The Power of Intention: Arnold Forges His Destiny

I recently finished reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.” There were many things I enjoyed about this book. For one thing, Arnold is an excellent writer (especially for a famous person not primarily known for writing). He brings to life the many people, places, and projects he encounters with vivid and well-constructed descriptions that paint a clear picture and are quite enjoyable to read. Also, he gives deft and insightful observations of his own mindset as he progresses through his life and career. Arnold comes…

Slow and Steady to My First Marathon

My Christmas Day unfolded as follows: I ran 10 miles this morning, came home and after a nice breakfast enjoyed gift-giving with my wife. We then visited with family on Zoom, after which we had an excellent Christmas meal she prepared (the menu: our Thanksgiving meal, back by popular demand!). After this, we both took a nap, after which we played cards while listening to a virtual radio broadcast of a play from a theater my wife shoots pictures for (in normal times where plays are being produced). 🙂 Today’s…

Onward with the Learning

When it comes to money, being an adult has provided an ongoing-financial education. Running my own business, dealing with life’s expenses, and planning for the future teach me much valuable lessons every single day. I’ve supplemented my personal experience with lots of reading: since 2015, I’ve read about sixty-six business and financial books 🙂 Just today I finished reading “7 Secrets to Investing Like Warren Buffett,” by Mary Buffett & Sean Seah (thank you, Sacramento Public Library). The book gives a basic primer on “value investing,” which is what Warren…

Just Happy to Be at a Bookstore

Today my wife and I went on an actual shopping trip that didn’t involve buying groceries. Our holiday-related trip consisted of a stop to make a purchase, a stop at the post office to send out four packaged, and a stop at Barnes Noble at the nearby mall. For numerous years now, I have asked my wife for and received books for Christmas. This year, obviously, has been quite different from years passed. Neither of us had been in a bookstore in at least nine months. This Christmas, I wanted…

Wired to Conform?

Jason Zweig wrote an excellent book called “Your Money & Your Brain,” which I have written about repeatedly, because it is so dang good (!). While it is focused around people’s behavior around money, it’s also an excellent study of the odd behaviors we humans can exhibit because of how our brains are wired. Specifically, the book discusses the reflexive emotions that are built into us, things like fear, greed, and regret. The book is full of great examples of people acting in strange, irrational, or plain stupid ways, the…

The Magical Savings Snowball

As I have written before, I am a big fan of compounding. It excites me to no end to think of the power of money that I have invested growing over time. I’m also very much inspired by stories like Warren Buffett’s, which Alice Schroeder captures so well in her Buffett biography “The Snowball.” In the book, the snowball is a simple image that encapsulates Buffett’s journey to incredible wealth. Buffett used his business acumen, personal gifts, and the power of compound interest (!) to attain a level of financial…

The Empire Building of A Young Schwarzenegger

I am currently reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” a book with a title as big as the man himself. I’m still in the first part of it, where Schwarzenegger is still establishing his career. I am enjoying it very much, particularly Schwarzenegger’s focus and positivity as he goes about building his empire. He always seems to be in the zone, confidently expecting mountains to move that will help him accomplish his goals. Here are some passages that I especially like, with some commentary: (42)…

The Post-Bear Market Bounce Back

Since the stock market bottomed out back in March, it has been on a (mostly) steady climb back up, notwithstanding last week‘s declines. How quickly the crash (ie bear) became a boom (ie bull). Strange and interesting times indeed. Apparently this trend of immense growth following bear markets is pretty normal (even if it usually doesn’t turn around as quickly as it did this year!). I just re-read Tony Robbins’ and Peter Mallouk’s “Unshakeable,” which is essentially a more concise version of Robbins’ “Money: Master the Game.” In “Unshakeable,” the…

My 2020 “Slow” and “Quick” Reads

So I have kept up my reading this year (obviously). In fact, I have so far completed 24 books, or roughly 9500 pages. I gobbled up some of these books very quickly; others I slowly digested, or paused and came back to. In general, I don’t rush myself through books. If the information is new or particularly challenging, I give myself time to absorb it. Sometimes the books that take the longest are the most enriching. Here is some commentary on a few of my “slow” and “quick” reads from…

Counterfactual Thinking, that Sneaky Mechanism of the Mind

Investing is based the hope that assets you buy (whatever they may be) will provide (much) more value in the long run than the amount paid to buy them. This is a simple idea, yet along the way to harvesting your investment fruits, your psychological resolve will be tested again and again, since investments, especially potentially-rewarding ones, are unpredictable. They contain inherent uncertainty, since no one knows exactly what they will do at any given point of time. And there is not much that humans hate more than uncertainty. None…