As a personal finance education enthusiast, I love finding new PF literature that gives me new ideas. In the more than 15 years of consuming personal finance books and blogs, I’ve come to notice that many inevitably explore more or less the same ideas, with the best ones giving you a new a take on old wisdom and the bad ones being just basically bad rewording of personal finance classics. So it’s always such a surprise when I encounter works that combine existing knowledge with a different perspective while giving new and original ideas that make you think. That’s why
This post was first published in 2017 in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller.During the height of the Cold War in the 70s, a team of Soviet geologists looking for oil fields excavated a likely spot in Derweza village in the Karakum desert. Unfortunately, the site they chose was on top of a cavernous pocket of natural gas that was unable to hold all their equipment. This pocket collapsed and emitted poisonous methane gas, killing animals in the vicinity. Those in charge decided to light a flame on top to use up the emitted methane gas, expecting it to flare
For the past few days, I’ve been trying to write a post about challenges in achieving FIRE (financial independence, retire early), comparing the situation of those who live in developing countries versus the experiences of people who live in developed, Western countries. It seems obvious that our experiences in developing countries will be different from the experiences of people in the West but I want to still write these challenges down to serve as food for thought for people like me who are on this FIRE journey, as well as to start a discussion. This is not that post. Although
This article was first published in my travel blog, Erudite Traveller, in 2017. While doing my research for the Turkmenistan leg of my Silk Road trip, I stumbled upon the existence of the Akhal Teke horse. The Akhal Teke – also called Golden Horses and Celestial Horses – belong to the world’s most ancient existing horse breed. For 3,000 years the Teke tribe living in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region selectively bred these horses, keeping the horses’ ancestry by oral tradition. Sun touching the Akhal Teke’s coat. Image from Wikipedia taken by a much better photographer than me. Akhal Teke horses are
A few months ago, I opened a TD Ameritrade account to invest in US index funds because I believe this would help me achieve my financial goals faster. I have been buying Vanguard ETFs regularly since and plan to hold these investments for a long time. I’m also glad to say that my TD Ameritrade post received a lot of feedback from my readers and some of you were able to successfully open accounts while some were not due to restrictions set by the government of your country of residence. After sharing with you how to open an
Congratulations! You just got confirmation that your contract has been finalized and you will now get to work overseas! After months, even years of job search and interviewing, not to mention researching and planning, you finally got an offer lucrative enough to entice you to leave the Philippines for greener pastures. Your and your family’s minds are now filled with visions of a better life. The future looks so much brighter. Somehow, the sun is so much sunnier. You are full of optimism and magnanimity, saying yes to a parent’s request for new home appliances and agreeing to finance your
About 30 minutes away from Ashgabat is the ancient Parthian citadel in Old Nisa dating back to 250 BCE at the time of Arsaces I, founder of the empire. A man so manly that all Parthian emperors hence were officially named after him. The root word of his name meant, obviously, manly. The remains of Nisa, called Parthaunisa or Nisae depending on which old historian you read, traverses the modern-day villages of Old and New Nisa, separated by Bagir village. Ancient fortresses and various ruins dating back to the Parthians can still be found reasonably preserved in these two villages.
Starting the beginning of this year, I pledged to continue being frugal when it comes to fashion by recycling whatever I have in my closet. So far, I am succeeding. As a professional woman in my 30s in a conservative working environment, I am slowly overhauling my wardrobe by upgrading pieces while still using my existing clothes and shoes, keeping them well-kept, tailoring them for my figure, and taking care of them in general. In this post, I will share my most important fashion tools and hacks to maximize existing clothing articles. I’ve searched for these solutions for a long
After my short visit to Ancient Merv, I had a simple dinner at the canteen beside Mary’s train station to wait for my 11 pm overnight train to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital 360 kilometers to the west. I asked Sergey*, my tour guide, to book the train tickets instead of driving to the capital since I wanted to experience traveling in Turkmenistan using public transportation but also wary of riding the marshutka as I don’t speak the local language. Name changed for security reasons. The train compartment had 2 bunk beds. Naturally, I took one of the top bunks even before the
It’s been almost 3 years since the implementation of Personal Equity Retirement Account or PERA at the end of 2016. Up to this time, most Filipinos are still in the dark about what PERA means and what it can do for them in their retirement. Many of those who have heard of PERA opt to avoid putting their money in it due to a combination of lack of information regarding PERA investment instruments and confusion on how PERA fits in their financial plans. Earlier this year, I wrote a primer on PERA and why all of us need it asap. I’m
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