You know it’s nonsense. It’s the selling of products masked as financial advice. It’s the same information regurgitated with no true value imparted. Afraid to go against the grain and lose on business opportunities. It’s the purposeful omission of details behind a paid wall or aura of complexity. Or even the kid hiding behind life experiences, or society’s spotlight on good grades and good jobs. I’ve expressed the same frustrations years back, trying to be a smart investor, hoping to make better choices. This site is a roundup of what I wish I knew then. Here’s to smarter investing and life decisions, honest and simplified. Here’s to you, the smart investor.
The freedom locker PH manifesto
We all have our unique journeys, but the lessons don’t change much. My overarching message is this: We make smarter decisions when we see the big picture.
Pleased to meet you. I’m Dan, this site’s writer. You may know more about me at What is Your Why (About Page).
freedom locker PH is a platform for smarter investment and life decisions. I hope to do this through the following.
Awareness and transparency of my biases
If you know where I’m coming from, you’re free to act accordingly.
Information backed by years of studying economics and finance theory
Yes, we can Google and Investopedia anything these days. I guess you could say the advantage here is the sheer volume of exposure through years of formal education?
Actual experiences as employee and employer
At this point, I’ve spent half of my working life in managerial corporate finance roles (at 2 PSE-listed companies and at one of the largest accounting networks in the world), and the other half as an entrepreneur in a variety of industries.
Honest opinions not swayed by business opportunities
This was tricky. I could’ve gone the traditional route and partner with companies. Or I could be honest with my opinions and risk business partnerships with large companies. I chose the latter and I’m going all in. This is a statement of prioritization rather than closing partnership doors. Honesty comes first.
Big goals away from mediocrity
True financial freedom should be accessible to everyone. I also don’t believe in “levels” to financial freedom. If you’re debt-free just because you live on a restricted budget, then that’s an illusion of freedom. Or earning a lot while being tied to a job means no freedom of time. Restricted and tied sure don’t sound like being free.
As a human being, I have my biases. For instance, I see real estate as the equalizer to achieving financial freedom. Most of us will not have wildly successful businesses (successful businesses, yes) that propel us to financial freedom status. But real estate can be done by anyone and, if done enough times, can lead to financial freedom. (I go in-depth on this in my 9 Big Steps to Achieve True Financial Freedom: A Complete Roadmap.)
But I do understand this is a bias so I also present the negatives of real estate, without hesitation. (See Is a Condo a Good Investment? Rarely… Here’s Why and 9 Hidden Ways a Good Property Can Be a Bad Investment)
Another bias is my stand against having a job. This isn’t being lazy. In fact, having your own business means more (upfront) work! But to me, true freedom entails control of your time. You can certainly choose to work until you’re 60, and I respect that. (I completely understand. Entrepreneurship wasn’t my first choice either.)
Acknowledging these biases, please use my takes for what they are – my takes.
A holistic view is necessary for smart investment and life decisions. This is the idea behind my contrarian posts. You already know the positives, and understanding the negatives gives a clearer picture.
Now, I get how financial advisors hesitate to give controversial takes. Say one thing against a real estate developer? Might as well say goodbye to commissions and sponsored posts, too.
Smart investors use unbiased and honest opinions to make smart money investments. Here are some of the contrarian posts on this site:
- Make Money Trading Stocks? The Advice You Didn’t Want to Hear
- Monthly Savings Will NOT Lead to Financial Freedom
- Is Renting a Waste of Money: The Financial Advantages of Renting a Home
- Financial Freedom While Having a Job: A Paradox
With so much information online, how do we separate the good from the bad? I don’t claim to know it all, and I never will.
The smartest thing is knowing that I don’t know it all and that there’s more to learnTony DiCicco
But there are a few things that relate to myths:
- Why Tipid Tips Fall Short
- The Unfortunate Truth About ROI and Payback-Period
- 9 Hidden Ways a Good Property Can Be a Bad Investment (Infographic)
- When Selling Less Earns You More: Profit Maximization
- Does Lowering Prices Increase Sales? 2 Ways Math Says Yes and No
The financial advisors who harp on frugality nonstop either have small-minded goals or bring in too much money from the topic. Or maybe they just specialize really well with frugality. I don’t mind this as long as it’s not packaged as the be-all-end-all.
Being frugal with your money is a process goal, not the end goal. It’s necessary for financial freedom, but not sufficient.
How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.Robert G. Allen
If this is right up your alley, then you might find value in our hashtag #mythsbusted.
Promotions on freedom locker PH
My contrarian views don’t mean I’m opposed to certain asset classes. Quite the contrary. And if I do get the chance to promote a product, it’s because I sincerely believe it aligns with the site’s goals.
All promotions on this site will be clearly stated anyway. So if it’s on the site, then it’s a product or service that I truly believe in and use myself.
(Except, of course, for auto-ads such as this.)
Addressing my rhetoric
I don’t mean to be that guy and this isn’t a knock on anyone.
Take for example the sales agent. When you’re honest with the commissions you make on a sale, the financial advice you give is clear. And clarity resonates with clients.
Or when you’re a kid trying to make it. Rather than pretend to know everything, why not document your learning process? Kids of your age, and future generations, will certainly take value from that.
My overarching message at the onset was about seeing the big picture for smarter decisions. This is why honesty resonates with me. When financial advisors are honest and transparent, investors see a holistic picture. And when we’re able to step back and see this big picture, then we’re one step closer to making smarter investment decisions and life choices.
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