saving for retirement

Conscious Money Challenge: How Are You Investing?

Conscious Money Challenge. Are you willing to open your eyes?

If you have investment money in the stock market, whether through a retirement account or a straight brokerage account, I challenge you today to find out what your money is invested in and make a conscious choice about what you are supporting in the world.

If you aren’t sure how to do this, grab your last account statement (or go online) and find the 5 letter code that indicates where your money is invested.

Then, type that into Google and review the breakdown of holdings.

For example, AGTHX, the Growth Fund of America. It sounds so nice.

I might have even picked it myself back in the day when I worked for the big law firm said, “Hey Alexis, you’ve got a 401k, how do you want it invested?”

I looked at the options on the paper they gave me, closed my eyes, put my finger down and filled in the little bubbles on my form. Totally blind.

Ridiculous, but I didn’t know any better. And my guess is you don’t either.

So, are you willing to stay blind? Or are you ready to wake up?

We vote with our dollars, but not just with what we buy, but with HOW WE INVEST.

Most of us, though, are investing blindly.

Using robo-funds, or financial advisors who only care about their own commissions or getting your money under management, or simply ignoring it because it’s too complex.

But, really, it’s not. For example …

Type AGTHX into google and you can see that if you are invested in what they call the Growth Fund of America, you are investing in Phillip Morris (the tobacco company that hid data on nicotine’s addictive properties), EOG Resources (fracking!), and Amgen (a company that may be suppressing a true cure for cancer to promote it’s own bottom line — unverified).

Come on, people.

Are you really desiring to support big tobacco, fracking and big pharma?

Or do you think we can do something better with your money?

Wake up, please. Let’s take back control and not invest blindly just because we want that “safe” 5% return for our retirement. It’s not safe, it’s a lie.

What will your retirement be anyway if we are living in a world without clean water (fracking), where we cannot get access to our own natural healing (big pharma), and where lying to addict people is considered acceptable (big tobacco)?

We can change this, but we have to wake up to do it.

Message me at support@eyeswideopenlife if you want help looking at how you are using your resources. It’s time we made a change. And it starts with you.

Does Hoarding Money Help or Hurt?

Meeting a money hoarder 5 years ago changed my life, for the better, thought it was a long road to liberation.

At the time, I was on the path to what I thought would bring me the financial freedom I was seeking, $40 million dollars was my magic number. When I had $40mm, then I would …

Oh, there were many stories of what I would do when I had $40mm in the bank generating 5% interest, throwing off the $2mm/year I thought I needed to be truly free.

Why $2 million? Because that’s what my companies were making (and spending) at the time and my thinking was — if I had enough in the bank to support those companies and my family without me having to work, I’d be golden. This thinking was flawed on so many levels that I can’t get into now, but I would have pursued this path had I not run into the man with a hundred million in the bank.

I thought for sure, this guy must be free, right?

Except he wasn’t.

In fact, he may have been the most “un-free” person I’d ever met. He was trapped by his millions.

All he could talk about was how much money he had and what forms of currency and banks he had it in. On top of that, he was still working like a madman to make more. And he really didn’t have any relationships of substance. He was hoarding money. It was a wake up call. I could see the path I was on clear as day. Bank accounts full of money and no real love or connection in my life.

What I realized by meeting him is that if I wasn’t free with $2mm of revenue coming into my companies, $40mm wasn’t going to do it either.

It’s up to us to liberate ourselves from the false thinking that has us trapped, not to earn more money expecting that to be the solution. Tweet It!

I had to find out what was on the other side of my belief that I needed to hoard all this money to be free.

So, I let it all go. I shrunk the companies. I moved to the farm. I stopped doing anything for money. I filed bankruptcy, rebuilt my life on a new foundation and discovered the path I now understand to be financial liberation — knowing you can earn what you need, when you need it, on demand, doing meaningful work in the world.

Hoarding money no longer became necessary from this place.

Today, I invest my excess in things that matter and make a difference — the well-being, care and education of myself and my family come first. The companies that support my work come second. Hiring people to address matters of consequence in our community, liked I did here come third:https://www.facebook.com/notes/ali-shanti/how-and-why-im-risking-it-all/739469412767280

If I have excess after all that (and I don’t currently), I’ll invest in land, water, energy, food and community.

I do see the benefit of having a cash reserve of some amount, which will differ for each person. For me, it’s quite small. Going to live on the farm with no back up allowed me to deepen my trust that I’ve got enough stored value in my services and the intellectual property I have created that, if necessary, I can rely on them to support me. But that’s not the case for everyone.

So, I’m curious — what is the minimum amount of money you would like to have on hand to back you up, if necessary? And then how are you using the excess to better the world around you? Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

Loveletter: Worst advice ever?

Recently, a guy tagged me on Twitter and said:

I totally get why he would say that. It’s certainly not what the mainstream financial advisers are teaching.

How can I possibly be teaching that people should stop worrying about paying off debt and saving for retirement?

Because I know that if most people follow the traditional personal finance advice they will likely not have what they actually need for the rest of their lives.

To ensure you can care for yourself and your family for the rest of your life, you need to learn how to give something of value in exchange for money in a sustainable way.

If you do not have enough in retirement now, will you ever if you continue to do what you’re doing now?

Probably not. If you died with debt, would it matter? No.

But if you learned to earn what you need, when you need it, on demand, doing meaningful work you enjoy, could that give you what you need to live the rest of your life and even pay off your debt in the future? Yes.

So why focus your life energy now on perpetuating a norm that likely isn’t working for you instead of creating a reality for yourself that gets you the liberation you are truly seeking?

Sure, it requires you to buck the trends and go against the traditional advice around money, retirement and debt, but that’s okay so long as it has you create the life you really want.

Want more?

Join us on Saturday, October 21st at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT for a live webinar. Register at www.moneymap.tv/webinar to get your seat.