I’ve been away for a while spending time with family over an extended holiday season. Although I’ve put some items on the back burner during this time, I wouldn’t take it back. Being able to spend extra time with loved ones has been the best gift I received over the holiday season. Too often we’re consumed with what is happening at the office to do this, so when I had the opportunity, I grabbed hold of it like there was no tomorrow.
When I first started this blog in December, the main component was to keep myself honest with myself. Thus, I will be posting my personal New Year Resolutions. Sure, resolutions are cliché, but it’s not a bad time to set new personal goals. I understand you can do this any time of year and you should! But, there is something about starting out the year with fresh goals and ambitions. It’s like having a blank slate, or a system reset back to default with the chance to build all over again. Let’s get started!
1. Write, Write, Write- My goal for this blog was to become a better writer and post at least twice per week. I unequivocally failed at this during the first six weeks. Instead, I spent time with family, which I don’t regret one bit. But, I still should have found time to post something, anything, twice a week. Most would agree that writing helps your thought process. Because often what sounds great in your mind, won’t make sense when those thoughts are put on paper. This process will help your investment performance, strategic visions, and your mental models. My goal for 2018 is at least 105 blog posts during the year with one caveat. That being, if I take a position that does not allow me to write about investments, economics, etc.
2. Read, Read, Read- As Charlie Munger says, “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.” As a child, I underestimated the power of reading and would like to think of myself as a late bloomer. Knowledge compounds like longer-term investing. And, the best path to this compounding knowledge is through great books. Over the years I have curated what I read to those that I trust (blogs) and minimize the news outlets to a select few. You can easily get lost in a deep, dark, news rabbit hole that can consume hours of your daily life. By curating your content to minimal sources, you will save yourself time to be creative or more time to read books. I would like to read or listen to a minimum of 20 books this year. First quarter reading will include:
The Outsiders by William N. Thorndike
The Money Game by Adam Smith
The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
3. Chartered Market Technician Level 3 Test- In April, I will be testing for the third level of the CMT designation. Over the past year, I have completed two levels and look forward to obtaining my designation this spring. After I pass the third level, I will need to gather sponsors that are familiar with my technical analysis work. Obtaining these sponsors should be doable given the number of charts I put out on social networks. After this goal is complete, I will be revisiting my continuing education goals to decide if I will pursue an MBA or CFA next.
4. Eat Healthy & Exercise Regularly- Over the years my wife and I poured our hearts into our careers. We put off starting a family, but we also put off our health. Healthy eating is a continued goal which has been progressing yearly. Each year I look to find a few new healthy recipes for meals and snacks that taste great too. We also need to up our exercise game with a goal of exercising five days a week by the end of the year. Now, I’ll never be a health nut. And, I’ll always enjoy some craft beer, single-malt tasting, and baked goods. But, I can limit those intakes by tracking them. I’ll update our progress and make necessary changes come July to keep us on track.
5. My last goal is to continue to refine my trading system. Each year I aim to systematize my investment process more and more. When I first started out a decade ago, l threw darts as everyone does. Even in my first year of professional money management, the process was always changing to adapt to the trendy style in the market at that time. My decision to block out the noise, the fear mongers, and make a rules-based decision process was the best thing I ever did. Eliminating most of the emotion allows you to execute the plan and stick to it during tough times. There will always be a discretionary part of my investment process because it is hard to quantify all qualitative factors. But, with strict screening rules for technical setups and fundamental factors, we can limit the discretionary part of the process to a minimum.
My goal for this year is to define specific parameters to determine strategic and tactical asset allocations. I’ve always attempted to stay diversified and benchmarked myself off others asset allocation strategies, but I feel this is an area I can improve on. Out of all of my goals, this is the one I look forward to updating later this year.
In July I will revisit these goals/resolutions and update the statuses of each one. Again, posting this is to help keep me honest, and hold myself accountable. I hope you look for a similar process to accomplish your goals or even steal this one. Feel free to comment and let me know other goals I should add to my list or how I can improve upon the given goals. As always, I love constructive criticism and welcome the feedback.