Investing in Change

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Investing in Change

Jamie Brown’s 24th reincarnation

All self-help books say the same: If you want to change your life, you have to start doing things differently. Ahhrghhh, okay, so taking two dogs and a lot of furniture and moving from the other side of the world isn’t change enough? Do I still have to do more?

Evidently, yes. And my first big change was to join the Irish Community for their rugby match against Samoa. I sat there in Hogan’s sipping a café con leche while all around me people were downing Guinness, and tried to get into this mysterious entity called rugby, which looked really painful and meaningless.

I asked the two women sitting next to me if they knew the rules, but they both said no. “It’s too complicated! I just enjoy watching it,” one of them explained.

Is this how it is with crypto currency? Does anyone understand how it really works? No one has seen it. Someone just – invented it. Who? And how could he suddenly decide that “this is now a currency, trust me”.

And how about the mining of crypto currency. How can you “mine” something that essentially doesn’t exist?
Does it wear out? There is only a limited amount of Bitcoins for example, but who is to say? Can’t someone just mine more, since they don’t exist anyway?

I was looking forward to finally having this and many other finance related questions answered when I met Jamie Brown [] at Saratoga Hotel last week.
Brown, a New Zealander from New Plymouth, is a financial educator who used to call himself The Hedge Teacher, but on advice from a financial expert friend who thought it sounded too much like something to do with gardening, he changed it to just his own name.

“I’ve had 23 professions, so far,” he mentions casually as we shake hands.
“I started as an auctioneer, no actually, before that I was a stock agent selling cars, horses, sheep… and stuff. And then I became a booking clerk for auctions. I did auctions all over New Zealand. It was fun! I’ve been a model, I have worked on oilrigs, been a dairy farmer… what else. Oh yes! I have been a gym instructor and also owned my own gym and health retreat. I am a clinical hypnotherapist and a holistic animal therapist.”

Wow. And now?

“Now I’m a hedge teacher. Among other things.”

Ah! So as if he wasn’t interesting enough in himself, here is the reason why I’m meeting him today: Jamie Brown is a man in whom every member of Olive Valley should take a keen interest. Put simply, he can help rescue you out of the seething, putrefying morass that is your personal finances.

How did this colourful and evidently multi-talented New Zealander end up on a Mediterranean island?

“I travelled here by bus – through Pakistan and India.”
It was in fact a common route for the antipodean young man of the time: Doing his OE. OE, Overseas Experience, is the New Zealand term for a kind of gap year in which young people leave the safety of the far-flung isles and go in search of work and adventure in Asia and beyond.

“I did my OE and never stopped! I tried to live in New Zealand again – and again – but was always pulled back to Mallorca as by a magnet.”

I was always pulled back to Mallorca”

Brown first came here as part of a yacht crew.

“I have always been on the water. In New Zealand I worked on boats, as part of a search and rescue team. When I lived in the Isle of Wight, I was also working on boats. Then, 14 years ago, I came to Mallorca three days before the Boat Show. After 1½ days on the island I had my first job! As captain of a super yacht.”

Brown met his Polish wife and they had a daughter. One day he realised that the investments he had made, or rather, let his financial advisor make on behalf of him, were dropping like anvils together with the [British pound?].

“I asked him What! Was going on! I was angry, jabbing my finger at him. Then I realised that three of my fingers were pointing back – at me! That was an epiphany. I started reading up on finance and how it all works. I read Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame), I ploughed through Dave Ramsay, Mario Oreggia, Fraser Brookes, Richard J Maybury, Russell Brunson And I started realising the realities of finance. And really: Savers are losers!”

I give a start. Is he looking straight into my soul, and bank account?

“Saving means losing money. With your money in the bank, you get no interest, so with inflation you lose year on year. Have you heard about FIAT currency? It’s the Euro, the US dollar… any money system that doesn’t have value in itself. It just exists on trust. If you have a lot of money in the bank, you have no guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. You’re actually much better off buying real, physical gold and silver – or real estate.”

Savers are losers!”

How about crypto currency? Isn’t that fiat currency as well?

“Yes, and no. Let me get back to that. You can check it on my website and on my YouTube course The Hedge Teacher (”
The latter link, incidentally, is to a video titled “Why the Education System needs Entrepreneurs.”

Doesn’t it just! Children nowadays don’t learn the first thing at school about how to live in the real world. At least I didn’t when I was young, apart from a brief stint sanding two pieces of wood and gluing them together to make a chopping board…

Brown has only been educating himself about finance and money for the last four years or so. Now he combines his deep knowledge about the human body and mind with his understanding of how the banking and monetary systems work, in his videos and live courses and seminars.

“Yes, when I first started understanding more about finance, friends started asking me to teach them because they wanted to know more. I have made a lot of information which I share, free.”

“I’m not here to heal or save people per se, but to help them increase their financial intelligence. I show them how to turn their own lives around by getting out of debt and cutting spending.”

And to achieve financial health, you must also be healthy physically and mentally, Brown, who does look the picture of health, says.

“I do yoga and meditation daily and hardly ever drink. I try to live as healthily as possible. And I try to give as much as I can. Did you know there are a lot of people starving, yes actually starving, here in Mallorca? Oh, but Mallorca is so beautiful. It’s full of energy, has great weather, everything I need is here. Every time I bring a yacht back to Mallorca, I feel I’m coming home.”

I can’t wait to watch the rest of Brown’s videos on YouTube, for when I got home that day, I realised I had completely forgotten to mine him for all his knowledge about Bitcoin!

Cecilie Gamst Berg
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