Appearing Superhuman Volume 4
My weekly newsletter is a compilation of things I found interesting, challenges I’m taking on, and the automations, processes, and habits I’m using to ‘appear superhuman.’
If you don’t remember signing up or aren’t interested anymore, feel free to hit that unsubscribe button below. If you’re still along for the ride, then rock on 🤘
How To Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps! (7 minute watch) – I watched this a long time ago and it recently popped back into my head so I thought I’d share it. You won’t expect step #3 for losing weight, but I imagine it’s effective for a lot of people.
Do We Need a Recession? (15 minute read) – Sometimes a great headline will pull you into a shitty article, but this one actually left me with some things to think about. Before I was a homeowner I was guilty of hoping the housing market would crash so it’d be easier to afford a home. Naturally, my niavate was called out with this quote because if that happened I probably wouldn’t be doing so hot either:
“Ask any millennial who entered the job market in 2008 – they didn’t get ahead. Instead, they got left perpetually behind.”
TED Talk – How to Have a Good Conversation (12 minute watch) – I didn’t think I needed to hear this per se, but I learned a lot. Celeste’s talk was witty, relevant, and detailed. She’s a radio host that does loads of interviews with people she both agrees with and doesn’t. Some of it is common sense, but honestly, I think a lot of us need to be reminded from time to time.
How to get your iPhone to stop playing iTunes music – I’m a Spotify user for 10 years now so If you’re like me, you might have a moment of frustration from time to time (alot of the time) when your iTunes account starts blasting the first song that starts with the letter ‘A’ on your phone when you turn on your car. After hours of trying to create a shortcut to stop it from doing that I realized you can now just delete the default ‘Music’ app from your phone. Problem solved.
Quote I’m Revisiting:
“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Songs of the Week:
While driving around this past week, I had Spotify on shuffle, and two songs in a row coincidentally had lyrics about ‘4th of July’ in them, and it felt serendipitous since Independence day is upon us here in America. Naturally, I felt the need to share both:
“Lake of Fire” – Nirvana: Spotify YouTube – A true classic that’s lesser-known of their ‘hits’ and honestly, I found the live version even better. I included the unplugged version for the YouTube link because that whole session is just iconic and might be my favorite acoustic session, period.
Video/Picture of the Week:
Book Review: Psychology of Money
Some weeks I’ll replace an automation or process with a book review I found to be both insightful and actionable. This week’s book comes to us from the brilliant mind of Morgan Housel. He’s a former columnist at the Wall Street Journal and the Motley Fool, a partner at the investment firm the Collaborative Fund, and he serves on the board of directors at Markel Corporation.
If you’re not subscribed to his newsletter, you’re seriously missing out. The sign-up form is at the bottom of this page on the Collaborative Fund’s website.
The book is 242 pages long, but definitely worth the read. Here are my top 5 takeaways on how I’ll act or think differently about finances in the future:
1. The hardest financial skill is to get the goalpost to stop moving. Generating wealth comes with generating envy, and social comparison becomes a big problem. A great example from the book was, “A rookie MLB player making $500K is rich, but if he shares a team with Mike Trout, who makes $430 million over a 12-year contract, then the rookie feels broke.”
Takeaway: The equation to live by is ‘happiness minus expectations’ and knowing that “the only way to win in Las Vegas is to exit as soon as you enter.” If you want to win at the game of generating wealth, then at some point, you have to find a way to be content with what you have.
2. Generating wealth and staying wealthy are two different skills. You’ve likely never heard of Jesse Livermore. He was a famous stockbroker that foreshadowed the Great Depression and stock market collapse and made $3 billion in one day when it finally collapsed. Over time he ended up losing all of his wealth and killed himself. Warren Buffet didn’t panic and sell his positions during any of the 14 recessions he lived through.
Takeaway: A lot of bad things happened over the past 100 years that almost no one could have predicted. Yet, we’re still 20-fold better off than before. You need a plan for the good times and the bad times. Plan for 8% returns but make sure the math for your long-term plan still works with 4% returns. Holding and not panicking is definitely the answer through these talks of recession we’re going through.
3. Sometimes it only takes being right 1% of the time. Heinz Berggruen fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and sold $1 billion of his art collection to Germany in the 2000s. It was luck, it was skill, but most of it was because he bought a lot of art and held onto it. A few pieces ended up being nearly priceless. Great art dealers treat their collections like index funds. Berggruen was only right 1% of the time and still ended up stupendously right in the end.
We see this pattern everywhere. VC firms expect half their investments to fail. Over 65% lose money. 2 1/2% made 10-20x return. One percent made a 20x return. And half a percent make 50x or more.
Takeaway: Tails drive everything. Peter Lynch says the absolute best investors are right 6 times out of 10. The mark of a true investing genius is doing the average thing when people are going crazy. Sometimes doing nothing and simply holding your assets is the best move — especially, if you’re a long way off from retirement.
4. The highest form of wealth is waking up daily and saying, “I can do whatever I want today.” Control over your time has diminished. And since controlling your time is such a key to happiness, it should come at no surprise that people aren’t as happy as they used to be. There’s no separation between work and leisure. Money’s greatest intrinsic value is the ability to give you control over your time.
Takeaway: Six months’ emergency expenses means not being terrified of your boss because you know you won’t be ruined if you have to take some time off to find a new job. It means you can take greater risks with what you say, what you do, and what you don’t do versus always being overly conservative.
5. Beware of taking financial cues from people playing a different game than you. Everything is relative. Does it make sense to buy Google stock at $2,601 a share? If you’re a day trader that’s going to turn around and sell it for a bit of profit, that’s nothing. If you’re just getting started in investing, maybe not. Does a $700,000 home in Florida make sense to raise a family in? Maybe not. But to an investor looking to flip the property for $1 million in a hot market, it makes perfect sense.
Takeaway: When a commentator on CNBC says, “you should buy this stock.” Keep in mind they have no idea who you are. If you’re a teenager trading for fun, an elderly widow on a limited budget, or a day trader, you’re going to invest differently. These people all have different priorities. Make it a point to figure out what game you are playing.
Here’s something to think about or journal on:
What financial game are you playing?
Are you seeking autonomy and the freedom to do what you want each day?
Are you chasing a bigger home, better toys, and a fancier lifestyle?
Or are you wanting to travel the world and fill your life full of unique experiences?
There’s nothing wrong with any of the above financial pursuits. You just need to know what game you’re playing, so you know what financial advice and peer pressure to listen to and what to ignore.
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