One of the more interesting people I've met since moving to San Francisco is Ramit Sethi, bestselling author and blogger at I Will Teach You to Be Rich.
He takes an out of the box approach towards personal finance that resonates well with me. In particular I like how he focuses on conscious spending and automation. His stuff is extremely practical, to the point of sharing fill-in-the-blank scripts to be used when calling credit card companies and banks.
His advice is practical and immediately applicable, and he focuses on getting people take action and really improve their lives, rather than sit and read about it all day.
Needless to say, his stuff gets my seal of approval. He gave me an early look at some of the materials for his upcoming 6 week financial bootcamp and asked if I'd be interested in promoting it on my site. I liked what I saw, and felt like it could benefit my readers.
The bootcamp has a different focus each week, and is a mix of take home exercises (which you submit to Ramit and his crew for feedback), live webcasts with Ramit and some cool guest speakers, and a bunch of other stuff. In other words, it's interactive and engaging. He also backs it up with a 30 day money back guarantee (which I will also personally guarantee, since you might know me better than Ramit at this point).
To make things interesting, we decided to also do a contest!
Here's how the contest works:
Ramit and I played five rounds of Liar's Poker, a bar game played with dollar bills. On Thursday I'm going to post a video of our game. Your job is to guess the final score AND the last digit on each of our dollar bills from the final round of play.
So a sample guess would be: "I believe Tynan will win, 5 to 0, and the final two numbers will be 0 and 9".
Put the guess in the comments and make sure you've used a valid e-mail address.
Here's what you win:
The winner will join Ramit and I in either New York or San Francisco for a tea or latte. You're welcome to ask us anything and get some advice and coaching, or just hang out and chat.
If you can't meet us in NY or SF, we'll do a 30 minute or so conference call with both of us.
Here's a video of us talking about his bootcamp and the contest:
For more information on the bootcamp, click here.
Tynan wins 3-2
final numbers 1 and 4
this guess is based on hundreds of hours of analysis and astrological calculation.
5-0 Ramit, final numbers 1 and 3. Its raining in Flores, Guat, but finally found some decent wifi...
On Tuesday I announced a contest to help Ramit promote his upcoming six week financial bootcamp. The premise was this: we played five rounds of Liar's Poker, and whoever could guess the final score and guess the final digits on our last dollar bills would win.
Before I show you the video with the results, I have a few comments. First, I wish that everyone won who predicted I would win 5-0. If I had giant buckets of money, I would buy each of those people a baby elephant for a pet. I would also buy wild hungry crocodiles for each person who said that Ramit was going to win 5-0.
So who won? The ex professional gambler or the bestselling financial advice author? Well, I'm not going to tell you -- you'll have to watch the video and find out!
I walked into the airport in Seattle, ready to fly to San Francisco. I was checking in, and the kiosk I was using gave me the option to change my seat. I mostly fly on the East Coast, and really only on Airtran Airways, and on Airtran it costs money to change your seat. This time however, it was free, so I decided “What the hell” and hit the button. I immediately noticed I was in the back row, all the way on the left. There wasn't even a window, it was almost as if it used to be additional storage, but decided to put half a seat there to make an extra couple of dollars. There were two other seats open, one center seat about 3 rows from the back, and one in center of the very first row of coach. “Hot damn,” I thought, and I grabbed the seat at the front of coach.
I got onto my plane, and noticed there was no where in front of me to put my bag, and the flight attendant made me put it in overhead storage (which I hate using). The plane was about half filled when another guy who looked about my age (19) sat down in the window seat next to me. He had kind of scraggly, unkempt hair, and an earring that looked like (and probably was) just a woodchip through his left ear. He sat down next to me, and the flight attendant immediately yelled at him to put his bags up above. We exchanged grumblings about having to put our stuff up, and then we started talking.
“It's weird being in an airplane again,” Marty commented, looking around uncomfortably. “In fact it's kind of weird to be surrounded by people.” I asked if it was his first time flying, and he responded “No, I've just been... out of touch with the world for a while.” He then went on to tell me about how he had just spent the past four months by himself in a log cabin in the woods of Northern Minnesota, fifty miles from the nearest road. He told me about how he was in the backwater bar in Minnesota, talking to some loggers. This one logger was telling Marty about his grandfather had built a log cabin up north a long time ago, but no one had had time to go there in fifteen years. Marty thought about it for a second, and then asked the logger “How much?” The logger was a bit taken back, and replied cautiously “Nine hundred dollars?” Marty wrote him a check on the spot, and then met back up with the logger the next day for a topographical map. “It's the only way you can find it,” the logger said. Since it's so far from any roads, you have to find the right hills, follow streams and rivers, and take the correct forks. Marty got some equipment, and then headed off.
He arrived in the closest town (50 miles from the cabin) and proceeded to make three trips to the cabin. He was hiking the whole time, so he could only carry so much. He arrived towards the end of winter, and had some trouble the first month. He shot three bucks, but didn't preserve the meat of the first two correctly and the bodies were covered in flies and maggots within 45 minutes. The third one he did right, but had to dry the meat in a corner of his cabin for a month. He said “it smelled like a dead animal.” He paused, and then laughed and added “Well I guess it was a dead animal.” The cabin had a wood stove, a wooden desk, some candles, and not much else.
He spent a lot of time cleaning up the cabin and the surrounding area (no one had been there for 15 years), and spent the rest of his days hunting small game (rabbit, squirrel), fishing (in lakes so clear you could see 30 feet below the surface), and exploring. He told me about how he used a series of pink bandannas to tie around trees, so he could find his way home. When exploring, he'd tie them around trees as he was about to get out of sight of the previous one. On the way back home, he'd untie and collect them, leaving no trace he was ever there. When he arrived back home, he would sit at his desk and read books, write, and draw.