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Five-Bullet Monday - January 3, 2022

Here is your Five-Bullet Monday

A quote I am pondering:

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” Fred Devito

If you are looking for a change in the coming months or years, then, in short, you are going to have to do things that challenge you. Your comfort zone and positive change don’t cohabit, so think about what uncomfortable things you need to do to bring about the change.

A question I am asking myself:

How can I be less wasteful with my time

I felt the second half of December was less than productive on a personal front. I take some respite that it is the Season to be jolly and not jolly demanding. Nevertheless, I am determined to come out of the 2022 starting blocks on fire, which means cutting down wasted time by being more focused and, therefore, productive.

A book I am reading:

Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World - Dudley Lynch & Paul Kordis

I was put onto this 30-year old book by a friend, who said it profoundly influenced him in the early days of launching several businesses. Essentially it breaks down three different approaches to life – being a carp, being a shark or being a dolphin. Dolphins can adapt to change, search for elegant solutions while working towards a common end, feats which neither carp nor sharks can achieve. The book isn’t available on audio, so I got it on Kindle and then used the iPhone Accessibility function to have Moira, the Irish Siri voice, read it to me 😊.

My favourite podcast this week:

We Study Billionaires TIP40: 2021 Top Takeaways

I found this podcast very useful as Trey Lockerbie distilled his top takeaways from 2021 conversations with Howard Marks, Joel Greenblatt, Kyle Bass, Jim Collins and several others.


Invest with a time horizon in mind

Many people don’t give enough consideration to their mix of investment assets. I have talked in a previous Hugh-Tips about ensuring that you are sufficiently diversified across geographies, industries and asset types. Age should be an important component of the decision when considering how defensive you want to be when it comes to asset types. If you are about to retire and draw on your investments, 100% weighting in stocks would be inadvisable. That’s because stock markets go through periodic drawdowns that can, at their worst, continue for five-plus years. In those cases, you don’t want to be drawing down your capital when stock prices are low because you can erode your capital base early in your retirement and make it difficult to recover. On the other hand, if you have decades to go before needing to draw down, equities can make up a very high percentage of your investments. The US stock market has returned an average of 10% a year for the last 90 years. So, if you can make 10% a year through buying broad-based index funds, and you don’t sell (thereby avoiding taxes), your money will double every seven years. That is a very healthy return and, paradoxically, it is lower risk than investing in Treasuries and investment-grade bonds, simply because of the extended time frame.

My highlight this last week

The abundance of Christmas snow

This year is the whitest Christmas I have experienced in Vancouver. Something close to two feet of snow that fell last week changed the landscape, giving it a magical white vista with everything from houses to trees covered in beautiful fresh fluffy snow. It also gave us the opportunity for some excellent shovelling exercise and, of course, the odd snowball fight.

My challenge to you for this week

Build good habits little by little

We know that New Year’s Resolutions are almost certain to die a death sometime before January is even out. The most common reasons are that New Year’s Resolutions are too hard, too big, or require too much willpower to sustain. That’s where the Atomic Habits’ principles kick in – better to work on 1% by 1% improvements because they compound mightily over time – and secondly, make sure the good habits are easy to do and are not difficult. If you haven’t read James Clear’s Atomic Habits yet, please make that your first book of 2022. It’s a must-read for anyone wanting to make meaningful progress in their life.

Have a great week

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