
In Kristy's framework, rogues are basically hustlers. Hustlers want to win big and make lots of money so you will realise that the focus of rogues is on the upside. Like it's fantasy counterpart, Hustlers may see volatility in their revenues because sales and even SEO is involved in this component of personal finance. It is no coincidence that Rogues have a low Armor Class and hit points.
Finance books that focus on hustling are those written by Robert Kiyosaki and Tim Ferriss. These books, while useful, can seem a little scammy.
Just like the Rogues in your party.
c) Wizard (Area of Effect High Damage and control)
Wizards are the primary bringer of massive damage to enemy crowds. The wizard stays at the backdrop most of the time engaged in scholarly pursuits, but when the time comes, the wizard hurls a huge fireball into a crowd of monsters to soften then up for the party.
In Kristy's framework, Wizards are basically Investors. If you are high level and have a lot of capital , your wizards can unleash a torrent of spells on his opponents. Wizards belong to many schools. The school of Divination may read stock charts like tea leaves. The school of Evocation will overchannel their investments with leverage. The school of Necromancy engage in annuities to harness the power of the dead. Occasionally, spells backfire and lose a chunk of your net-worth. The reflects the unpredictable power of financial markets.
Finance books that focus on investing channel if popularity of Warren Buffett. I have a particularly fondness for Wiley Finance.
Beyond Kristy' framework, the RPG analogy stretches further.
What outcomes we get depends on our executive function and outlook in life represented by the Cleric in the party. Clerics focus on healing and buffing their fellow party members. Incidentally clerics also need a high Wisdom score !
Who will you reinforce in your party ?
Where should you tilt your emphasis on personal finance ?
When you are younger and lower level, Fighters play a major role. You need to keep them fully healed and buffed to fight monsters in the easier dungeons. At higher levels, investing is mandatory to have a proper financial plan. You need a powerful Wizard to kill a demon with one word and teleport the party to the dungeon with the best treasure.
Lastly, like every party of geeks, there is a fifth member who always the Bard.
The bard uses musical and creative performances to reinforce the morale of the party. If you think about it, the Bard is the most ancillary member of the group representing the Epicurean side of our financial personalities. Enjoying yourself so that life does not become totally meaningless is an important function in personal finance. For my own personal approach, I rarely buff or heal the bard. If the bard becomes unconscious in a fight, I just leave him be.
If you are Gamer and FIRE enthusiast, you might wish to ask yourself, who will your cleric buff next ?
This has important implications on which books to read and what kind of financial skills you will develop.