Blog Demographics 2015 Edition: If Life Were a Game, You Would Be Champions

It’s time for our annual review of the blog community demographics!  Actually, I hadn’t realized it since we’re busy launching the global asset management firm but a few of you sent me messages asking where it was so I wanted to take some time out to get the latest numbers up for you.

The short version: Continuing the usual trend of winning, it will likely surprise no one that, since last year, you’ve managed to grow a bit older, mostly richer, and better educated.  When people talk about the top of the socioeconomic bell curve, they are speaking about many of you.  This community is extraordinary.  I know I say it every year but I mean it: I wish this were a television show because with numbers like these, I could charge advertisers millions of dollars an episode.  You are a marketing dream; young, smart, deeply passionate about certain things, with large amounts of disposable income.

The long version: Let’s get right into it.

Female readers were slightly, but not meaningfully, declined from 29% to 26%.  The biggest story was the huge drop in younger-than-18-year-old readers, which coincided with a large gain in 35-44 year old community members, who became the largest demographic, barely beating the 25-34 age group.

Gender and Age of Joshua Kennon Demographics

The $50,000 and under income group, which dominates the United States, is vastly underrepresented.  Meanwhile, compared to the benchmark, you are 4% more likely to make $50,000 to $100,000 per annum, 43% more likely to make $100,000 to $150,000 per annum, and 114% more likely to make $150,000 or more.  Contrasted to last year, the overall ranking of $0 to $50,000 families fell 2% while the $150,000+ families rose 2%.  I have no way to prove it but I’d like to hope it was people moving up the socioeconomic ladder, which seems a reasonable hypothesis as the type of man or woman likely to hang around reading personal finance and investing articles is the type to want to grow his or her income and net worth; not to mention the regular deluge of messages I get about how many of you have paid off all of your debts, bought your first business, saved your first $100,000, or some other victory that makes me smile every single time it shows up in the inbox (even if I haven’t responded to you – and it’s overwhelming with another 1,500+ messages not, yet, read, I do try to eventually get to them all, sometimes months or years after the fact; it’s a random probability thing, I dive in and start replying).

Alternatively, if you want to think about it another way, there is more than a 1 in 5.55 chance that a reader earns at least $12,500 per month, and a 1 in 3 chance he or she earns at least $8,333 per month despite being young.  Think of the beautiful compounding ahead of you!  All of that college and grad school paid off – you’re 15% more likely to have an undergraduate degree and 107% more likely to have a master’s or higher.

Education and Income Joshua Kennon Demographics

As the readership has aged a bit, you’re now slightly more likely than the typical person to have children with a little more than 1 out of 2 of you being a parent.  (Aaron and I can’t wait to someday join you all, crossing over that particular line.)

Kids Demographics Joshua Kennon

When it comes to ethnicity, the stats almost perfectly mirror what you would expect given the income and educational attainment as cross-referenced with the Census Bureau data.  Caucasians are exactly represented in proportion to their overall population level, African Americans and Hispanics are significantly under-represented, and Asians are 110% more common here than in the broader benchmark.

In fact, Asians are so overrepresented in the community compared to the general population, we’ve now reached a point where nearly 1 in 10 blog readers are Asian.  I have no idea the degree to which my oddly close, multi-generational family dynamics, non-controllable addiction to Japanese RPGs, Korean dramas, affinity for business success, background in classical music, and trying new stir fry recipes with loads of red pepper paste plays into having created this situation but I’m going to envision you are all as cool, well-dressed, and funny as Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi, whom I still refuse to accept are not a real couple because they are perfect for each other and should live happily ever after.  LET ME LIVE IN MY FANTASY!  I need to rewatch that series …

do min joon cheon song yi

Ethnicity Joshua Kennon Demographics

Speaking of wardrobes – yes it is relevant as you’ll see in a moment – wDiana von Furstenberg Fur Coatomen make up around 1 out of every 4 people in the community and are largely split into two camps when viewed from an apparel shopping demographic.  A slightly larger percentage of you fall into the $1,600+ fur-trimmed coat-wearing, Mercedes-driving, you-know-everyone-is-doing-a-double-take-when-you-walk-by contingent (e.g., you are 1.65x more likely than the typical Internet reader to buy your clothes from designer Diane von Furstenberg, who ranks as your number one choice of apparel), while the next largest group consists of the Birkenstock-wearing modern hippy vegetarians.

Also on the shopping front:

  • You vastly prefer Starbucks coffee over cheap brands like Maxwell House and Folgers by huge margins.
  • You wash your clothes with Tide and appear to have nothing but contempt for Gain.
  • Your fabric softener of choice is Bounce.
  • You are much less likely than the general public to drink any sort of carbonated beverage, including Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper.
  • When you do indulge your sweet tooth, it’s likely to be Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Chobani greek yogurt, or some sort of Pepperidge Farm snack.
  • You are 1.32x more likely than the benchmark to use Neutrogena products.
  • You’re 1.31x more likely to use a Swiffer to clean.
  • Gentlemen, you are 1.16x more likely to use Dove Men products (ladies, it’s 1.28x for you when it comes to St. Ives).
  • You are 1.57x more likely to stay at an upscale hotel when you travel, 1.39x more likely to opt for a midscale hotel.
  • You are 1.44x more likely to eat Kosher, 1.36x more likely to want to eat natural foods, 1.34x more likely to be vegetarian (in absolute numbers, though, an overwhelming number of you are still meat eaters), and more likely than average to worry about maintaining a healthy weight / maintaining an active lifestyle.
  • You are still technology junkies.  If it is electronic, new, and does something cool, you buy it.  Apple, Android, Linux, Windows … doesn’t matter, you want it all.  Phones, tablets, computers, televisions.  In fact, according to another data source I use to benchmark demographics, two of the top affinity categories into which you fall are “technophiles” and “avid investors”.
  • A good amount of you also have significant investment or employment involvement in the real estate field.
  • Chrome is the most popular browser (33.76% of sessions) followed by Safari (28.19%).
  • Windows is the most popular operating system (49.49%) followed by iOS (22.33%), Mac OS (13.95%), and Android (10.68%)
  • The most popular screen resolution is 1366×768.  I don’t know how you do it.  I want at least 2560×1440 or, if in a bind, 1920×1080.  Maybe it’s an obsession left over from getting my first pair of glasses as a child and being amazed I could see individual leaves on a tree.  I don’t ever want to go back to a world of fuzzy.  (On the extreme end, a little more than 1% of you are running 5K monitors.  There’s also someone running a 960×36441 resolution.  How does that even work?)

On the automobile front, you like foreign cars.

Automobiles Joshua Kennon Demographics

When you strip out the luxury models, the most popular individual cars include the Honda Odyssey, the Honda Pilot, and the Chevrolet Tahoe.

As for politics, while independents are slightly overrepresented, we largely self-identify almost perfectly in alignment with the broader public on party identity.  There isn’t a lot of heavy ideology in the community, which makes me proud.  Somehow, someway, we’ve built a community of rational pragmatists; where people from all over the spectrum come together to talk about everything from economics to philosophy.

Political Affiliation Joshua Kennon Demographics

This gives me comfort given that I’ve already grown weary of the upcoming Presidential election; the exhaustive click-whirr responses from people who have somehow bought into one particular candidate or party as if it were a secular religion with endless rants on whatever it is they don’t like, never talking about specific policies, instead.  There are so many things that most Americans agree upon it makes no sense to me that a huge percentage of folks are busy trying to choose a team, as if this were a football game; turning it into an exercise in tribalism and identity rather than an intellectual pursuit of reasoned solutions.

I don’t say this enough: Thank you.  To each and every one of you who contributes to this community, I appreciate you and what you do.  You help make me clarify my thinking.  It’s a joy to discuss (and in some cases, debate) complex ethical and moral issues with you.  It’s a thrill to watch you go from victory to victory in your own lives; to hear about the companies you start, the new career paths you pursue, the additional dividend streams you add to your collection.  I’m not sure what I did to get lucky enough to have attracted so many interesting, successful, brilliant people in disciplines other than my own but I feel like I won the Internet lottery.  Maybe in a year or two when I’m traveling more for the investment company, we can arrange real-world meetups in a few cities.  I really would like to put faces to all the names.

  • Elton

    Love these stats! I guess the question to ask though is, how do you get hold of these? Is there a marketing software which collects data on us (e.g. websites we visit etc) to show it to you?
    I’d love to see what my personal stats are.

  • Ang

    Thank you for all that you do for us! For creating such a community where we can have dialogue with other amazing people. Your lessons are more appreciated than you’ll ever realize!

  • Adam J. Mead

    Thanks, Joshua, well deserved.. And you’re welcome!

    “The best way to get what you want is to deserve what you want.” – Charlie Munger.

  • Steven

    I think your combination of social liberalism and fiscal conservatism is a major part of your appeal.

    The democrat/republican divide either wants people to be both socially and fiscally liberal, or both socially and fiscally conservative.

    I’d much rather hear what you have to say on a subject than the likes of Rachel Maddow or Bill O’Reilly. You have a remarkable ability to lay out your thoughts without attacking those who disagree!

    • BenSite5

      +1 on this, it is so nice to hear some nuance in a post.

  • Stephen H

    The thanks goes to you. Such a great place to spend time. I really enjoy the blog and have been gobbling it up like crazy!

  • “I wish this were a television show because with numbers like these, I could charge advertisers millions of dollars an episode. You are a marketing dream; young, smart, deeply passionate about certain things, with large amounts of disposable income.”

    – You’ll never pry the cash flow earmarked for investments out of my cold, dead hands 🙂

    “You are much less likely than the general public to drink any sort of carbonated beverage, including Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper.”

    – Not surprising has more affluent and educated people drink standard deviations less of soft drinks.

    “In fact, according to another data source I use to benchmark demographics, two of the top affinity categories into which you fall are “technophiles” and “avid investors”.”

    – Guilty as charged.

    I think others have mentioned this in the past, but I think a members-only forum would be an amazing addition here. Something modern, sleek, efficient, and responsive like Discourse would be awesome. I (and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume there are at least 10 other regular readers) would pay $10 a month to be able to access it. If you had at minimum 10 people, the $100/month fee to run Discourse with full support would be cost-neutral on your end. Anyways, just a thought!

    And real world meetups? Catch me I’m going to swoon.

    • Anthony

      Count me in

      • Jeff

        I’m in. Anybody else in Boston?

        • Adam J. Mead

          Southern NH, close enough. About an hour out.

        • Adam J. Mead

          Jeff, let’s connect. There’s a Boston-area investment meet-up group I’ve been to a few times that’s trying to expand. We also have a group that just started meeting in the Portsmouth, NH area. Shoot me an email if you’re interested, even just to get on the email chain. adam@meadcm.com

        • Jeff

          Sent!

        • blackdeercap

          Anyone in SoCal interested?

    • Justin

      YES!! An addition of a forum would be a wonderful addition.

    • Karen

      The thing with online forums is that they are often pretty bad. Really. Maybe it is just the free forums that are bad, *especially* if the talk is about investing, there is a lot of junk out there, a lot of brash opinions and I don’t know what it is, but forums can be rough places. It’s possible that this particular place on the net is different. On the other hand they can be very social and that can be nice. I would be curious to see what a forum here turns out like. I feel like in the forums it takes more work to glean and sift through the conversations to take the gems, but a blog with a singular, specific voice is so much more clear. Would I pay for a forum here? I might test out a short term trial subscription. I don’t pay for much on the Internet and there is a lot of value in reading and re-reading the main content here.

      • Karen

        P.S. But I do like hanging around winners! 🙂

        • I partake in a really well run, managed, and moderated money forum and it is so much different from most of the junk forums that exist out there.

          I mean I am just whimsically assuming that a forum here would be tightly run and superbly moderated. But you know what they say about making assumptions 😉

          And a huge plus for me (and others?) would be to continue discussion amongst the intelligent human beings that lurk around these parts in a dedicated spot rather than in the comments section (not that I don’t enjoy the comment section – it is among my favorite places here).

        • Karen

          Please do share where you’re hanging out! 🙂

  • Mr.owenr

    But life IS a game, a very good board game at that!!!!

    Wish I could phrase that last sentence better, guess I’m just too underrepresented.

  • Looking forward to the next few years!

  • Giselda

    Joshua, I would love to use your blog more often, but the recent change in layout/interface, made navigating through older posts more difficult than before, and even in those earlier days it wasn’t easy.

    Why do blog designers have such a hard time understanding that every blog must have a plain page/link without any images, where the only thing I see is:

    -the years 2015, 2014, 2013
    -the months for each year
    – the posts for each month of each year

    This way I can do a systematic search of all the blog and make sure I haven’t missed anything of interest.
    It would be great if you could address this issue…

  • Engineer7006

    I would love to see my own as well.

  • txmd

    I’m in for a meetup in Houston. Love reading this blog.

  • FirstPost

    Did I miss the survey? I’ll take it.

    • It wasn’t a survey, it was Big Data; the sort that allows Target to know a woman is pregnant by changes in her shopping patterns even before she, herself knows. The graphics were taken from Quantcast due to their visual appeal. Other observations come from supplementary data sets, including things like server logs and Google Analytics.

      It’s really rather terrifying, actually. With large enough sample sizes, even the smallest things can give a person away. For example, if you’re living in Wisconsin on a 3 year old MacBook of a certain size and screen resolution, happen to be interested in playing poker, and recently searched for a certain topic on Google, the odds are [x]% that you are also interested in [y]. They go in an adjust for things like proxies and whatnot. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Walgreens is particularly good at it (there is a reason they offer significant discounts for signing up for their loyalty card program – it makes it easier to build a profile on you).

      • So are you saying these are probabilities, not absolutes?

        • Gilvus

          Yes, but the probabilities are often high-confidence because the amount of data available on any given user is often staggering. Attached below are some of the hidden websites attempting to track me when I visit the CNN homepage. If I visit another page with any of these piggybacking websites (or another site affiliated with any of them, like DoubleClick), they’ll know that I visited CNN for X minutes using Y browser, clicking on Z links, and then went to SomeOtherWebsite Dot Com to browse there. Do this for several hours a day, and it’s pretty easy to figure out what kind of a person I am based on the behavior I exhibit when I think no one is watching.

          Websites are just one of the things with hidden information. EXIF data on the pictures you upload contain timestamps, GPS coordinates, and maybe even the shutter speed of the camera that took the picture. Metadata in Word documents or Adobe PDFs can be used to reconstruct edits, comments, and all kinds of things that you wouldn’t want to be included in a final, publishable documents. I routinely scrub my PDFs before I distribute them, and I suggest it to anyone who gives a damn about information asymmetry.

          So to answer your question: yes, a lot of the information is inferred. But when your online activity is being tracked 75%+ of the time, it becomes easy to figure out.

        • How does one scrub a PDF?

        • Gilvus

          Like so.

        • Gilvus

          Ok seriously: I’m sure there’s third party programs that will scrub metadata for you, but Adobe Acrobat’s (not Adobe Reader’s) built-in functions are pretty good. I use the Windows version but I imagine the Mac interface is similar.

          Open the Tools Sidebar > Protection > Remove Hidden information.

          The metadata will show up on a popup sidebar and you can decide what to erase and what to leave.

          Caveat emptor: Acrobat allows you to remove just about everything, which means you can scrub out useful features like fonts, text recognition, and intra-document links. If you opted for “Sanitize document” instead of “Remove Hidden Information” there’s a good chance you’ll degrade the quality of your document. I like to create an original PDF, make a copy of it, and scrub the copy in case I remove too much. The scrubbed copy becomes the distribution copy.

        • A few years ago, I was trying to explain to someone how extensive data tracking had become and how easy it was to really find out things about people. (They were terrified after they saw the interface we were using at the time to monitor this blog and our ecommerce businesses, which showed satellite images of everyone access the site in real-time, along with their complete browsing history, list of devices from which they had accessed the site, probability of using a proxy if they changed devices or IP addresses, and a host of other things – it was really quite a work of art, though we no longer use that vendor because the people backing it kept adding “features” that destroyed the core abilities.)

          They couldn’t believe it was real. At the time, there was a bunch of scandals going on with politicians sending nude pictures of themselves. To prove a point, I told this person to Google a hookup site – male, female, didn’t care – where men and women were trying to meet up for one-night stands, then download about 100 pictures of different profiles randomly. They did. I then put the pictures in a program that extracted the meta information for those who hadn’t scrubbed it and overlaid each individual picture on a map of the world with the geolocation coordinates. You’d click a picture of someone – a picture that could get them fired or humiliated in their community – and in a few seconds, be staring at the front of their apartment building. A quick reverse search later, and within 3-4 minutes, you had their real name, employment history, hobbies, relationship status, etc. If one were a sociopath, you could sit back and destroy their lives for entertainment all from a coffee shop.

          Seeing how advanced it is – and we certainly use it to our benefit so I’m not in a position to criticize – is one of the reasons I like the idea, as I’ve mentioned several times before, of living in a cabin in the middle of the mountains with almost no technology. There’s something about it that scares me. I’m not going to become a neo-Luddite or anything (electricity and nuclear power were more dangerous but we harnessed those for our own good); nevertheless, I’m apprehensive about the current lack of safeguards in place. I’d like to see the United States adapt a “right to be forgotten” law that forces businesses to destroy personal information.

        • Gilvus

          The problem with “right to be forgotten” laws is that they’re so easy to circumvent. What is “forgotten,” exactly? You no longer show up on search results while Google’s servers are still swimming in your “non-personal” data? Do they actually delete you from the system, or do they simply delete the pointers to the memory space containing your data while the memory space itself is still chock-full of your browsing history? And even if you write ridiculously foolproof laws in favor of consumer privacy, plausible deniability will always be an issue (look at Ashley Madison). “Oh, this person’s data was in our backup system. Oh, the guy in possession of an encrypted drive full of supposedly-deleted user data isn’t a Google employee; he’s an independent contractor.” In fact, I’d say the better the laws are, the more incentive to circumvent them. Nigh-uncrackable encryption can be used for great good and great evil in equal magnitudes.

          At one point, I regularly received ads from the AARP and American Legion trying to sell me life insurance or powered wheelchairs. I should stop putting January 1, 1950 as my birthday for my non-critical online accounts.

        • Karen

          I was wondering if you have any advice then on internet privacy when there is none — having been online for years, there’s a lot out there on me — but… I could try to protect the children. I get concerned when I get into a dystopian future mindset, a little bit of paranoia, and then I worry that we will be hunted down for unpopular thoughts, etc. Of course, you can’t really live that way.

          I have been thinking about how you have left Facebook. I still own FB stock and I’m on it a little bit. They might know me better than I know myself.

          Anyhoo, I’ve recently tried Folgers and their super extra dark version is pretty good! On fashion, I like both the fur coat and the birks, but I’m baffled on how to put those two looks together and don’t have time to figure it out. A uniform of something like a cashmere sweater and jeans might be perfect.

        • For all intents and purposes, the data collection and analysis is now so sophisticated as a result of advances in technology and methodology that is a distinction without a difference.

  • I’d expect the demographics to be more in line with dr Stanley’s findings from The Millionaire Next Door

    • They are. In the much larger, more detailed follow-up version, The Millionaire Mind, he broke down his research into different sub-groups. This community tends to skew toward the richer of the millionaire subgroups.

      The Millionaire Next Door types (which very well could be disproportionately represented in the ~1 out of 3 blog readers who make $50,000 or less, though I think college students account for a significant portion of that figure based on other things I see) are definitely here. These are the people who live modestly, save responsibly, and end up rich due to long-term compounding; acquiring blue chip stocks, real estate, etc. I get messages all the time from people who had ordinary careers and are now sitting on large holdings because of their frugality.

      A big part of the community, though, is made up of what Stanley dubbed “the glittering rich”, which were the people who, often through business ownership or success in the corporate sector, made so much money they lived in the best houses, drove the more expensive cars, all while spending a mere fraction of their cash flow. Though it looks like they are burning hundred dollar bills to light cigars, they’re really the most frugal if frugality is measured relative to their income because they put almost everything – hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars a year – back into new investments, adding to their sources of passive income. You see them buy a $90,000 car they’ll drive for several years, or $10,000 on a vacation, while over that same multi-year period, they quietly add $700,000 to their investment holdings without telling anyone. There are a lot of folks lurking in each thread, and occasionally coming out to comment, who built seven-or-eight-figure businesses, have six-or-seven-figure incomes, and live in very nice houses. They didn’t get as much copy space in Stanley’s books but they are definitely there. (He described them as these elite class super compounders who played both good offense and defense, using a sports metaphor.)

      It’s also not terribly surprising when you look the intricacies of Stanley’s research. For example, though the Toyota was the most popular car among millionaires in terms of absolute numbers, if someone owned a Mercedes, they were something like [5x? I’d have to check, again] more likely to be a millionaire, and a deca-millionaire at that. There is a passage in there that Stanley talked about when someone did show up in his research who opted for the Mercedes, that person ended up generating exponentially more wealth than his or her fellow millionaires because there was something in the personality type that drove them to outsized success. Somehow, the only thing people remembered, though, was the fact that a majority of those driving Mercedes were aspirational not millionaires. [Stanley could have worded it better, which I think accounts for some of this. All he’d have needed to say is, “If someone drives a Mercedes, they are most likely not a millionaire. However, if they are a millionaire and they drive a Mercedes, the odds are good they have geometrically more wealth than their Toyota-driving millionaire counterparts. Additionally, as a sheer function of the numbers, if you had to pick the person most likely to be a millionaire in a lineup, you’d choose the Mercedes driver as the probability of being correct exceeded what you would get if you selected Toyota, which millionaires prefer more in absolute numbers but a demographic in which they are dwarfed by the general population also buying Toyotas.”)

      • A

        Do you have a breakdown by profession too? I bet engineers are going to be over-represented relative to the general population. Also visitors by country stats? I would be very interested in % of visitors from non English speaking countries/poorer countries/socially conservative countries.

        • For the past year from today, of the 1,885,840 individual sessions registered on the site, 67.79% came from the United States, 5.48% came from Canada, 5.46% came from the United Kingdom, 2.57% came from India, 2.43% came from Australia, 1.09% came from Singapore, 0.95% came from Germany, 0.82% came from The Netherlands, and 0.75% came from The Philippines.

          Despite representing 67.79% of sessions, the United States generated 81.33% of advertising revenue to offset the hosting costs.

          Interestingly, we had a decent size audience in China that had been around for awhile but something happened between the post on my brother’s white coat ceremony for medical school on August 17th and the post about the birth of our newest niece on August 19th that caused a total, complete collapse in readers who are using Chinese-language operating systems. It is a 97%+ loss of readers.

          50% of readers arrive from search engines, 36.7% from directly entering the site URL in their browser bar (or a bookmark), 7.2% from social networks such as Facebook, and 6.1% from referral links at other sites and blogs. This is interesting because, year over year, there was a 411% increase in social network referrals as people began sharing the blog with others. For the past few days, for example, a post about Temecula, California has been going around Facebook with people constantly clicking on it (at this exact moment, there are 15 live readers on this page).

          Desktop users account for 55.33% of visits, mobile 32.57%, and tablet 12.10%, which are shockingly high numbers compared to past years. Mobile users spend half the time on the site as other users. They also produce a tiny fraction of the revenue, which should change as the template is updated.

          In Africa, the most popular country is South Africa, which delivered 11,310 sessions. Nigeria delivered 3,255 sessions. Kenya delivered 6,971 sessions. South Korea delivered 3,158 sessions. We get almost no visitors from Latin American countries, except for Brazil and Mexico, which are about evenly split and between them deliver 9,000 to 10,000 sessions. Per capita, Switzerland produces a lot of reader with around 5,000 sessions.

          I’m sure somewhere in here there is information on employment or industry but I’ve never come across it. I should look into that or see if I can get a bigger analytic service because that would be interesting. You’ve made me curious. Anecdotally, of the thousands of conversations I’ve had behind the scenes, a vast majority seem to be concentrated in: 1. Engineering, 2. Medicine, 3. Business (Ownership or Executive), 4. Finance or Real Estate, 5. Law, 6. Stay at Home Parent, or 7. College student.

        • A

          Thank you for the detailed demographics breakdown. I am not sure what caused a 97% drop in readers using Chinese language OS but it’s possible that your site is being filtered by the Chinese ISPs/government? I am going to do some digging and see if I can figure it out. Do you get middle eastern readers (I am curious if your site is blacklisted by any country/region)? It’s very encouraging to see readers from African/Asian countries reading your blog. Hopefully, they will be able to use your teachings and apply it to their lives (which can be hard to do in those countries). I started reading your blog as a college student, currently reading as an engineer and will continue to read as a future business owner ;). Thanks again for all you do.

        • Bill Larson

          ICYMI (I did) Thomas Stanley died earlier this year (car wreck in a Vette) RIP. I guess he & Danko had a falling out at some point. Only read MND, need to read MM which I bought shortly after finished MND. I don’t fit these blog demos… yet.

        • Well, I did move from China to the US, so there’s that.

  • I was just responding to another question about this so I’ll repeat what I said to save time: It’s Big Data; the sort that allows Target to know a woman is pregnant by changes in her shopping patterns even before she, herself knows. For this particular post, the graphics were taken from Quantcast due to their visual appeal. Other observations come from supplementary data sets, including things like server logs and Google Analytics.

    • Mega appreciated. I really like how you broke this down 🙂

  • Abe

    In the next year I will have the opportunity to start my first business with an annual projected income (after taxes/expenses) of 90K, and I have you to thank for it.

    For the past year, there’s been an incessant voice nagging at me every day that I put in another 12 hour shift in a 70+ hour work week:

    “You’re crawling to your goal, Abraham, when you should be running. By the time you’re rich, you won’t be able to enjoy it.”

    That voice would then prompt me to further reflect on the two levers that would allow me to change my situation: Cash In & Cash Out. Unfortunately, I knew the “Cash Out” lever had been exhausted; I was already saving 60-70% of each paycheck and my lifestyle was far from lavish. That constant reminder coupled with the knowledge that my time on this earth is limited pushed me to seek out opportunities instead of lounging in my off time. It took a year, but the opportunity finally presented itself just last week.

    But, the truth, Joshua, is that I would’ve missed this opportunity had I not been exposed to your line of thinking. Had I never been exposed to your blog, I would’ve worked another 10-20 years in this same position – taking a pick axe to a giant mountain – because I would not have been aware that there was a better way, a quicker way. So, thank you once again for your blog and articles. You truly are a blessing to all of us!

    • Gilvus

      🙂

      • Abe

        Haha, thanks for the reply :)!

    • Mr.owenr

      Hello friend, may I call you Abe? You see Abe I read this comment and it has been in my mind for a long while now. I’m so curious to know more about your story.

      You wrote “You’re crawling to your goal, Abraham, when you should be running. By the time you’re rich, you won’t be able to enjoy it.” I’ve been repeating that thought to myself over and over as I go about my work. You see, the thing is, being told that my best efforts in life thus far amount to crawling towards my goals would depress me. I would get depressed a little bit more each day until I just can’t take (real and meaningful) action anymore. Did you ever experience that, and if so how did you overcome it? If not then what did you experience?

      I don’t mean to take away anything from your victory by asking questions, I’m just genuinely curious and interested because your story sounds fascinating (and useful).

      • Abe

        “…see, the thing is, being told that my best efforts in life thus far amount to crawling towards my goals would depress me. I would get depressed a little bit more each day until I just can’t take (real and meaningful) action anymore. Did you ever experience that, and if so how did you overcome it? If not then what did you experience?”

        My response to the realization that my best efforts are not yielding the results I want is self-directed anger/frustration; bear with me as I attempt to explain…

        My most recent endeavor at self improvement was directed towards my typing speed. I had never focused much on typing faster or more accurately. It’s a skill I’ve had for as long as I could remember. But, about 3 months back, I took an online typing test. (For those of you that are curious, here’s the link: http://typing-speed-test.aoeu.eu/?lang=en ) My first score was about 90 words per minute. I was aghast! How could it only be 90 wpm?! Sure, it was higher than any of my co-workers, but I rarely compared myself to my peers – I compare myself to the elite. For better or for worse, I always expect myself to excel at whatever I do. Whether that expectation is reasonable or healthy is unknown to me; it’s simply an expectation I have. So, I looked at the histogram on that same website and found that a high end typing speed was about 700cpm or 140 wpm. I made a decision that day that I would attain at least 120 wpm. So, what did I do? For the next month I typed incessantly. Every day at work I would warm up my hands with 2-3 typing tests. I never allowed the typing tests to get in the way of my 12 hour shift work, but every spare moment that I did have was spent typing. I took note of every single factor that played into my speed no matter how minuscule it might seem:
        – Posture
        – Music (Techno/Electric ended up proving best for the tempo I like to set. Favorite: Savant – Arrival)
        – Forearm fatigue (I lift weights, so attempting to test/improve my typing speed after a deadlift day was a no-no)
        – Typing the first letter of the word correctly or continuing to type it incorrectly despite the error (Interrupting the flow of your typing contributes to lower speeds more than anything else)

        Fast forward 1 month and I was consistently typing 120-130wpm. So, you see, my anger leads me to endless practicing of whatever I determine needs improvement. The first $500 dollars I ever lost in stocks led me to an intensive 6 month study of all things finance related: stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, business, taxes, etc.

        So, when you ask if I ever experienced depression, I can’t say that I did. I experience anger and frustration when I perceive my abilities as lacking or flawed. That self-directed anger/frustration leads me to undertake intense periods of practice and/or learning so that I may overcome my perceived inadequacies.

        Not sure if this was the answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps!

        • Mr.owenr

          Thank you!

  • Steven L. Pike

    On the issues of professions and income, I am curious about both of these, vis á vis the demographics in your blog readers.

    I am a marine engineer, and have the good fortune to have an above average income (>$150K/yr) and way above average vacation (6 months/year). I have been maxing out my 401(k), and have my wife maxing out her 403(b), for over 15 years, the last 10 of which we have been able to take advantage of the catch up provision. Starting from almost nothing 15 years ago, we passed $1,000,000 a couple of years ago, and I anticipate over $2,000,000 by the time I retire in another 5 to 7 years. I am also fortunate to have a well-funded multi-employer pension (with company and union trustees, making raiding of the pension fund virtually impossible).

  • Clint

    I happened to run across a Will Rogers quote today. “A man only learns two ways, one is by reading, and the other is by association with smarter people.”

    So yes, a meet up sounds like an excellent idea!

  • Lucrecia Mahmood

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