Advice for your children: 2010-2020

Chug asks:

I'm curious what kind of advice you're giving Yana (as the proxy for "college age people") about the next 5 to 10 years regarding debt, investing, jobs, etc.  Not Yana-specific advice, but general young-person advice for the 2009-2019 period.

My first-order response is that my most important advice comes by example and I have little idea what kind of message is actually being received.  Keep in mind that children often respond to your strengths with niche-finding strategies, and thus deviation, rather than copying strategies.

Otherwise, a long time ago I told Yana to take calculus and statistics; even if she hates them she'll know what side of that divide she stands on.  I am encouraging of learning languages, driving modest Japanese cars, and ordering the most unappealing-sounding dish on the menu of a good restaurant.  On investing it's buy and hold all the way.  Use TimeOut guides when you travel and when you are eating in third world countries avoid walls.  I'm not a big fan of debt; debt is worth it only if you're earnings-obsessed and I don't recommend that for most people.  Don't expect to be too happy, that is counterproductive.  I've mentioned that future job descriptions may be quite fluid and unpredictable from today's vantage point.  Being "good with people," combined with smarts and a focus on execution, will never wear out.  The reality is that I hardly have any useful advice.

Do you?


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