Money Assassins

Certainly ones own financial success is of special concern these days, and under the guises of Equilibrium, or Sta-sis, I think this is a great topic of discussion. This post is of specific concern for those of us interested by mindfulness, as much too often the trendy expressions of "abundance" tend to dodge 'good accounting,' which is not only a measure of smart financial decision making, but also a practise of personal accountability. But let's pan-out for a moment, first, to look at the big picture.

Personally, I do not think the economic events in Greece and the EU are isolated. Canadians might be able to brag about the intrinsic strength of its banking system, but to overlook the fact it is but a cog in the machine of a global economy would be an unfortunate thing to do. Everyone, today, carries some degree of debt, if not actually a considerable amount. Along such lines, I consider Greece a litmus, and to observe its current cultural transformations is to better prepare oneself for the future. If we avoid anything of the like within our own borders, you can label me by whatever terms you wish, but do know that my concern and empathy for our situation is great - hence this post, and certainly more to follow.

The relevance of the global economic picture, I find affects me daily. I would rather be as best educated to the forces affecting my life than to have found myself hiding underneath some spiritual-like blanket, numb. I do not call such a strategy, mindful.

photo credit
I recently spoke with author and financial advisor Chad Viminitz. I have long been of the "Conserver Lifestyle" myself, and have dared on several occasions to identify as a "True Conservative." ... But before you mis-identify what colour my thoughts and ethics may be (namely, blue), allow me to say at the very least how giddy I was when reading Thoreau's first chapter on 'Economy' in his timeless (and timely!) book Walden - many years ago. Finally the world made sense to me.

I had many blessings in my childhood: noble and humble parents, an orderly home, access to education, and access to parkland. I realised from reading Walden, then, the nature of my social difficulty: I was brought up to always spend less money than I made. Always. That, simply, is the heart of the conserver lifestyle which runs so contrary to a lot of N.American hustle and bustle. Often misunderstood as 'cheap,' or even 'poverty stricken,' or my latest favourite "living from a place of scarcity," the conserver takes a radically different view of what is deemed necessary toward happiness, well being, and what constitutes actual wealth. Actual wealth is not a chick flick. It doesn't pretend. It doesn't manipulate. It is either there, or it isn't. And this particular author does not respond well to falsity.

find a copy on Amazon
Chad's book is incredible. I think it a work of compassion. Indeed, meeting with Chad was to receive compassion from a very unlikely source. RTR in its appearance is exactly what you would expect from an investment and financial advice house: all very posh, with exceedingly comfortable chairs and even a waterfall. The advice, however, is truly radical. Crucial even. Chad paid attention to my individual needs...

That's what a financial advisor is supposed to do, right? Well then... why don't they? Why do they just sell you seemingly random mutual funds with over-arching labels like "ethical," when you know full well "ethical investments" only invest in soft porn, and the gold miners earn fourteen cents per hour instead of ten... Why is Chad so unusual - what makes him different...?

My goals in life are to write, publish, and live unencumbered by debt, and I am in a lucky position today, comparatively speaking. This does not make me unique in the slightest: however, my lifestyle works in accord with those goals, whereas the consumer lifestyle, often works against the grain of our larger social values.

The layering within the conserver lifestyle is a rich avenue of study, and I highly recommend this book. Every word speaks toward finding a thorough and honest equilibrium in your life through a financial lens. As we are bound by the ideology of economy - it is the crucial means by which we organise ourselves - learning to navigate it with effectiveness, "and even brilliance," is the direct route to honest success.

Thank you Chad!

Visit my website for other blogs:
 Natural Building, I Ching Philosophy,
photography, and unique artwork