“Do the ends justify the means? Is it worth lowering your standards and giving up your principles in order to find a better outcome?
Many times, the means are the ends. How we choose to act changes who we choose to become.
The way we choose to get to where we’re going defines what it’s going to be like when we get there.”
… Seth Godin
“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”
– John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
“When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience ends up with the money; and the person with money ends up with an experience.”
“the S&P 500 returned an average of 10.28% a year from 1985 to 2015. At this rate, your money doubles every seven years. Thanks to the power of compounding, you’d have made a killing just by owning an index fund that tracked the S&P 500 over those 30 years. Let’s say you’d invested $50,000 in 1985. How much would it have been worth by 2015? The answer: $941,613.61.”
“From 1996 through 2015, the S&P 500 returned an average of 8.2% a year. But if you missed out on the top 10 trading days during those 20 years, your returns dwindled to just 4.5% a year. Can you believe it? Your returns would have been cut almost in half just by missing the 10 best trading days in 20 years!
It gets worse! If you missed out on the top 20 trading days, your returns dropped from 8.2% a year to a paltry 2.1%. And if you missed out on the top 30 trading days? Your returns vanished into thin air, falling all the way to zero!
Meanwhile, a study by JPMorgan found that 6 of the 10 best days in the market over the last 20 years occurred within two weeks of the 10 worst days. The moral: if you got spooked and sold at the wrong time, you missed out on the fabulous days that followed, which is when patient investors made almost all of their profits”
“The message is clear: the greatest danger to your financial health isn’t a market crash; it’s being out of the market.”
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. —UPTON SINCLAIR”
“Brokers have a vested interest in hawking expensive products, which might include actively managed mutual funds, whole life insurance policies, variable annuities, and wrap accounts. These products typically pay them a onetime sales commission or, even better (for them), ongoing annual fees. A broker at a major firm might be required to produce at least $500,000 a year in sales. So it doesn’t matter how fancy the title sounds: these are salespeople under intense pressure to generate revenues. If calling themselves a financial consultant or a private wealth advisor helps them reach their aggressive sales targets, so be it. If calling themselves a wizard, a pixie, or an elf helped more, that’d be just fine, too.
Does this mean they’re dishonest? Not at all. But it does mean they’re working for the house. And remember: the house always wins. There’s a good chance your broker is a sincere person with high integrity, but he’s selling what he’s been trained to sell—and you should always assume that whatever he’s selling will benefit the house first.”
“CORE PRINCIPLE 1: DON’T LOSE
Don’t even bring me an investment idea unless you first tell me how we can protect against or minimize the downside.
CORE PRINCIPLE 2: ASYMMETRIC RISK/REWARD
According to conventional wisdom, you need to take big risks to achieve big returns. But the best investors don’t fall for this high-risk, high-return myth. Instead, they hunt for investment opportunities that offer what they call asymmetric risk/reward: a fancy way of saying that the rewards should vastly outweigh the risks. In other words, these winning investors always seek to risk as little as possible to make as much as possible. That’s the investor’s equivalent of nirvana.
CORE PRINCIPLE 3: TAX EFFICIENCY
CORE PRINCIPLE 4: DIVERSIFICATION
1. Diversify Across Different Asset Classes. Avoid putting all your money in real estate, stocks, bonds, or any single investment class.
2. Diversify Within Asset Classes. Don’t put all your money in a favorite stock such as Apple, or a single MLP, or one piece of waterfront real estate that could be washed away in a storm.
3. Diversify Across Markets, Countries, and Currencies Around the World. We live in a global economy, so don’t make the mistake of investing solely in your own country.
4. Diversify Across Time. You’re never going to know the right time to buy anything. But if you keep adding to your investments systematically over months and years
“First, you need the right asset allocation—a fancy term for the proportion of your portfolio that’s invested in different types of assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternative investments. Second, you need to be positioned conservatively enough (with some income set aside for a very rainy day), so that you won’t be forced to sell while stocks are down. It’s the financial equivalent of making sure you’re equipped with safety harnesses, life vests, and sufficient food before heading out to sea. As I see it, 90% of surviving a bear market comes down to preparation.
What’s the other 10%? That’s all about how you react emotionally in the midst of the storm.”
“They understood why they owned what they owned, and they knew how these investments were likely to perform in a crash. It’s like being warned by your doctor that a medication might make you dizzy and nauseous; you’re not thrilled when this risk becomes a reality, but you’ll cope much better than if it were a total surprise!”
“Sir John Templeton’s famous remark: “The four most expensive words in investing are ‘This time it’s different.’ ”
“Throughout the crash, we continued to invest heavily in the stock market on behalf of our clients. We took profits from strong asset classes such as bonds and invested the proceeds in weak asset classes such as US small-cap and large-cap stocks, international stocks, and emerging-market stocks. Instead of betting on individual companies, we bought index funds, which gave us instant diversification (at a low cost) across these massively undervalued markets.”
“One of the solutions to this emotional stumbling block is to regularly rebalance your portfolio once a year.
What does that mean? Harry Markowitz gave me a clear example of an investor who starts with 60% of her portfolio in stocks and 40% in bonds. If the stock market soars, she might find herself with 70% in stocks and 30% in bonds. So she would automatically sell stocks and buy bonds, thereby restoring her portfolio to her original asset allocation ratio. The beauty of rebalancing, says Harry, is that it effectively forces you to “buy low and sell high.”
“Warren Buffett says, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”
The Solution: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint”
“I truly believe that success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure, if you’re not fulfilled, you have nothing”
Excerpts from the book: Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook