Medley 202: Sovereign Investing, Thriving, Exercise, Saturated Fat, Loops, Animals, Toilets, Creep, Correlations...

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

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Happy Monday!

I don't know about you, but quarantine life is already starting to feel a little normalized. It feels like over the last week, we went from "freaking out" to "this is our life now," with social distancing becoming a form of virtue signaling (the good kind). I'll take it!

On that note, I wrote an article on the Growth Machine blog about how we're thinking about this sudden economic and health crisis, and how we're seeing it as an opportunity for our business and our clients.

Also, we're still delivering tea at Cup & Leaf, so if you want to stock up before any further disruptions to the supply chain, you can use the code "STAYHEALTHY15" for 15% off.

Alright, on to the Medley!

The World of Sponsorship

This weeks Medley is brought to you by Perfect Keto! If you're looking for more good quarantine snacks, their Keto Bars are some of the best protein / food bars I've had, and they use much cleaner ingredients than other popular nutrition bars (like WAY cleaner). My favorite are the Cinnamon Roll and Almond Butter Brownie. Don't forget to use the code "MEDLEY" for 20% off your first order.

The World of Finance

The market is down about 33% since last month (based on the S&P 500), which means we all have to start thinking about money differently than we have the last 10 years.

👨‍💻 If you haven't read "The Sovereign Individual," now is a great time.  Phil Bonello shared a good piece on the Sovereign Individual Investment Thesis, and one point he makes is about the growing skill and leverage gap:

"Highly skilled entrepreneurs have unprecedented leverage to outperform, and unskilled workers have unprecedented, global competition for work."

This is going to be especially true over the next few months. If you can find creative ways to make money without leaving your house, this could turn out to be an incredibly profitable period for you.

🏖 If you are able to continue generating wealth through this period, one thing to watch out for is lifestyle creep. In this article from Betterment, they show how for each $100 increase in monthly spending, you need an additional $30,000 saved in retirement.

The math on that is fairly simple: a conservative withdrawal rate in retirement is 4% of your portfolio per year, assuming 7% average annual growth minus 2-3% for inflation. So if you increase your monthly spending by $100, you need another $1,200 a year, which is 4% of 30,000.

🦠 It's also worth looking at how this crash is different from 2008. As Nick Maggiulli points out, the big difference this time around is that long term Treasury bonds have crashed with the S&P 500 this time around. The correlation chart from the article is the most interesting to me, check out the bottom left:

What does that even mean though? Well, to me it mostly means sticking with my general philosophy on investing in yourself and your work over trying to play with the market too much. Keep buying indexes in tax advantaged funds, and then spend the rest of your time focused on how to increase your earning potential and the value of your work.

The World of Health

💪 Now that we can't go to gyms anymore, I've been doing all of my workouts at home. Almost all of them I'm able to do using just my bodyweight and a few kettlebells, but I'm getting remote coaching from Central Athlete to do all the programming. This is also the gym I use in Austin, but now that everyone has to work out remotely they're opening up their online coaching more so I HIGHLY recommend checking it out if you're trying to stay fit during the quarantine instead of turning into a potato.

🧼 Also it turns out bar soap is really gross. It can sustain life for a bunch of different bacteria and microorganisms, and might make public bar soap a source of infection spread rather than a means of reducing it.

The World of Food

🧈 Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex put together a good review of the healthiness, or unhealthiness, of eating saturated fat. I don't agree with all of it, but he did make a good point:

"Given that 1800s Americans seem to have effortlessly maintained near-zero obesity rates while eating foods a lot like the ones we eat today, maybe we should stop trying to figure out what cavemen were doing, and start trying to figure out what Great-Grandpa was doing, which sounds a lot easier."

To me, this supports the hypothesis that highly processed foods & especially vegetable oils are to blame for a lot of it, but he challenges that hypothesis as well.

🍹 My friend Myles from Mother Tongue came up with a simple COVID Cocktail for some immunity benefits. It's quite tasty, too:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 dropper of ginger
  • 1 dropper of turmeric
  • Squeeze in some lemon
  • Dilute with sparkling water to taste

The World of Social Distancing

😔 One thing I hadn't considered was just how hard it is to work from home for some people. I take it for granted since I've "worked from home" for my whole career, but for many people (not just service industry) it's extremely difficult if not impossible. This tweet captures it well with a bunch of examples.

🌯 While you're social distancing, consider supporting some local businesses as much as you can. Shoutout to my friends Justin and Brent for making this site last weekend, and then selling it to USA Today on Wednesday. That's the last time I bail on a hackathon.

🤣 And for a lighter take on social distancing, enjoy this poem by Ari Satok

The World of Just for Fun

🌊 Much as leisure time became a sign of wealth in the labor economy, perhaps being basic will become a sign of wealth in the knowledge economy. My favorite line from the article:

"If the god of mediocre is a sloth, and the god of degenerate is a trash panda, the goddess of basic is an ingénue. When I’m drinking mango White Claw and laughing in the dappled sunshine, I’m projecting a version of myself to the world that says, “I haven’t had to think a day in my life”."

🚶‍♂️ This is a really cool physical example of animation, creating an endless loop on a turntable.

🚽 And while everyone else is hoarding toilet paper, this is a great time to buy a bidet. I picked up a Tushy last week and couldn't be happier with it.

🏡 Last, I picked up the new Animal Crossing over the weekend. So if you're playing as well, send me your friend code!

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

If you want to support the Medley and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,

Nat

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