Tynan http://tynan.com Life Outside the Box en-us Sat, 26 Sep 2020 16:27:41 -0700 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Investment Principles http://tynan.com/investment A friend asked me if I had any rules for investing, not necessarily in stocks but in other things, and I said that I didn't have hard and fast rules, but thought about it more in terms of principles. What are those principles, she asked? Well... I didn't quite have an an]]>

A friend asked me if I had any rules for investing, not necessarily in stocks but in other things, and I said that I didn't have hard and fast rules, but thought about it more in terms of principles. What are those principles, she asked? Well... I didn't quite have an answer ready.

I've thought more about it and decided to put it all in one place publicly.

First, I divide investments into "risk" and "no risk" categories. You could argue that everything has some risk, but I consider the no-risk investments to be things where, in my estimation, there is less than a 2% chance of loss. This is arbitrary and subjective, but for my investments there's a pretty clear cut line.

Investments that fall into this category would be CDs, fixed rate return stuff like BlockFi USDC coins, and investing in a friend's real estate development where he pays me a fixed return.

In the "no risk" category, I keep enough money to have a really long runway. I don't have a fixed amount of time, but it would be measured in years thanks to my very low cost of living. Basically the way I think about it is, "If all of my at-risk money was lost and this is all I had left, could I survive and keep my life going with no big negative changes?".

I divide these investments between different things mainly for liquidity, diversifying that small 2% risk, and for timing. Both Blockfi and my friend's real estate thing return around 8%. I trust my friend 100%, but when he borrows my money it's for a fixed term, so I keep some in other things for liquidity.

On the risky side my goal is to cumulatively "level up". If I'm taking any risk at all, the return must be better than 8%, or I'd just invest it in the no-risk things. I also must know why I am investing in it and understand why the upside exists.

For example, I have some money in crypto because I believe that it will become an increasingly important part of our society's future, and if that happens the rising tide will bring good returns. I also recognize that I could be totally wrong on this, which is where the risk comes in. As crypto markets become increasingly popular and accessible I think that my argument for buying crypto is weaker. However, I think about it similarly to how I think about my general balanced stock portfolio -- I'm not trying to pick out winners in crypto, I'm just trying to go along for the ride up.

I'm also investing in a friends' business. Like any small business it could go to zero, but I know enough about them and their business to feel comfortable that the potential rewards outweigh the potential risks.

I have a few other things in this category, but they follow the same pattern. Some clear risk, disproportionate potential rewards.

Because these are the only factors in my decisions, I don't change course when other things change. For example, when crypto crashed I actually bought more because the potential reward felt the same to me, but the risk was lower (since I had to risk less money for that reward). I have actually been surprised to see how many smart people instinctively want to buy things when they are up and sell them when they are down, as my instincts are the exact opposite.

Likewise, when everyone was scrambling to buy ICO coins (or, recently, do "yield farming" with crypto defi), I skipped out on it because I couldn't understand where the long term gains were going to come from. I think my background in gambling has made me keenly aware of things that are gambling masquerading as investing. When some people make big money in those things, I don't feel like I've missed out, I just feel like they got lucky. Same with when people buy individual stocks and win big.

When things seem too good to be true I don't dismiss them immediately, but I also don't invest until I have a very solid reason on why they are so good. For example, six months ago a friend brought a stock idea to me that mathematically seemed too good to be true. I did the math over and over again on it, researched comparable situations, and consulted with a friend who is a licensed stockbroker and trades professionally. It seemed inescapable that it was very likely to return 300% and there was a small (I estimate it at 20% or less) chance it could go to zero. It is unlikely to land anywhere between those extremes, which makes it easier to calculate. Feel free to ask me in January 2021, when it is over, if it worked or not and I'll write up a full debrief.

(By the way, if someone else wrote that paragraph I would be 99% sure they were wrong, so I don't blame you if you feel the same way. For that reason I thought about not mentioning it, but it serves as a good example)

There is technically a third category, which is the stock portfolio that I mentioned in my "manage money like a billionaire" posts. I think of it more as a tool to manage money than to invest money, but it is actually a hybrid of both. It is a way to gain liquidity, efficiency, add a small long term gain, and to hedge against things like inflation. The price I pay for those benefits is the addition of a small amount of volatility.

I never regret well-reasoned decisions and I never feel like I am missing out because someone else made more money than I did. I know what my financial goals are, and I know that they may be different than those of others. I trust my decision making process, and can distinguish the difference between luck and skill.

A good analogy is a poker game. If someone made a huge amount of money at a poker game, it is very unlikely to be a professional. Only a poor player will gamble on enough hands to get crazy lucky and make a disproportionate return. Professionals can have big wins, but most of their profit comes from small calculated advantages. Does that mean their decisions to play those crazy hands was correct? Of course not. Sometimes great outcomes come from poor decisions and vice versa.

Like life in general, know what your goals are, design a system to achieve those goals, improve incrementally, trust your decisions, and be happy with the results.

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Photo is me driving my Lambo because I'm so rich from investing in penny stocks and ICOs. Buy my guide to become a millionaire in one week or less!

...actually one of the Superhuman 4 attendees rented the car so that everyone could experience what it's like to drive a Lamborghini. Pretty cool! We all agreed that driving that car for 15 minutes is the ideal amount of time to drive it.

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Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:34:48 -0700 http://tynan.com/investment
Why I Love Escape Games (Even in VR) http://tynan.com/escape My friend Michiru was very excited about a new thing that some of her Japanese friends had brought to San Francisco. It was called a "puzzle break room" and her description of it made absolutely no sense to me. She kept insisting that I would love it and that I absolutel]]>

My friend Michiru was very excited about a new thing that some of her Japanese friends had brought to San Francisco. It was called a "puzzle break room" and her description of it made absolutely no sense to me. She kept insisting that I would love it and that I absolutely had to go, but I only reluctantly agreed to go when she wrangled a free ticket for me.

She was right. The hour where I tried and failed to solve the puzzles went by in a flash and I was left wishing there was another one that I could do immediately.

Fast forward five or so years and I've probably done at least one hundred puzzle games. I've done over fifty in Budapest alone. When I'm with my other escape game friends we set fastest time records a good 20% of the time or so.

Escape games are absolutely one of my top few favorite forms of entertainment, and the problem I now have is that it's hard to find good ones that I haven't done in the cities that I visit. You would think that after doing so many I would have seen everything, but the truth is that almost every game I do has some element that I haven't seen before, often many of them.

There are many great things about escape games, but maybe my favorite is that it's a way to tax the mind that is really fun. I'm always wracking my brain and trying to push myself, but it doesn't feel like I'm doing math homework. It reminds me of rock climbing, which is a fun way to tax the body.

I've learned a lot about how I solve problems, how I work with others, and my deficiencies in both areas. I assume that those deficiencies extend past the walls of an escape game, so I try to work on them in real life.

Specifically I've learned that when I think I know the right way to do something, I keep trying variations of that way and sometimes develop tunnel vision and don't consider other ways to do it. When I'm working with other people in a stressful situation I have a tendency to think that my way is correct with more confidence than is warranted. Truthfully I think I do usually end up being right, but there have been a great number of times where I was totally convinced I was right, was dismissive of other people's ideas, and they were correct.

Similar to many VR games, I like how Escape Games feel real. The pressure feels real and the way I interact with the space is real. Video games are fun, of course, but reducing actions to clicking and button pressing removes an element from the game.

I also love that Escape games are a good bonding experience for any group size. I've done at least half of the games with one person, and the rest have varied from small groups to ten or twelve people. You learn about your friends, you get to work together, and if you succeed you get to share a feeling of victory.

The best escape games I've ever done at the Palace Games in San Francisco. They're all great, but the Edison game in particular is incredible. Budapest is the city which has the most games. All of the ones from Locked.hu are really great, but I also love Portal from MindQuest. If you want to beat my time at a hard one, try beating 53:09 at Enigma (90 minute game, we played as a group of 3 and set the all time record).

I can't tell you how many times I've dragged someone to do an escape game kicking and screaming, and then immediately after, with a huge grin on their face, they ask if there are any more we can do. Even if it doesn't sound like your idea of fun, give it a try. At worst you lose an hour, at best you gain a really positive new hobby that will teach you about yourself.

Obviously during Covid you can't just walk down to your local escape game and play, but the good news is that there are amazing escape games in VR. Recently my friends and I have been playing them and it feels surprisingly similar to hanging out and doing an escape game in real life. Download Rec Room (free) and search for ^Griplet. I think his games have the best puzzles.

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Picture are the attendees from Superhuman 4: Lake Edition. Because we had such a small group we had Day 1 on the boat in the lake. Amazing group of guys and a really interesting event. I really can't wait to do more events, but I'll wait until after covid is over. I've thought about doing an online version but worry that a lot of the magic wouldn't be there. If you think it's a good idea, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

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Sat, 12 Sep 2020 08:30:00 -0700 http://tynan.com/escape
A Basic Formula for Contentedness http://tynan.com/content A friend and I were discussing food. I told him that I didn't care about food, and he laughed and said that I cared more about food than anyone he knew. I am so obsessed with ingredients and quality and wouldn't eat at a lot of restaurants. I thought about it and realize]]>

A friend and I were discussing food. I told him that I didn't care about food, and he laughed and said that I cared more about food than anyone he knew. I am so obsessed with ingredients and quality and wouldn't eat at a lot of restaurants.

I thought about it and realized that he was right. I do really care a lot about food. I try to learn about what goes into it and how it's made and I have very strong opinions on both of those things for a wide set of foods. I probably wouldn't voluntarily eat 95% of the items outside of the meat and produce aisles of the grocery store.

And yet... I still feel like someone who doesn't care about food. When I'm by myself in the US (and even most of the time when I'm not) I eat the same exact thing every day. A small bowl of nuts at 4pm, Chipotle at 6pm. I love those foods, but if they went away I'd just substitute them with something else and carry on. In my mind, someone who really cared about food wouldn't do that.

A month or two after I began quarantining for Coronavirus, someone commented that the virus must have really impacted me. No, I said, it didn't have any big effect on me. Then I thought about it more and realized that it destroyed my main business, my wife's career, and my entire lifestyle of traveling all the time.

There's a pattern here, and I think in that pattern is a formula for general contentedness.

I think a lot about appreciation. We all have a mix of things in our lives, some great and some not so great. Even if you don't think you have anything great in your life, you could add things like being alive and having access to clean water to your list of great things. If you do not fully and proactively appreciate these great things, then you are leaving something on the table.

What's the point of seeking out and acquiring great things in your life if you won't fully appreciate them? If you appreciate everything at just 80%, you will gain far more joy and contentedness by learning to appreciate what you already have than you will by seeking out new things.

The inverse is also true, which is to say that the more you let bad things bother you, the more they are taking away from your joy and contentedness.

I think that most of us have enough good things in our lives to be at 100% content all the time. Think about your family, your friends, the incredible gift of life, the unlimited knowledge at your fingertips, nature, your health, and the power to create. Then you can add in any material possessions or unique talents or advantages you have. Even a modest subset of those things should be enough to be 100% content.

You, of course, have to count negatives against these things as well. If you're hanging on the edge of a volcano and about to fall into the lava, you could reasonably be rather uncontent. For most problems, though, we have a great ability to mitigate them or even turn them into positives.

When I say I don't care about food, that's really shorthand for "not having fancy meals won't decrease my contentedness in any way". When I said that coronavirus didn't really have an impact me, I really felt that way because it didn't change how happy I was with my life or my daily routine.

The formula, then, is this: appreciate everything, need nothing.

This, by the way, is also how you balance ambition with happiness. Try to achieve and get everything you can out of life, but be grateful and content with what you have now. If some of what you have now goes away, try to get it and more back, but also be happy with your new normal.

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Photo is Noah Kagan scuba diving with me at Lake Mead. It was both of our first times scuba diving there and was really interesting

A big thanks to all of my Patreon subscribers!

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Fri, 04 Sep 2020 13:37:26 -0700 http://tynan.com/content
Being Fascinated http://tynan.com/fascinating For the past few days I've had a spring in my step. Why? Because I'm writing some tax-loss-harvesting and rebalancing software, of course. Yesterday, as I was coding, I realized how monotonous the code I was writing was, but how much I was enjoying writing it. It was a s]]>

For the past few days I've had a spring in my step. Why? Because I'm writing some tax-loss-harvesting and rebalancing software, of course.

Yesterday, as I was coding, I realized how monotonous the code I was writing was, but how much I was enjoying writing it. It was a strange combination. I don't always love coding, and the monotony does get to me at times.

I thought about why that was, and I realized it was because I had become fascinated with portfolio optimization. I was really curious about how it worked, how different strategies would affect results, and what would happen to my hypothetical portfolio once I made the changes.

On a smaller scale, I had become fascinated with how to program the algorithm. Do I sell over-proportioned positions first? Do I tax loss harvest first? If I don't have enough cash left to buy a share of the most under-proportioned stock do I hold the cash or buy the second most?

I can tell that I'm doing a poor job of conveying the intrigue, but it was really captivating. I was fascinated with the problem, and so the actions I needed to take almost didn't matter.

This happens a lot. Sometimes I worry that I like fixing bugs too much, and that liking it causes me to subconsciously create more. When it seems like something should work but doesn't, I'm fascinated. What am I missing? What don't I know? It feels similar to an escape game.

That's great and all, but how do you become fascinated? Sometimes it just happens naturally, but that's not necessarily something to rely on.

One thing you can do is think about the interactions between different components. Let's say you're trying to make bread and it keeps coming out poorly. You could be frustrated and not want to do it anymore, or you could become fascinated. How does the flour interact with the water? What does the yeast do? How does temperature affect each of the ingredients? There as an unlimited level of available fascination in these questions alone, and it only becomes amplified once you start tinkering to alter those interactions.

You can also try to imagine what you don't know. I thought I understood tax loss harvesting, but then I realized there was a lot I didn't know. How small of a loss is worth harvesting? How do you figure out the best securities to swap in? Should you switch back to the original one later if there's a subsequent gain? It's hard not to become fascinated when you're learning.

If you're working on a project and are finding it hard to stay motivated, take a step back and think about it. What's interesting about it? What are the factors at play and how do they compete with or complement each other? What don't you know about it?

You may not have to do this for everything, but I think you could. I was trying to think of an example where it was impossible, like shoveling dirt. But then I started to think about how I barely even know what dirt is, and how it's probably a lot of different things, and actually if I'm digging dirt, maybe the dirt a few feet down hasn't even been exposed to the surface in years. Or is it decades? I don't really know much about dirt, it turns out. Fascinating stuff, dirt.

You will always do better work if you're more engaged. You can be engaged just because you care so much that the work happens, or because there are some great benefits to you if you finish it, but cultivating fascination is another tool in that toolbox. If you find yourself zoning out or procrastinating on some work, try to find something fascinating within it.

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Photo is San Diego, where I visited Noah Kagan last week. I've been to SD twice this year and both times really enjoyed it. I think it's possibly an underrated city.

Related, Noah pointed out that it was hard to figure out how to subscribe to my blog. Turns out it was actually impossible and had been for years. Now if you're reading this on the site you should see a box below.

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Sat, 29 Aug 2020 16:56:13 -0700 http://tynan.com/fascinating
Choosing How to Invest Time and Money http://tynan.com/timeandmoney Partially because of my previous two posts about managing your finances like a billionaire and because of the obvious impact of of coronavirus on CruiseSheet, I've gotten a lot of emails recently around money and finance. I realized that there's one missing piece that I ]]>

Partially because of my previous two posts about managing your finances like a billionaire and because of the obvious impact of of coronavirus on CruiseSheet, I've gotten a lot of emails recently around money and finance. I realized that there's one missing piece that I may not have talked about much before, but which may be valuable to readers.

We all have infinite ways to spend and invest our money, and since it's a finite resource, it's important to make sure that it's managed in a way that will bring maximum benefit (whether to us personally, our families, the world around us, etc).

I think most people do a pretty bad job of this. They have no idea why they're saving money (and thus usually don't save much), and they spend money like everyone else spends money, gaining only accidental overlaps with what would benefit them most.

The way I manage and spend my money is based on two fundamental principles (which could change over time as my preferences change, and are not the same as they were 5 years ago)

1. My quality of life is so good right now that it's way more important to me to maintain it than it is to move up a level or two.
2. I don't really care about the next X levels of quality of life.

In a rather scrappy way I've managed to accumulate an apartment (which is really two apartments mushed together, one bought by my wife) with two tea rooms, a sauna, a gym, and a big office; an island; and vacations houses in Budapest, Hawaii, and Tokyo. I have enough miles and points and travel-hacking skills to fly around as much as I want. I work a lot on most days, but I have full freedom to take off days, weeks, months, or even years. I have an incredible group of friends and family members. I'm in excellent health and feel great all the time.

A huge amount of the thinking behind how I invest and spend money is geared towards not just preserving this lifestyle, but fortifying it. I like looking for ways to make my life even more economical and I like investing money in safe ways that have very limited downsides. I always keep enough money in little-to-no-risk investments to continue to live my life for many years even if my income disappears.

This is also great for mental health and stress levels. CruiseSheet now loses money every month, but I don't worry about it at all because my income is totally separated from my ability to maintain my life. I can't wait for it to recover and care a lot about the business, but having it on hiatus doesn't affect me very much.

To me this is a FAR greater luxury than having more money or buying more things or financing a ton of stuff and having a larger monthly expense. Several people emailed me to tell me that my portfolio is too conservative (and it may very well be for their own goals), but for my goals it isn't.

The second factor is one that isn't really talked about often. If I jump to the next "level" or two of wealth, what does it get me? Not much, in my estimation.

Our apartments are small and are in a low-income area of town, but they have a lot of rooms and are a convenient drive to anywhere. I don't need a slightly fancier house in the suburbs. I have a used Bentley (which I haven't seen in 3 years due to extremely slow repairs), but our primary cars are a 15 year old minivan and 5-10 year old economy car. Even ignoring the Bentley, I'm really happy with those cars. Other than the new Chrysler Pacifica there aren't any new cars that I'm interested in. I eat at Chipotle 90% of the time. Even if I had more money I would keep eating Chipotle.

If my income doubled, the only thing in my life that would change is a number in my bank account. That's not to say that I don't want that number to go up, just that it's not important enough to me to risk giving up what I already have.

This isn't universally true, and was not true for me for a majority of my life. For most of my life I was willing to lose and risk everything, because starting over wasn't that bad and the next few levels would bring a lot of benefit.

If I really think about it, there are only two things I want: a 75+ foot yacht, probably shared with friends, (and the finances to not have to ever worry about the operating costs of it), and a huge house in Vegas so that I can host my extended family or big groups of friends. I know that these are the things I want because I've thought a lot about my priorities and have looked back on when I feel most fulfilled. A huge common thread is providing great experiences to my friends and family, bringing them closer together, and spending quality time with them.

To get those things I will need to jump a few levels up. That's why I invest some money in things like crypto and friends' businesses, and why I spend a lot of time working on my businesses. If I can grow CruiseSheet to be big enough to sell, that could possibly get me to that level in one shot.

By spending no resources (including mental effort) on goals that don't matter to me, I'm able to spend more on those things that do matter to me.

Think about what actually matters to you. Maybe it IS about getting to the next level. Maybe you want a new car and a house in the suburbs. Maybe you only care about maintaining what you have now and don't need any upgrades. Maybe you just want to earn a ton of money and give it all to charity to feel great about yourself.

An easy way to start figuring all this out is to think about what has been the most fulfilling over the past few years. How do you get more of that? What less important things would you sacrifice for more of that? Are there alternatives that will take 10% of the effort and get you 90% of the way there so that you can move on to the next thing? You don't have to get it all exactly right, just get some broad strokes and start working towards them.

I'm not trying to turn this into a financial blog, so this will probably conclude our three-week finance run. Something new next week!

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Photo is sunset on Lake Mead last night.

I just made some changes to Sett to support https (which should fix the problems for people for whom the site looked really ugly). Let me know if you see any issues.

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Fri, 21 Aug 2020 13:26:57 -0700 http://tynan.com/timeandmoney
Managing Your Money Like a Billionaire: Part 2 http://tynan.com/managing-your-money-like-a-billionare-part-2 This is a continuation of last week's post. Read it first or this won't make much sense. One clarification from last week that several people pointed out is that my definition of Beta was too simple and a better definition is that Beta is the reward you get for taking ri]]>

This is a continuation of last week's post. Read it first or this won't make much sense. One clarification from last week that several people pointed out is that my definition of Beta was too simple and a better definition is that Beta is the reward you get for taking risk. The end result is the same, though: diversify your risks to receive a somewhat steady reward while having the risks counteract each other as much as possible.

I also realized that I probably should have waited for this post before inviting comments, because several people pointed out why you wouldn't want to lever up in the current climate, which I address here.

Preserving Money

I was starting to understand the blueprint for managing finances. You want the most balanced portfolio possible, so that you can that add leverage to maximize the return for any given risk tolerance. As I delved into these portfolios and saw their historic performance, the graphs looked a lot more palatable than the index fund graphs that had previously turned me off.

My new goal was to create the perfect balanced portfolio, figure out how to leverage it, and then figure out how to borrow against it. That would allow me to safely "double dip" with my money, investing once in the market and once in one of my normal investments (minus some margin of safety, of course, as you can't borrow 100% of your portfolio value).

As I was figuring this out, I happened to have a conversation with a good friend of mine who is a real estate developer in New Orleans. I've invested in dozens of his projects down there and gotten excellent returns. I've always known that he was sharp with money, but I didn't realize just how experienced he was. When I started to tell him about my plan he interrupted, "You know I managed a multi-family office before I did real estate, right?"

It turns out he's the one person I know who was actually in the business of managing the money of the ultra-wealthy. Not only did he validate everything I had discovered, but he added a lot to my knowledge and wants to mirror my portfolio. Very encouraging!

One of the most interesting things he told me was this: "Rich people don't try to make money in the stock market. They don't even think about it. All they want to do is preserve their wealth, slowly grow it, and borrow against it." The more research I did, the more I realized that was true.

This, of course, is the opposite of how many people invest. They're trying to pick the next hot stock to make a lot of money.

The Current Financial Climate

We live in a very unusual time and are entering into a new era, which will probably fundamentally change what a good portfolio looks like.

The Fed's primary lever on the economy is adjusting the interest rate up and down. This has big effects on the economy and can be useful to keep us out of a recession and also to try to avoid bubbles. The problem is that for the first time in decades that rate is almost zero. While it is possible that we could have a negative interest rate, the Fed has very limited ability to use this lever to adjust the economy. Instead they are printing money and injecting it into the economy. This will have profound effects for a portfolio.

The biggest component of most balanced portfolios is bonds, because bonds are very uncorrelated with stocks, and tend to go up when stocks go down. The primary mechanism by which bonds go up is the federal interest rate. If it goes down, your bond goes up (because it has locked in a higher interest rate), and vice versa. Now that the Fed can no longer adjust the interest rate downwards, it appears that the risk/reward for bonds no longer makes sense. If stocks do crash, bonds probably cannot do much to dampen it.

(If you do not think this is true, please contact me. I have looked everywhere for counterpoints to this but haven't found anything)

I have also been researching the effects of all of this extra money in the economy and it seems that only two things, or a combination of both, will happen. The first is that inflation will increase. This is an obvious effect of more money being printed. The other is that some companies will be able to use this excess liquidity to their advantage and will benefit from it, thus increasing productivity and stock prices.

So while it is always possible that equities could drop, it is not a foregone conclusion. However, it is likely that returns going forward will not be as good as they have been in recent years/decades.

Asset Classes

BIG CAVEAT: I am just a guy on the internet and not a financial advisor. My hope is that my research will serve as a starting point for you to do your own research. Even if I am 100% right (which I'm probably not), my goals may not match your goals, so my portfolio may be wrong for you. I am sharing it here to explain my thinking and also have some accountability to see how I performed down the road.

My #1 goal is to create a portfolio that is very unlikely to lose big, and which should protect me against inflation and be able to capture some upside if things go well. I may tweak it, but I am trying to design it to be a "set and forget" portfolio until the interest rate goes back up, at which point I will be a bit more aggressive. I have no way to actually know, but my best guess is that this portfolio will return something like 6%. I don't consider backtesting to be very useful, except to discover correlations, because I believe we are in a new financial era.

I am not trying to predict what will go up. I am trying to be in good shape no matter what happens. In other words, I am assuming all of these ETFs are priced accurately now, some will go up, some will go down, and the net effect will be a gain over the long run.

I had originally planned on doing a very leveraged portfolio (2-3X), but without being able to use bonds I don't feel that it makes sense. After consuming hours of writing and videos by Ray Dalio and other investment experts, here are the things I am investing in, with reasoning.

Short term TIPS - TIPS are short term inflation protected bonds. Long term bonds expose you more to the rate change of bonds, while short terms expose you to less. I have these just to buffer the account and to protect against inflation.

Gold - Gold is another reasonable protection against inflation and is very uncorrelated with the general market.

The Whole US Market - I waffled between just doing the S&P 500 (or some other large cap slice) and the whole market, and ended up on the whole market. It has better returns usually and more risk. I'm young enough to tolerate some risk and figure that any publicly traded company has a good shot at being able to use liquidity to its advantage.

Utilities - Utilities are a segment of the market that tend to do well in inflationary times and are not all that correlated with the market as a whole

Europe - Dalio says that the three relevant financial spheres are US, China, and Europe, so this is to cover the Europe base. The idea is that one of these spheres could become dominant, so you want to have a piece of it.

Emerging Markets - This is to cover China. You could also go with a China-only fund but I chose to go with Emerging because it's heavy in China anyway, and is a bit more diversified.

Emerging Government Bonds - This is the one I'm least convinced on, but the idea is that emerging markets have higher interest rates, so they still have room to lower them and create gains.

Real Estate - Real estate can also do well in inflationary times and adds some more uncorrelation (or... removes correlation)

Allocations

There's a method (pioneered by Ray Dalio) called risk parity. What it means is that you size positions not by dollar value, but by risk value. For example, If you have 50% of your cash in bonds and 50% in stocks, stocks will contribute way more volatility. If your stocks dropped by 10%, bonds may only go up by 3%. So to really balance a portfolio, you'd want to be around 80% bonds, 20% stocks. Bonds tend to underperform stocks, so your returns would go way down, but the graph would be really smooth, so you could apply leverage.

I started with full risk parity, and then adjusted my TIPS and foreign bonds down because I am willing to take a bit more risk for better returns. Risk parity would dictate, for example, that 50% of my portfolio should be TIPS, but I am doing only 30%. The rest I nudged up and down for a variety of reasons, but they generally track the ratios dictated by risk parity. I am still waiting for money/positions to transfer to my new broker, so my percentages or ETF choices may change.

In choosing ETFs I have generally chosen the ones with lowest management fees. I also looked through Ray Dalio's SEC filings to see what he chose and favored those ones.

Here's my current plan:

30% VTIP
11% IAU
10% VTI
11% VPU
09% VGK
08% VWO
14% VWOB
07% VNQ

Here is a visual look at the portfolio. You may note that it doesn't backtest particularly well, which I see as a feature. It's easy to make a portfolio that backtests well, but based on what I've learned I think that going forward the safest portfolios will look very different.

Brokers

I may have saved the best for last here. There are two brokers that I discovered that are in a league of their own, primarily because they offer really cheap margin loans.

M1 Finance

M1 Finance (affiliate link- we each get $10 if you sign up) is like WealthFront for people who want more control. You can make a "pie" of your stocks (here's one of the stocks I'm buying), and can automatically invest in it. You click one button to rebalance, and it will apply deposits to underallocated portions automatically as well as sell assets according to tax benefit. Very smart.

If you pay for M1 Plus ($125, but the first year is $25), you can borrow up to 35% against your portfolio at 2%. They also have an integrated checking account that pays 1% and gives you 1% cash back on your debit card. If you don't want to go too crazy with the next brokerage I'll recommend, I think there's a strong argument to made for moving all/most of your banking and investing to M1. That was my plan before I discovered the next brokerage.

Interactive Brokers

I actually had an Interactive Brokers (not an affiliate link) account in 2000 when I tried to start a hedge fund (we lost all of our friends' money within a few months because we weren't nearly as smart as we thought we were). Even back then it was considered the best option, but now it is just amazing.

The big draw here is that you can borrow at a 1.6% rate! You can also borrow a much higher percentage of your balance. You can borrow at least 50%, but if you have over 100k you can borrow using Portfolio Margin. It gets better as you have more money: if you had $1MM in there, you could probably withdraw around 800k safely and pay less than 1%.

Both brokerages offer debit cards and ACH payments.

How I Will Put it All Together

I am in the process of moving all possible assets to Interactive Brokers. I will invest all available cash into the portfolio I outlined in these posts. I will then borrow heavily, keeping a reasonable buffer, against that amount for other very safe investments I have access to (for example, I earn a guaranteed 8% investing in a friend's real estate business, I could buy USDC stable coins and get 8.6% on BlockFi, etc). That gives me an extra 7% very safe return on a portion of my money that I'm already earning on.

I will only invest in EXTREMELY safe things, and will make sure that at least 50% of them are liquid. My goal is to add a very safe extra return to compensate for my conservative portfolio, not to leverage up and speculate.

In my case I already have some money in very safe things, so rather than liquidate them, put them in the portfolio, buy stock, borrow, and then rebuy, I will just buy more of the portfolio on margin.

I will set up all of my credit cards to be automatically paid from my Interactive Brokers account. Usually I keep a buffer of cash in a checking account just in case my income deposit dates aren't in sync with credit card payment dates, but now I will allow the margin to buffer that so that I can keep all of my money at work.

I will also keep ~$1000 in a Schwab checking account so that I can take money out of an ATM anywhere in the world with no fees. The interactive Brokers Debit card does not reimburse ATM fees and charges an extra $0.50.

The benefits of this system are that it keeps all of my money working for me at all times, provides me with a lot of liquidity, and that it automates a ton of my finances. I will, of course, write software that connects with the Interactive Brokers API to rebalance my portfolio, tax loss harvest, and notify me if I have too much or too little margin utilization.

Should You Do This?

I think for most people it makes sense to have some safe portfolio at some brokerage where you can borrow on margin. If you already have a portfolio I think it's a total no-brainer to move it and have access to that super cheap credit line. If you're a gambler, prone to debt, or not very disciplined with money, I would probably stay away from all of this entirely.

While I'm excited about potential returns and double-dipping, one of the biggest draws for me is the big pool of liquidity. I hate having cash sitting around idle, so I always try to have it all invested, but then that sometimes puts me in a situation where I have to wait for the return of one investment before I can move into the other one. Now I can keep all of my money invested at all times but I can still react quickly without having to reshuffle everything. If I don't have great opportunities to invest money I can just return it to reduce my margin and not feel like it's sitting there eroding against inflation.

At the very least, think about all of these tools and puzzle pieces, and see if there's a more logical way in which to arrange your finances. I'll post an update in 6 months letting everyone know how it's working out, and will post all portfolio updates to my Patreon inner circle members.

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Photo is sunset on Lake Mead. Can you tell that I pretty much only go one place outside the house?

Huge thanks to everyone supporting my Patreon so far!

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Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:28:33 -0700 http://tynan.com/managing-your-money-like-a-billionare-part-2
Managing Your Money Like a Billionaire: Part 1 http://tynan.com/billionaire-part-1 These past couple weeks represent the biggest shift in my understanding of personal finance in many years, maybe even decades. Things that never made much sense to me (and which I dismissed as foolish) now make a lot of sense, and my own plan for how I manage my finances]]>

These past couple weeks represent the biggest shift in my understanding of personal finance in many years, maybe even decades. Things that never made much sense to me (and which I dismissed as foolish) now make a lot of sense, and my own plan for how I manage my finances has changed drastically. I also have a much greater understanding of what is happening in the economy (for example, why the stock market is so high when things are going so poorly).

It all started with Mark Zuckerberg. I read online somewhere that he bought a 6 million dollar house and got a mortgage for it. Why would you get a mortgage for a house when you're a billionaire?

This led me down a rabbit hole and made me realize that extremely rich people treat personal finance in a fundamentally different way than you and I do, and that their approach can be scaled down and used by normal people like you and me (if you're a billionaire and I have offended you by calling you a normal person: sorry).

Debt

Why would Mark Zuckerberg get a mortgage? Because his rate was about 1%, and he can earn more than 1% on his money. There's more than that, though. Mark may not have 6 million sitting around in a bank account, so he would have to sell Facebook stock. That's a hassle, but it also creates a taxable event. He has to pay taxes on the stock, assuming it has gone up. Now his house is more expensive. Instead he can just pay 1.05%, which is just barely over the inflation rate (and probably under the average inflation rate during the term of his mortgage), he can write off some of that interest, and he saves a bunch of money.

It turns out that ultra-rich people use credit like this all the time. The main mechanism is by taking loans out against their stock portfolios (or other liquid assets). If you want to get a loan with no collateral, you'll pay a huge interest rate (like a credit card). If you have okay collateral, like a depreciating car, you'll get a better interest rate. A safe fixed asset like a house gets you an even better rate. But the best rate of all? Portfolio loans. Even for normal people like you and I, it's possible to get rates in the 1.5-2% range (more on this later). And you can write off the interest, which means that wealthy people get about half of that money back. On really large loans the rates are under 1%, and when taking taxes into account they come in at well under the inflation rate.

Banks will do this because there's no risk of default. If your stocks start to go down and you have too much borrowed, they can liquidate your stocks and pay themselves back. That's a lot easier than repossessing a house. Banks can now borrow at just over 0%, so why not make a few fractions of a percent on a loan that can't possibly default?

It makes sense. Banks put out the loans because there's no risk to do so, and people take them because the loans make it nearly free to access money.

Of course, if their stock portfolio tanks, they're in trouble...

The Market

I have never invested any significant portion of my money in the stock market until very recently. There were a few reasons for this.

First, a quick primer on something I just learned. There are two types of gains in the market: alpha and beta. Alpha is essentially the capitalization on unpriced knowledge. If you count the trucks outside a chicken farm and realize there aren't as many as usual, you have discovered knowledge that isn't reflected in the stock price. You can trade on that knowledge and capture some alpha, which will then adjust the global stock price (in reality you probably wouldn't move the needle much, but that also means you didn't actually capture all that much alpha. A hedge fund could take all of it).

Also, there's beta. Beta is much less glamorous, but it's essentially the rising tide of the economy. Our capital markets generally work to move money from inefficient places (sitting in a bank account) to efficient places (being invested in a business which can turn it into products and services). This cycle creates value and some of that value is captured in stocks. Beta is the reason that the stock market really can keep going up forever.

Alpha is a zero sum game. If I earn $1000, someone loses $1000. Beta is not a zero sum game. Anyone can capture beta.

Everyone you know is trying to capture alpha, and they are all failing. Unless you are a very sophisticated professional investor, you are not capturing alpha. When people say "XYZ company is so much better than their competitors, so I'm investing in them", they are making a mistake. The market knows exactly how good they are, what their advantages are, and what their disadvantages are. That's why that company's stock is at whatever price it's at.

When people "win" by trying to capture alpha, what has happened is they've actually captured beta AND have exposed themselves to volatility by choosing an individual stock. That means that they will appear to have beaten the market, but if they do it long enough they will regress to the mean.

If you don't believe me, you can read more about this elsewhere.

I knew that people trying to capture alpha were largely misguided, but I didn't fully understand beta.

Common wisdom says to invest in index funds, which is a method of capturing beta. This is certainly a much better idea than choosing individual stocks, but it still didn't make sense to me. An index fund averages 9% over the long term, but sometimes exposes you to 30% or larger downswings. I have enough ways to make around 9% with less volatility, so I wasn't interested.

I had heard people talk about bonds, but I knew that they returned less than stocks on average, so I was even less interested in them.

Then I heard about something called the All Weather Portfolio by Ray Dalio. He's the manager of the biggest hedge fund in the world and is a writer who is best known for the excellent "Principles". Ray Dalio can chase alpha (he has a fund called Pure Alpha) because he is actually the best in the business and is the one finding real alpha. But he is also interested in beta, and that's what the All Weather Portfolio is for.

Beta comes from different sectors at different times. Sometimes stocks deliver all of the beta, but other times bonds do. By mixing stocks and bonds (and other uncorrelated assets), you can average out and get a steady drip of beta.

This process creates a much smoother "up and to the right" graph than just investing in stocks. Even though the mix doesn't return the same 9% per year, it may return 6% with only 1/3 of the volatility. The risk/reward is much better. What Dalio then did was apply leverage to the portfolio. Imagine if you could double everything (either through 2X ETFs, futures, or margin). You would then have roughly a 12% return with only 2/3 of the volatility of stocks along. Genius.

Next

This post was getting really long and I still want to research a couple things, so I will continue next week with practical steps to implement this strategy. If you think I'm wrong about anything, please let me know on twitter or by email.

I will probably share at least a rough outline of my portfolio here and will share the exact portfolio as well as updates on my Patreon for inner circle members.

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Photo is the Austin skyline. Sorry the post was late this week... I wanted to research as much as possible.

In other news, I think I'm selling the (still unrepaired) Bentley on Monday. Hate to let her go, but I got an offer I couldn't say no to.

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Sun, 09 Aug 2020 10:32:59 -0700 http://tynan.com/billionaire-part-1
A Step by Step Guide to Life Prioritization http://tynan.com/prioritize I've been asked a lot recently about how I manage different priorities and how I translate those priorities into day-to-day actions. It's always a good question, but with many of us finding ourselves less distracted with travel and entertainment, the question is more rel]]>

I've been asked a lot recently about how I manage different priorities and how I translate those priorities into day-to-day actions. It's always a good question, but with many of us finding ourselves less distracted with travel and entertainment, the question is more relevant than ever.

Let's go through a quick exercise to help solve this problem in real-time.

First, write down the areas of your life that demand your attention or those in which you would like to make progress. A simple version might be

1. Work
2. Fitness
3. Relationship
4. Social Life
5. Learning

You could have more or fewer categories, but those five are a decent start. Now, next to each of them write either "maintain" or "grow". You may be tempted to write "grow" next to each of them because... who wouldn't want to get better at everything? Remember that you have limited time, effort, and mental bandwidth, though, so think of each "grow" as diluting the others. It is generally better to make progress serially rather than in parallel as well, because your "date of earliest goal completion" will be earlier and you can start enjoying the benefits associated with it.

Here are how I would rate mine:

1. Work - growth
2. Fitness - maintain
3. Relationship - growth
4. Social life - maintain
5. Learning - growth

There's really no right or wrong answer here, except that you should probably have a mix of both growth and maintain. If everything is growth you will burn yourself out and not execute well, but if everything is maintain you are not pushing yourself enough (or you are leaving out major life areas from the list).

I chose work as growth because I'm working on a bunch of stuff right now and I have a good environment (stuck at home) in which to make progress here. If I was on a trek across central asia or something, I would have to switch this to maintain.

Fitness is in maintain mode because I'm happy with where I am with it and am not trying to gain muscle or cut fat. My biggest priority here is to keep the gains I already have.

Relationship is growth for the same reason as work. My wife and I have more time together now than usual, so it's a good opportunity to grow. I'd think of it more as "slow growth" than the other ones. My goal isn't to revolutionize our relationship, it's just to make sure that in general every month is better than the previous one.

Social life is on maintain because the same factors that make work and relationship easier make social life harder (being stuck at home). My friends are very important to me, but if I can make progress in other areas now that will free me up to focus more on social later.

Learning is really only growth for me now because I'm really into Japanese tea ceremony. I have a small Japanese tea room in my home and am stuck here (as I may have mentioned...), so I'm using that as an opportunity to 15-30x my learning speed (14 tea ceremonies per week instead of 1, plus the additional benefits of drilling individual aspects and having <24 hours of elapsed time in between ceremonies).

For each of the maintain areas, I figure out what I need to do to maintain them. Maybe counter-intuitively, I think of these as higher priority than growth areas. The reasons for that are that I have put a lot of work in to build them, so I don't want to lose them, and because they will only take up a small defined part of my day.

For fitness I have a very strict diet (small bowl of nuts at 4pm, Chipotle at 6pm, sometimes fruit later) and I work out every other day for 30-35 minutes. I no longer increase my weights or reps.

For social life I don't have a very fixed routine, but I chat with friends and try to initiate contact to be proactive.

Your maintenance items shouldn't compete with your growth items. Clearly I have plenty of time to do those things in a day.

Next I think about my growth items. Specifically I think about the leverage I have and how much improvement there is to be gained. This isn't a list of "how important are these things to me", but rather "how aggressively should I be trying to grow in each one".

Based on those criteria, I would order mine like this:

1. Learning
2. Work
3. Relationship

Learning is the top one because I am a beginner at tea ceremony but think I could go very far in it and have a uniquely ideal situation for improvement. I know that as soon as travel becomes normal again this will drop in priority and ability, so I want to capture the opportunity now.

Next is work for many of the same reasons as learning. I feel I have a lot more to do, and have a good opportunity to do it.

Relationship is last because we already have a great relationship and though now is a good time to work on the relationship, I think the next 12+ months may offer even better opportunities.

Now that we have good priorities, we can think about our actual days. First, we add our maintenance items. I've always written about how mine fit into my day above, but now is the time for you to think about what you need to do on a daily or weekly basis to make sure than you maintain those items. You can see why I say they're more important than growth items, as we schedule the rest of our days around them.

Next we think about how to fit in our growth items. Life is complex so you can't just allocate hours to each, but you can think about how to fit them in and that fit should reflect your priorities.

In my case, I do my tea ceremony twice per day. It doesn't really conflict with work or relationship, so this one is easy. I do it once in the early afternoon and once in the evening. In both cases I use it as an escape from work, so it actually helps with work. No need to make things harder than they have to be.

Work and relationship, on the other hand, are somewhat in conflict. When quarantine first started I made the error of not prioritizing my relationship, and things felt off. Since then I carved out two hours every evening as a minimum spend-time-with-my-wife time, and about once a week I take off almost a whole day so that we can spend time together on the lake. We also have dinner together most nights and tea together a couple times a week or so.

The rest of time, with very few exceptions, is work. You don't necessarily have to fill up your entire day with your priorities but I enjoy it.

You can reevaluate any time, usually every few months or if circumstances change. For example, if travel opened up and my wife and I could go on some trips together I would drop learning and possibly even work to maintain mode. If my wife went to visit family for a month I wouldn't worry too much about pushing our relationship forward.

More than anything this exercise is useful to understand what your priorities are and in which areas you're actually trying to grow. If you find that your day-to-day actions don't reflect the results of this exercise, you have to really reevaluate whether you correctly identified your priorities and whether or not you are acting on them appropriately.

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Photo is some friendly ducks.

If you get a lot of value from my work, consider supporting my Patreon. Comments are disabled, but I always anwser questions on Twitter.

If you find that this email goes to spam, would you please move it back to your inbox? I am working through some email deliverability issues, especially on Yahoo and Hotmail.

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Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:03:17 -0700 http://tynan.com/prioritize
What I Learned About Learning from Tea Ceremony http://tynan.com/temae I've been studying Japanese tea ceremony for a little over a year now. The way you learn is by watching people who are better than you, trying to imitate them, and then receiving corrections from your teacher. There are dozens of types of tea ceremony, but the simple one]]>

I've been studying Japanese tea ceremony for a little over a year now. The way you learn is by watching people who are better than you, trying to imitate them, and then receiving corrections from your teacher.

There are dozens of types of tea ceremony, but the simple ones you do as a beginner last for about 15-25 minutes, depending on how many guests you have and how quick you are. In that time you perform dozens of steps, and most of those steps have a lot of nuance to them, so you may have gotten a certain amount of water from one container to another, but you may have done it all wrong.

In that way, it reminds me a lot of ballet. There is a precisely correct way of doing everything, and even if you do it for years there is still room for improvement on even the most rudimentary movements.

At first I thought that I was great at it, because I received very few corrections. Then as I got better I realized that teachers usually only correct a couple of the biggest mistakes so that you have something to focus on. Like so many other subjects, you constantly realize just how incompetent you were just a few weeks ago.

The biggest hurdle to learning it is that it's difficult to get a lot of practice in. Classes are usually 2-4 hours and you typically do one ceremony in that time. I've done two maybe once or twice. When you're doing your ceremony there is some element of performance, since you're trying to make a nice bowl of tea for the other students, so your inclination is to cover up mistakes and never pause or redo things. It's often impossible to redo things anyway, as many moves are irreversible (for example, adding water to the tea).

Classes are also hard to come by, at least in the US. Class meets 3x per week in Hawaii (though almost everyone only goes once per week), and once per week in Vegas. My friend Todd moved to Japan and started a class that meets three times a week. In the span of a month or so he went from being about one month behind me to being so far ahead of me that I can't really estimate how long he would have to stop for me to catch up.

Tea ceremony requires at least 12 different items to perform, but over time I collected all of them, including a big antique iron pot. I was excited that I could finally practice at home, until I realized that the iron pot rusts very easily and is annoying to care for, and that since I only drink one serving of tea per day I would either have to only drink matcha or I'd have to waste tea and just pour it out. I thought about buying really crappy matcha and doing that.

Ten days ago I had an idea that now seems so incredibly obvious, but at the time felt like a genius idea. Why bother with tea? I could just practice without tea or water and just pretend they are there.

For four days I practiced once or twice each day with no water, no tea, and and empty kettle. If I did something wrong, I rewound several steps and redid it properly. After each session I watched a video of someone doing it properly and made notes on what I did wrong. Then the next time I would read my notes and try to do better. It felt as though I got at least "one month" better in those few days. I decided to go to class without telling my teacher I had practiced and see if she noticed.

My plan was slightly foiled by us doing a special ceremony that was new to everyone, but I went second to last and it was similar to the one that I had been practicing. After I finished the teacher said, with some level of shock, "Tynan, your tea ceremony looked... really good...".

Success!

This whole experience may seem like nothing, but it was a big reminder to me that, even as someone who basically does everything his own way, it's good to be vigilant and make sure that you're doing things the best way, not just the way everyone else is doing them. By simply examining how I was learning tea ceremony, I believe I've cut my learning time (in months/years) down by at least 75-80%. I can now teach myself the basics and only use the valuable time with a teacher to correct the things I can't teach myself.

How do you learn best? How do you work best? What in your life isn't going as well or as quickly as you think it is? Maybe there's some way to speed it up. And now I'm off to whisk a bowl of imaginary tea in preparation for class tomorrow.

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Look! A relevant image that isn't of Lake Mead. It's been a long time. The picture is my little 2 mat tea room in my house in Vegas. The paper has some dialogue on it so that I can practice and check if I'm right.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my Patreon so far! It really does make me more motivated to write.

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Sat, 25 Jul 2020 08:30:00 -0700 http://tynan.com/temae
Procrastination on High Mental Load Tasks http://tynan.com/overdue As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I did recently was move Sett to a new server. This is a task that I had every reason to do five years ago, but had been dreading and putting off. It was never that urgent, wasn't moving me closer to any major goal, but mo]]>

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I did recently was move Sett to a new server. This is a task that I had every reason to do five years ago, but had been dreading and putting off. It was never that urgent, wasn't moving me closer to any major goal, but most importantly it just sounded like a miserable project.

The most daunting part of it all was that all of the software that Sett relied on was horribly out of date. I was two major versions of PHP behind, and each of its 5-10 dependencies was certainly either obsolete or out of date. Of course, as time went on this disparity became even greater, making me even less likely to want to do it.

At first this cost me about $170 a month, then I finally downgraded our server (but used the same image) to save about $40 a month. Overall, it probably cost me about $10,000 to not move servers! Even greater than this cost is the constant burden of knowing in the back of my head that I should move it and having to make the decision of whether or not to do the work.

Finally, in quarantine, I decided to take a stab at it. I resolved to spend half a day working on it and reassessing from there. If it was going to require too much of a rewrite I would try something else. It was hard to know exactly how long it would take, but it felt like a 5-7 day project to me.

My half a day of effort got it about 95% there. Our search backend, solr, took a few frustrating hours to upgrade, but other than that it was shockingly easy. In fact, it worked so well that I had to check multiple times to make sure it had actually moved to the new server and I wasn't just loading the old one. I was even a bit surprised when it kept working when I turned off the old server. Over the next day I got it to 100% and made some additional bug fixes and improvements.

Clearly, I should have just done this earlier. Had I done so, it would have taken even less time since I could have done smaller incremental upgrades. What I thought would take a miserable week could have been done in a reasonably easy day.

So what caused me to make this $10,000 mistake?

First, I massively overestimated how hard it was going to be. I'm not exactly sure why I did this, but I think that it was just distance from the Sett code. When I was working on it daily I knew every nook and cranny. Six months after touching it I forgot how it all worked and wasn't particularly excited to dive back in.

The right remedy for this problem is to do what I did five years too late: allocate some small amount of time to working on the problem and give myself an out if it looked too nasty. Had I dedicated even a couple hours to it in the first year of shutting down Sett (when I knew it would no longer grow), I could have saved all of this money and cognitive load.

I've written about this before, but I should have also applied the principle of "I'm going to do this anyway, so I might as well do it now". When we shut down Sett I agreed to take sole custody of it because my blog was on it so I actually cared. There was no way anyone other than me was ever going to move the server, so I should have just bit the bullet and done it. I'm sure there were weeks or months that I was too busy to add it to my plate, but was there a week somewhere in the past five years where I could have just scheduled this? Of course.

Last, I underestimated how great I'd feel once I completed the project. It's great to save money, but the biggest benefit is that I just don't have to think or worry about it anymore. I no longer have to deal with an expensive and out of date server and all of my sites are now in one easy to administer server. I think that we all consistently underappreciate how much nagging todo list items affect us.

Though none are are close in magnitude to moving Sett, many of the projects on my coronavirus list fell into this broad category of "non urgent tasks I probably should have already done". Even something as small as making a bigger bed has been something I thought about at least weekly. Not having to decide not to do these things all the time frees up my mental space considerably.

I suspect that all of us have tasks like this, and most of us have an unprecedented opportunity to tackle them right now during coronavirus. As I've mentioned before, I'm constantly thinking, "how can I make this forced quarantine the best period of my life", and knocking out all of these sorts of tasks is a major component of that.

What tasks do you consider doing but keep putting off? What overdue tasks weigh on you? Pick one and spend an hour or two making inroads on it today. If you're like me, that may lead to you realizing it's not so bad and maybe that will snowball into you clearing your todo list as I have.

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Photo is another drone photo from Lake Mead. I promise there will be pictures of other places as soon as I can travel again!

I started a Patreon. Thanks so much to the people who have supported it so far!

I like to answer questions on Twitter. I have started working on defeating spam on Sett again so I may test opening up comments again, but until then I'm available on Twitter.

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Thu, 16 Jul 2020 13:00:00 -0700 http://tynan.com/overdue