Posted by: patrick | September 18, 2002


It’s currently 1:40 AM, PDT. I’m at home in San Francisco, and I can’t sleep. Since my dad passed away, my sleep schedule has been all wacked out. I sometimes can’t sleep when I’m in a good mood, and when I’m in a bad mood my sleep patterns are erratic. Rare is the time when I get an even 6-8 hours of rest in a night. This week, I’m in a good mood; last week, I was in a rut, and when I’m in a funky state, I usually don’t bother posting anything. Shouldn’t I write down my thoughts when I’m in a bad mood? That makes more sense…and it would probably help lift me back up.

For those who read my posts (who reads my posts anyway?), this will probably be longer than usual, because I’m been processing some information about life, and I’m going to try to give my analytical skills a stab at it. Use those mental skills I paid $10,000 a year for in college. Why put it to waste?

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do next in life. What career I want, what place/environment to work, etc. I’ve been really interested in the investing and personal finance field since my dad died, because my mom has been taking care of all these financial and estate details for the past couple months, and I’ve tried to help, one way or another. Then, after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, as well as some other investing books, I realized that many people could benefit from good financial advice and education. Ergo, why don’t I pursue it? There’s probably some good money to be had there, especially if I start my own financial management firm.

I wonder though, if it puts at risk my lefty tendencies? Santa Cruz education really made me a politically left-leaning person, at least intellectually (at this time, I haven’t got off my lazy butt to go to a protest or march lately, like those dealing with Iraq or globalization). I do think that the future political-economic system that will exist in the future will have capitalist elements, or in its core, capitalist. The concept of central planning, like in the Soviet Union, has clearly failed to meet the needs of its people, and now the largest “Communist” country, the People’s Republic of China, is now accepting (embracing even) many capitalist ideas. However, if anyone thinks that capitalism=democracy, I’m sure you can point out aspects of Chinese, or even American society, that can prove that this equation doesn’t ring true. You can have capitalism and still not feel free.

How free are we here in the United States? We are definitely better off here than in many other nations in the world, socially, politically, and economically. Yet, we still have millions of people who work without the security of health insurance. (We, as a country, do spend exorbiant amounts of public money on health care…but why isn’t it universal and available to everyone?) Real wages (wages with inflation factored in) have dropped over the years, but the cost of living still goes up? All these problems and all these inequalities, and now our privacy rights are being threatened by this “war on terrorism.” Ugh.

I guess I’m rambling right now (where did that thesis statement go?). I guess I want to figure out a way to give back to the community with this financial planning idea, while being able to get paid and be financially independent. I have come to the conclusion at this time that in order to really pursue all the things I want to do, I need to have my money work for me, rather than being beholden to a specific job or career. Simply put, I do think that most work, profit or non-profit, can’t allow you to do all the things each of us want to pursue, especially if we want to devote time trying to change the world. If my investments and such made me enough money to live on, I can easily quit a job and volunteer at all the places I want to help out with. Or, I can take a job without worrying about the pay matching my expenses.

An entrepreneur? I dunno yet. But I realize that I don’t like answering to bosses all the time (except when those bosses are your clients or customers). Be your own boss, make some cash flow, live a life you want to live. Maybe even use that extra time to change the world for the better. That’s definitely cool.



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