Murder Your Unicorns: Warren Buffett Eats Zuckerpuffs For Breakfast

“Kill all your darlings.”
-William Faulkner

--Imagine an epic battle to the financial death between Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. (Best mental picture of 2017.)

Who do you think would win?

(SPOILER ALERT: Buffett eats Zuckerpuffs for breakfast. Obviously.)

Buffett’s not a magic man by any means.

His secret sauce, like many geniuses, is that he simply loves to do what everybody loves to hate…

The man loves his accounting. For him, it is an art. In his eyes, well-balanced books are masterpieces. And he has a great eye for the chef d’oeuvre.

Zuckerberg, on the other hand, represents a different model of moneymaking. Which is, of course, the startup model.

The Buffett model is based on checks and balances — on double-entry accounting — on being in touch with the real world of real (and finite) things.

The Facebook model — the modern startup model, that is — is based on white-knuckling the handlebars, burning money and making a whole lot of sacrifices to the Startup Gods in hopes that Lady Luck bestows you with her blessings.

One of these models, if applied to your entire life, will almost guarantee growth. The other, on the other hand, will almost guarantee you will crash, burn, curse the Gods and cry.

We trust you can tell which is which. The next question, then, is how to implement it into your life without wanting to rip off your fingernails.

Well, you’re in luck.

In a moment, we’ll give you five ways to “hire” Warren Buffett — and fit him in your pocket — so he can show you ‘The Way.’

Before we get to that, though, we must first understand why his model of accounting is so important. Not just in your finances, either. But in all aspects of your existence.

“Accounting,” Exosphere’s founder Skinner Layne, says during an interview with Borderless Podcast, “is one of my favorite subjects.

“It’s probably a strange thing for someone to enjoy talking about, but I see accounting as a greater metaphor for a lot of things in life. We’re not just talking about doing your bookkeeping and paying your taxes in the right way kind of accounting. But literally understanding that a debit on one side has to be a credit on another side. The meaning and power behind double-entry accounting I think can be applied to a number of things in life and business beyond just dollars and cents.”

The idea that all startups should strive to burn a lot of money in order to get big as quickly as possible without worrying about bringing in revenue…  [taking a breath]… in the hopes of a BIG payday is, to put it bluntly, fantasy.

And it almost always guarantees failure.

“This is, in a sense, a Roman startup model,” says Skinner. “The Roman empire expanded not by being good at science. Not by understanding nature. Not by figuring out ways to reduce costs. But by building a lot of infrastructure, more or less forcing people to use that infrastructure, taxing them for it and continuing the expansion in the hopes that they don’t run out of places to expand to.”

The Roman model, Skinner explains, isn’t unlike the way the Google, Facebook, Uber and Amazon plantations operate: “They are large infrastructure plays — you can think of them as the Roman roads. They more or less force people to  use them because they are the better forms of infrastructure out there, and then they levy a tax.

“In the case of Facebook and Google, the tax comes in the form of advertisements. And being spied on. So it’s not a financial tax. It’s a tax on your freedom and your privacy. So this model, of course, could only sustain so many companies. You can only have so many empires building roads until people say we just don’t need any more roads.

If you’re starting a business with the unicorn startup model as the navigating star, Skinner argues, “then you would almost be as well off buying a lottery ticket. And statistically, anybody who is just basically good at math knows this is just never going to pay out.”

By doing the accounting from the start, though — by understanding how means turn into ends — and by monitoring every cent and step along the way… anyone… anyone… anyone can place him or herself in a position of growth.

So, we ask again: Warren Buffett… or Zuckerberg?

“If I had to put my money on which one would work if replicated 100 times over,” says Skinner, “every single time I’d put my money on Warren Buffett.”

Do you agree?

If yes, we have a gift for you, courtesy of Anna Ylönen of CoinTelegraph. (If no, we’re working on a digital temple where you can sacrifice your hard-earned fiat to the Startup Gods with the click of a mouse.)

Below, in today’s feature article, Ylönen will show you five ways to fit the man, the myth, the legend… Mr. Warren Buffett… in your pocket — via simple and practical financial technology.

That’s right, Ylönen’s going to show you the five best personal finance apps of 2017.

Murder your unicorns. Balance those books. Build masterpieces.

And read on.

Practical Fintech: 5 Best Personal Finance Apps of 2017

Anna Ylönen

According to the statistics, people waste up to 30 percent of their incomes simply because they do not control them. And by controlling we understand writing the expenses down, keeping them in a notebook, charts on PC or as fintech would suggest — having an app designated for it.

Cointelegraph introduces five popular apps for keeping your expenses in order. The selection was made according to the amount of downloads and rates of the users.

The creams of personal finances apps you could ever encounter are presented by some peculiar characters. Are you more like Louis or Taylor, or maybe you have some resemblance with Misha’s attitude to counting down your money?

Find yourself in these five types of personal finance app users and choose any. Detailed information, nice visualization or more analytical features, they are all here at your disposal. Whatever app you choose, brings you closer to the perfection on a way to keep your balance positive.

Mayvio Budget – a sleek way to budget

Who should use it: old school users, nostalgic iPhone 2 lovers and simple design appreciators.

Saara always loved to keep all the receipts in one folder; she even found it exciting, to say the least. So her story of keeping debit and credit clear has started a long time ago when she earned the first dollar. First, it was a sort of accountant book, then Excel and now she switched to an app reminding her of the old times. That is why she picked the Mayvio Budget app.

The interface of iPhone 2 makes you feel like you are a decade back in time but for Saara, it gives the feeling of security and is indeed soothing.

Hitting the + Add button brings you to the tab where you can choose whether to add income (green field) or expense (red field), add the amount, choose the date (if the transaction was made earlier) and write the comment. There are no presets for the categories, so everything you input you need to describe manually in the comment field. The way to add income does not come naturally: you need to hit the wallet icon of Cash and choose the Other incomes from the list.

The good thing is that you can add recurring expenses in the app and it will remind you about them. Also, the report of the financial statistics of the month is not overloaded with information, just the two slices of the pie chart. Clicking one of them you get the actual list of incomes and expenses made during the selected month.

In general, the Mayvio app is the digitalized version for a personal accounting notepad. The popularity of the app says that it is not all those fancy and designer interfaces that rule the world of fintech. There is still a great share of users who like it the hard way and who want to take control in their own financial statement.

Title: Mayvio - Description: Mayvio

CoinKeeper – keep your coins safe

Who should use it: control freaks, freelancers, people who have many sources of incomes and not just one job.

Louis is a very fastidious guy. He always looks neat, talks flowers of speech and just loves abundance in everything. Including information of all sort.

To keep his personal finances under his rigorous control he uses CoinKeeper app. There he can indulge in all sorts of categories and income source creation to his taste. You would not be surprised he has plenty, would you?

CoinKeeper allows to create various icons for Incomes including cash, bank transfers and other sorts of benefits and Spendings subcategories, so all that you would need is to drag one of the income pictograms to the expenditure one to “swallow” it. The sound of coins ringing is so realistic that it actually makes you acknowledge: the money has gone. Dzing!

After this manipulation, you should actually input how much of the money there was.

The opportunities to analyze personal debit and credit is also vast. Louis appreciate it since he can see the charts on incomes and expenses, cashflow and net worth for any period accompanied by the list of products and services purchased. In the end of the month, cash flow is high because it is rent payment time. It makes the chart even more beautiful.

The name of the app Coinkeeper says for itself, it is not only about spending but keeping. That is why on the main tab there is always balance number as a mute reminder of what ​fina​ncial free​dom​ you have got. Additionally, it allows to plan the expenditures for the future and sends a notification on your monthly balance.

Title: Coinkeeper - Description: Coinkeeper

Visual Budget – visualize your budget

Who should use it: pie chart lovers, creative and/or analytical minds.

Misha loves pie charts and graphs. He often saddens when the graph hits minus. However with his careless spending he allows himself at times it is clearly seen in the .

After the bad times come the good times, and the balance raises up again.

The list of expenditures looks like that in the Visual Budget:

Title: Visual Budget - Description: Visual Budget

However, the logic of inputting the information is a bit different from two previous apps. Here we firstly choose the category and then open the card of the expense unit. The information about each and every expense can be just the amount of money spent or filled into the fullest including mean of payment and bank reconciliation.

Here comes the best part of Visual Budget, i.e. visualization of the personal finances for the past month. That is where the developers went crazy in a positive way.

The spending pie is simple and informational, hit on any of the categories and you open up the list of goods and services purchased under the selected topic. The same if you choose to see both, how much money you have received and spend: it shows a simple two sliced pie, by clicking on each you get a detailed statement.

To embrace the opportunities Misha gets with Visual Budget, have a look at the print screen of all the reports you can have at your taste. Balance graphs, pie charts of the budget, calendar with all the expenditures per day, even reports in pdf format to send to your mamma. If you are able to save and are in the black monthly, she will surely gratify you with a pie. No pun intended.

Visual Budget 2

Money Flow – go with the flow

Who should use it: money keepers and spenders in style, social media users.

Counting and keeping control of the money can also be fun. At least that was how Taylor thought. He loves being online, social media holds a prominent place in his life. That is why his expectation on the personal finance app would be a quality design, which possibly adopts such features as geolocation or tagging places and photos in the attachment to the statement. As a proof that he spent money in some fancy place, for instance.

When adding the unit of income or expense, you just hit the plus button and input the data: amount, purpose, date and tag. The endless list of preset tags could be filled in on the demand, so if you have several favorite shops, cafes or cinemas you often visit, you would tag them easily in one click. You can also write a note on every record if you wish to specify it.

You cannot change the list of the expenses categories but it seems exhaustive. Anyways with the option of taking or attaching the picture, the record of your spending will be saying for itself. Taylor actually uses it quite a lot, last time it was to show his friends what kind of New Balance sneakers he got last month.

The financial analysis is presented again in the shape of a pie chart, made in style. Hitting a category on the chart brings you to the list of expenditures made during the selected period.

Nicely selected color pattern and dark background, thought through icons and intelligible navigation makes the Money Flow a very user-friendly app.

Title: Money Flow - Description: Money Flow

Income OK – Is your income ok?

Who should use it: busy and active people, those who never checked their expenditures but want to start.

We are all very busy people. We just do not have a spare minute to sit and relax the eyes, not to say about keeping records on personal expenditures. So people like Melany realized that lack of time plays a low-down trick with her budget. She does not need some detailed tracks of her debit and credit, she just needs some general understanding on how much she earns, spends and preferably saves. That is why after trying out several apps she now opted for Income OK.

Title: IncomeOk - Description: IncomeOk

The interface of Income OK is something a minimalist would adore. Field to dial digits, simple icons for the expense or income categories, calendar to choose the date, comment field, what else would you need? Intuitive plus “+” button for Income tab, minus “-“ for Expense, the list of categories is exhaustive. It basically takes Melany three seconds to make a record of her spending. Easy, fast and efficient.

Monthly statistics are also shown in a pie chart with the detailed description under the image. Keeping your personal finances has never been that easy. One may say it is quite superficial and you can not get into deep analysis of you expenditures, yet it is enough to keep the budget in control via a simple interface and fast record input. This function is realized in Income OK pretty well and busy users like Melany surely appreciate it.

Fine design and easy-on-the-go usage makes Income OK a very efficient and helpful app for those who are concerned about their expenditures.

[Ed. note: This article originally appeared on CoinTelegraph right here at this link.]


Anna Ylönen
Contributor, CoinTelegraph

Chris Campbell

Written By Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell is the Managing editor of Laissez Faire Today. Before joining Agora Financial, he was a researcher and contributor to