It should be obvious by now, that I am no Einstein … but, we do share a couple of things in common, the least of which is that we both believe in the power of compounding: Einstein is alleged (there is some doubt whether this is even true) to have called it “”the greatest mathematical discovery of all time”, as well as “the greatest force in the universe”, and even “the 8th Wonder of the World”.
Whether that’s true or not, Einstein and I shared one other passion:
Albert Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life “in a fruitless quest for the fabled unified field theory” … this is the Mother of Theories, the one that ties all the other theories of physics (hence, the mechanics and origins of our Universe) together.
This is not directly my passion (I’ll come to that) but I have been dying to talk about this since I first saw a documentary that explained all of this … it just fascinated me, so I will bore you with it – with a weak promise of tying some sort of financial angle into it, just to reel you in to my own morbid fascination:
You see, the closest that modern physicists have come to tying up all the loose ends of science (e.g. what is the Big Bang? What came before it? How can a subatomic particle be in two places at once? etc.) was with the discovery of String Theory.
Once thought to be the Big Mama of science, it all came apart when the String Theorists all came to similar conclusions: these ‘strings’ could be mathematically ‘proved’ in 10 dimensions – therefore, the Universe is in 10 dimensions …
… the only problem was that there were 5 totally different sets of equations which all ‘proved’ the strings (albeit, differently) in 10 dimensions … 5 theories ain’t one theory; in fact, it’s almost as bad as none!
But, then a group of scientists working on proving gravitational waves discovered that their formulas worked well in 11 dimensions.
Aha! Now a group of ‘string theorists’ went ahead and re-worked the 5 lots of ‘string theories’ in 11 dimensions (instead of the original 10) and discovered that they were all the same theory!
The scientists who discovered this (while they were riding on a train to work, by the way!) described it as similar to standing at the base of a hill: depending upon which side of the hill you happen to be standing, the view could be very different … but, it’s only when you stand on top of the hill that you realize that you are looking at different aspects of the same landscape depending upon which direction you happen to be facing at the time.
Using this new insight, scientists are now working on solving the issue of ‘parallel universes’ (the theory says they exist); what happened to cause the Big Bang (it’s what results when two or more parallel universes collide: baby universes!); and, much, much more …
So, God lives in the 11th Dimension!
I promised a financial angle, but I can’t find one other than to share my passion:
Like Einstein, I believe that there is a Unified Theory, but of Personal Finance instead of physics.
I instinctively seem to ‘know’ this .. I have certainly profited from it … and, I have already written pieces of it (including a ‘schematic‘ of what it might ‘look’ like) …
… but, I don’t have it all well-articulated or nicely laid out, yet.
Yet, I believe that when we stand on top of that mountain, each of us will see that the various discussions on the sensible financial forums (e.g. blogs, books, etc.) – discounting the ‘get rich quick’ crackpots; various financial con artists; and the ‘one trick ponies’ (who luck on one way of making a little money, then proceed to create an information publishing empire from it) …
… are really just different aspects of the same sound financial framework.
If you look out at the “young and just getting started” vista, you will see one aspect; when you look at “work for 40 years then live quietly and comfortably” you will see another aspect; and, when you look in an entirely different direction you will see all of us in the “aim for a big Number and get there” group.
Same hill, same earth, but slightly different paths and different terrain to cross … same underlying ‘laws of finance’.
So, in encouraging me to keep writing this blog – and, in challenging, commenting, criticizing, supporting it – you are helping me to clarify in my own mind what this ‘unified financial theory’, if there really is one, might really look like.
When I can write the ‘equations’ out, you will be the first to know!
There, the ‘secret’ of why some rich, ‘retired’ guy is doing all of this – when he should be lying back in his hammock, drinking Pina Coladas – is finally out 🙂