Hoofing it in 2019 - a Great Start
Here at FJJ we would like to say some things to you.
#1 Welcome to 2019! Here are our market insights:
Welp, we made it another year. 2018 is gone and we had some great posts to remember it by. Interestingly enough, I would say the post that is most relevant is this one from 2016:
Essentially what it says is have some dry powder in case of a market meltdown. And of course if you read in between the lines it also implies that in big bear markets it is easy to time the bottom. This is all very relevant to the current year. As you can see below, we are undoubtedly in a bear market, but not a big one compared to the last 2 recessions. And recall, I said that “Big bears are predictable,” and now I feel like I should have added the implicated: “Nothing else is really predictable, not even smaller bears!” Currently, we are in what I would call a small bear market. Market could go up, could go down for all I know. Since the SP500 is 11% off highs, if you bought things now and everything crashed and you sold, you would lose 11% less than someone who bought at the top. Great insight I know, that’s why I am here! Stick with your dollar cost averaging scheme and don’t worry about it too much.
What I can say that may be useful is that the markets have not touched an all time high for our lifetimes. Unless you are going to die soon, and that wouldn’t be something I would want to bet on. In fact I hope you live forever friends. But don’t get scared of the market, some caution is fine but you shouldn’t be more scared of the market than you would be of any other tool like a hammer. Of course you could hurt yourself with a hammer, but you can also build great things with it!
#2 Life insights:
2018 was kind of boring all around. Markets were flat lining, real estate didn’t have it’s best year ever, nothing really spectacular happened at all. The definition of being on the grind. Human beings hate being on the grind with no change, it’s hard to not be distracted constantly, hence the rise of smartphones and streaming services. If you think you are wasting your life with distractions, you probably are, and I feel it would be irresponsible to suggest otherwise. If you don’t know where you stand on the TV issue, check out this monster of an eye-opener from google:
Personally I probably watched 1/2hr of TV a week average for 2018 because my girlfriend has a TV at her house. I had assumed I was not the norm in the US by far, but I had no idea it was that bad. 4 hours a day is what an average person spends watching that damn TV. No wonder we are all so sheltered and disconnected and our society feels as alienating as ever! When you assume that you are probably only awake 16 hours a day, and 60% or that is work and 25% of that time is you being force fed crap on TV, are you even a human being anymore?
I hate to be preachy, but here it is in full force for 2019 because you absolutely cannot be misled by everybody on the internet about these things, and I will be the light when needed:
Don’t waste your life watching TV or playing video games! Moderation is key people!
Don’t get fat or lazy. The obesity rate in the US is a staggering 35% and this is just disgraceful. We are the laughing stock of the world. You gonna tell me that 35% of Americans have a bad thyroid or whatever? Get to the gym! Get a hobby! Get off your ass! Holy crap you only get one life don’t waste it!
Don’t do drugs. Don’t drink if you can help it, don’t smoke weed, don’t smoke, don’t do it. No meth, ex, heroin, testosterone, nothing. This point is number one in importance, trust me I know. And that goes for the quack doctors prescribing pain pills and mood enhancers when you know you have no business taking them. That stuff is pure poison for your mind and eventually your soul. Stay away from it like you would from a spider or snake. Be repulsed by it like you would be a wet shit on the carpet. Let it be, crinkle your nose, and move along.
Save more! Just look at this: 2.4% is the savings rate. Again, no excuse. You gonna tell me you can’t work full time at Starbucks and save more than that?
Notice as I went down that list you were wanting to think “Well TV isn’t so bad,” “Well being obese isn’t so bad some people just don’t think it’s important blah blah blah.” Or maybe “Well sometimes I drink too much but it doesn’t affect my life in any meaningful way.” Or “what’s a pack of cigarettes every day gonna do if I have no other vices?” Here’s what I have to say to that: if it’s not a big of a deal, then stop it and see how big of a deal it really was. Who controls who? I can say with some certainty if you can’t stop then there is something wrong.
About the savings rate. It is probably the hardest thing to fix because if you only make 40k or less a year and can only save 5% (2x the national average,) it feels like you never get anywhere. This is opposed to somebody who makes 100k a year and saves 5% and it feels like it matters. It feels hopeless in lower income brackets. But it really isn’t. Not at all, because if you can live off 40K a year and be happy then you are already a kickass person you just don’t know it yet. I would be hard pressed in the silicon valley to accomplish anything resembling that, so you also will have a leg up on people in many places because you are happy no matter what you have or where you are. What an impressive guy who is self sufficient and not greedy in any sense of the word. And in fact I do believe I know some people like that, and they are indeed impressive.
The thing is, if you can be dedicated to eliminating your vices and saving what you can, eventually you will be a different person. Dare I say, a more learned and happy person. Yes people will resent you but that’s how life works. People player hate and pull you down. That’s how it works. Your old friends will leave after they get jealous, your women will try to control you, your family may resent your success, you will have no home except the cold place in your head that you try to avoid touching. But you wouldn’t prefer it any other way, would you?