Tagged with “money” (6)
Fred and Natasha Ruckel invented a cat toy called the Ripple Rug. It’s like a scrunched up doormat with holes in it, and for cats it’s like Disneyland-level fun. When the Ruckels put it up for sale on Amazon, it started selling well. It was a solid business. Then one day, Fred noticed that the Ripple Rug was also on sale on eBay—for twenty dollars more.
It looked like his product. It looked like he was selling it. But he had never posted it on eBay. IT was a case of cat toy arbitrage. Fred was pissed—the eBay sellers weren’t changing the original Ripple Rug, and he didn’t think they were adding any value. They were just jacking up the price and pocketing the difference.
This is a classic middleman scheme. It’s also a scheme that could only happen on the Internet. But the Internet was supposed to get rid of the middleman. Consumers can buy directly from manufacturers at wholesale prices. They can book flights themselves on sites like Kayak—no more travel agents, no more unnecessary fees. Or, that was one of the hopes anyway.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Instead, middlemen are stronger than ever. The biggest companies on the internet are middlemen. Today on the show: Why middlemen are taking over the global economy, why there’s very little anyone can do about it, and why that could be a good thing.
What would you say to a person who told you that you could retire at age 30, never have to work again, and still live a comfortable life, all on a normal salary and without winning the lottery?
You’d probably call them crazy. Of course that’s not how money works.
Well, my guest today did retire at age 30, and he did so without making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. And through his blog, he’s helped other people reach “financial independence” a lot sooner than they thought possible by living a life of “financial badassery.” His name is Pete and he’s the owner of the website Mr. Money Mustache. In today’s podcast, Pete and I discuss how living Teddy Roosevelt’s “Strenuous Life” can help you become financially independent.
“You’re not supposed to optimize for money; you’re supposed to optimize for happiness.” – Mr. Money Mustache (AKA Pete Adeney)
Mr. Money Mustache (@mrmoneymustache — Pete Adeney in real life) grew up in Canada in a family of mostly eccentric musicians. He graduated with a degree in computer engineering in the 1990s and worked in various tech companies before retiring at age 30. Pete, his wife, and their now eleven-year-old son live near Boulder, Colorado, and have not had real jobs since 2005.
This begs the question of “How?” In essence, they accomplished this early retirement by optimizing all aspects of their lifestyle for maximal fun at minimal expense, and by using basic index-fund investing. Their average annual expenses total a mere $25-27,000, and they do not feel in want of anything.
Since 2005, all three of them have explored a free-form life of interesting projects, side-businesses, and adventures.
In 2011, Pete started writing the Mr. Money Mustache blog about his philosophy, which has grown to reach about 23 million different people (and 300 million page views) since its founding. It has become a worldwide cult phenomenon, with a self-organizing community and incredible news coverage. This episode explores his story, philosophies, and routines.