Takeaways from My Social Outing
Yesterday I was at a social gathering. The topic of markets and investing came up because a few of the people there make relatively small personal investments in their spare time. The gathering included people from various backgrounds, locations, and professions, so I was very curious to hear what everyone had to say. I observed three notable points:
- Negative sentiment – These people are interested in investing only in traditional cash-flowing businesses. This wasn’t surprising; I’ve heard the same from other investors and entrepreneurs. What stood out was the negative sentiment my friends had about start‑ups, technology companies, and to a lesser degree public equities. Their views applied to all start-ups and technology companies (excluding mega caps such as Google).
- Historical trends – They expect certain asset classes, including real estate, to continue to perform well even in the current interest-rate environment.
- Debt – They’re still embracing the use of debt to purchase physical assets.
Here are my thoughts on each point:
- Sentiment about start-ups and technology companies may have swung from too optimistic to too pessimistic.
- Understanding why a trend occurred in the first place is important. Then you can assess whether the same conditions still exist and gauge the probability of the trend continuing.
- Everyone must make the decision that’s appropriate for their personal situation when considering whether to assume debt.
I enjoy going to social events that include people from various backgrounds and perspectives. I get a lot out of conversations at these events. It’s a great opportunity for me to understand how different people think about things.
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-Six
This is my one-hundred-sixty-sixth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- May – May went by quickly. We’re now ~40% through 2023. In the first few months of the year, we’ve seen unexpected events like bank failures. I suspect that more surprises await as the year unfolds—hopefully positive ones.
- Successful investing – I listened to a successful investor share why he continues to invest after several decades. He’s doesn’t do it for the money—he’s wealthy. Rather, he likes the fact that to continue being successful he must continuously learn because the investing landscape evolves continuously. The mental stimulation and motivation to stay curious are enjoyable to him.
Week one hundred sixty-six was a productive week. Looking forward to next week!
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-Five
This is my one-hundred-sixty-fifth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- Investing opportunities – I had a great conversation with a good friend and fellow entrepreneur about investing. Convincing people to take the action you want them to take is critical to success in closing a deal. But building a strategic and thoughtful process to identify investment opportunities before other people do is key in investing. After studying successful investor entrepreneurs who’ve had outsize success, I know that the great ones realize this and built solid processes.
- Twin tailwinds – I shared a post about twin tailwinds. I’m thinking more about how to use the concept of twin tailwinds to understand market cycles and spot overlooked investing opportunities.
- Schedule – This was the fourth full week of my schedule experiment. The results are clear. Starting my day by reading long-form writings by experts on topics I want to learn more about has been a game changer. I’ve gained knowledge at an accelerated pace, and I’ve had new insights more frequently. This will become a daily habit. I still need to tweak goals and a few other things as I continue this habit.
Week one hundred sixty-five was a productive week. Looking forward to next week!
My System for Picking a Blog Post Topic
I’ve been sharing my thoughts daily for over three years now. I was recently asked how I’ve come up with a topic every day for 1,000+ consecutive days. It’s taken a bit of time, but I’ve developed a simple system. Here’s how it works:
- I keep in the back of my mind that I must write a post. So, I’m subconsciously on the lookout for insights and interesting information. If I read an article that catches my attention, I note it. If I’m thinking about something or have an insight, I note it.
- I capture a note in one of two ways. The first is email. I’ll send myself an email with the thought as the subject line. Sometimes I add links or additional thoughts in the body of the email. I tag these emails as blog content and archive them. The second is the Notes app on my iPhone and laptop. I have a single note with a running list of thoughts, insights, and links to other people’s writings that caught my attention. Lately I’ve been capturing more notes via email.
- At the end of each day, I review emails tagged as blog content and my Notes app. I choose the topic that resonates most with me. Then I think about it a bit more and start writing.
The most important and unexpected benefit I’ve gotten from this system is that it instilled in me the habit of capturing my thoughts. Recording my “lightbulb” and “shower” moments has been invaluable. Instead of losing these thoughts when the moment passes, I now keep them top of mind or at a minimum recall them later. This has enhanced my reflection process and ability to uncover insights I otherwise would have missed.
That’s my system. It’s simple and fairly low-tech.
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-Four
This is my one-hundred-sixty-fourth weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- Schedule – This was the third full week of my schedule experiment. My purpose for reading something and the type of material affects how fast I read. For example, if I’m trying to understand a new, complex subject, I read more slowly (which I think is a good thing). Mornings are best for me for this kind of reading.
- Supply and demand – When supply far outpaces demand, people on the supply side will experience unwanted outcomes. In investing, this can occur when capital far exceeds quality destinations for capital. It’s better to be investing when the opposite is true.
Week one hundred sixty-four was a productive week. Looking forward to next week!
Happy Mother’s Day
My early years were foundational for me. I had lots of energy and crazy ideas as a kid. My mom always listened to those crazy ideas and gave me the leeway to make mistakes. She encouraged me to work hard and, when things didn’t go well, reflect on it, dust myself off, and try again. Over the years I learned, became confident, and realized I love business and entrepreneurship. I’m super appreciative of her approach, her love, and most all, her patience with me!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thanks for being a great mom!
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-Three
This is my one-hundred-sixty-third weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- Schedule – This was the second full week of my schedule experiment. This habit is having a positive impact on my knowledge acquisition. I’m starting to think about a daily goal for number of pages read.
- Insights – Developing insights from data that’s readily available won’t generate outsize outcomes. Many people can do that. Cultivating qualitative insights and making decisions based on them isn’t something everyone can do. Therefore, those insights generate outsize outcomes when they prove to be correct.
- Consistency – Someone pointed out that one of my superpowers is consistency. I am consistent, but I hadn’t considered it a superpower. I’ve been thinking more about this.
Week one-hundred sixty-third was a great week. Looking forward to next week!
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-Two
This is my one-hundred-sixty-second weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- Schedule – This was the first full week of my schedule experiment. During week one, I was able to do significantly more long-form reading. And I had some interesting insights as a direct result.
- Banking – The First Republic Bank failure wasn’t a surprise. Interest-only mortgages being a contributing factor was. I’ve been thinking about the impact this product likely had on high-end real estate prices. It’s also got me thinking about where we were in the credit cycle when these loans were made and where we currently are.
- Timing – I’ve been thinking about cycles and timing of ideas. Understanding where we are in a cycle can help you understand when the time is right (or wrong) to do something. Still thinking about this and getting the perspectives of others.
Week one-hundred sixty-second was a productive week. Looking forward to next week!
Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Sixty-One
This is my one-hundred-sixty-first weekly reflection. Here are my takeaways from this week:
- Schedule – I’m excited about my new schedule. Can’t wait for next week—the first full week. I’m curious to see what impact this change will have.
- Consensus – I had a few conversations with entrepreneur friends who have a passion for investing (public and private). I noticed they’re adopting the same viewpoint and risk tolerances at the same time. They all have the same reasoning (which I must admit is grounded in logic). I didn’t hear any contrarian views, which was surprising for this group. No one is considering a new or better approach.
- Patience – Sometimes people take a different path to get to the same conclusion or insight as you. You might not agree with their path or like their pace. This week reminded me to be patient and to remember that what’s important is that you both ended up at the same place.
Week one-hundred sixty-one was a calm week. Looking forward to next week!
Experimenting with a New Schedule
I’ve developed a habit of starting my day with physical activity. Walking, weights, etc. Getting my blood flowing and working up a nice sweat. It’s been a great way to get the day going, and it gives me energy throughout the day.
I’m a morning person. My brain is firing on all cylinders when I first wake up. I have my best ideas and clearest thoughts early in the morning when it’s quiet. Knowing this, I didn’t always feel like I was getting the most out of my most productive time, since I was exercising instead of thinking.
I want to be intentional about reading more long-form pieces as part of my daily learning habit. I usually do this in the evening. Sometimes I’m tired, which affects how much I absorb. And I tend to put off reading anything that requires deep thinking.
This week I decided to tinker with my schedule a bit. My goal is to figure out what the right activity is for my most productive early-morning hours.
I’m going to experiment with starting my day reading long-form writings. I plan to focus on things experts have written about topics I want to learn more about and on dense business materials (e.g., white papers and reports). The idea is to be able to think more and absorb more of what I’m reading because my brain will be fresh. I’ll keep reading in the evening too, but I’ll focus then on stories and autobiographies where I just need to follow along. As for my workouts, I’m aiming to do those at lunchtime.
I’m curious to see how this experiment works and what I learn from it.