Here is your Seven-Bullet Monday
1. A quote I am pondering:
“Effectiveness begins with elimination. Choose your ignorance’s as carefully as your interests.” ~ The Stoic Emperor
What I like about this quote is that it drives home the principle of “whenever you say, ‘yes’ to something, you are saying, ‘no’ to something else.” So indeed, ignorance can be bliss on many counts! By deliberately choosing our ignorance, we create more time to invest in other pursuits that will benefit us. Some of my chosen ignorance’s are live TV news, social media, TV sport and Netflix binging. I am not necessarily suggesting they should be yours, but I feel I have gained a considerable amount of time and missed very little as a result
2. A question I am asking myself:
Where can I achieve some 1% improvements today?
The 1% improvement principle comes from James Clear’s impactful book, Atomic Habits. The principle here is that if I make minor improvements regularly enough, the compound effect of these little changes will be profound over time. For example, a 1% improvement a week results in a 14% gain over a quarter and an impressive 30% over half a year. That’s when people stand up and take notice, and all you had to do was figure out to get 1% better each week. If you can make those improvements daily, the gains will accelerate to a whole new level.
3. A book I am reading:
Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail – Ray Dalio
For those that don’t know Ray Dalio, he is a giant among giants in global investing and economics. This book is one of the most interesting and informative books I have listened to. My understanding of political and economic history grew in leaps and bounds from its content. Dalio examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods over many centuries and in different geographies to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. He also offers practical advice on how to navigate them as well. For investors, in particular, I would say this book is a must-read.
4. My favourite podcast this week:
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown – with Jason Reynolds on Masterpieces and Messes
Brené Brown always manages to bring out different hues of our humanity, and I found this podcast very touching. The title says it all; that our lives can be both masterpieces and messes, and often at the same time. As we learn to accept that fact, we can find our peace and joy in both, instead of constantly beating ourselves up about our messes because we only want to see masterpieces.
Spend some reviewing your investments in your RRSP, Superannuation and other Pension Funds
Most people have only a vague idea of how their various company pension funds are invested. They assume that the fund managers are the best equipped to do that, and it’s easier left alone. If you don’t make specific investment choices in your fund, your investments are typically put in a target-date fund (sometimes called a glide path fund). The target date funds allocate your investments across equities and bonds based on your age. As a simplified example, I am 55 years old, so a target date fund would have approximately 55% of my investment in bonds and 45% in equities. The great bulk of those equities will be in broad-based funds in the US and Canada. The logic is that the proportion of bonds should increase as you get older, so there is less volatility and, therefore, less risk as you get to draw down those funds. The challenge we have today with this mix is that bond rates are currently several per cent below inflation, which mean your money held in bonds is decreasing in buying power, not increasing. The US stock market is also priced nearly two times higher than most of the world. I am not suggesting you reinvest your entire pension fund in overseas stock markets. I am suggesting you consider your overall asset allocation, per my previous blog on this, and make sure your pension fund investment is part of that overall calculation.
6. My highlight this last week
Launching or Making Money Work Wealth Builder Course
We launched the course on Tuesday and are delighted to have over 50 people signed up this time around. This course is a chance to positively influence 50 individuals and families and help them set up financial principles, disciplines and actions that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. I feel it’s a privilege and an honour to share my learnings on this front.
7. My challenge to you for this week
Shorten up your meetings
Now, I know you love meetings, 😊 but please bear with me. Around 30 billion hours are spent in meetings or teleconferences each year in North America alone. The general view is that one third to half the time spent in meetings is unproductive. So, what can we do about it in our spheres of influence? Four questions to ask are 1) is this meeting essential? 2) who definitely needs to be there? 3) what is the purpose of the meeting, and is there a tight agenda? And 4) how short can we make the meeting and still keep it effective? Hopefully, with these principles in hand, you can squeeze out a couple more productive hours into your workweek.
Have a great week