We look at values as something that is static. For certain universal values that is true. Example, kindness, this is a universal value and should remain constant.
But values, as defined by the cultures we live in, are constantly being changed, but its effects are not seen immediately. Values adapt too. In fact, these should change and evolve because cultures evolve too. Change is the only constant and if you try to keep the culture and values static they will conflict with the reality. Because times have changed and everything around it should change too. The hallmark of a healthy society where cultures, values, traditions keep up with the changing times and technologies.
We are in a total lockdown now due to Coronavirus. The situation is grim. I have never experience the economic machine to come to a complete standstill around the world! This is indeed unprecedented.
People are saying this is a Black Swan, but I personally do not think so. We knew this would happen; it was a matter of when and not if! People are being made to go, and this will put the financial wellbeing of most of us in danger. The Government has kicked in and has done an impressive job to support a majority of us; however, if you look at it, we have borrowed from our future to ensure we survive our present. I do not know what the long term repercussions are when we restart the process of going back to being normal.
This is indeed an emergency, and the best way to be protected yourself during an emergency is to be financially stable. You need to have cash or cash equivalents of at least six months of your bills you. No ifs no buts. If you have to SAVE every month! Pennies make a pound.
I know someone who can sustain his lifestyle for 12 years without having to work! And this is not because he’s a multi-millionaire but because his expenses and needs are well below the norm. Things are simple, but they are not easy, and its never too late to start.
We live in a world of instant gratification and pay the price. Marshmallow test, learn this and teach this to others. Some of us are naturally inclined, and some have to train daily to practice it. I am in the latter group.
WhatsApp has become the default messenger of today. Yahoo messenger and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) were its iconic equals of the past.
The network effect and the ease of using WhatsApp are impressive. With the voice call and video call features, WhatsApp has become indispensable. However, every good has to come with an undesirable side effect. This is a fundamental law I suppose.
I remember having to pay money for texting someone! So when you sent the text, you made sure that the message was worth the price you were going to be charged. With mobile data being dirt cheap and the cost of sending messages is next to zero, there is no intrinsic barrier to refrain yourself. People find it easy to send anything they like without the courtesy of verifying its source. During this critical time of lockdown due to Coronavirus, tt is even more important that we refrain from spreading unverified messages!
One of the most important duties of any CEO is to deploy capital to generate returns for the company as well as shareholders. Since 2008 the amount of buybacks means, the leadership bought the company’s own share to boost the price of the shares and be rewarded! My view on this is explained best by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You
And if you do not know what buybacks are, below is the video which can help.
News headlines like these create sensation instead of proving an insight that is helpful. Absolutely, when people are working from home, their energy consumption, i.e. gas and electricity will shoot up. It’s obvious. However, if you see the amount of time spent commuting will be reduced, fuel for a private car or ticket fares will be saved and most important time that they can spend with their family will go up. And the reason work from is mandatory is for their own safety. How much money do you put on the health of you and your loved ones?
When you consider all these points, the small price you pay in increased utility bills seems insignificant.
Today I took the delivery of a layout on a technical indicator. I have been using this indicator for over six months, but I wanted certain things added to it so that it visually becomes crystal clear with its signals. I got a developer to do this for me. I had to pay him fees, brief him, test the custom indicator.
I love to outsource things. I believe that is the best use of my time. Can I learn to code? Absolutely but the amount of time that it would take would not justify the effort from my perspective. You can very well choose not to pay the developer and learn to code yourself. I have always valued my time over money. Convenience is king as they. Having said that I do invest time in learning new skills, but I choose which skills these are where I am ready to invest my time and effort.
Imagine if you have a heartache, you consult a Cardiologist, and you do not start to learn Cardiology! The same principle applies here, I sought the developer who I was able to afford but was an expert in the field compared to me. You need to be able to leverage other’s expertise.
I have acquired a lot of skills over a period of time, and I can say I am Jack of all but Master of none. I am generalist, mile wide inch deep, and I am OK with it. Most of my friends disagree with me. They expect me to acquire these skills, and I choose to outsource it.
This reminds me of a scene from the 2015 movie Steve Jobs.
While growing up we were told to focus on science and maths. Ignore history and humanities subject. Smart people do science.
In my mid thirties and I find myself more interested in our history. Our history informs us where we have come from. And fascinating thing about learning and being aware of history is, you appreciate more of the present. The road we to to get here was difficult but we made it.
If you want to know where you are headed you need to know where you come from.
To quote Mark Douglas from the book, Trading in the Zone (2000) page 18 says
It’s extremely difficult to perceive that the source of these problems is our own inappropriate attitudes. That’s what makes fear so insidious. Many of the thinking patterns that adversely affect our trading are a function of the natural ways in which we were brought up to think and see the world. These thinking patterns are so deeply ingrained that it rarely occurs to us that the source of our trading difficulties is internal, derived from our state of mind. Indeed, it seems much more natural to see the source of a problem as external, in the market, because it feels like the market is causing our pain, frustration, and dissatisfaction.
And this is so true. Any Stoic would tell you that the only thing one can control is their self and their actions. If you want to improve, you need to accept your failings, learn and change your attitude in such a way to not repeat the mistakes. By externalising the blame, it is easy to wash your hands of the responsibility and ensure that the status quo continues. Always been in a student mode, be receptive to shortcomings, seek feedback and practice to change the habits which not benefitial.
Recent days have been creating havoc in the markets, to say the least. The 24 hour news cycle doesn’t help either. During such time, keep it simple and revisit articles which help to assign a robust process to long term investing.