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Ticket to Ride and Opportunity Costs

Transcript:

What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video we are going to be talking about one of my new favorite board games, Ticket to Ride. I know I'm a little behind the 8-ball on this game. This game's been out for a while and I've heard it talked about a lot, but I haven't really played it. I just knew it was good.

Picture this: Here I am on a vacation with my family that's going to last seven days. It's a whole week vacation over the Thanksgiving week. As we get there we realize that Wi-Fi is decent, enough to maybe watch a YouTube video or something, but doesn't really support extended sessions of gaming or video conferencing - anything that would entertain me and break me out of the family -aden environment. A week is a really good amount of time to spend with family, but you have to do some things that aren't only family during that week, right? So we went and picked up Ticket to Ride as an opportunity for my brother-in-law, Matt, and myself to entertain ourselves a little. It gave me an idea.

Ticket to Ride is all about Opportunity Costs. Opportunity Costs are something that we talk about a lot in finance. In Ticket to Ride, you are placing your trains over the course of the game. You have the same number of trains as the other player, you have the same random chance of drawing a card that you need to place that train, and your opponent has the same amount of information that you do. The main limiting factor in Ticket to Ride is that you have a certain number of actions you can take on a turn, and that is one. You can do one thing to advance your board state or hurt your opponent's board state. So, that is an opportunity cost. Everything you do, you could have done the other action.

In finance, it's the same way. You know how many dollars you are going to be receiving as earnings in a given year - with a few exceptions - bonuses, raises, yadda yadda yada. For the most part, you know exactly what you're going to be earning that year. You have those dollars with which to advance your future or increase your current happiness. So that is the opportunity cost you are always managing whenever you make a financial decision. The question is how are you going to manage that opportunity cost, right?

In financial life planning, we look at it as this: "Does this action align with my values and the life that I want to be living?" So, does this action either make it more likely that I'll have the things that I want and need in the future or does this action increase the way that I'm living my life to align it better with my current values today?

There's a little bit on opportunity costs and Ticket to Ride. If you're ever going to beat your opponent in Ticket to Ride you have to evaluate exactly which moves you need to make in order to get the most points for yourself while denying your opponent some points. I hope this video was interesting to you and provided some thought-provoking content. If you'd like more of it, obviously you can like, comment, and subscribe or you can find your way over to my website for some other financial tips. Finally, thank you so much for watching. Have a wonderful day!

Gratitude - Happy Thanksgiving!

Transcript:

What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd! And guess what? Happy Thanksgiving!

This video is about gratitude because that's the day that it is. I think gratitude is something that's extremely important, so I'm going to use this moment as a platform to talk to you about why I think gratitude is important. This Thanksgiving I figured I'd share a couple of things that I'm grateful for in my own life and then talk about the practice of gratitude and what sort of ways you can practice it for your own benefit.

The first thing that I'm really grateful for is my wife. My wife is an amazing person who is going through some difficult times, but I am constantly thankful for the way that she seeks to give back to children and her community. And the ways that she cares for me. So first off, thank you Rebecca! The second thing that I'm grateful for is my family. My family includes some amazing parents, some wonderful friends some great siblings, and actually my wife's family, of course, my in-laws. I'm thankful for every one of them and the ways that they contribute to my life. Finally, in a little bit of a touching way, I wanted to take a moment to thank somebody who indirectly touched my life greatly. A gentleman by the name of Ed Jacobson, who is a mentor within the financial planning community, passed away recently. He was a mentor of my father-in-law's, who was a mentor of mine. I learned a lot about appreciative inquiry, or asking questions about what's good in the world and how we can get more of it, from his teachings. Whether it's the book Appreciative Moments, attending one of his speaking sessions, or talking to Steve about all the great things in the world... so I really appreciate Ed Jacobson and I just wanted to take a moment to be thankful for him.

You may be watching this and hearing all the things that I'm thankful for and saying "Oh that's great you know it's Thanksgiving we love to practice thankfulness!" but, I would encourage you to continue to practice gratitude elsewhere within your life. As a financial life planner part of the 'life planning' part of what I do is helping people understand the good things in their life and getting more of those good things. So, identifying what those good things are is a big part of that. Do you really love the relationships that you have? The place that you live in? The little things that you get to do each day? Your routines? All of those things are on some level important to you... and so be thankful for them. Write down those things from time to time. Whether you want to keep a journal of things you're thankful for or maybe don't, but there are a whole list of reasons, quotes, and things related to gratitude that demonstrate that having gratitude on a day-to-day basis is a good way to make sure that your life is more enjoyable and more beneficial to others. So, practice it. Think about the things that have made a difference in your life and be happy that you had them.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks so much for watching this video! I hope you enjoyed it and if you did please make sure to like, comment, subscribe, and interact with the video in any way that you want. Then make sure to find your way over to our website at openworldfp.com. There you can find the blog which features all the videos that I've produced, but then it also has a transcript of all those videos. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

Difficult Family Conversations

Transcript:

What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video, we are going to go back a little bit. At the beginning of the month I talked about running your household like a kingdom if you're going to be hosting. Well, there's some trouble in the kingdom because this video is on those difficult family conversations that can only possibly take place during the holidays. Whether it's politics, religion, or some other thing that's very near and dear to you, you may feel a lot of emotion around this time of year. So, here's a couple of quick tips to help you navigate that emotion.

Rule number one for difficult conversations around the family dinner table is very simple - if you raise your voice, you lose. This may seem counterproductive, because you want your point to be heard over all the chatter and discussion, but just know that anytime you get angry your points become less coherent. You'll speak less intelligently and you're less likely to get your point across in a way that doesn't offend anybody else at the table. If you're offended by something somebody else says that doesn't necessarily mean that you want to be offending the entire dinner table or making a scene.

The second rule of navigating difficult conversations with family is - listen for the pain. If someone is talking about a contentious topic, whether that be religion politics or something else, with a lot of emotion behind it there's probably a story behind their belief. Beliefs often come from a place of having an either extremely negative or an extremely positive experience. Often around politics, religion, or something similar there is a lot of pain there, so listen for it and identify it. If you can identify the pain in someone else's subject matter you make it a lot easier to proceed in the conversation without offending them, making the conversation snowball out of control, thereby leaving everybody feeling like the conversation went very, very wrong. So listen for that, it's there... trust me.

Rule number three of navigating difficult family conversations is - acknowledge the other person's viewpoint and get yours across in the same sentence, without diminishing either. You can have a contrary belief to somebody else at the table. I've never heard of anybody who had a family dinner table conversation around the holidays and completely changed their worldview based on it. So, I know that in some cases the views that are being expressed there are outdated or maybe so contrary to yours that it actually offends you, but keep in mind that you know shooting down somebody else's viewpoint is less likely to get them to change it. State yours in a positive way, state theirs in the best way that you can acknowledge it, and move past it, There's really not a whole lot that you're going to gain from a true argument at the dinner table.

This isn't really a rule, but always remember that you have the right to dismiss yourself. Whether that means going to take a bathroom break until the conversation is finished or just getting up from the dinner table to clean your plate.

Wrapping up this topic, these are the three simple rules for navigating family dinner table conversations, and these difficult family conversations wherever they happen around the holidays. They're not always that simple when you're in the heat of the moment, so just remember to take a deep breath and acknowledge that if it's some sort of bigotry or bias you are allowed to just walk away.

Thanks so much for watching this video! I hope you enjoyed it and if you did please make sure to like, comment, subscribe, and interact with the video in any way that you want. Then make sure to find your way over to our website at openworldfp.com. There you can find the blog, which much like this youtube channel features all the videos that I produce, but then it also has a transcript of all those videos. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

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