I made it. 30 laps around the sun!
My twenties were a full of highs and lows. Great experiences and friendships. Love and failure. Nights of excess and periods of reflection.
Here is a list of thoughts on life and investing in no particular order from me at the big 3-0.
1. Abundance is the enemy of appreciation
This is true for both objects and information. We are inundated with abundance in the modern world. Less is more. Learn to practice gratitude. You can have too much of a good thing.
2. “Time is the fire in which we burn” – Gene Roddenberry
Time is our most valuable and scarce resource – therefore our attention (where we choose to focus our time) is equally as valuable. Do not squander it. Beware of time sucks like social media – my screen time has gone through the roof since starting this blog!!
3. We are all born with a death sentence but not an expiry date
Insurance, investing and future planning therefore must be utilised and balanced alongside living for today.
4. The world is malleable
You have the power to mould and shape the world around you. Don’t just sit back and let life happen to you, go after what you want.
5. You are an exceptionally unique individual made out of star dust
An incredibly unlikely set of circumstances led to your creation… a mind-smooshing amount of unlikely events! The chances of any one of us being here are so incredibly slim.
There will never be another you. So don’t try to be someone else.
6. “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy” – Steve Jobs
Rebels drive change. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.
Conformity, on the other hand, punishes change.
If the suffragettes stayed ‘in their place’ women still wouldn’t have rights. If it wasn’t for musicians, such as the Rolling Stones, then we’d all still be cookie cutters of the establishment.
Be a pirate, it’s much more fun!
7. You cannot judge history by todays standards
By the same token you cannot erase history. It’s happened. We can only learn from it.
8. If you go too far left or right on the political spectrum you arrive at the same destination… tyranny!
Be careful going too far in either direction. It all ends badly.
9. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting it to harm the other person
Holding onto negative feelings of another person only damages you. Every moment you spend with negative thoughts of another person they have power over you.
Learn to let go.
10. You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house…
“…and if you got a glass jaw, you should watch your mouth” – 50 Cent
This is particularly relevant in the age of social media, where people criticise and condemn others from behind their keyboards.
You too are flawed. We all are. Try and remember that before attacking anyone else.
11. “Don’t Criticise, Condemn or Complain” – Dale Carnegie
Following from the last one, this is a mantra I believe we should all try and live by. It’s actually really hard to do! I catch myself doing any one of these all the time, but remembering this phrase usually stops me in my tracks.
Life is better when you remove negativity from it. Criticising, condemning and complaining are all self-generated negativity that should be vanquished.
To shorten it, think “Don’t CCC”.
12. Be Creative, Curious and Confident
These are the three C’s I try to live by… it’s a work-in-progress 🙂
“Don’t CCC, Be CCC!”
13. Confidence is learned
Fake it until you make it… cliché, I know, but it works.
You have to back yourself in this life. If you don’t, then how can you expect anyone else to?
14. Worrying serves no purpose other than to ruin your day
It’s a natural instinct, but it is entirely unproductive. It makes things worse, not better.
Try taking a step back and ask yourself, ‘will this matter in 5 years/5 days/5minutes?!’…
The answer is most likely, NO!
15. This too shall pass
This comes from an Eastern fable and was quoted by Abraham Lincoln:
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
16. Coffee is great
I didn’t drink coffee until this year and now I can’t get enough!
Variety is the spice of life, be sure to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things.
17. Seek Discomfort – Yes Theory
This is the mantra of my favourite Youtube channel, Yes Theory. They have spent years pushing themselves and others outside of their comfort zones, as this is where the magic happens.
Socialising, work, exercise – all the good stuff happens when you push yourself. When you aren’t comfortable.
To grow muscle you need to apply stress. To make new friends you have to put yourself out there. To excel at a job you have to do things you aren’t comfortable with.
I’m sure there is a good Marcus Aurelius quote on this…
18. Look to ancient philosophies for guidance
Stoicism, Taoism, Buddism – there is a reason they have all stood the test of time. Those guys back then had it figured out.
Most ‘gurus’ on social media nowadays are simply regurgitating ancient wisdom and passing it off as their own.
Skip them and go straight to the source.
(There are decent people about today that promote these philosophies openly, my issue is with those that are sly about it!)
19. Read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie
This is the OG self-help book – most of the self-help books since then have just been repackaging Dale’s teachings.
Read this before you touch any other self-help book.
It’s the one I’ve gone back to over the years and have successfully applied in my life.
20. Meditate on your death from time to time
It sounds morbid, but you’ll find out what’s important to you.
My most viewed blog post goes into this topic in more detail (it’s a Stoic practice): Memento Mori
Ok, that’s enough of my musing on life… I look forward to reading those again when I hit 40!
Let’s finish with 10 quick-fire investing nuggets, after all, this is a money blog 🙂
1. Investing is simple, but not easy
2. When it comes to personal finance, your behaviour is everything
3. Chasing other peoples gains is a shortcut to financial ruin
4. Buy productive assets – those that both rise in value and produce an income (the main ones: equities and property)
5. Build a strong foundation of equities before buying any speculative assets (e.g. crypto)
6. Avoid 100% loss of capital, the opportunity cost is too great
7. Automate as much as possible, it’s the pathway to frictionless freedom
8. Be intentional with your spending – don’t forgo the things that bring you joy and cut down on the rest
9. When in doubt, buy and hold a globally diversified basket of equites (if that makes no sense to you, feel free to reach out – I’ll explain!)
10. There are only two options in life: you outlive your money or your money outlives you (Nick Murray)
If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
I hope it doesn’t come across like I have all the answers, as I don’t – far from it!
Life is one big learning experience and I am excited for what the next decade has to offer.
Bonus nugget: vintage port is delicious! I’ve been sipping on a 30 year old bottle (thanks to my Godfather, Chris) whilst writing this. Lovely stuff 🙂
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