Knowing How the World Works Will Make You a Better Investor

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My son got his Australian passport yesterday. It’s a proud moment for me. I’m very proud to be Australian. And while I don’t live in the country, ‘home’ to me is always Australia.

He’s already Australian because we got his citizenship done a number of weeks ago. He was born in England, so by default that makes him British. And he already has his British passport.

The Aussie passport was the last of the ‘administrative’ duties we needed to get done for him. Now at the ripe old age of seven months, he’s a dual citizen of the UK and Australia. My wife (also British born) also has this.

Therefore in my house the only non-Australian is our dog, Alonso.

But while my son is British born, with the ‘administrative’ duties out of the way, I now see him equally as Australian as he is British. And growing up he’ll always have family in both countries, he’ll always be encouraged to have pride in both his countries.

And when it comes to rugby, cricket, Olympics, or other competitive sporting events between the two…he can choose. But until he can dress himself, it’s green and gold onesies from Dad!

The things that I’m most proud of though is that he’s going to grow up with the first-hand experience and knowledge of at least two cultures. And for him the world will be a small place where you can be halfway around the world in just a day. Or by the time he’s doing it on his own…half a day…or a quarter of a day.

The point here is that global experience, I believe, is going to make him a more rounded, savvy individual. Experience and real knowledge and understanding will help him in his personal life, as a contributing member of society and ultimately as an investor.

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Understanding how the world works, makes you a better investor

In my view what we do here at Money Morning Australia is help arm you with the tools and information needed to make you a better investor.

Sometimes it’s ways to invest. Sometimes it’s areas to invest in. Sometimes it’s ideas and opportunities that you might not think about and you most certainly don’t find in the mainstream financial media.

It’s about investing and about making you a better investor.

And in my view you’ll only become a better investor when you come to understand in greater detail how the world works.

And by that I mean how all parts of the world work, from your own backyard to the backyard of others halfway across the world.

Of course the easiest and simplest way to start on this pilgrimage to become a better investor is to get down and dirty in your own backyard.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever been paid for?

It could include the very first job you had as a kid perhaps. Maybe that’s the absolute worst job you’ve ever had? Working at McDonalds or something.

Everyone will have a different answer to that. And for some their ‘worst’ job might be someone else’s ‘dream’ job.

For me the worst job I ever had was cleaning out bins. And I don’t mean pristine office bins that carry remnants of crumpled paper and staples. I mean big, green stinky primary school bins. Bins that have all kinds of food, liquid and rubbish in them, that sit outside in the sun festering away.

Bins that at the end of the day make your eyes water when you open the lid to get punched in the face with the stench of bin juice.

I used to empty, clean out with a hose and brush, re-bag and relocate bins at a primary school. I used to climb on the roof to get errant balls off. I used to sweep pathways and unblock gutters.

Believe it or not, I didn’t hate that job at all. In fact it really wasn’t all that bad (apart from the bin juice). But on my long list of different jobs, it’s certainly down the bottom. A brief stint selling Lexus cars on the other hand is far higher up on the list.

Now think about the best job you’ve ever been paid for.

It might be the job you’re doing right now. It might be something you did as a youngster.

Maybe you’ve only ever had one job and therefore your best and worst job is the one you’ve got.

For me the best job I had, well it’s the job I’ve got now, writing to you. It’s the freest job I’ve ever had. I won’t bang on about it too much, you already have a fairly good idea of what I do here.

But the discrepancy from bin juice to hunting down investment opportunities around the world, aiming to find and recommend 1,000%+ stock winners to tens of thousands of subscribers…that’s a pretty big leap.

And it’s the kind of leap that I want to teach my son about. I want him to know what it’s like to sweat it out in the bin juice swamps on 30+ degree days in the Australian summer. I want him to know what it’s like to ride in a self-driving car in Las Vegas. I want him to know what it means to hard graft for a crust and what job freedom feels like.

I want him to work in different industries, different kinds of jobs. Ideally they’d all be amazing. But even the crappy ones he can learn from and build that ever-extending chain of knowledge and experience.

Better person, better investor

Our world is built around the Information Age. Or as I prefer to call it, the Technological Revolution. If the 19th and 20th centuries were built around the industrial revolution, then today it’s all about the Technological Revolution.

And with that comes the capacity and flexibility to be a ‘citizen of the world’. The chance to micro-work in one, two or three jobs possibly at a time or at least with some degree of overlap.

The world we live in means that all of us have the chance to travel more, experience more, learn more, do more. But I question if people really take the opportunity in front of them to use what’s available to their full extent?

When was the last time you spent time in a different country and culture? When was the last time you gave time to a local charity, sports team or social club? When was the last time you tried your hand at a different skill that you learnt about online? When was the last time you changed jobs?

I’m not saying pack it all in and start fresh. What I’m saying is that if you haven’t really experienced life, or don’t make a concerted effort to experience other areas of industry, other cultures or other ways of living, then how could you ever become a better investor?

Maybe this comes across as a little pretentious. Maybe it hits a nerve and makes you think about things in a different light.

Either way, I want you to know that investing isn’t just about numbers and charts. There’s more to it than that. At least in my view, there’s more soul to it than people give credit to.

The numbers and charts can be important to a point.

But you really need to know how the world works. Know how industry works. Know how different cultures value different things. Know what the people in great companies really do. And know what the people who graft day in, day out do to make the world turn.

When you understand these things then you’ll be a better investor. You’ll also be a better person.


Sam Volkering,
Editor, Money Morning

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About Sam Volkering

Sam Volkering is an Editor for Money Morning and is small-cap, cryptocurrency and technology expert.

He’s not interested in boring blue chip stocks. He’s after explosive investments; companies whose shares trade for cents on the dollar, cryptocurrencies that can deliver life-changing returns. He looks for the ‘edge of the bell curve’…

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