Debt Isn’t Giving Us Freedom

Dear Reader,

I’ve made plenty of ‘fresh starts’ throughout my life.

You see, I didn’t have the typical childhood. Growing up in the same house and neighbourhood, having lifelong friendships…well, I never experienced much of that.

You could say my life has always been somewhat different from people around me, less traditional.

Due to my dad’s work, my family moved around a lot. We never stayed in the same place too long.

My childhood was constant change. By the time I was 18, I had lived in five cities, attended six different schools, and moved into seven or eight different homes.

But I wouldn’t change any of it.

I made plenty of friends around the world, many of whom I still keep in touch with. I got to experience wildly different cultures and lifestyles.

I learned that while most cultures may have travelled through different paths, most have arrived to similar conclusions.

Take Bulgaria, for example. It took me a while to realise that some doors unlock by twisting the key towards the lock, or that shaking your head means ‘yes’ and nodding means ‘no’.

And there are plenty of advantages on having a fresh start.

Fresh starts give you a chance to think about your old life, and reflect about what you would like to change in your new one. They give you the chance to start over, and choose to be a different and improved version of yourself.

Daily routine and responsibilities usually don’t give us too much time to think about what we want, or a chance to reflect on direction.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about direction lately. On desire, on what we’re really trying to create and achieve in life. How much freedom do we truly have in designing our own life?

Creating a fulfilling life for myself is my ultimate goal. Yet, isn’t it everyone’s goal?

Financial freedom is a path to achieve our goals

I heard a great interview this week from an Argentinean writer and historian on this exact topic. His name is Pacho O’Donnell. This is what he had to say (translated from Spanish):

A Shakespearean character says fate shuffles the cards but we are the ones who play. There are things where one is already very conditioned: social class, ideology, where he lives, where he was born etc. But there is a bit that depends on us. That little piece is what we can do in our lives…

This is the life we have, the only life we are sure of exists. The rest we will see. Let’s make this something really worth it. Dramatic would be that at the last moment of our lives we realise that we have lived thinking about what others would like us to think or doing what others would like us to do.

In this life everything is programmed so that one doesn’t come into contact with one’s own desire. We desire what others want us to desire. […]A very specific job, one we can do is to try and detect what our true desire is. What is that we really want.[…]

What is expected of you and what you really want to do. Doing what one has to do is very boring. It doesn’t move us, energise us. It’s a terrible the drama of someone who spends their life behind a desk making pretexts, because one always has excuses not to bet on their dream.’

What is our true dream? What does the life you want to live look like? Start by the end product and work from there.

As Pacho says, everyone has a dream, one that is already difficult to achieve. One where we already self-impose limits and create pretexts for.

Achieving financial independence gives you more options in achieving what we want. Or at least, it breaks down some of the limits. It gives us more freedom and flexibility to choose.

Financial freedom is a path to achieve our goals.

The economic model we are increasingly choosing to grow is based on excessive debt.

Since the 2008 crisis, we haven’t deleveraged our debt but have increased it. Today’s debt is higher than ever before. In the 10 years since 2008, global debt has spiked as a percentage of GDP from 280% to close to 320% of GDP.

In a scenario like this, debt isn’t giving us freedom, but becomes a burden against us and what we are trying to achieve.


Selva Freigedo
Editor, The Rum Rebellion

PS: Watch the exclusive video interview to learn why Harry Dent believes Aussie real estate is overvalued and how we could soon enter our first recession in decades by 2022. Watch the Video Now.

Selva Freigedo is a research analyst for The Rum Rebellion.

Born in Argentina, her passion for economic analysis started at a young age. Her father was an economist for the Argentinean governments and the family used to discuss politics and economics at the dinner table.

Argentina is a country with an unusual economic history. Growing up there gave Selva first-hand experience on different economic phenomena such as hyperinflation, devaluation and debt default.

Selva has also lived in Brazil, Spain and the USA.

Back in 2000 she was living in the US as the dot com bubble popped…
And in 2008 she was in Spain as the property market exploded and then collapsed…

She has seen first-hand what happens when bubbles burst.

Selva joined Fat Tail Investment Research’s team in 2016, as an analyst. She now writes from her vantage point in Australia, where she settled in 2015.

The Rum Rebellion