#10: If Kanye West were a financial adviser
23rd November, 2020
Welcome to the Idiot Money newsletter. The newsletter that is occasionally as surprised as you are.
This week: becoming wiser with money by understanding that whether you broke or rich you gotta get this: havin' money's not everything, not havin' it is.
Occasionally these newsletters are in the form of ‘Idiot Profiles’: an encouragement to point and laugh at rich people wasting their resources, and by extension, their lives, in the hope that we can follow the threads of their idiocy back to the subtler ways our identical, but less well-funded, wiring leads us astray.
If pointing and laughing at former financial-planning clients or muppets I met in the Middle East or the City were easy, Mr West, I thought, would be easier still. Reader, having trawled through his Tweets, I can see I was wrong.
I stress the importance of living in a ‘becoming’ mode, not a ‘having’ one. Mr West counsels us that excitement of the having mode is ephemeral and that its material aims are shoddy substitutes for what we really want:
He’s dead right.
He even understands that to denounce the numbers game is to keep playing it, and that we only really become free of it when we move beyond it, when we widen the worldview that the dark forces of the salespeople seek to narrow, when we move from freedom to, not only to freedom from, but onwards to freedom for [look out for that one in the updates section of this newsletter soon].
Mr West is rightly wary of seeking advice before you know what you’re looking for, and without continually asking: does it work? ‘I ain’t taking advice from no one who ain’t do nothing to actually help.’
He recognises that while being rich (reminder: you already are) may dodge the problems of penury, it worsens the problem of being so scared of losing money that you believe being more conscious about what you do have can wait: We’ve gotten comfortable with not having what we deserve.
Ye knows his construal-level theory. He knows when to zoom in, and zoom out. To live in the present, accounting for past and future presents in the process. ‘I’m hyper focused on the now’, he says, and, if you think that’s too pithy: ‘Your conscience should allow a physical manifestation of your subconscious but right now most peoples conscious is too affected by other people’s thoughts and it creates a disconnect from you doing what you actually feel now’.
When it comes to urging us to reconnect to our souls, and to pay attention to them rather than other people’s lives, he’s an absolute champ:
As surely as he knows that alignment pisses on accumulation, he knows that you need to beat your addictions before you can clearly see your real wants, enough is more important than more, and we’re in need of re-examining what we call needs [all big sections to come soon(ish)]..
While he’s got you covered for expenditure basics (‘when in doubt... don’t’), Ye doesn’t dispense much direct investment advice. Perhaps he is cautious of inadvertently transgressing regulatory rules. But he does drop this nugget: trend is always late. Anyone who’s seen a graph of inflows into a fund following a peak in its performance (and possibly an editorialised advert in the money pages of the paper) knows this only too well. Ye’s right to highlight it.
He delights us with bit of investment wisdom, couched in Bruce-Lee-esque brevity: ‘let’s be like water’, he tells us, referring, one assumes, to the need to recognise that humans and their goals are works in progress and not to get caught up in spuriously precise plans, or tunnel-vision for some shit you probably didn’t want anyway.
As I talk of each minor money decision being a fork in the road on the way to financial enlightenment, Ye’s got my back: ‘Words and names are vital when bringing something like the school into existence. Couple thoughts: Dao The word for this concept, dao, indicates a “way” in the sense of a road or a path’.
Echoing my own conclusion that participating in the process of seeking wisdom is the only way any of us can defeat our debilitating self-deceptions, wise Mr West sets out both the problem, and the plan:
In a move reminiscent of Marx and Engels’s rousing entreaty to the proletariat to cast off their chains, Ye commands us: ‘burn that excel spread sheet’ (without feeling the need to caveat it with something about the technical stuff having a place, only that it should know a little better where that place is – he is, of course, a far better marketer than I).
Finally, he knows that, being human, it is our actions that define us, and agapic love that creates us, without which, not money, nor anything else, would have any meaning: ‘We believe in love We don’t just try we do.. we are... We are love.’