I’ve discovered a source of information that is about 10 layers under the boggleheads. The conclusions they talk about are conclusions I’ve come up with independently. In FIRE land there is a concept of tribe. People look at FIRE as their tribe. MMM is a tribal leader, as is WCI and JL Collins and all the rest. I’m at best on the perimeter of that. FIRE is not my tribe, but neither do I consider FIRE my foe. I’m an American and I wish my fellows well, success, and happiness.
I’ve spent some time trying to understand economic behavioralism. I’ve always been an efficient markets kind of guy, but the arbs and the robots have morphed the markets into something which has a market perspective and a meta-market perspective. The morphing agent is big data and the effect big data has on the human brain. You will do what your brain tells you to do and a huge portion of what you do is irrational and sub-cortical. If the data comes fast enough reaction becomes totally automatic based on fear responses or possibly pleasure responses.
You see this in video games. Massive data flows with complete manipulation of visceral responses with virtually no thought involved except which arsenal do you choose. The decision is not whether to kill “someone” but how to do it most effectively, and then let the emotional reactions have their way, actually their meta-way since no one really gets killed or do they? The way to shaping behavior is through practice.
FIRE is about shaping behavior and its about practice and practices. It’s also about meta-practice since much of FIRE is irrational and about the biochemistry it accesses. There are many systems based on this, multi-level marketing comes to mind as does Dave Ramsey as does High School and College and even Medical School. Clearly working 100 hours a week for a decade has its visceral consequence beyond the acquisition of a certain skill set.
The following video looks at some of how society has been structured in our country, not all that different from the promise of med school. When we buy a stock we become owners from our point of view. When we take a job we become stake holders in a corporate society. From the corporate point of view we are merely resources. From the political point of view we are the same merely resources. In corporate land we are the resources that propel profits, and from the political POV we are the resources that propel political power and tyranny. All of that has a meta- component.
To access the video you have to sign up for a free 2 week trial so be aware. The information on the site is extensive something like 1500 videos on all kinds of topics. I went ahead and joined @ 180/yr because this is my tribe. This is the level of analysis and challenge in which I choose to operate, even if it doesn’t affect my portfolio. I don’t operate a hedge fund but I want to know something of that level of operator since my portfolio is dependent on the market. I also don’t operate my portfolio on leverage but it turns out I am the leverage since it’s my capital that is at risk so in some respect I am levered. It makes me more committed to understand when to buy and when to sell and when to hold in a dynamic and ever more complex market environment. The mantra is buy low sell high. You don’t have to buy everything or sell everything however. You can buy some and sell some and take a profit to buy some more when it’s low and sell some more when its high, or not. For that I need a level of thought deeper than buy cheap index funds and take a nap.
The video is not an investing blueprint, but a commentary on history from a long time insider. A commentary with a much different narrative than what we get as retail marketeers.