Money Lessons We Can Learn From The Roman Empire

During the Roman Empire, Emperors would tinker with the money supply through a process called “coin clipping.” They would collect coins from their people and mint them into newer coins with less gold or silver content, for profit. Eventually, too many coins existed, which devalued their worth and made it difficult for Roman citizens to survive. Thus began the fall of the Roman Empire.
It would be wise to go back in time and learn from the money mistakes made by one the greatest empires of history. Only in this way, will we avoid repeating their same downfall. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Philosopher, George Santayana.

Gold and silver coins during the Roman Republic

The denarius was the coin used for trade and contained 3.9 grams of silver. But it was Julius Caesar, the last dictator of the Roman Republic, who created the aureus coin which contained around 8 grams of gold. Gold coins were popular and widely accepted which made them easy for trade across Europe and the mediterranean. For about 75 years, economic stability reigned with the gold coin until the assassination of Caesar by the aristocracy. Caesar’s successor and grandnephew, Augustus, would continue on building the golden age and transform the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

Coin clipping during the Roman Empire

Sadly, it was Emperor Nero the first to engage in “coin clipping.” With coin clipping, the aureus was reduced from 8 to 7.2 grams, to 6.5 grams (under Caracalla), and 5.5 grams (under Diocletian). A replacement coin called the solidus was introduced, made up of only 4.5 grams of gold. Meanwhile, the denarius (silver coin) was reduced from 3.9 to 3.41 and only had traces of silver to cover its bronze core, which vanished quickly with wear and tear. Coin clipping would eventually reduce the value of the coins, the real wages of workers, while providing profits to the Emperor.

“Coin clipping reduced the aureus’s real value, increasing the money supply, allowing the emperor to continue imprudent overspending, but eventually resulting in inflation and economic crises, which the misguided emperors would attempt to ameliorate via further coin clipping.” Saifedean Ammous

The Fall Of The Roman Empire

With time, the Empire no longer had prosperous lands to conquer. This meant they could not collect payment to fund their wars or to fund their lavish lifestyle, growing military base, or the increasing number of citizens that were living off the emperor’s resources. All this strained the resources of the state beyond its ability to sustain itself. Stuck in a feedback loop, the Emperor would try to salvage its finances by further coin clipping, taxation, and often accusing a person of treason in order to confiscate all their assets. They even developed a two-tier system in which the government and military enjoyed the benefits of a gold standard, and the rest of the population were on devalued currency.

With currency becoming worthless, increasing inflation and taxation due to the Emperor’s over spendings, it was becoming impossible for people to survive as they were. People began fleeing to empty lands where they could at least have a chance of living in self-sufficiency and where they could be spared from having to pay high taxes on no substantial wages. Citizens of the Empire went from having wealth and being part of history’s greatest empire to now becoming serfs living under their feudal lords (serfs were agricultural labourers working on their lord’s estates). The Empire crumbled under the weight of its own recklessness.

Bitcoin Is The People’s Money

Coin clipping and the resultant inflation not only began the fall of the Roman Empire, but also destroyed the (economic) freedom of the Roman people. As we can see from history, state leaders habitually seek to monopolize the supply of money and tinker with it in order to finance their own needs. It’s a habit that remains with us today, when we see overspending by the government causing hyperinflation rates like in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Their mismanagement of money impoverished their people so much they can barely afford basic goods.

Because our monetary system has been in place for so long, it is almost intrinsically impossible for the majority of people to imagine an alternative system. One where currency is not managed, manipulated, or owned by our governments.Bitcoin offers this possibility because it is digital currency that is not owned by a central power. It is scarce and resistant to hyper inflation. And what this means is that it protects the people’s wealth against losing value. In other words, Bitcoin takes economic power and liberty away from governments and puts it back into the people’s hands, helping to avoid the same fate of the Roman people.

“This is why in a world, in a future, where we will have state money, we will have corporate money, Bitcoin is more like the people’s money. It is a way out. It is an alternative. If Bitcoin thrives, humans will have a money that can’t be censored by authorities, that can’t be devalued by governments, that can’t be monopolized by corporations, that can’t be easily mass surveyed, it can’t be stopped by borders and that can be accessed by anyone. And that’s why Bitcoin matters for human rights.” – Human Rights Foundation

Business Owners: Take Ownership of Your Pension

When you are self-employed and running your own business, the logistical and time pressures of your day-to-day operations can make it all too easy to neglect proper pension planning. Yet prioritising getting a financial safety net in place for your retirement should be top of your to-do list.
The responsibility for setting up pensions for self employed people falls on your own shoulders. What’s more is it can be difficult to know which private plan is the most appropriate for you as an individual without getting expert guidance.

Here are the key factors to consider when researching your options and taking ownership of your pension.

Finding the Ideal Plan

The benefit of private pension plans is that you have the choice of a wide range of options rather than being assigned a one-size fits all company plan as an employee. However, this means that finding the best pensions for self employed business owners is a matter of working out which features suit you as an individual. Helpful questions to consider are:

? How much can you afford to invest? ? What is the most tax efficient way for you to contribute? ? What is your attitude towards risk? ? How much income will you need in retirement?

Whichever plan you opt into, your aims should ultimately be the same: to take ownership of your future and ensure that you have a strong investment portfolio in place to meet your income needs in retirement.

How Much to Contribute

Calculating how much you can afford to pay into your plan is essential to getting the most out of your pension. Take a look at your current lifestyle, business expenses and personal spending habits and reflect on what you would like your retirement lifestyle to be like.

Your objective should be to contribute as much as you can comfortably afford. Pensions for self employed people are completely under the individual’s control. To secure a sizable pot, you need to take things into your own hands.

Tax Efficiency and Flexible Access

Another feature of private plans that you should check is whether you will have flexible access. Being able to withdraw tax free money from your pot when you need it, even before you have properly retired, is extremely important.

Contributing to a pension fund can bring significant benefits to your business and personal tax position. You should also speak to an expert about how best to structure your plan in order to achieve its optimum benefits.

Hire an Expert

Pensions for self employed people are a complex area, and they require extensive strategizing to get right. Hiring an expert to guide you can take out the stress of the situation and help you make an informed decision.

It is crucial to get proper guidance for a whole array of other reasons, too. You will want to stay compliant with tax laws while maximising tax relief, to ensure that your fund will continue to grow well over time, and to have support planning your finances and mitigating the risks of running out of cash later down the line.

When it comes to pensions for self employed business owners, there is no quick and easy answer. Nonetheless, with a little outside help from professional advisers, you can find the ideal private plan for you as an individual – and secure your future at the same time.

Author Plate

Claire Novakovic is the go-to expert for those who need advice on a pension for self employed business owners. As a Chartered Financial Advisor, she also holds the relevant FCA permissions to conduct pension transfer business including defined benefit schemes. Accudo Investments offers comprehensive independent financial advice tailored to each individual’s needs, using effective portfolio management and tax strategies to meet the needs identified.

The Importance Of Forex Trading Demo Accounts

Getting a free forex trading demo account is a very important first step for beginning forex traders. Finding one online is pretty easy as well. You do not have to pay anything which eliminates the risk involved. The beauty of the demo accounts is being able to to use fake money in the real markets.
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A lot of terminology is needed to be learned in order to trade forex properly. Usually within the forex market you will have a lot of free information and software that you will be able to use and learn from as well. This is how most traders start to learn the basics of the foreign exchange.

Taking your free demo account seriously is important when you begin to trade with it. Valuable skills and techniques will get developed as you do your trades. Those skills you learn will take you from a complete novice to a fortefied expert. Those skills will be with you your entire forex trading career as you continue to grow and build more and more skills.

Make sure to make real trades with your free account. A lot of people end up making trades they would not normally make since they are using fake money. If you lose you should treat it as a real loss and go through the trade you made to learn from the mistake. You will learn a lot from your mistakes which will make you a better trader.

If you do not have any trading experience at all then make sure you read all you can about trading forex. This will give you a better opportunity at succeeding in your demo account. You want to come up with an actual trading strategy first before you enter your first trade. Make sure you know why your making a trade at a particular price point, and have a plan for exit whether at a loss or profit.

If you can, try not to open a live account until you are successfully making winning trades with your trading strategy inside your demo account(s). It is very easy to lose money inside the real markets once you begin trading in there. Having a winning strategy in place will offset any loses you may experience and set you up for a profit. Overtime you will continue to learn, build your skill set and grow as a trader which will cut your losses even more.