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January 14, 2019

Read this Twitter Thread

“Regarding this NYT story from this weekend, imagine you are a FBI Agent working Russian counterintelligence in 2016 and you witness the following:”

This is just the PUBLIC evidence. I’m sure there’s tons of evidence that we aren’t seeing (as with all investigations). This is so real that politicians and media are basically concluding he’s a Russian asset.

Two thoughts:

  1. This is an insane, unprecedented time. Just as nobody thought the world would get to this point, nobody knows how it will unravel.

  1. The investment community is barely talking about this potential black swan we all see coming. How can a domestic political war be anything but bad for the markets? And I think ‘domestic political war’ is the base case scenario. Things could get way uglier over the next couple years. And things could get relatively bad over the long-run too if American world leadership continues to erode.

I think people are afraid to talk about this because they don’t want to sound like conspiracy theorists. But this is quite real.

America was clearly outsmarted by Russia and Russia will continue its efforts to undermine western countries. I believe Russia and China are vying to become the new two-state global superpower, with a cooperative, interdependent relationship with each other. They’re playing the long-game and the rest of the world is just getting played.

January 2, 2019

Too Thousandish for Nein Tein

Another day, another year. We still don't travel in space taxis, but at least weed is legal in Canada.

Will 2019 be different than any other year of your working life? Will you continue to be a drone who breaks his back for a soul-sucking corporate borg? Will you be any closer to financial and mental freedom?

If you're like me - a middle-aged guy with mad responsibilities - you can't take major risks, so you are unwilling to jump companies or start your own business.

Luckily, the path towards freedom is about minimizing risk and building sustainability.

While it's true that entrepreneurship is one path to freedom, it is the most risky path. Quitting a decent job for a new one is also risky. But there are other ways.

The least risky path to freedom is simple: earn as much as you can and spend as little as you can. That might mean you pick up a few extra shifts at the coal mine for a few more years and forego that new velour tracksuit, but you have a mission.

Your mission is not to discover the tallest career ladder. Nor is it to sprint on the never ending work-borrow-spend-work treadmill. Your mission is to break your dependence on a steady paycheck as soon as you can, so you can have a meaningful and interesting life. The simple arithmetic of earning lots and spending little will help get you there.

Several years of career advancement will be required to achieve this mission, but ultimately the goal isn't to gain access to the C-suite washrooms. Instead, your goal is to get to an income level high enough to set you on a path to income-independence. At that point, you'll have to put your pride aside and your nose to the grindstone, while your friends wonder why you stopped playing corporate chess.

But be relentless and don't let pride suck you back into the trap.

Cut out frivolous consumption like a cancer. It's killing your freedom (and our planet). And if you think you can't, then obviously financial and mental freedom is not your priority. It's OK to choose now over the future. But recognize that there are diminishing marginal gains in pleasure derived from buying more shit.

Start small. Maybe just get a library card and stop buying $400 shoes every month for now and build from there. Whatever -  I'm not here to convince you one way or another. I'm speaking to those who are already converted and just want to escape the rat race so they can actually live a life.

If you're already on the path to freedom, take the next couple days to revisit your plan. Expenses tend to get out of control over the months so it might be time to get them back on track.

If you aren't on the path to freedom, decide whether to pursue it and build a plan that goes something like this: earn more, spend less.

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