Thursday, August 06, 2020

[Die with Zero] Simisai also produce dividends

Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds for Digestion, Hypertension ...

We continue a series of articles from key ideas found in Die with Zero by Bill Perkins.

In the 1990s, beyond the concept of Intelligence Quotient or IQ, there was a proliferation of quotients by authors that include  Emotional Quotient / EQ, Adversity Quotient / AQ and, soon enough, Spiritual Quotient or SQ. This led to the popular behaviour of labelling anyone who has a better argument or scholastic achievements someone with "High IQ, Low EQ".

More recently, this phenomenon has shifted to the word Capital with popular works channelling ideas like Human Capital, Psychological Capital, Social Capital and Cultural Capital. 

I believe it is time a new age to arise where everything and anything can be said to produce dividends. 

We are now entering the Age of  "Simisai to also produce Dividends!". in the case of MMORPG players, dividends are basically "damage over time". 

Another brilliant idea from the book is the concept of Memory Dividends

The author reminds readers that investments are not the only thing in life that generates dividends, memories and experiences can also perform the same function. Suppose you take a one-month-long trip back-packing to Europe, the memory of such a trip pays a dividend every time you recall it. You can even be telling your grandchildren about it many years later. This is supported by academic studies that show that experiential goods are superior to material ones. The author reminds readers not to neglect the accumulation of happy memories in our drive to reach financial independence.

I think the author makes a whole lot of sense. One weakness of the FIRE movement in Singapore is that the most respectable FI blogs in Singapore do not seem to even of a life worth living (this blog is guilty of that as well as I mostly watch anime when I am not looking at financial markets). Young folks might think dividends are accumulated to live a BBFA existence playing computer games the whole day!

There are three areas where I think the memory dividends analogy may reflect the same attributes of a financial dividend.

The first point is that positive memories may not require a trade-off with money. You get more dividends proportional to the stocks you buy. Your experiences do not get better or more life-changing based on the money that you invest in it. Just the other day, I found a large grasshopper in my condo car park that day and managed to bring it to my kids (unharmed), it triggered memories of my own childhood in Senai Johor when my uncle brought me to catch insects. On the other hand, my friend brought me to a fairly atas coffee outlet in town. The music was loud and anachronistic. Imagine Singapore XinYao music being piped to a lavish eatery with Morrocan decoration. The price was also quite high although the coffee is really quite good. The loud, anachronistic music selection negated the positive ambience of the place made possible by the high price point. 

The second point is that we can reinvest dividends for yourself but it's much harder to do so in practice for your memories. The best I can do is recount a memory to someone else so that they can benefit from it at a later time but generally speaking, memories cannot be used to generate new memories. 

The final point is that unlike financial dividends, memory dividends can be negative. Imagine if you hire Bon Jovi to perform a concert at a private event so that you can propose to your girlfriend but she says no and breaks up with you instead. Next time you hear Living on a Prayer, it would make you feel sad, angry or both.

On balance, the analogy of memory dividends is a decent one as I suspect no one on his death-bed would have wanted more legendary drops from an MMORPG. It is also a useful reminder for the top-FIRE practitioners to consider building up an enjoyable pool of personal experiences to complement their now immense wealth. 


No comments:

Post a Comment