I've been creating these lists to get my creative juices flowing. It's an idea I pulled from James Altucher and it's been helpful to get the ideas in my head recorded. No idea is a bad idea, and that's what's been great about it. This list has some items that are already in motion, and some items that I would love to see change. It seems Coronavirus and the protesting have accelerated how we purchase, sell, interact, and transact with one another. More change is coming.
1. Higher Education:
Is the experience worth the cost? I’d say no. There is value to a college education but bringing education to the masses through tech will be worth a lot of money. The argument has always been about the experience, the networking, and it’s the end of our adolescence but with campuses not being “safe”, it’s a good time to push for online learning at a lower cost. Higher education is a monopoly, it’s a rip. It’s typically an 18-year-old college kid who’s trying to get laid and doesn’t fully comprehend the cost of what they are signing up for. It’s beyond our comprehension at 18 years old what we are doing
Why is insurance so goddamn confusing? Companies that can simplify this process and make it easier to obtain will make a lot of money. Lemonade seems to be creating this value
3. Opt-out 401K and savings plans:
It’s easier to get somebody to invest if they don’t have a choice. I would love it for companies to take this seriously. No extra paperwork, no timelines for new employees to invest. Just sign them up, and let them opt-out. This should be a part of the onboarding process.
4. Encouragement of a gap year for high school seniors:
Take your time and figure out what you want to do. Parents should be having this conversation throughout high school. They should also be evaluating their child’s readiness to start school, to move away from home, before taking on college tuition. If you aren’t playing a sport, it’s a serious consideration. There’s also no shame in going to a junior college for year one and year two.
I shouldn’t have a hard time convincing anybody after 100+ days by themselves. Life is lonely, careers are lonely. We go to happy hours to socialize. We thrive on human connection. Why not have human connection baked into your life The dream of living alone is great, and if you can do that, go for it. But sharing reduces the costs of living in a big city. Manhattanites don’t know any other way. It’s a way of life, but I think this will spread.
6. Pre-Tax Direct Deposits to student loans:
I want to be able to pay my loans off with pre-tax dollars. Just like I invest. I haven’t done the math about how much the federal government would lose, but it’s a compromise between doing nothing and forgiving an entire population that signed on the dotted line.
7. Incentivizing developers to create lower-income/affordable housing:
It’s my opinion that incentives drive decisions. Millions of people bought homes because of the tax advantages associated. Amazon was considering HQ2 because of the incentives each city had to offer. Incentives are powerful. Developers aren’t going to build out of the goodness of their hearts. And no matter how loving you are, neither are you. We have to incentive building in some way and the incentives have to be heavy. Either through tax advantages, through lowering the barrier of entry, or through really inexpensive financing terms. I don’t know but it isn’t coming unless Municipalities themselves decide to become the developers.
Investing platforms have continued to cram fees to the point that trading stocks are commission-free. Banks are notorious for charging silly fees to boost their earnings. I’m constantly working to decouple from larger banks. I’m really happy with Schwab. Schwab refunds ATM fees and there are no minimums to start the account. It’s glorious. I hate Bank of America with a passion. The constant bouncing around from one department to another is frustrating and I’m being charged a monthly fee to hold my own money. If it were easier to cancel an account, I would have done so already.
Investing is now accessible to EVERYONE that has a cellphone. Companies like ROBINHOOD have made it a lot easier to get people into investing. I’ve always argued that investing is like 365 days of Fantasy Football. We are seeing this play out now with Robinhood added 9 million subscribers in 5 years. One theory is that without sports, gamblers are putting their money into the market, getting their dopamine fix in a different game.