The Voluntary Life: October 2015

26 October 2015

225 Comparative Advantage Is Mind-blowing


This is a short episode to explain a key idea from economics. Comparative advantage is a simple idea, but its implications are mind-blowing when you really get it. It is a process that most people don't understand, but it is at the root of everything that we create. Comparative advantage is intimately linked to what it means to be human.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 225


19 October 2015

224 Ancient Vs Modern Ideas Of Liberty


This is a short episode to share an interesting idea from a book by Benjamin Constant called The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns. Constant was a French classical liberal writer who lived through the French revolution and the reign of terror. As he thought through what had gone wrong with the revolution, he came up with a distinction between two conflicting ideas of "liberty" that had influenced the people involved- an ancient concept of liberty and a modern one. I think his distinction is still useful today and can help make sense of the incompatible ways in which different people talk about freedom.

Show Notes:



Listen to Episode 224 (9 mins)




5 October 2015

223 A Guide To Passive Investment Portfolios: Interview With Tyler From Portfolio Charts


Portfoliocharts.com is a brilliant, free resource for passive investors. It provides a comparison of all the main passive investment portfolios using funky charts to visually explain the data. The site was created by Tyler, an early retiree with a background in mechanical engineering. Tyler created the site for fun as a personal project, but I think it is the best guide to passive investing portfolios on the web.

In this episode, Tyler gives his own take on passive investing and talks about how to use the portfolio charts site. He explains some interesting results from his analysis and shows how they challenge common myths about portfolios.

Show Notes:



Listen To Episode 223