forums – this week’s content

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This has been the first week of the forum. Take up has been strong, with an average of 6-8 people joining every day.

To put that in perspective, our YouTube and mailing list both have audiences of 2,700-3,800, and started out growing by 3-5 per day.

We fully expect, therefore, the forum to eventually have thousands of members, and tens of thousands of pieces of content.

Getting in now, and building your profile, will allow you to have more reach and influence once the forum picks up stream in the coming months and years.

As the forum gets more competitive, in comparison, it will become harder to rank highly on a range of topics.

To join the forum, and contribute, click here. It is free, quick and efficient to join.

If you want me to answer any questions on Quora or YouTube, or you are looking to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me, email ( or use the WhatsApp function below.

Below is some of the content from this week’s contributions

Success Habits – sub forum

For me, the success habits that have helped me most are:

For me, the success habits that have helped me most are:

1. Don’t let negative people hold you back.  There will always be the negative people in life. Sometimes negative thoughts are internal as well, and we doubt ourselves. Beyond that, more successful people will get more criticism than those who aren’t successful. It is important to take constructive feedback on board but not to let it affect you. Getting rid of toxic people, ideas and thoughts and replacing them with better ones is essential.

2. Focus on leverage. By leverage I don’t necessarily mean leveraging money (debt) to make more money. I mean leveraging time with compounded investment returns, other people in business and so on.

3. Work on skills.  Improving communication skills, financial management and business skills are good “wins” in business.  University is the start of the learning process, not the end.

4.  Focus. Procrastination and “doing something tomorrow” kills productivity. It is part of human nature too, so we need to find ways to get into the habit of doing things today. 

5. Taking calculated risks. It is best to take more risks when you are younger and can afford to take them in your 20s. Looking back, this was one of the best decisions of my 20s, and I did it subconsciously. Yet we always need to take calculated risks. Often when we think we are taking no risk, we are actually indirectly taking more. Doing nothing is sometimes riskier than doing something.  Keeping money in the bank is riskier on many levels than investing it.  Staying still in business, or your day job, can indirectly be riskier long-term. There is always a balance though and taking too much risk, when it isn’t calculated at all, doesn’t make sense. Most people are too cautious when they don’t need to be.

6. Playing the numbers game and persistence – no matter how hard we try, we won’t usually succeed first time. Many successful people took five, ten or even twenty years to reach their potential.  So, if somebody is persistent and tries many ideas (the numbers game) it can help a lot.

7. Never stop raising expectations and ambitions – if we get arrogant and complacent if success is finally upon us, we lose motivation.  A great way to stay motivated is keep raising expectations.

8. Look after yourself.  Your physical and mental health is important to success in the long-term.  

9. Look after your network.  Most people’s opinions are irrelevant and won’t affect you. A very small percentage of people are important.  That could be your clients, or anybody else.  

10.  Remember some productivity rules. The 80:20, 64:4 and 50:1 rules are important. Up to 50% of success will come from just 1% of activities. Most of your success will come from doing just a few tasks.  Learning to say no to unproductive tasks is also important.

What is your list?

In one of my most watched YouTube videos, I speak about 9 things stopping people from achieving success, and 9 millionaire habits which have helped me.

Which habits have helped you?

Business and making money online sub forum

What are some of the best websites for earning money online?


Those are the three biggest ones that I have heard about. 

It depends on your skills though. If you are a teacher, there are many freelancer teacher websites. The same if you are a graphic designer, consultant etc.

Spending habits sub forum

What are some good ways to spend less money without affecting quality of life?

Great question. The most obvious one is ignoring any peer-pressure related spending and learning to say no.

Many people spend on things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t even like. Social media has only made that issue larger. 

I would also think about what do you really “need”. What did lockdown teach people? Well many of the things we think we “need” aren’t 100% needed. 

Look at costs like 

1. The journey to work in an office 
2. All the associated costs with that 
3. Going to bars or restaurants numerous times a week 

Now we feel lucky to go to cafe or restaurant once a week, and many people realise they can work from home.

I would start by:

1. Writing down everything you spend money on
2. Just randomly eliminating some costs and see if you really miss them. Start with just 10%.

Other tips include

1. Use cash more than card. Studies show it saves you 2%-5% without you even trying hard 
2. Invest one day after you are paid by direct debit. People can save and invest up to 300% more by investing at the start of the month rather than at the end of the month.

ETFs – sub forum

Is it easy to buy ETFs outside of the US?

It depends where you are based. Let’s simplify this with the colours we know on traffic lights:


Green countries would be in the EEC, Australia, Canada and most other developed countries. In these countries you are spoiled for choice, which isn’t always a good thing as it could lead to analysis paralysis.

In amber countries, like in some developing and mid-income level countries, there are plenty of options, but they are more limited, and you might need to go through advisors. 

In red countries, like Iraq, Iran and many war-torn and US-sanctioned countries, it is extremely difficult to do it properly.

Banks – sub forum

Are digital banks a good alternative?

I have found banks like Revolut and TransferWise (they do now offer pure bank account), are far superior to the traditional guys.

They are:

– Quicker 
– More efficient 
– Cost less money 
– Can often deal with non-residents 
– Have fewer conflicts of interest than the traditional players.

There are drawbacks though. In this video on YouTube I spoke about some of the drawbacks associated with TransferWise even though they are great. Revolut has less restrictions than TransferWise, and so can be great for personal and even business banking. 

Let’s see though if the service level gets worse as they get bigger.

Property sub forum

Does property really only go up?

Not always. But people expect it to go up enough, or ‘patiently’ wait until it does finally. It applies to people who have a property as an investment, not a primary residence.

Yes, property doesn’t always go up. There have been numerous countries where that hasn’t happened. What tends to be more common is indirect losses whereby the capital values increase but the costs eat into those returns.

Those costs can include:

– Taxes 
– Maintenance fees and insurance 
– Foreign exchange if you buy overseas
– Even time as indirectly time is money. It takes longer to deal with property than stocks. If you outsource the process to a firm, this can add up to 2% per year to the cost.

I have lost count of the number of expats in particular who have lost money in markets such as Dubai, Jakarta and beyond.

Property vs stocks – Which investment does better long-term?

Long-term, direct property has lost out to stocks, especially once you consider the net fees like tax and maintenance, which can be huge. In the UK, to give one example, the costs of owning a property are:

0%-12% to buy 
1%-2% per year to maintain on average 
28% on capital gains which is higher than stocks and ETFs and for that matter 28% higher than holding stocks in a tax-free ISA 

The UK might be an extreme case, and in some countries like the US, property can be tax-efficient. Moreover, you can get lucky with properties.

I have ran out of the number of people who have got in the right market, at the right time. 

Yet long-term, the markets tend to outperform as per the graph below:


We also have to consider that with Covid and a work-from-home trend, real estate is looking riskier than before. 

REITS, in comparison, can offer great diversification. It is property…..without the hassles, costs and often excessive taxes.

Savings & Investments – forum

Are savings accounts always a bad way to “invest”?

In pretty much every country in the world now savings accounts:

– Pay less than inflation 
– Have hidden risks like currency risks 
– Have relative risks like losing out to assets 

Interest rates will be low for years due to Covid. You are getting the worst of both worlds with savings – less returns and ironically more risk (indirect and hidden risks linked to inflation and currency). 

Remember these losses to inflation also compound. Losing by 2%-3% per year is up to 40% in 12-13 years.

I think savings and investing should be used for different purposes. In the past, I had only savings account because I didn’t know the difference and genuine ‘investing’ was something for other people than myself. It was considered as a safe way to ‘keep’ my money. However, now I realised that is not true and my ‘investment’ has been growing, not just staying as is.

What are your favourite methods of saving and investment?

There are many different ways to invest money:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Indexes
  • Bullion
  • Cash savings account
  • Fine art
  • Collectables

Please tell us what your favourite way of saving is and perhaps we can have discussions over the benefits and drawbacks of each method 

Stock-market linked ETFS with some in bonds too. Collectables and commodities don’t pay much long-term.

It also depends on how much you are willing to risk. If somebody is 18 and has 1k, it isn’t the end of the world if they lose everything buying one individual stock.

They won’t regret it at 30, 40 or 50. 

If you are 62 and have just retired due to a heart problem, you can’t take that much risk.

So, the likely risk-adjusted return gets more important the more you have and the older you get.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

Financial Planner - Adam Fayed

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 231.2million answers views on and a widely sold book on Amazon

Further Reading

In the answers below I spoke about:

  • I was asked “what is your biggest financial mistake and at what age did you make it?”. How did I respond to this question? I give an example of another person I know to illustrate a common mistake that I have made, and so have many others. 
  • What do people get completely wrong about investing in the stock market? I give a few examples including the idea that stocks markets are risky, Japanese equities have been a terrible investment and you need to be super smart to be a good investor.
  • What are the advantages of keeping cash over investing in the stock market, considering it carries so much inflation and devaluation risk? Can I even think of one?
  • Is it possible to earn 30% in a day in stocks? Some people are under the impression that this is possible on a sustained basis, but is it really true? If it is true, why isn’t Soros, Buffett and others getting on the gravy train?

To read more click below:

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