“Diversification is for idiots.”

Mark Cuban said this in a video interview. He also added that diversifying will diversify your profits away. Warren Buffett said, “diversification is protection against ignorance.”

If your priority is to see a modest return on your investment in the long term then you should diversify. If your goal is to make a large return in a relatively short amount of time then diversifying will likely not get you there.

Conventional investing advice has a way of altering your perception. People who would gasp at your 1 stock portfolio would at the same time congratulate you on investing your life savings in a new business venture — go for your dreams! Putting it all into your one business is the same as putting it all on one stock. Most people would have been better off putting their money with Jeff Bezos than whatever costly venture they got themselves into.

Diversifying is recommended for every stock portfolio while the status-quo for everything else is to put all of your eggs in one basket. Who diversifies their education? How often do you get the advice to diversify your girlfriends?

I’m not recommending that everyone have a 5 stock portfolio. Warren Buffett also said 99% of people should just invest in an index fund. Most people aren’t skilled or lucky enough though to come out victorious in the stock market without diversification.

Saving Money Stopped Me From Selling Drugs

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In the summer of 2001 everyone was in the business of selling hard drugs. When I say “everyone” I mean the 2% of who society considers low-lives. At the time, I was working one day a week at my shitty retail job because that was all I could bear.

An old friend and I hooked up again because of similar circumstances. At his place one day he mentions how he was offered a job in a dial-a-dope business that would pay him $20,000 a month delivering crack to end users.

“I don’t know if you want in or not,” he said.

I did’t know if I did or not either. You might be questioning my 21-year-old morals but where I came from there was nothing wrong with anything if it meant $20,000 in your pocket every month. The way we saw it was someone was going to do it. If half the drug dealers died tomorrow it would just mean the other half would make double.

Laying in bed that night I was contemplating the pros and cons but really I was just trying to talk myself out of it. It’s just in my nature or maybe nurture to take the chickenshit route. Getting murdered by a junkie or some other dealer was a possibility but what worried me more was getting a criminal record. In my mind a criminal record meant that I would have to be doing dirt for the rest of my life or have to work a lowly job.

In my savings I had $7000, I owned my car which had insurance for the year and I also had plans of travelling in the near future. At 21 years old I had never even been on a plane before or your typical family vacation. So I decided — no drug dealing. I pictured being in jail and thinking to myself that I didn’t have to do it. Having ambition is considered a desirable trait but the funny thing is, if I had ambition I would have embraced dope dealing with open arms.

Having ample time though and being curious I went on runs with my friend. We picked up an ounce of crack that was broken up into grams and away we went. Damn phone would not stop ringing. It was too many calls for a couple of dope dealing novices. We were slow but at the end of the 8 hour shift we still brought in enough for a $500 profit. Hmmm, $500 x 30 = $15,000. Holy shit, he wasn’t kidding about being able to pocket $20,000 a month.

He offered me $100 a day to just sit with him in the car but I declined. I figured if I was going to do that then I might as well just do it myself. Most would say that they would never sell drugs but most people also never have the opportunity. As for the morality of it — no one has an issue with the liquor store clerk who sells you unlimited bottles of poison.

 

 

Buy Now or Kick Yourself Later

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Where I live in Vancouver, BC, real estate is ridiculously expensive. Anyone who could have got in before 2010 but didn’t is kicking themselves. If you were born in 1990 and after then there’s not much you could have done. There were many though who were 30 or 40 years old in the beginning of the millennium and did nothing.

We all know by a fairly young age that real estate will eventually go up but many don’t pull the trigger until they feel they have to(about to get married or have kids) or when they have too much money sitting around.

Evolution is slow. People like to move slowly because it’s more comfortable. They put off buying a home so that they can save more money or they tell themselves that the market might go down. If you want to be ahead of most people your age then you have to move faster than them.

When the water is calm people lounge around. When the big wave hits or the sharks are circling, people piss their pants, panic and herd in. Once prices go sky high people are now eager to jump in. It’s just human behaviour.

So are you sure you want to wait? “Expensive” is a relative term.

Saving Money: It All Adds Up

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Sometimes I eat potato chips multiple days in a row. I’m torn between buying small bags or bigger bags. It’s a dilemma of economics or health. Small bags at the local convenience store will cost me $1.75 which doesn’t sound like much but imagine that being an everyday expenditure. In a month that would equal $52.50 and this is assuming you don’t buy anything else. You’re already eating potato chips every day, what makes you think you’re not going to be a bigger loser and buy a soda or a lottery ticket?

That $52.50 would equal over $600 a year. It doesn’t sound like much but at the same time all you’re getting is potato chips. It’s the small habits that can chip away at your money. If you’re filling up gas you don’t have to come out of the gas station with anything else but fuel for your vehicle. There’s probably a long list of daily habits or bigger weekly habits that you can cut out.

 

 

First Step to Early Retirement

Most people have accepted that they will never be rich. Most people have also accepted that they will be working full-time until they are 65 years old. The reason for this is because the #1 priority for people is to conform.

Don’t be so down on yourself for being afraid to be left out because it’s perfectly human. We may be a civilized society with the luxury of being able to urinate in perfectly clean drinking water but our brain still has the same wiring as it did 100,000 years ago. To be left out of the tribe basically meant death back then. The instinct to fit in makes sense since it would be paramount to survival.

If you do what most people your age do then you’re likely going to end up on a similar path as them every step of the way which means working an undesirable job until you’re 65. It doesn’t sound so bad, right? It doesn’t sound so bad when you’re 20 or even 30 but soon after you’re going to get pretty sick of the daily grind and by that time you might be handcuffed to that life.

Even if you gave most 20-year-olds a recipe to be able to retire by 40 they wouldn’t follow it even if they believed in it. People don’t want to “miss out” on life. Life: nice stuff, vacations, eating out, big wedding, “friends,” you get the point. They’ll just tell themselves it’ll be okay to follow the traditional path. Maybe they believe this or maybe it’s just comforting.

I was 25 years old once. Financial independence in your 40s was too abstract an idea for me to handle. I didn’t want to miss out on life. I didn’t want to make sacrifices or take risks that could potentially oust me from the tribe. I thought following the traditional path was what life was all about. 

Financial independence at a relatively early age puts you way ahead of everyone. If you want to be exceptional then you can’t be doing what everyone else is doing.