Managing your wealth

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
lostitude
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 am

Re: Managing your wealth

Post by lostitude » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:07 pm

Thanks everyone, but I still feel uncomfortable despite your explanations.
As long as you have money, you can increase it, you can lose it, it's there and it's yours. That's a huge thing you are not letting go of and it's rooting you to material life, because you depend on it entirely for your subsistance. I want to discuss this here because I'm hoping to find a counter-argument to this view but so far the points I have read, though they seem very sensible, still do not really convince me that it's ok to try to renounce the world and still hold on to money. I can't imagine how this can lead to nibbana...

dharmacorps
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Managing your wealth

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:00 pm

I think the lessons I have learned from the suttas is to be frugal, generous, and ethical with your wealth. Don't squander it and do good things with it. The Buddha's advice about money is very practical and holds up to this very day, even the advice about saving portions and spending portions!

SarathW
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Re: Managing your wealth

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:09 pm

still do not really convince me that it's ok to try to renounce the world and still hold on to money.
This is a different question.
If you are a Buddhist monk who took ten precepts, you are breaking the Vinaya rules.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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one_awakening
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Re: Managing your wealth

Post by one_awakening » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:08 pm

lostitude wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:07 pm
As long as you have money, you can increase it, you can lose it, it's there and it's yours. That's a huge thing you are not letting go of and it's rooting you to material life, because you depend on it entirely for your subsistence.

...still do not really convince me that it's ok to try to renounce the world and still hold on to money. I can't imagine how this can lead to nibbana...
What you say is correct, but remember you're not meant to renounce and give up everything in one go. It's a gradual process. So just keep practicing and the attachments you have to things like wealth will fall away naturally over time.
“You only lose what you cling to”

thepea
Posts: 902
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Managing your wealth

Post by thepea » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:45 pm

lostitude wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:07 pm
Thanks everyone, but I still feel uncomfortable despite your explanations.
As long as you have money, you can increase it, you can lose it, it's there and it's yours. That's a huge thing you are not letting go of and it's rooting you to material life, because you depend on it entirely for your subsistance. I want to discuss this here because I'm hoping to find a counter-argument to this view but so far the points I have read, though they seem very sensible, still do not really convince me that it's ok to try to renounce the world and still hold on to money. I can't imagine how this can lead to nibbana...
Why do you have to renouse the world entirely?
Why not live your life, get a job, support yourself and those around you as best you can. Live frugally and simply if you can and for periods of time renounce the householders life and do retreats. Bit by bit you let go of mental stresses and learn to live and thrive as a layperson who can really thrive and be of use to those around them.
If a time comes and you feel ready to give up the householders life and you have no one depending on you then go be a monk if this is suitable.
Just don’t use this teachings as an excuse to not go out a be a productive member of society, you are meant to work and work efficiently with this teaching.

SarathW
Posts: 10513
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Managing your wealth

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 pm

you are meant to work and work efficiently with this teaching.
Agree.
You have to work even if you become a monk.
Some monks work tirelessly propagating Dhamma.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Managing your wealth

Post by DooDoot » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:38 am

lostitude wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:40 pm
What is the proper attitude to adopt toward your material wealth? By that I mean your savings, maybe the house or the flat you own, and more generally any kind of investment for your retirement, for your future, or to optimize your revenues.
There are many suttas on this, such as AN 4.62 and DN 31. AN 4.62 praises the debtless ownership of wealth obtained in a blameless manner. DN 31 apportions 1 part of wealth for spending, 1 part for saving and 2 parts for reinvesting.
I'm in the process of investing in real estate in order to secure my retirement (as a freelancer, I don't have a retirement plan with an employer), but at the same time I find myself thinking about this very frequently in my daily life, woried about whether I'm making the right investment choices, etc., and I do think this is a major attachment in my life, stemming from general anxiety about what the future holds.
"Money" & "investments" cause anxiety because money ("livelihood') is necessary. When there is not enough money, as Buddha said (somewhere): "Poverty is the worst suffering". When we read the suttas, we find when the Buddha met a monk, he would ask: "Do you have sufficient requisites; are you obtaining enough requisites?". "Investments" are a worry when something is purchased that is expensive; i.e., purchased motivated by the fear of missing the opportunities in investment bubbles. While I am not an investment advisor, depending on where you plan to buy, now might probably not the ideal time to make property investments because the Trump tax cuts have and will likely cause higher interest rates (because the US govt must raise interest rates to attract buyers for its government bonds to service its record and increasing govt debt). In the USA and Australia, property prices are falling and might further fall as interest rates increase. The banks on the Australian stock market fell 3% yesterday due to an OECD report about the Australian property market bubble fueled by low interest loans. Below is an email reply I received from a professional, who recently wrote a newspaper article in Australia's leading financial newspaper:
I read your article today. Could you kindly briefly answer three questions for me.

1. Must US interest rates rise to attract more US govt bond buyers (particularly considering the weak take up of recent US bond issues)? Or is there another way to fund the $22 trillion US govt debt?

The budget deficit could conceivably be funded by ‘printing money’ ['quantitative easing'] if the Federal Reserve felt so obliged. This, however, is a path fraught with difficulty as countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe have discovered recently and as Weimar Germany also illustrates. Of course, the notion that interest rates / bond yields need to rise to fund a higher budget deficit is a ceteris paribus one but in the current circumstance it is a good first order approximation of what is needed (and has been needed) to fund the higher budget deficit.


2. Why does the AUD dollar fall when the interest rate differential between US & AUS increases? Is it because interest yield investors seek higher US interest rates?

Yes. Again, however, the notion is a ceteris paribus one. Other factors may come into play to either mitigate or exacerbate the move (e.g. commodity prices, financial crises, global growth cycles, geopolitics etc.).


3. If this is so then how can the Australian government attracted buyers of Aussie Bonds if the RBA interest rate is 1% or 1.5% below the US interest rate?

A few of reasons. First the Australian federal budget is, to all intents and purposes, in balance and the relative (to the US) funding requirement is much less and so, therefore, is the incremental yield needed to attract the marginal buyer. Second, the RBA policy rate is not the sole determinant of bond yields. This is reflected in a steeper yield curve in Australia. That is, at 1.5% the Australian cash rate is 75bps below the US Federal Funds rate at 2.25%. The Australian 10 year bond yield at 2.70%, however, is ‘only’ 35bps below the US 10 year bond yield at 3.05%. Third, as US bond yields have risen, so have Australian bond yields been dragged up to attract that marginal buyer. The quantum increase however has been less. For example, the US 10 year yield has risen around 70bps over the last year while the Australian 10 year bond yield is up by a little over 10bps.
:alien:

So I'm wondering, if a Buddhist wishes to make headway toward liberation from all attachments, how do they deal with that specific attachment? I don't see myself relinquishing everything I own, only to regret it later.
Personally, I suggest the teachings about non-attachment are not for this purpose. The Buddha taught about the four requisites of life (food, clothing, shelter and medicine) which must be obtained. Also, if you simply view a few monastic building projects, you will see monks raising millions of dollars, buying large country properties and building quite luxurious (although simple) dwellings. Monks don't attach to wealth because they often have so much wealth but don't work hard to acquire it. Simply give a few dharma talks to wealthy people about giving to monks for rebirth in heaven. A certain Western monk developed repute for his 'missionary efforts' to wealthy Singapore and Malaysia.
I'm also thinking this must be a thorny issue for would-be monks upon ordaining: do they really let everything go, including their savings account? Do disrobed monks go back to laylife with no money? If not, how do they manage going on alms rounds while still having maybe several thousand dollars in some bank?
Monks life is a training. Imo, it does not matter if you have wealth because going on alms round will still generate a sense of humiliation. I think after a few years of monkhood, a monk will know if it is long term. Then he might relinquish his wealth.

Kind regards :)

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