Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Although I am not American, my wife and I chose to celebrate Thanksgiving last night - as an expression of gratitude.
I've found that without conscious gratitude, it's easy to fall prey to the overwhelming negativity that the media (and financial "influencers") make a living amplifying.
We supposedly live in a system where the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else, inequality is rampant and collapse is just around the corner.
As a result, a lot of people long for a return to the past - when life was simpler, we weren't all addicted to our phones, and tweeting was something birds did outside the window.
But I want to encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Never before in history have as many humans had it as well as today. The rich have gotten richer - yes - but the poor have fared even better.
A child born today - whether in China, Nigeria, Colombia, the United States, or Sweden - will:
- earn on average 3 times as much (adjusted for inflation)
- eat 30% more calories daily
- bury one-third as many children
- expect to live one-third longer
than 50 years ago.
They are also much more likely to own a bicycle, fridge, flush toilet, a phone, be literate, finish school, and...
... are less likely to die of war, murder, childbirth, accidents, tornadoes, flooding, famine, whooping cough, tuberculosis, malaria, diphtheria, typhus, measles, smallpox, scurvy, polio, cancer, heart disease, or stroke - than at any other point in history.
Speaking of progress...
Black Friday is upon us today, and December is just around the corner. Here are two things to keep in mind:
1) because something is discounted doesn't mean you "save" money by buying it. It just means you spend less than you otherwise would. You're still spending.
2) as one of my good friends pointed out to me, December is the time of the year when high-achievers (yes, that's you) beat ourselves up for not achieving everything we wanted this year. To that end:
- Don't be so hard on yourself.
- Develop ass-titude, and shake that booty
- Realize you likely have too many goals, are focused too much on achieving and not becoming, and don't have a compelling enough reason for taking action.
I'll be talking more about that this month & going into January, so stay tuned (and pick up that book I just linked - Atomic Habits)
Rapid-Fire Best Insights
How to become the 2nd richest person in the world: by owning equity in innovation.
Those who solve problems get rewarded in proportion to the scale and difficulty of the problem they solve.
And as investors, we can bet on many horses (including on Elon himself).
I've written in the past about how, in the next ten years, innovations are likely going to disrupt our world at a faster rate than we've ever experienced before (and yes, I believe blockchain technology will be one of the most disruptive).
I want to encourage you to be on the side of progress, not nostalgia, or fear.
So, from the man himself...
Quote of the week: "Buy and hold stock in companies where you love the product roadmap, sell where you don't" - Elon Musk.
And on a similar note, a presentation I'm revisiting this week: The Future is Faster Than You Think
Best Tweet I came across: The best investors are those who forgot they had an account at all
Book I just finished: The Path by Tony Robbins. I've been a big fan of the big man for a long time, but his latest book was unfortunately quite disappointing to me. As much as I feel that Tony aces it on so many fronts (health, relationships, contribution, emotions), I found this book to be much too similar to his other book, Unshakeable.
What I'm fascinated by: the debate around meat. I've been experimenting with going vegan (for 3 months), pescatarian, paleo, paleovedic, and a la française (cheese, bread, wine & tarte au citron).
I've come across smart people who tell me not to eat meat, and others who tell me I'll become a shruken vegetable without it. And when we're just about to send a man to Mars, I feel like I'm either missing something altogether from a debate that seemingly seems straightforward, or there's no straight answer.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What have been your experiences with meat/going meat-free?
Anything else I think you should know: Your biggest advantage as an individual investor is your time horizon. Because you do not report to anyone, you have no risk of getting fired if you underperform in the short term; you can concentrate heavily on investments you believe in; and you can invest in anything you want.
Use this advantage wisely.
The best investment of the last decade was Bitcoin (100% per year on average), but it was also among the most volatile (you'd have to stomach temporary losses of over 70%).
The same was true with Amazon in its early years, but Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world.
The road to riches is filled with ups and downs... literally. If you want to get to the top, don't let a drawdown scare you.
More on investing & business next week. For now, let's take a moment to be grateful for what we have in life.
I'll see you next week.