Life Traps Analysis from WSP

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Bro
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Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Bro »

Wall Street Playboys drops another insightful post on life traps and how to avoid them. I particularly liked the advice of "the last thing to be aware of is the trap of “needing” attention. If you find yourself trying to impress other people, the game has been lost. If you find that you’re only showing your cards when needed… The game has been won."

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/explainin ... -for-them/

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Stahlmann
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Stahlmann »

it's trolling.
It wasn't very effective!
they try to show lifestyle so much further in (monetary) Wheaton scale, I simply opt out.
most of subscribers(*) will only feed the system (spend their raises on unnecessary shit if this ever happens)

(*) search for salty droid's blog on 9[99],99 USD magical books, seminars which helped thousands people changer their life (/irony off)

if we speak about quote - I met simply too many internet wannabe sociopaths who recommended each other books like 48 of Power, Wisdom of Psychopaths and so on.

there is much better solution - just don't play their game
if you play status game, you're still in their frame.

for example the same is with online dating advice for men and MGTOW.

this is why money and women [in forms of discussions, events in my life, experiences, thoughts] are ultimate kryptonite against me - it's impossible to masturbate to the death/the urge is still here after the moment and without money I'd have empty fridge. if I can't collect enough money in reasonable time, I won't FIRE.

Bro
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Bro »

Stahlmann, are you saying you advocate the MGTOW approach? Or are you frustrated with your lack of access to women?

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Stahlmann
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Stahlmann »

Bro wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 8:28 pm
Stahlmann, are you saying you advocate the MGTOW approach? Or are you frustrated with your lack of access to women?
why not both? :lol:

Fish
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Fish »

For the most part it seems like a sensible list to me, although the focus on income is Wheaton levels apart from the typical reader here. Although there are some common threads with frugal-FIRE (#1, 3, 6, 10), I find the WSP article interesting because it targets a young, privileged audience, and provides some insight into the mind of a Gervais sociopath.

Why do I say this? Refer to the single income earner line on the 2nd plot in this post: viewtopic.php?p=164550#p164550 According to this, a 100k income is 80-85th percentile, while a "successful person" per WSP earns a 200k income which is 95th percentile. Furthermore, realize that 95th and higher percentile incomes are dominated by a few professions: https://i.imgur.com/kJH09ma_d.jpg?maxwidth=1600 200k is near the top, and there isn't much room for clueless at the top.

My main criticism of the WSP plan is that it cannot work for everyone by construction. But fair enough, it's not intended for everyone. That being said, much of it does seem like solid PF advice even if it is skewed towards increasing income. Although #2, 4 and #7 are financially optimal, I would be willing to break those rules if it leads to happiness.

Common personal finance mistakes according to WSP
  1. Getting a college degree with no potential for a high-income career. Not having a career strategy. Student loans with low or no ROI.
  2. Playing in one's 20s instead of directing that energy towards career advancement and/or development of alternate income streams. Not working hard enough (60-80 hours/week).
  3. Mortgaging a house purchase prematurely, i.e. before wealth has accumulated
  4. Getting married and starting a family several years too early
  5. (Same as #4)
  6. Failing to take care of health, working too hard in one's 30s and beyond trying to catch up financially
  7. Getting married (legally), which results in tax penalties, loss of optionality and possibility of divorce
  8. (Not sure why author included this, being argumentative seems more like a drain on energy rather than finances)
  9. Showing off
  10. Not securing FI once attained

prognastat
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by prognastat »

It just comes across as having somewhat of a clue about the issues that plague most people's lives, but an unwillingness to actually take it to the conclusion.

Number 9 really exemplified this to me. Don't talk about how rich you are or buy huge ticket items to show off, but rather than not actually caring what most others think and focusing on what is important to yourself they still advocate for spending a significant amount on eating out at fancy restaurants or spending on noticeably expensive clothes, but just don't mention it. So you still care about people thinking you are wealthy, you just feel superior about doing it in a less flashy way. I would be more understanding if they were advocating for dressing sharply just for business/networking related reasons as looking the part is quite important in many high status fields that their blog seems to be aimed at, but doing so simply to impress upon others how wealthy you are seems like a massive waste of money for a rather immature reason.

Number 10 is similar in that it's a step in the right direction in advocating soundly investing for your target spending goal, but then advocates simply spending anything above that even on things like risky investments. If you've already come to the conclusion that using sound investments rather than going all out on risky investments for the money you saved to cover your expenses why not simply invest any extra money on this and raise the amount you can spend annually from this rather than blowing it on a risky investment that you have already agreed isn't the optimal choice.

As Fish mentioned this is something that can only work for a very small percentage of people though. Many complain that following a path similar to MMM is hard to do unless you have a good income early in your life. You could still pull off FIRE following MMM style advice with an average income though it would take longer than it did for him, but there is no way to pull off the lifestyle advocated by WSP without an income that is at least twice the average for your location.

Fish
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Fish »

Spent a couple hours reading articles on the WSP site and found it fascinating. I might be naive, but it seems legit. It's amusing that there are frequent references to "average" people earning 150-200k (92-96th percentile for single income households, see 2nd chart in this post)... but there is something to be gained if one can set aside the tendency to be dismissive and close the mind as an unprivileged person listening to a privileged person discuss methods for getting even further ahead.

The income stuff does not interest me much, but I enjoy reading a wealthy person's perspective towards all aspects of life including health, work, relationships, leisure, time and money. Interesting that we're discussing Is frugality for the rich? in 2018, but WSP already said something similar back in a blog comment from 2014 (with the twist that both the income and lifestyle are low by his standards).
Wall Street Playboys wrote:
Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:36 pm
Have read 5-10 articles on the [MMM] blog. No longer read it.

While intentions are great, not willing to live that type of life. Also the main reason he pulled off what he did is that 1) their combined income was near $200K (more or less, just read the history of his money making – he was clipping about ~$150 and his wife at ~$50K) and 2) his ability to find a wife who had the same views as him. If you want to follow his model the real key is clear… Make $200K.
The WSP site has a bunch of quotes that I find insightful and amusing due to the Wheaton level difference. If this is something the forum cares to discuss I'll contribute.
prognastat wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:16 am
It just comes across as having somewhat of a clue about the issues that plague most people's lives, but an unwillingness to actually take it to the conclusion.
More likely, I think WSP knows the audience well and is trying to convince them to take a different approach by identifying with their values. Changing behavior is easier than changing values.

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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by jacob »

Fish wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:52 am
The WSP site has a bunch of quotes that I find insightful and amusing due to the Wheaton level difference. If this is something the forum cares to discuss I'll contribute.
Yes, anything Wheaton is inherently interesting.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I have enjoyed both the article you linked as well as others on the site. I'm not sure if it was you who mentioned WSP in their/or another's journal, but I started reading some back then.

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

Fish wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:52 am
It's amusing that there are frequent references to "average" people earning 150-200k (92-96th percentile for single income households
it's really easy to live in a bubble, especially living in a HCOL city when the entire social circle is in a similar profession. similar to the thread here (brute forgets which one) in which brute suspects that "many or most" professionals in their 40s make 150k+, and several humans replied that this is absurd and an extremely biased sample. which is probably true. at the investment bank level, it probably looks similar, except dialed up to 11.

brute hasn't decided for himself if WSP is trolling or legit. it seems surprising how humans can demonstrate extremely advanced thinking in one area of life, but seem pretty ignorant in others. WSP displays this a lot. this is part of why brute doesn't believe in general intelligence. or is it general wisdom?

trailblazer
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by trailblazer »

I’m a big fan of the site - stylistically you will either like it or you will hate it, and as WSP would say, that’s cool. (And if you hate the current site you would have really hated it five years ago when they were much more focused on “game”)

If you held a gun to my head and forced me to choose between them and ERE I would choose ERE. I wouldn’t need to think about it. But the ERE system does seem a bit . . . quiet . . . sometimes.

ERE is something of substance you can build your life on and Wall Street Playboys is almost like a cold shower of excitement thrown in. Personally I’ve tried hard to exemplify the best of both sites in my life for the last 4 years at least. That's probably a sign that I spend way too much time online, but I think both sites end up teaching the same thing - in a very broad sense.

Both sites are fundamentally based on the idea of not blindly accepting society’s definitions and values - be that rare person in the extreme that doesn’t make every single decision based on a middle class life of 50K a year that was preached to you by parents, teachers, governments, etc. - don’t fall for it. Perfectly fine to end up spending 50K a year but don’t blindly accept it. You may choose 7K/year or 20K/month, but think life through for yourself . . . get out of the cave . . . etc.

Having grown up in a very heavy church environment, I kind of think of Jacob as the pastor and Wall Street Playboys as the older brother you never had that is successful on Wall Street. They both have useful perspectives.

If I had to pick a few posts that I think exemplify WSP’s teaching and that are also compatible with an ERE audience, I would suggest:

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/what-type ... -you-have/

Three ways to make money: are you good at intent, numerics or synthesis? Or one of the lucky few with an artistic call option?

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/investing-priorities/

Build a solid foundation then get aggressive (if you want to). “We avoid all the Suzy Orman type comments, we are going to make the following extremely dangerous assumption: You are responsible and can control your emotions.”

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/how-much- ... llionaire/

If you replace “millions” with “hundred thousands” this article works well for ERE. I wish I had read it when I was 18 and think any kid today in college is lucky if they read it and internalize it. If I could go back in time this is the article I would give to my 18 year old self.

And just for fun, if you’ve decided you really don’t like WSP, and want an article to justify your dislike, check out http://wallstreetplayboys.com/personal- ... nd-dating/

J_
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by J_ »

Thanks for selecting those WSP-posts. Very good to learn how the advises go. Directed at 20 to 30 in age. Advises are machiavelli-style (if you are good in lying go in sales), and hardly with some elegance. Other angles are more appropiate such as look how you are and choose a type of job which suits your main character-traits. Writer(s) must be clever but with not much life experience. After 30-35 and not in the top earners you can forget it they say.( I would say: Then it gets only started ;)) Nevertheless, as contra mold of ere: enlightening both!

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Seppia
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Seppia »

Read a few articles this morning.

Good stuff and i agree with J_ above, for most at 30-35 is when the career prospects start to take off, especially on this side of the atlantic.

But mostly interesting and fun with a lot of truth. I don't like their approach to women* even if they are correct in saying that getting married is a huge financial risk for above average men earners with today's rules.

*this may change as I read on: I've only read a few posts, didn't like what I read.

They clearly put a lot of effort in how they write, it is a fake "I don't care" style that is made to be catchy and cool.
It's the same sort of "only few will get and accept what we say because we tell it like it is and if it makes you uncomfortable then EFF YOU" that is targeted at basically every male with an internet connection on the planet.
Everybody likes (and thinks) to be above average.

Similar to MMM in a way.

What made me like ERE above everything else in the PF space is that Jacob REALLY doesn't care how is message is perceived
Last edited by Seppia on Sun May 27, 2018 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fish
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Fish »

Less impressed following my 2nd WSP reading session... after the 10th article or so, almost everything feels like more of the same. Here's an overview:

WSP on personal finance

Many of the personal finance suggestions on WSP would also feel right at home on ERE: 1) Save 50-80% of income. 2) Spend no more than 10-15% of income on rent. 3) Develop multiple streams of income. The twist is that all energy is directed toward income generation to achieve a very high standard of living.

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/savings-r ... -worth-is/

In addition, these guys are really anti-frugality as it squanders human capital and potential:

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/personal- ... -is-bogus/
http://wallstreetplayboys.com/frugality ... e-quality/
Wall Street Playboys wrote: We have nothing but distaste for frugality type people as they have wasted their own valuable time. Instead of building something of value they spend time eating beans and rice. They are typically smart people and instead of using their brains to make hundreds of thousands of dollars more per year, they spend it finding ways to reduce their costs by tens of thousands per year. There is a floor to saving and no ceiling to earning. That is where the mentality changes.
The biggest perspective shift:

Work is not sacrifice

Many readers of the FIRE blog-space are motivated by the prospect of early retirement. While not everyone hates their job, I think most would agree that reducing or minimizing time worked is a good thing. For WSP, pursuing a career is about pushing oneself to the limit and becoming the best, because all the rewards are skewed towards the top. It's even assumed that you like what you do:
Wall Street Playboys wrote: 6) How do I find out if I have an interest in this?

We get this question a lot and here is some more harsh truth. This is a dumb question.It is a dumb question because it implies that you never even tried it. Go try it and find out which one you like the most and go for it.

Make sure you like it because it is better to be happy for 52 weeks out of the year instead of only 2 weeks out of the year — see the vast majority who hate their jobs.
Wall Street Playboys wrote: This blog is about getting rich AND being happy. Not just being happy.
Wall Street Playboys wrote: Well, if you’re not working at least 80 hours per week and you’re not happy with your income… you have no one to blame but yourself. Anyone who believes they should be rich working 40 hours a week is going to be in for a rude awakening."
Wall Street Playboys wrote: Spend to Free Up Time for Work: This is a critical part of success. You can absolutely spend for services (laundry, apartment cleaning, food delivery, etc.) if and only if you’re going to use the free time to generate more income. If you don’t have time to do laundry and it’ll cost you $50-100… But… You’re going to spend that hour or so generating more than $100, make the trade all day! If you’re idea was to spend $100 in order to free up time for catching the latest football game, you just don’t want it badly enough. Now we’ll give another basic hint. Re-read the underlined portion of the sentence. This doesn’t mean you *have* to earn $100 in that specific hour! If you spend an hour to improve a business that will lead to $1,000 once the change is made (over the course of a year) it is clear you should make that trade!
Verdict

This site was initially fascinating just to get a glimpse and understanding of how things work at the top of the compensation ladder. But I'm really late to the game and fell into some traps. At this point, winning is leading a low-stress healthy lifestyle and devoting my energy to my kids for the foreseeable future. With that focus, I just didn't find too much that was immediately actionable since the blog is tilted towards career advice for those just starting out. However, reading WSP has renewed my desire to consider a side project with personal enjoyment as the 0th order goal and income as a positive side effect. What a novel idea! :P Also, by construction, posting here means I have free time and I may as well be more productive with it.

@trailblazer - Have you read either of their e-books? Would you recommend them?

trailblazer
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by trailblazer »

Fish wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:18 am
@trailblazer - Have you read either of their e-books? Would you recommend them?
I have read both. They are definitely not stand alone philosophical treatises like the ERE book and both recycle the blog content to a decent degree.

That said, "Efficiency" is more of a comprehensive lifestyle manual - lots of focus on physical fitness and figuring out what you are truly good at in order to efficiently make the most of your talents (which of course they would define as "making money"). These are their 15 basic laws that they elaborate on - some more controversial than others:

Laws of Physical Efficiency
1 - Health is your greatest asset
2 - All physical decisions compound
3 - You will not improve in a linear fashion
4 - Nutrition is more like oil changes than fuel
5 - Stress is the biggest health killer

Laws of Time Efficiency
1 - If nothing can be done in the present, ignore it
2 - Build the foundation before worrying about details
3 - You have mastered a task when someone else does it for you
4 - Overachievement is also wasted time (for all the focus on earning money and career, they are very much of the view that you should be "set" by the age of 35 to 40 in order to do whatever you want)
5 - Up or out relationships ("take a good look at everyone you talk to on a daily basis and ask if they are moving up. If not, move them out of your life.")

Laws of Life Efficiency
1 - Every decision compounds at 20%
2 - Make the majority of decisions fast to make mistakes early
3 - The best way to learn is to take action
4 - Emotional instability is a major cause of inefficiency
5 - Efficiency is an art, not a mathematical formula

As for Triangle Investing, well . . . it's the blog on steroids . . . I'll pretty much leave it at that. But it does contain a long section on real estate investing (one of the triangle's 3 sides) that they "outsourced" to someone in the field. I know nothing about real estate, so would be curious if the advice passes the smell test if there are any real estate experts out there. These two blog posts are not as detailed as the book but give a general idea:

http://wallstreetplayboys.com/get-rich- ... -overview/
http://wallstreetplayboys.com/ten-rules ... al-estate/

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Stahlmann
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Stahlmann »

- Emotional instability is a major cause of inefficiency
Ooops, :lol:

7Wannabe5
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I wonder what would happen if a 53 year old female attempted to enact this system? My BF recently told me that he would find me somewhat more attractive if I made $80,000. Unfortunately, I must report that by just saying that he rendered himself somewhat less attractive to me.

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

brute enjoys the in-his-face, raw macho style. some of the ideas, especially about investing, are pretty much standard modern PF/FI strategy, and thus brute is pretty much on board. there doesn't seem to be much new content compared to what's on other PF blogs, though. brute's biggest "criticism" is that he isn't the target audience, which seems extremely narrow, and that even by being slightly out of it, there aren't many applicable ideas.

BRUTE
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by BRUTE »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:16 pm
I wonder what would happen if a 53 year old female attempted to enact this system? My BF recently told me that he would find me somewhat more attractive if I made $80,000. Unfortunately, I must report that by just saying that he rendered himself somewhat less attractive to me.
they say that their system is for humans basically right out of college, and the only jobs worth working are Wall Street, Sales, and Silicon Valley. FIRE by 35-40. so it would presumably not apply to a 53 year old human female.

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Seppia
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Re: Life Traps Analysis from WSP

Post by Seppia »

Random thoughts presented in a very disorganized way (sorry I'm tired, had a huge day at work today)
Fish wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:18 am
after the 10th article or so, almost everything feels like more of the same.
In fairness, except for ere, this is true of almost every PF blog on the planet.
I would probably also exclude Portfoliocharts because it's a tool rather than a blog, and Mad Fientist because he probably wrote less than 10 articles total :lol:

Jokes aside, I like the fact that WSP pushes people to be in the 1% as in "average is bad".
Way too many FIRE bloggers are 1%ers trying to sell their "life hacks" to perople with much lower incomes.
Truth is is it's very simple (not easy) to live an amazing life and still save 50-75% when you make very good money. In this sense WSP approach is logical, assuming anyone can earn a huge salary
Saving the same percentages with a "normal" income is neither simple nor easy.

I have the personal impression that too many people in the fire space focus too much on expenses.
The return on investment would be significantly greater if they tried to earn more.

Point is, many hate their jobs*.
The issue when you absolutely hate your job is that your life is miserable, because the workplace is still where people must spend at least half of their waking hours.

I think there is a benefit in doing things as good as we humanly can, and working as hard as possible.
People tend to become very good at stuff they work very hard at, and being very good at something usually makes it much more bearable (think social/peer recognition, money, personal satisfactiom)

This is something that too often gets forgotten about ere: it's not only about spending as efficiently as possible, it's also about working very hard to learn and be better every day at everything in life.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that what I like about WSP is the renewed focus on the "let's kick some ass" part of life

*It seems to me this is one of the main reasons people turn to fire/ere.

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