Re: AGING: perhaps we are over the hump

From: Max More (
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 12:58:39 MST

At 08:05 AM 2/16/2002 -0800, Robert wrote:

> I call
>this "The no-brainer strategy to becoming wealthy". It requires
>taking $100-$1000 and depositing it in a savings account or
>mutual fund and never withdrawing any funds from the account
>until the annual increase in the account value exceeds what
>one reasonably needs to live in the world. It is based on
>the idea that it doesn't require sophisticated investment
>strategies to become wealthy, it simply requires living long
>It would seem that Extropians/Transhumanists should be the first
>to recognize the paradigm shift and adopt this strategy. But
>I don't see any evidence that any of these individuals that I
>know have done so. So the "interesting question" is "Why
>is this the case?"

Robert, have you done any kind of survey of investing habits in our
community? (That would be an interesting poll for ExI-Community.) Perhaps
you have not seen evidence because you have not asked for it. Do you have
any evidence to the contrary?

I can say that I have been a net saver for the last five or six years.
First this was to dig out of $30,000 of credit card debt accumulated as a
grad student and as someone on a limited work visa. (For a while some years
ago I could *only* work for ExI at an extremely low salary.) Over the last
few years I maintained a high savings rate (though no longer 50%). It
hasn't come to much, alas, due to the steep tech decline of the last two
years, though I did have the foresight to be building two other more stable

As Hal noted, it really is *not* safe in the long run to invest and forgot.
Almost every country has been through periods where you were likely to lose
everything. The US is almost the only exception (if you'd stayed invested
through the Depression, you would have come out ahead within a decade or
so, longer if you only started investing near the peak). But your basic
point is right on. Again, Hal has a good point. You need to consider your
life-cycle (or trajectory). Saving heavily in early years of relatively low
income may not be optimal. On the other hand I would argue that (almost)
*always* saving gets you into a healthy habit. The amount can be varied
from 10% on up, but maintaining net savings means you are building personal
financial extropy year after year.

This topic is another one that cries out for a good Extropy article...
"Optimal Investment Strategies for the Very Long-Lived" or "Optimal
Investment Strategies for Negligible Senescence."

Robert, do you want to suggest wording for an ExI-Community poll? We could
get some better data.


Max More, Ph.D. or
Strategic Philosopher
President, Extropy Institute. <>

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