It is time to recognize it: we Argentines spend our time talking about money all day, at all times. We do it with friends, at work, with clients, in our homes, everywhere. That the dollar is going to rise, that the dollar is going to be maintained, that the Country Risk, inflation, fixed-term rates, the Leliqs. As you can see, money is present in our daily lives, whether we like it or not.
The question we ask ourselves here in the face of this factual fact is: Is the financial language we use so much productive or is it mainly installed for the complaint, to lament the fluctuations we live without generating any benefit? Intuition tells me that the latter is the answer that most closely matches the reality of the majority, so I recommend leaving that unproductive place, which also wears out, to take advantage of the financial culture that we are acquiring.
If the Argentine economy forces us to be alert and inform us, why not make that a positive fact for our training? Let us learn to be whitewater captains, and we will weather the storms with pleasure, in the way that Buddhism accepts pain, but combats suffering.
To begin, I invite you to review a series of recommendations that I have published on my Facebook wall in recent years:
“It’s a lie that in Argentina you can’t save. And, if you couldn’t do it last month, I tried again with more determination from this”.
Lovers of the easy way will tell you that in Argentina, the country of recurring financial crises, there is no point in saving, that inflation and economic disruption make an effort to lose meaning. But, as we have seen in previous columns, owning saving habits is the cornerstone of healthy personal finances, and this maxim occurs regardless of context. That we live in a country with inflation does not contradict what has been said but forces us to investigate the double work of Argentines, which consists of earning money and then learning to conserve their purchasing power using different tools both locally and internationally.
Acting as if it were true that Argentina cannot be saved, all we will do is be functional to a capitalist system that needs a growing number of capital claimants to place their surplus money at good rates.
The one who manages to save has not solved everything, but rather a new problem, but a “benign” problem: he must invest his money so that the effort has been worthwhile.
One of the most common mistakes in this field is to delegate that responsibility to a third party, usually the bank account executive, who ends up conditioning the decisions to the detriment of the saver and for the benefit of the bank where he works. The antidote against this evil is training on investments and personal finances so as not to fall into the false belief that another person who has studies or works in the market can provide us with magical solutions.
The good news is that today, thanks to the number of books written on the subject and the free information available on the Internet, it is possible to become a self-taught, taking the precautions of the case.
You say “I don’t care about money” and you work 10 hours a day to pay off debts. I do not see heroism in indifference to what submits you. Yes, I see abandonment and, many times, humiliation and cowardice.
Given the manifest importance of the material issue in our daily lives, not being interested in money is like committing suicide in financial terms.
Knowing that almost 53% of Argentines have debts today, it sounds consistent to imagine that, although a large part of the population comes to that situation under pressure from an economy that plummets, another part does not less because of their lack of interest in personal finance issues and the tendency to take a romantic escape from financial problems based on a false notion of money, which reads like something bad or taboo.
The outcome is often repeated: those who think so end up giving their days to obtain money to pay debts and survive. Given this scenario, I recommend being more pragmatic and not dreaming of becoming heroes.
The “passivity” of the term “passive income” is misunderstood: it is not about earning money without doing anything, but about creating a structure of money flows around what you are passionate about so that you can provide income without having to put the body every day to work. Thus, a part of your passive income may be the active income that other people generate.
Earning money without doing anything or “easy money” is a fantasy that many promises to fulfill, but that often leads to scams of unscrupulous people who do not hesitate to take advantage of people with little or no financial culture and ambition without limits.
This mistaken view of reality results in the loss of unique opportunities linked to new knowledge in personal finance and the possibility of completing more and better projects thanks to advances in technology. Although many do not believe it, a context of crisis like the current one is possibly the best time to start the road: price volatility creates unique opportunities and goods can be acquired or markets depressed today due to lack of demand or lack of activity.
“True financial independence does not only happen by becoming independent of your work in a dependency relationship but by building a portfolio of Automated Income Vehicles (VAIs) that even protect you from the financial crises of the country where you live.”
The term financial independence does not refer only to the employment dependency relationship but rather to the origination of VAIs that allow us to also become independent of the economic fluctuations of our country of residence thanks to the diversification of investments in terms of nature and currency.
Nowadays it is feasible to create a Monitored VAI (one of the 4 existing VAIs; the others are Financial, Owners and Patented) that sells its services to customers from other countries via the Internet. Also, by creating the Financial VAIs it is possible to diversify in terms of currency, producing hard currency income that will keep us safe from the devaluation inertia of the peso. As you can see, the options exist and it is a matter of looking for them and putting them into practice.
Today’s proposal is clear and concise: since we spend a good part of our time talking about money, why don’t we use that energy and that knowledge to give us a better quality of life? I hope this column encourages you to do so. It is time to abandon the culture of complaint and obedience to false financial beliefs. Your life can change. It is a matter of changing the personal paradigm.