The Voluntary Life: April 2013

28 April 2013

105 Crowdfunding Your Startup: An Interview With Kristov from Robber Baron Swag

This episode is about crowdfunding your startup. Kristov is one of the co-founders of Robber Baron Swag, an apparel startup that is using a kickstarter campaign to launch it's first t-shirt. In this interview, Kristov explains the origins of crowdfunding and talks about the benefits for entrepreneurs in financing their ventures using crowdfunding.

Show Notes:
Wiki page about Crowdfunding
Robber Baron Swag's Kickstarter Page

Podcast Episode

19 April 2013

104 How To Diversify Your Investments

This episode is about how to diversify your investments for lower risk and higher return. The issues covered include:
  • The problems with a simple "buy and hold" approach, whereby you invest all your money in your one favorite asset (be that stocks, gold or anything else).
  • The problems with the "market timing" approach to investing and why it doesn't work.
  • The benefits of diversifying your portfolio
  • How to properly diversify your portfolio by using different asset classes, rather than just different securities.
  • How to use rebalancing bands to harvest volatility, increase your return and reduce risk.
You can get more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio discussed in this episode in Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing" and in many of the previous Voluntary Life podcast episodes on investing.

As always regarding investment, do your own research. I am not an advisor and this isn't advice of any kind, it's just my own opinions based on my experience.

Podcast Episode

10 April 2013

103 Everything You Need To Make Long Term Travel Easy

It has never been easier to live and work abroad. If you are self-employed and work online there is nothing to stop you. Why nor sublet your apartment for a few months and live abroad in a fascinating (and potentially cheap) destination? Here is a list of all the things that make long term travel super easy:

  • Have your home post rerouted to friend (or commercial service) who scans it into a Dropbox account for you. If a friend does it, buy them a multi-page scanner for this.
  • Get a professional agent to manage the sublet of your apartment back home
  • AirBnB for renting longer term accommodation (especially for whole apartments)
  • TripAdvisor for short term hotel stays
  • Cloud services for file storage (e.g. dropbox, google drive)
  • Clound services for backup (e.g. Crashplan or Backblaze)
  • A small scanner app on your smartphone for scanning any paper you need to keep (receipts etc) when abroad
  • Get your online banking set up for all the transaction types you will need to do
  • Get your Credit/Debit cards set for use abroad
  • A password manager (e.g. LastPass, 1Password) for your online passwords
  • An E reader (e.g. a kindle, iPad) to enable you to read as many books as you want while you are away
  • A lightweight laptop for your work
  • A Smartphone with a nice camera for taking pictures and getting online
  • An external encrypted drive for local storage/backup
  • International plugs for all your devices
Please do post your own ideas for things that make long term travel easy in the comments.

4 April 2013

102 Five Years Abroad: An Interview With Phoenix Zerin

Phoenix Zerin is the author of the blog Five Years Abroad. He left his country of origin (USA) in 2012 to experience living abroad for at least 5 years. In this interview he describes his experiences so far travelling in Colombia, Paraguay and Chile.