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2020: I’ll Be Vain

I’m less optimistic about this year with each passing day, so fuck it — really. If you can’t save the year, might as well do something for yourself. Next week, I’m going in for a consultation to get all my teeth redone.

You might consider this extreme, but I categorize this under self-improvement. It doesn’t seem like business will resume back to normal and there’s plenty of downtime every afternoon.

2020 — I can’t save you, so I’ll be selfish and vain. Later world.

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I Had a Panic Attack

Four days ago, I felt my chest beat so hard and rapidly, I thought my heart was going to explode. I feared the worst and with my entire family around me as my body was slowly clenching up, I told them my final goodbyes in case this was the end. In some twisted sense of morality, I let go and told everyone I loved them dearly and said sorry for having to go like this — and so terrifyingly. Of the highest order of my guiding principles on how to live life, I consider this action “directive one” or leave this world peacefully with everyone.

The paramedics arrived and put me on an ambulance to the nearest hospital where they quickly diagnosed me with a severe panic attack. A nurse administered a shot — on a my butt no less. My heart rate went from over 250 back down to 100 in a matter of minutes, but it felt like an eternity for me.

I’m alive. I feel relatively unscathed. Maybe there’s a bit of post traumatic stress disorder still lingering somewhere in my thoughts, but the four days of Xanax I’ve taken has completely removed my ability to even think for myself let alone worry. This might just be the worst year I’ve ever experienced and for good reason.

In those fear filled moments where I thought I was going to die of a sudden heart attack, I wondered to myself, “Wow. This is how I’m going to go — dying and in pain”. It’s morbid to consider. My entire life played like a long movie in my head and this was the finale. I remember thinking I did well for myself even if my life was going to be cut short. I knew if I wasn’t going to be around, at least the very people I love would be taken cared of. I have a very extensive will outlining how my assets get divided up upon my passing and it’s more than what some people make in an entire year.

I’m trying to find some silver lining to this traumatic experience and I’ve come to realize that: 1) I don’t rest enough 2) my friend’s activities are in direct contradiction with my morals and 3) I can die in peace. The last one is a bit much, but I know it to be certain. I’ll be spending less on what the meaning of life is and more about just living to my fullest potential from here on out. It’s strange, yet philosophical.

To all my readers, best wishes and with love. Later world.

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Time Out

Some days I feel like I have all the time in the world. Today feels different. Perhaps I’ve been too busy to keep to myself and I’m finally overwhelmed with life and all it’s nagging problems.

What a cruel world we live in.

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I Feel Behind

One of the more alarming problems I face is how I constantly feel like I’m “behind”. I have a great job and my income is decent, but I can never shake the feeling. Even when I know there are people much worse out there in the city without jobs and financial support, I can’t reason myself out of this thought.

I would assume it stems from what my uncle told me a few years ago. In his own words, no matter how much you make, eventually, you will think it’s not enough. There’s this imaginary ceiling I’ve created. Next year I’ll make this much, but once I do reach it, a higher ceiling is created. I’m either not seeing the full picture or my thoughts are too fixated on the wrong priorities.

It’s one of those reasons I much rather find ways to be content with life than go out searching for happiness. What good is happiness when it’s only momentarily? I think this year has been especially difficult processing all these conflicting thoughts. I should be thankful and yet I’m not. There’s a bonus waiting for me next month, but I disregard it. I’m healthy and determined, but the future feels uncertain.

Someone save me. Later world.

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Water in the Glass

This year is either the worst ever or the best I’ve had depending on my perspective. It’s one of those glass half empty or half full situations many people like to think of. If I make a list of what didn’t go right, I have the following:

– COVID-19, economy shutdown, Black Lives Matter, riots, my Grandma being ill, and stocks took a hit.

Being a bit more optimistic, leaves me with this:

– life goes on, my business launched, I’m getting a bonus next month, my investments are up, I still have a job, and my Grandma got treated

This year is so polarizing and only a little more than half of it is gone already. It kind of makes me wonder if this is a test for my ability to persevere in times of crisis and uncertainty. Overall, I’ll have to take it for what it is and keep focused on myself. I recently lack the energy to even stay up past 11 PM without suddenly falling asleep. I’ve been telling myself the exhaustion comes from work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my mind has been at full blast all this time.

Later world.

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3 MILLION DOLLARS

Retirement is in 35 years for me, which is a long time to consider. I found one of those retirement planning calculators online and it said I would need over 3 million dollars to retire comfortably. That’s a lot.

While seemingly impossible, it’s not. Save money like I always do and keep investing. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about investing and more or less, they seemed mildly impressed. While some out there spend their time watching TV or whatever lame brain show is the new fad, I can’t stand it. To sit and do nothing is counter productive.

I don’t believe too many people consider their future as much as I do, but the end goal is live a long life without having to struggle to make ends meet. While I’m not old, this puts me in a position to set myself up for the future — one that includes owning a home, having assets and most importantly, a family. I’m always amazed at how little time people plan for life and act on impulse. Everyone wants it now and actively seek immediate gratification. It’s sad and a mistake.

Take the $1200 everyone got as a stimulus check. I still have all of it. My friends spent theirs. Nice? It’s rather foolish if you ask me. Free money that you didn’t plan on having at the beginning of this year shouldn’t be blown on some extravagant purchase. It’s one of my pet peeves with people my age — stupid spending and a lack of proper money management.

At the current rate, I’ll be worth six figures in the next couple years. It’s a far cry from how I was after college. I feel quite good about myself but I’m willing to bet a few closest to me are jealous. You can’t expect people in this economy to be envious. So be it. Everyone loves to criticize you when you’re down in the dumps but when you’re above them, suddenly they’re silent. It’s fucking pathetic.

I like working which is the crazy thing. I did 60 hours this week and finally launched my company as well. The satisfaction is high and there is no better feeling than having it all come together. My work ethic is one of my better qualities. Granted it doesn’t leave me much for a regular social life but if the end result is prosperity, I’ll buckle down and keep at it to make the dream a reality.

Life can be so open ended and somehow I condensed what I want into three main goals. There’s a charming simplicity to it. This year was one of the craziest there was and yet I’m all smiles and optimistic. I’m doing alright and my God, I like it.

Later world.

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Money Matters 101

In the never ending pursuit to live a comfortable lifestyle, I’ve been asked countless times how I save money. This question seems easy — just don’t spend it. However, there’s more to it and it’s not as simple as it seems.

For starters, there’s a difference from what you need from what you want. I want a new MacBook Pro and I want a new Rolex, but I don’t need it. Needs are possessions and services deemed essential. A few good examples are car insurance, my medication, and a cell phone. These things are absolutely necessary for my life and is a requirement for going about my daily life. I already have a MacBook and a fancy watch I never wear except on the most special of occasions. Buying something newer is just wanting what’s new and fresh.

I feel the urgency to want something and anticipating it is the main problem with out of control spending or being frivolous with my funds. If left uncontrolled, you run the risk of making it a habit to always want what you do not need.

The cost of the MacBook I want is about $4000. This figure is high because my last computer was fully maxed out when I ordered it. Take the cost of that computer or whatever it is you want and see how many hours you have to work in order to buy it. Remember your time is valuable and is a cost associated with trading your working hours with the cost of purchasing items. Do I still want it? No.

Tracking your spending is absolutely required. I’ve used Mint to log every transaction made on my credit card for almost a decade. I have close to ten years of history to show me my spending habits and if my previous months are above or below my average spending. Charts and data are your friend. Without it, the number in your bank account feels less like money and you can’t picture what dollars look like in your hand.

Speaking of banks, your typical bank offers less than 1% interest. Letting it sit idle in the course of a year means your $100 loses $3 at the end of the year. Inflation is the enemy. If you can’t beat it, you’re losing money by not making it work for you.

Go open up an online savings account and skip the one your local Chase, Wells Fargo or Bank of America offers. The fees are higher, the minimums are lengthy, and they absolutely are designed to keep trapped in a cycle of fees and penalties. Ally Bank is one of the most popular online banks, but even your local credit union might have competitive rates and accounts to fit your needs.

If you rather invest, here’s the blunt reality: do it now. The longer you wait to invest, the less you’re going to have when you retire. Every month, I invest a significant portion of my income into various stocks, mutual funds, and investments. You tend to have people tell you this, “I would but I can lose it all. It’s too risky.” While only somewhat true, money invested into an index that tracks the overall stock market is more likely to make you money in the next 30 years than you’ll lose. It’s not a matter of what you buy into but how often you keep investing. Thanks to the market crash this year from the coronavirus, I’m up 12 to 20% depending on which portfolio I look at.

If you don’t have 3-6 months of expenses saved up, do it now. The pandemic should be a harsh lesson for anyone who is unable to make ends meet. Granted there are multiple reasons why some live paycheck to paycheck, but expect other viruses to occur in the future. That is the truth. If you spend every dollar you make and don’t at least make an effort to save, you’re doing yourself a great disservice and these bad habits will boil over when you’re older.

The fact is you have to try. Discipline yourself to keep track of your finances and don’t go over budget. If you’re banking on the government to come save you, you’re delusional and in for a world of hardship when this repeats. Life isn’t all about money, but when the going gets tough or you have some unexpected expense happen, you’ll be thankful you can just take care of it without issue than keeping yourself at night wondering how you’re going to make it.

Later world.

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I’m Getting Old

As the title states: I’m getting old. No seriously. I have a few grey hairs and there’s no denying my age. Recently, the summer heat has me as parched as the Sahara Desert and headaches are becoming frequent. My solution, or at least my attempt, is drinking a gallon of water a day. I’ve been at it since the first of this month and I’ve already noticed a considerable difference in my skin tone.

I’ve had lingering redness for a while and this regime of reaching my daily water quota has me looking fresh and less tired. Granted there’s only so much one can do if you’re going to work at 7:30 AM and working til 5 PM, but I’m trying.

I think every guy should do something more that the typical face wash and shave in the morning. You more than likely need it. I wash my face with the Shiseido Men’s facial scrub and follow up with a shave. Afterwards, I apply a moisturizer and let that sink into my face and follow up with sunblock — all from the same line. My aunt introduced me to this brand and I definitely liking the results.

My friends consider this too much, but my masculinity is no way threatened. Last I checked, taking care of yourself is something everyone should be doing everyday — not just females.

Every couple weeks, I take a eyebrow razor to all the overgrown hairs to clean them up. This by far makes the biggest difference in my appearance. Maybe this is high maintenance or whatever clever comment someone who wishes to crack a joke at my expense, but the results don’t lie.

I remember back in the early 2000s there was a term to describe someone like myself: metrosexual? Ick. Who would of guessed self care could be so polarizing.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday. Later world.

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My Company Launched!

In another string of good news this month, the company I’m running had our first official product launch. Nine months of hard grueling work finally paid off and I’m exited for this new venture. I have high hopes and this quite possibly will be my ticket to greater fortunes and a new lifestyle. That’s fancy talk for: I’m going to fucking make a lot of money.

Speaking of money, I applied for a SBA grant. After hearing a friend of mines who runs his own business was approved for a cool $10K, I said fuck it and went for it. Worst that can happen is I get a fraction of that, but honestly — free fucking money. You know the saying the rich get richer? I see it now. I’ve officially gone full circle. Free money is the best shit there is.

There feels like a lot of bragging here but I deserve it. Anyone who doesn’t like it, well, tough luck. Or better yet as my ex would say: that’s too bad. As much I want it feel the pain the rest of America is feeling with BLM, police brutality, or whatever the typical Millennial or Gen Z-er is fighting for on the left these days, their priorities are not my priorities.

I can 100% say that anyone who is down on their luck in life should have the capacity to dig themselves out of the hole. Because every action lead them into that predicament, they should be the ones who get themselves out.

I’m on a fucking roll. Later world.

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I Passed on a Condo

A week or two ago, I got the chance to take a look at a condo for a cool $390,000. Honestly, it was nice property in a very desirable part of town where old money is prevalent and the streets are lined with trees. Was it enjoyable? Most definitely. Did I snatch it up? No. Unfortunately, it was underwhelming. This place was on the market for several months now and the price has dropped four other times according to Zillow.

The realtor seemed anxious — a bit desperate. I don’t blame them. It’s the wild wild west out here in Los Angeles and getting potential buyers in this climate is slim to none. People who have missed rent for the past few months will be met with mass evictions once July is over. Everyone is counting on a rent freeze or a second round of stimulus checks, but I highly doubt it. Online gossip is just that — fiction.

Doing the standard 20% down payment would mean I need just $78,000 liquidated from all my holdings to call it mine and not deal with the bullshit that comes with extra mortgage insurance. While I could have used the government’s first time home buyers program, honestly — it sucks. The interest rates are higher and the extra mortgage insurance does nothing for your equity. I can see why it’s attractive for many buyers. With as little as 3% down, you’re in. There’s always a catch though.

This in my opinion makes no sense. Putting down so little for a higher interest rate and insurance every month doesn’t give a lot of confidence you have all your finances together — or more bluntly — you can even afford a place. Take what you will of this, but it sounds like an awfully quick way to have yourself scrounging for money every month to make the payment.

Fuck that shit.

I digress. I’m in no rush and the real estate market here looks like it’s cooling off for once after several years of exponential gains. Patience is key. Timing is everything. I have a very large number of assets invested in a real estate in a trust. While risky, I’m certain the gains out weigh the potential for losses. The government tightened up requirements for home buyers, which makes a second real estate collapse the likes of 2008 very unlikely.

Until next time. Later world.