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Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

Happy Monday, my friends. Welcome to August, and welcome to another week of Apex Money. We’ve got some great stories for you this week.

To kick things off, here’s an interesting conversation from the /r/financialindependence forum on Reddit that touches on a topic that I think deserves more attention:

Financial independence and early retirement when coming from a collectivist culture. [/r/financialindependence] — “Often where people come from shapes their views on money. My family were immigrants to my country. From my reading and personal experiences, often in more collectivist culture, there is often a greater emphasis on sharing your wealth with family regardless of their contribution to the getting of that wealth. FIRE is a very individualistic pursuit, how do you navigate it?” This is actually one of the deep, ongoing philosophical discussions in the FIRE community: How do you balance what is, essentially, a selfish pursuit with a broader view of your community (and the world).

Buying into the market right before a bear. [The Simple Path to Wealth] — “What has happened these last six months is a perfectly normal part of the process. It has been mild as these things go, barely tipping into the -20% bear territory a couple of times. Much more gentle than the crash of 2008-9. It has happened before and it will happen again. And again. This is the nature of the beast.”

What causes a recession? [The Washington Post] — “A recession is caused when a chain of events, like a line of dominoes, picks up momentum and does not stop until the economy shrinks. Each event is connected to something that happened before and something that will happen in the future. If the price of a hamburger goes up, you might stop buying hamburgers. This would impact a restaurant, and that would impact a server. There are many interconnected chains like this throughout the economy.
The dominoes leading toward a new recession have started falling, but when will they stop?”

Our final piece for today is the traditional non-financial video. And this one is special. It’s a two-minute time-lapse of an acorn’s first six months of becoming an oak tree. I think it’s beautiful.

True story: I’ve been reading a great book called The Revolutionary Genius of Plants. It’s no secret that one of my personal interestes is animal intelligence. I believe that animals are far smarter (and leader deeper, richer emotional lives) than most people credit. Reading and learning about animal intelligence has naturally led me to the related field of plant intelligence, which is fascinating stuff. Plants don’t seem intelligent in a traditional, human sense, obviously, but that’s because they are completely different creatures. They’re like aliens from another world. Aliens that live and communicate in an entirely different way.

That’s it for Monday. I’ll see you tomorrow with more great stuff.