They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
So imagine my surprise when it was brought to my attention that the BBC has been adopting a news reporting format that looks
suspiciously strikingly similar to that pioneered by The Escape Artist.
You can see for yourself here whether this is flattery or not. Let’s just hope its a one-off and not as repetitive as the long-running Now That’s What I call Financial Independence! series.
Yes…The Escape Artist is back once again in the guise of a music critic from the NME…armed with earnest prose, tortuous metaphors and psycho-babble to review more classic songs about financial independence.
I Want To Break Free (Queen)
Here Freddie Mercury puts voice to that feeling that so many of us suppress. That vague feeling that there must be more to life than working a full time job to fund a mortgage, car payments and keeping up with The Joneses.
Some say that this song is not about financial independence but instead refers to a romantic relationship. But that’s clearly just psycho-babble nonsense with no empirical evidence to support it whatsoever.
Something Got Me Started (Simply Red)
Its normal to be frustrated with modern life but we usually need a push or a trigger to make real change. At first it may feel like you’re giving up something now (spending) to get more freedom in your life.
Human beings are naturally creatures of comfort, habit and routine. So if life is ticking along OK, we tend to work on auto-pilot, doing a mixture of what we’ve done before and copying what those around us are doing.
Complacency is the enemy. What will get you started on The Path?
Got To Be Certain (Kylie)
There is an emotional hurdle to be overcome to get started investing in the stockmarket. This anxiety often shows itself as procrastination.
There is no single right answer in investing. So don’t sweat the small stuff obsessing about micro differences between different global equity index trackers. There are no guarantees so you might as well dive in and get started.
Staying Alive (Bee Gees)
After you’ve got started investing, your next job is to stay in the game for the long haul.
The goal is not just to maximise your returns. If you have a “shit or bust” mentality you’ll probably end up bust. This is why you should probably avoid bitcoin, options trading, FX trading, spread-betting and other forms of short term trading favoured by Frankie Fuckwit.
Staying in the game means you continue to earn the superior returns of the stockmarket over the long term.
Self control (Laura Branigan)
We struggle with self-control. The good news is that everyone can develop more of this. It just needs work and reps to build better habits. Self control allows you to defer instant gratification for bigger rewards later. Don’t shaft your future self.
Willpower is easily exhausted. Better to control your environment to remove temptation. I know my weaknesses which is why I don’t store chocolate or alcohol where I can see them. This also explains why no one should hang around in shopping centres.
Everything She Wants (Wham)
For someone that was single, gay and rich, George had remarkable insight into the pressure that Walking Wallets find themselves put under. The pressure to be the (main) breadwinner and fund a pointless race to keep up with The Joneses. The pressure to fund children and the stresses that puts on a relationship.
Maybe all this insight had something to do with the fact that George Michael got fed up with carrying Andrew Ridgely?
You have to negotiate a relationship with your partner that works for you as well as for them.
She Works Hard For The Money (Donna Summer)
Lets be honest…we all have a choice who we shack up with. You should discuss your escape plan with your significant other…preferably before you get married or move in together.
Who / whether you marry has a huge impact on your chances of achieving FI. For example, having 2 spouses earning can make a huge difference (both before and after the nappy years).
Things change during the course of a marriage. I used to be a wage slave while my wife looked after the kids for several years. Now she chooses to do a (flexible) part time job and I’m proud of her for that…even if we’d be fine without her income.
La Isla Bonita (Madonna)
When you’re toiling away in The Prison Camp it’s tempting to imagine that all your problems will be solved by quitting work and retiring to the beach. Fine…but what do you then do for the next 40+ years?
You’ll still need something to provide you with challenge, meaning and purpose. If you’re unhappy at work, what will you do when you have nothing to distract you? Wherever you go, there you are.
At first we see Madonna in her decompression period, in her plain grey dress and sparsely furnished apartment, working through her emotional issues. Eventually though (and despite mixing extensively with the locals) Madonna gets bored and flounces off to the airport in her red party dress to catch a flight back to New York City.
Free (Ultra Nate)
Is it cheating to still do some form of work after financial independence?
Some fundamentalists say that you’re not allowed into FI Club if you still do some paid work.
How hard is it to understand that the point of financial independence is to be free to do what you want to do? If that includes some form of work or money making ventures after quitting your office job (and I would suggest it probably should) then it’s all good.