Author: Aaron Koo

Money Is the Root of What?

What is money? I mean, really, what is it? Do you remember Mindy from the Animaniacs cartoon? She had a quirk that would piss off any parent or anyone in close proximity to a baby around the age of two or three, and that’s asking a barrage of “why” this and “why” that. Let’s do exactly that and get to the bottom of this whole money business. Why Before What My beliefs dictate that the things we do, believe or say are secondary to the reason why we do, believe or say those things. So, when looking at what...

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What The Financial Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

In Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he breaks down the factors that make our decisions into six main areas: reciprocation, authority, likability, scarcity, social proof, and consistency. Our minds are designed to follow the path of least resistance and so, in virtually every part of our lives, we operate in auto-mode. We like to think that our decisions are our own, but science has a very different story. Since we’re unable to critically and fully look at every aspect of our lives and critically and fully examine every shred of evidence, we rely on those six...

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The Financial Armageddon Survival Guide

On September 6, 2012, the US government warned its citizens to be prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse. They encouraged people to stock up on food and water and anything else that would matter in a world where nothing was safe. As stupid as it may have sounded, it was really just a tongue and cheek way of saying that if you’re ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you’re ready for anything. So, what do you do when financial Armageddon comes? Read carefully… Mapping Out The Fallout A complete collapse of the financial system is a hard thing to...

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Investing: The Psychology Of Risk

I’ve never been a big stock guy. The same could be said for real estate or art or any other type of investment. I’ve always preferred to build my own business since, as ironic as it may sound, I’m very risk averse. At least with my own business, I know the variables that can affect it. I know nothing about real estate. I know a lot about stocks (which is why I’ve never been big on it). For the rest of the world, the situation is the same. Everyone has to find some way to build up equity. With...

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The Outer Limits Of Finance

There is nothing wrong with this post. Do not attempt to adjust what you see. We are in control. The stories you are about to read are true. They are six examples of ridiculous things that happened in the history of finance. This is… The Outer Limits Of Finance… I Hope You’re A Collector In the history of the world, there’s an endless supply of stories where central banks have mismanaged the money supply. It’s almost seems inherent. When money is mismanaged, it collapses and is basically worthless unless you like to collect old, pretty-looking pieces of paper. To...

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The Risk Of Being Safe With Money

I grew up in a pretty conservative home. My parents were very right-wing Christians and I remember them persuading me as a child to adopt the same conservative views. I think all parents are more right leaning when it comes to matters related to their children. If it wasn’t a pre-built survival mechanism, I’m sure the species would’ve died off. One lesson that my parents consistently told me was the idea of going to school and getting a good paying job. Keep low expectation and live within your means. Although I’ve pretty much done away with a vast majority...

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Where Does Money Come From?

When you were little, I’m sure like most kids you probably wondered where babies came from. You probably asked your parents and they told you about a pelican with a bundled up baby being left on the doorstep. As if to suggest that babies appear out of thin air. I guess parents still don’t feel confident that kids would understand or perhaps they feel insecure about letting their kids know about the facts. This is very reminiscent of the story of money. We go to work and get a pay cheque, deposit it, and we now have money. It’s...

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Understanding the ABCs of the GDP and CPI

The world is a big place with a lot of people in it. And these people wake up, go to work and make money. If you’ve never wondered or looked at the total amount of money that was made, I want to show you how to look at it and why it’s an important number to know. Not The Whole World Exactly For the sake of understanding, let’s stick with a single country. Canada, say. There are two numbers we’re concerning ourselves with here. The first is the GDP or gross domestic product. This is a simple number to...

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Singing the Minimum Wage Blues

My first job ever was working for my dad at his convenience store in West Vancouver. My first REAL job was being a busser (what they called service assistants or SAs) at a Bread Garden. The work was menial and the pay was low… just like anyone would expect from a job requiring no pre-requisite skills or knowledge. If you could spell your name, you’re in. At that point my career goals of being a chef were still very clear to me. I was going to cooking school and even had my first job lined up after I graduated....

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The Mystery Of Rising Gas Prices

When I was 15, I remember going to ICBC to get a book to study for my learner’s license. Once I passed, it was already agreed with my parents that they would buy my first car. I was pretty excited about the whole prospect. One thing that struck me, even amidst all this excitement, was what we could call the trend of ever-increasing prices at the pump. At the time, I remember sitting on the bus, going past a gas station with my buddies, staggering at the $0.35/litre signs. Just the year before, it had held pretty steady at...

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.