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21 mars

How to become the richest man on the planet

Topic: What wealth is actually for, how to avoid wasting wealth to acquire money

TIP: Sleep, exercise and eat well - and the rest will follow. Start working on any one of the three magic pillars of true wealth and the others will rise with it.

Conclusion: Strive for real wealth; don't be fooled by the money illusion. Nobody actually wants money, fame and status. Those are at best tools, and at worst unintended side effects.

Reading time: 10 minutes (times the 4x obligatory re-reads)

Rich but not happy..., then what does 'rich' really mean?

The super wealthy have a problem.

They have no reason not to be happy, content, fulfilled satisfied... (I'll use "happy" as shorthand for whatever state it is you are ultimately trying to attain). With extreme wealth comes the potential to buy, to give, to experience, to research, to explore, to learn, and not least to feel accomplished, happy... "rich".

Anecdotally, however, despite all the resources in the world, it seems many of the money-fat fail at being 100 per cent fulfilled.

In contrast, there are a lot of people that struggle to put food on the table, but nevertheless are happy, thankful and, somewhat paradoxically, feel richer than many millionaires.

Yours truly actually seem to be one of very few wealthy people that feel truly happy, not to mention rich. I've come across several articles and surveys, where objectively wealthy people still put "being rich" at somewhere between 2-5 times their current net worth. I'm the anomaly here, in considering the "rich" bar being set somewhere below half my current level. So, I don't have the most money in the world, but I am definitely rich (point being: after having enough to live comfortably, the rest is all in your head).

For all I know, I may well be the richest (read: happiest and most rich-aware*) wealthy person on the planet.

* I think I am, but feel free to challenge me. Nothing would make me happier than to learn about somebody with an even better experience and appreciation for their station in life

The richness formula explained

So, how did I get here? Is it my humble beginnings, genetics, physical and mental health, friends, or what? Most important, is it replicable? Could you feel rich? Yes, "feel", since being rich apparently isn't strongly dependent on your financial resources (again, after a point where you can eat, sleep and live safely and comfortably enough).

The following eight or so magic pills, that all fit in nicely with each other in a joyful and synergistic bundle, taken together is all you need to become very, very rich. How rich? As rich as you have the capacity to experience.

My 8 magic happiness pills that could (should) work for you too

I use my body, I work out; I push myself to the limit when lifting weights four times a week. I started out doing it chiefly to stay physically capable, but every year there's more research showing how essential exercise is for a fully functional brain as well. In addition, my regular "wins", in terms of personal bests or just pushing through some plateau, fill my life with small spikes of justified joy. TIP: exercise
I'm healthy. I had a sore throat back in 2006 and then again in 2017, but apart from that, at worst I become tired after a late night out a few times a year. Nota bene, health is tightly connected to the other magic pills of exercise, nutrition, environmental factors, and not least mental and psychological health. And vice versa, every pill is synergistically connected to the other pills. I strive to constantly level up on any one of those parameters, knowing that increasing one will lift the others as well. TIP: stay healthy (take care of your sleep, eat real food at least 80% of the time, avoid toxins, stretch those psoases). Side tip: eat fatty fish or drink natural fish oil, but try to avoid most other supplements, in particular in actual pill or capsule form (natural berry powder is a whole different story, though)
I'm outside a lot. I see sunlight a lot. Having a dog helps, since it means there are no excuses not to be outside, seeing nature, feeling nature, meeting people, meeting other dogs. But with a little determination you too could make taking a walk outside a few times every day an absolute rule. TIP: put up reminders to move around, and to do it outside. Side tip: Get a dog. Side tip 2: No matter my advice to stay off the pills, consider eating Vitamin D during the dark half of the year, at least if you live in Sweden or work indoors.
I have friends, challenging friends, intelligent friends, interesting friends. They inspire me, push me, lift me up, and in general 'bother' me in a good way. They help me break out of homeostatic behavior if I turn complacent and stuck in my ways. Friends come to you based on who you are and what you do. If you represent what you would like to see in a friend, you will attract company with similar values, and you will all be better of for it. TIP: be a role model and hang out with good people.
I pay attention. I live now, not far into the future or way back in the past. TIP: feel; do at least one mindfulness exercise every day, a few seconds would suffice (breathing, touching, feeling, body-scanning, watching, listening, smelling, thoughtfully experiencing). In addition, you should try a full minute of meditation every now and then, once mindfulness has established itself as a natural habit of yours. Don't get me wrong, you still need to remember and learn from the past, as well as occasionally adjust your general direction into the future, lest you won't survive. It's a question of striking the right balance between appreciating and accepting what is, while still being smart about making sure there is enough to appreciate tomorrow too.
Failure is trying, and trying is growing
I'm appreciative, which comes easily and naturally from paying attention (as well as framing my situation as extremely favorable compared to [your choice: the past, other people, you in a parallel world]). I'm always waking up happy to see a new day in this wonderful world of mine, but if you don't you might need to work on it. If you don't feel appreciative, try imagining how things could be worse, much worse. That technique is called "framing": If you're standing in line, at least you're not at the office, right? TIP: notice good things; do what every life coach in the world instruct their clients; keep a journal in which you everyday write down the best thing with that day, or a failure you avoided.
I Take risks. Live! (which sometimes means flirting ever so little with death, or fear of death). I do something almost every day that scares me, surprises me or makes me laugh. I try to do things I don't actively want to do either - small things, like taking a cold shower or listening to a suggested podcast on a topic I wouldn't have chosen myself. TIP: Seek out surprise, and strong emotions like joy and fear. Regularly break out of your homeostasis and make sure you experience new things, stretching those neurons and learn as much as you can. Not only will it make you healthier and happier but it will make you a capable and interesting person to hang out with. TIP 2: Fail. Make it a daily or weekly habit to write down what you have failed at recently. If you don't fail every now and then, youre not trying, and if you're not trying you're not growing. Your failure journal can double as your "framing repository" to look back at on days you're not failing. Seeing past failures can put your present actions in a better light.
I focused on real wealth
-financial wealth followed as a side effect
I have a lot of money. I ascribe my financial success not to any particular monetary ambition, but to all the suggestions above. I focused on real wealth and just got financial wealth as a bonus. TIP: get a lot of money by doing something meaningful, but don't waste your life trying to impress others with a huge bank account. It's nice to be rich, and it's an important part of feeling relaxed, safe, free and independent; the opposite of slaving away as a mindless drone or compromising your moral for sustenance. But it's not worth it if getting it means sentencing yourself to decades of prison in meaningless toil during your most physically cabable years.
Once you have the money, you'll still just want to get back to my list above, now decades older than before. By all means, enjoy creating things and changing the world. Bask in the feeling of accomplishment that the scoring system of making money entails. But be wary of the time spent focusing on amassing money when you could be living. It might help considering if there is something else you'd rather do if the income was the same. Why spend 20 years as an accountant to afford a house with a sea view and lobster for lunch once you retire; when you could dive straight into said sea and catch the lobster yourself today?
Yeah, I know, I'm simplifying way too much in order to make you question what money and wealth actually is. What you need to do is think about what makes you happy when nobody's watching and make more of that while you still appreciate it. You change as you grow older and the material riches you pile up when you're young just might not buy the things you crave the most when you're older.

Conclusion: money is for the poor
This is how I think it is: You want do be happy as much and for as long as possible. Hence, invest in health, good company and experiences. Pay attention to what you're doing and frame occurences in the best way possible. In that way, life is like a dream, a lucid dream where you're in control of your happiness (as long as you have access to basic necessities like food and shelter), and that control makes you truly wealthy. In addition, financial wealth isn't unlikely to follow as well, although at that point you hardly couldn't care less about the money. After a certain point, its only the poor mind that strives for money in itself, and will forever stay poor. As long as you hesitate to call yourself rich, or think that 2x is just what it takes to get there, you're still poor and probably always will be.
Things you can buy for money isn't the answer, no matter how much society tells you it is. How much living space, food and transportation can you enjoy in a lifetime? That's really all money can buy. That which gives life meaning you still have to create yourself every day.

Begin with your sleep
If you sleep well you get less cravings for junk food and candy. Eating and sleeping better give you more energy which makes it easier to exercise. Exercise makes you hungry for nutritious food, as well as makes it easier to sleep. Exercising outside..., well, gets you outside in the sunlight; and nature provides plenty of opportunity for mindfulness, for moderate risk taking and meeting people.
So, start with taking care of your sleep, which incidentally (not really) often means exposing yourself to sunlight in the first half of the day. Thus a good old fashioned daily walk outside both improves your health in a number of ways, as well as sets you up for sleeping better which in turn is the foundation for all other magic pills of happiness.
Read more of my thoughts on the importance of SLEEP here, and my theory of meaning here, and a short thought on perspective here, and finally this one about striking a balance between exertion and rest here, about the cycle of sow and harvest.
Now, how about that walk outside? Take ten minutes and listen to the first episode of my podcast Future Skills here. If you don't have iOS you should still be able to find the show on most other podcast apps. Read more about it on the show's homepage.

BONUS: Keep a lookout for my new podcast in English together with Ludvig Sunström. It's called "Future Skills". We've kicked off with an amazing interview with hedge fund billionaire, Fourth Turning philosopher, crypto critic and gold bug Martin Sandquist. You can find it here. Don't forget to leave a review to help new listeners find the show.
Taggar (blogg): 
11 december 2017

How two Nobel Prizes about the circadian rhythm made me change my daily habits

Topic: Weekly and daily routines for optimal health and productivity in order to maximize your amount of life time fun

Nobel relevance: A series of Nobel Prizes has shed light on the adverse effects on metabolism (diabetes), heart disease, and cancer, that living out of synch with your circadian rhythm can have.

Summary: I have the luxury to schedule my days exactly how I like. Homeostatic and hedonistic tendencies could thus easily derail my long term capacity for joy and meaning (actually the same thing, as I explained here). It's a good thing then that I let myself be inspired by science when I organize my days and weeks to get the most out of my time without limiting myself unnecessarily.

Conclusion: This is my way, but how do you organize your time in order to leave room for spontaneity while minimizing procrastination and time waste?

Book tip: Healthy routines are great, but breaking habits is a special kind of good. Explore that concept in Ludvig Sunström's book Breaking Out Of Homeostasis (foreword by me here, and our podcast episode in Swedish about BOOH here).

On my way back home after a workout session (slightly hungover) -- it's dark but I have already had my two sessions of light therapy for the day

A steady daily drum beat of habits

...ensures a great quality of life, as well as top health and productivity

My weekly routine consists of lifting weights 4 days a week between 2-4 p.m., rounded off by a short sprint on the tread mill. The other three days I walk (5-10km/day with my dog -- every day of course) and run (a couple of 5km runs a week).

Weekly schedule  
Monday work, workout
Tuesday Think tank, long reading
Wednesday work, workout
Thursday work, workout
Friday Buffer
Saturday Free, experiences
Sunday work, workout


My daily routine is built around being in bed for 8 hours, between around 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., then walking an hour outside with my dog, then coffee around 9* while doing intellectual work (reading and writing) for about 4 hours, before having my first meal of the day and walking the dog again. Those 4 hours of "work" are scheduled on my Biological Prime Time for brain work.

My 4-hour work day is more than enough to move my ten-twenty main projects forward.

* long story by me on coffee and adenosine here, and one on how to time your coffee intake and why here

Daily schedule  
23-07:00 Bed
07:30-08:30 Dog walk = sun therapy
08:30-12:30 4 hours of writing, creative work, no meetings; my Bio Prime Time
12:30-13 Food, pre workout
13-13:45 Dog walk = sun therapy, still light in Sweden even in winter time
14-16:30 Lifting weights 4 days a week (running or whatever the other days)
17-18 Shower, food
18:00-19:30 1-2 hours of writing, creative work, scheduling
19:30-20:30 Dog walk
20:30-23 Downshifting, relaxing, quiet conversations, books, videos, articles

My workouts are not scheduled for optimal recovery (since I would need to go to the gym early in the morning for that, and I just can't fit that comfortably into my sleep, dog walks and brain work schedule -- something had to give).

Instead, pumping iron takes place in the afternoon, when my body temperature peaks, and I'm the most ready for peak physical performance (e.g., benchpressing 315 lbs, as I did in October 2017)

My early evenings are spent cooking and eating dinner with my girlfriend, then doing one extra hour of computer time around 6-8 p.m. I use that time for  finishing up, tying loose ends together and preparing for the next session and then I take the dog out one final time.

The last few hours (9-11 p.m.) before going to bed, we typically just relax and downshift together, sometimes just talking, sometimes watching a movie, TV-series or YouTube videos (book reviews, cosmology shows, philosophy lectures and so on -- emphatically not cute cat videos and similar wastes of time -- you can find examples of what I like here under YouTube Channels)

Take-aways from my daily schedule:

  • I sleep around 8 hours every night -- this is the ultimate foundation for everything human
  • I don't have coffee first thing in the morning; I wait at least an hour, usually two, between waking up and having my first cup. I've written an article before about why (less addiction, better effect) -- also in line with taking care of my sleep first and foremost.
  • I fast (almost) every day between around 9 p.m. the day before and 1 p.m., i.e. 16 hours. (yes, I'm back to that schedule, thanks to re-shuffling my daily schedule, not least my workouts). TIP: consult Martin Berkhan at Leangains about the benefits of fasting (also supported by the latest Nobel Prize winner -- Swedes should listen to these 19 minutes by Vetandets Värld about the cirkadian rhythm)
  • I am outside for 2x1 hours around 8 a.m. and 1.p.m. - not counting when going for runs or spending my "free" days outside - which gives me a healthy exposure to sunlight every day (good for Vitamin-D, for synching the cirkadian rhythm, for general well-being and more)
  • I do something physically exertive every day

Take-aways from my weekly schedule

Two of my non-lifting days are scheduled for respectively "LONG READING" (Tuesdays) and "EXPLORING" (Saturdays). The third one, Friday, is marked as a "BUFFER" day for catching up, for partying, for doing more or less whatever I feel like (as if I didn't do that on all the other days).

On my three non-workout days I want exposure to new people, new ideas and new experiences. On my workout days I want to exhaust my body as well as move all my ongoing projects forward.

Final words

I'm not saying you should copy my schedule.

I'm not even saying you should make a schedule at all.

What I am saying, however, is that you could benefit from at least checking what your current de facto schedule actually looks like -- and if you're getting the things done you aim to get done in the allotted slots - if not, perhaps you should do some reshuffling.

When doing, do. When not doing, do not.

P.S. Order Ludvig's book Breaking Out Of Homeostasis on Amazon before Christmas 2017 and get it for 9.99 USD

P.P.S. Don't forget to write a review, no matter how short. Why? Why not? Share!

Relevant Nobel Prizes:

Nobel Prize 2017: Circadian rhythm

Nobel Prize 2016: Autophagy

Nobel Prize 2015: DNA repai

Taggar (blogg): 
6 december 2017

"Me too" isn't ALL bad

Summary: Both sides have made mistakes, but worst of all is that actual rape victims are compared with female colleagues overhearing a bad joke that was thought to be told in private

Length: very short, 1-2 minutes

They too

A few short thoughts on the me-too campaign that has its epicenter in Sweden this fall (October-November 2017):

Let me start by saying that the campaign isn't all bad.

If anything, that's what I want you to take with you from this article. No matter what you thought before, at least consider the possibility that there are some facets of the phenomenon worth considering.

Second, try to recognize that there are bad seeds in both camps. Yes, some men have it wrong. As do some women. Not all men are despicable swine, and not all women are lying b***... *ehum* persons.

Again, some are truly evil, others are unfathomably narrow minded. But most are just trying to lead lives where they and their loved ones, men and female, can feel good about themselves. They are not actively trying to ruin other people's lives, they might even actively be trying not too, but are ignorant or misunderstood -- often because we are so quick to want to misunderstand and build straw men just to get to set them on fire.

Some make occasional mistakes despite trying their best. Some are just lazy and/or stuck in their ways. Many are frustrated that the other side just doesn't seem to understand their perspective.

I've definitely made mistakes, some more publicly than others (I'm sorry, Emma), some despite thinking things through, sometimes actually thinking that I was a bit clever. I am what many would call a librarian, travelling the world, hunting for lost treasures, messing with magical artifacts of immense value. Wait, no, that doesn't feel right... No, I'm a libertarian -- i.e., above all I treasure individual rights and freedom. As a libertarian I hold all people as equals: men, women, elderly, children, no matter when or where or how you were conceived.

However, despite being acutely aware of all living persons' equal worth, misdirected humor, ignorance and crowd psychology (locker talk) makes me as guilty as the next person when it comes to "soft" me-too transgressions. In other words, I 've said things that have hurt women. Well I've hurt a lot of other people too, but right now it's about women.

The good thing with the me-too hysteria is that every man, from the comedian, via cat callers to misogynists and rapists get to think through their actions an extra round. Maybe just one employer will be pushed slightly toward gender neutral hiring procedures, maybe one music producer will reconsider the old ways of casting female lead roles, maybe many women dare step up and take what's theirs if they are more confident men will be a little more conscious about how they react to that.

We don't have to dwell on everything that's bad with the me-too movement since that could fill books... Men are being sentenced without evidence. Disproportionate power is given to liars who just regretted their decisions when waking up. There will be less flirting, less social fluidity. Women that want to fit in with the herd try extra hard to find or fabricate me-too situations.

Most important though, is that the me-too movement tends to label every man a rapist, even if he just happened to recite a bad joke that was overheard by a female employee. With every man a "rapist" some may be pushed over the actual line, most however will cower in asexuality and a robot-like attitude toward women.

Worst of all is that actual rape victims will be banalized and marginalized, simply put on par with plastically enhanced women who got cat called or ogled.

OK, these are my three take-aways regarding the me-too movement:

  1. There are good things, with the me-too campaign, albeit few and far between,
  2. Both sides have bad seeds and have done dirty deeds. Not all men are guilty and not all women are innocent
  3. Think about the actual rape-victims; they need healing, not being compared to the butt end of private jokes
Taggar (blogg): 
8 november 2017

Mentally and physically challenged for the future

Topic: How to lead a good life

Conclusion: Do some work, not too much, then rest

I think my entire life philosophy can be boiled down to this one soundbyte:

Extertion And Recuperation

What I mean is that what's needed to get anywhere, as well as maximize enjoyment, is to challenge oneself and then rest. You need to regularly go just outside your comfort zone mentally and physically, stay there for some time, and then get rest.

That's how we evolved, that's probably why we spend one third of our life sleeping, that's what been proven to work for bodybuilders and intellectuals alike. You should try it.

I recently wrote a more complicated post on the meaning of life here. It dealt with more abstract notions of perspective and productivity. Those are of course very important, but if I don't get as many words, then I'd put it all down to first making sure you are tired from some sort of strenuous activity and then getting your well-earned, high quality rest.

  • Fast, then eat
  • Lift weights or run, then rest
  • Learn something new, a physical skill or a difficult and complex theoretical subject. Then sleep on it (I'll write more about sleep in a coming post)
  • Read a book, solve a mathematics problem, then meditate (or sleep)

It really doesn't have to be more complicated than that. The exact form of challenge and rest can and should vary. What's more important is the principle in itself:

Strain yourself at least a little, but not for unnecessarily long, and remember to recuperate

Don't do this at home

What you shouldn't do is working yourself to the ground, never setting aside time for re-building the resources you use up during certain frantic periods. What you shouldn't do either is never doing something new and challenging. The latter would definitely put you in the loser camp of lost causes.

Practical tip - record your Exertion and Recuperation

Keep a notepad, whiteboard or something to that effect and make sure you get two marks every day: One for the day's challenge and one for the day's quality rest (once going the extra mile or minute becomes a true habit you can stop recording)

Remember where you found this article, and don't hesitate to share it and to subscribe to my free newsletter (and get my book for free, which I will soon stop giving away)

Taggar (blogg): 
6 november 2017

What is the meaning of life: long term satisfaction guaranteed

Topic: a comprehensive answer to the meaning of life

Length: 2200 words

Idea:  you can conjure up arbitrary amounts of subjective meaning

Discussion and Conclusion: There is no objective meaning; you live and die for no reason, there is no plan, path or fate, no witness or juror. Once you die your elementary particles and energy scatter, and the patterns that made up your subjective experiences and memories disappear forever. Before long, nobody remembers you existed at all. The same goes for Earth and every life form on it, just on a grander time scale.

On the other hand you can experience and enjoy as much meaning as you like. If you find meaning there is meaning, even though it only exists in your head.

What to do: If you expect to find an absolute meaning you're likely to end up empty handed and disappointed. However, if you realize there is no real and objective meaning, but that you can conjure up arbitrary amounts of subjective meaning, the sky is the limit. And here's the kicker; I think evolution can guide you in what direction you're most likely to uncover and enjoy meaning (or in other words: long term satisfaction).

Long term satisfaction is meaning, but it takes some insight and planning to trick the human organism not to fall prey  to homeostasis on the one hand, or hedonistic adaptation on the other.

Survival of the most effectively hedonistic

Every day I find myself smiling and simply enjoying life. I often ask myself how come life is so damn wonderful all the time. I understand the anthropic principle, and I get that those who didn't appreciate life fell off the evolutionary bandwagon and left us hedonistic lot in charge, but still... We could have evolved to hate the weather, the smells of life, other animals and each other, or couldn't we?

I have enough money to do more or less whatever I can think of

What's enough? I have an 8-figure (but not 9 -- maybe in a few years depending on mainly one of my investments) net worth in US dollars, meaning I can sleep, eat and travel in style for as many years as my body can take it (I'm 45 now).

So, what do I actually do?

I spend most of my time throwing tennis balls for my rescue dog, pumping iron at the gym, reading (reading list here) and writing, not to mention the time I put into my podcast venture and my investments. If I'm doing something physical I listen to podcasts, and if I'm doing something intellectual I listen to music. I typically digest some 20-30 hours of podcasts per week (here's a list of what I listen to).

I don't travel much, I don't go out to party, I don't have a car, a boat or a watch, nor do I have an interest in fashion, in suits and shoes. I simply stay healthy - and challenged - in body and mind; that's more or less it.

Why do I do what I do?

Every now and then I think about it, about my life, about the choices I make, or rather don't make, every day. The other day, e.g., I had five minutes to spend before leaving for a meeting. I silenced my phone and started meditating on the word "perspective" that I wrote a post about a week ago (this one: Perspective is gold). This is what came out of those five minutes.

You are all alone

Life has no meaning unless you give it meaning. There is no cosmic plan for you, no God watching or intervening, no endgame, in short there is no meaning in an absolute sense.

However, you can create your own meaning and make your life mean something to you, and thus make it meningful (albeit only for yourself). It actually is true that we are all alone; brains in cranium vats, fed electrical impulses by a sack of meat let loose in a quantum mechanical world that neither it, nor you can sense as is, or make sense of for that matter.

The loop of meaningfulness

I get meaning from having fun and from being productive. Let's leave productivity out of the loop for a little while.

The hedonistic (fun) part boils down to good feelings in the present, or pleasurable (in a very broad sense; perhaps 'intense' had been a better description) feelings about memories of various kinds.

Both purely hedonistic experiences in the now, based on neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, not to mention oxytocin, and more refined flow states during learning or creating at top capacity belong to the category of "fun now". Food, sex, sports, meditation, reading, playing, partying

Delightful memories include things like Pride (feeling good about accomplishing or enduring something), Relief (appreciation over not having a certain burden anymore) and Reliving (a pure copy of the original direct experience). Memories include Learning new things and skills, not least putting things in perspective.

That perspective is key to a higher appreciation of all other things. Perspective is one of the most important factors in lending meaning (albeit subjective) to life. Experiences enhance your perspective, which in turn enhances your capacity to both invent more things to experience, as well as appreciate those experiences

Perspective -- Innovation -- Appreciation -- Experience -- (circling back to Perspective)

Coming back to productivity, innovation, experience, learning and perspective all improve your productivity (i.e., ability to create more of value with less resources in terms of mainly time -- your only truly scarce resource). The more productive you are, the faster you can increase your freedom to choose between having fun and being productive (not saying they can't be the same thing)

Perspective -- Productivity -- Freedom -- Fun -- (circling back to Perspective)

In a way the aim is to strengthen the productivity loop until it's not needed at all, until all basic and higher material needs are taken care of  with zero effort; and 100% of your time can be spent on meaningful fun. But here's the rub. Unless the fun part entails novelty, challenges, learning and growing, it ceases to be enjoyable.

Human pattern recognition ("intelligence") and the desire for perspective and productivity evolved for survival (finding prey, avoiding predators, finding mates, identifying friends and enemies, analyzing situations and predicting outcomes). Unless those drives are fed with novelty and learning, i.e., finding new patterns, it's difficult to reach a state of sustainable satisfaction.

Ultimately we are meat sacks, governed by selfish genes, our owns and myriad others, that evolved over billions of years. All they "want" is to survive in as many copies as possible. That translates into drives of productivity and procreation, enabled by pattern recognition and prediction and greased by fun factors flooding our brains when moving in the evolutionary correct direction.


Pattern recognition -- Perspective -- Prediction -- Procreation


Without consciousness there is no consciousness, nobody who cares. But once there is a spark of consciousness it seems to feed on itself and increase in strength and value over time. Perspective works the same way. Without it there is no drive to get it. But just a little taste of perspective kicks off a strong feedback loop of ever increasing appetite for and the ability to gain ever more perspective. This is where meaning comes in. Without a perspective of the self there is no consciousness, no reflection, no metacognition, no plan, no real past or future; and no meaning.

But when we do have enough perspective on ourselves, on others and on reality; consciousness emerges and we can form meaningful relationships that place us in a context of increasing scope. It starts with the self and our top five Dunbars and can gradually, with time, technology and awareness, expand to include the entire universe. It is this reciprocal context forming that creates meaning. My meaning arises from taking you into account, just because you in turn take me into account.

Summary: Food, safety and sex => perspective, productivity and fun => meaning

Here's what it all comes down to. Our genes drive us toward good feelings and fun, which can be had from, e.g., survival enhancers for the self (candy, french fries, sleep, safety...) in order to increase the likelihood of copying (procreation). Drugs and games can hijack our reward circuitry and trick the body into thinking it's surviving or copying even when it really isn't.

At the bottom of it, mindless genes are merely trying to replicate like so much runaway nanotech grey goo (google it); and our meat sacks and consciousnesses are just along for the ride. Pattern recognition, or "perspective" if you will, turned out to be a very useful tool to avoid dangers, find food and mates. Hence there are genes coding for rewards for gaining perspective, being productive and procreating. In addition, to make sure we survived in a changing and dangerous environment we evolved hedonistic adaption, meaning we constantly crave novelty and new perspective, rather than being content with the status quo.

In other words, even when we can have fun all the time, we actually can't. Our selfish genes tell us it's "bad" if we don't experience and learn new things or hang out with other living things; and that translates to feelings of meaninglessness. Our organism demands oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin to feel it's going in the right direction (the direction of copying as many genes as possible) and the conscious self strives for novelty, bonding and perspective since those tend to maximize the desired hormones and neurotransmitters.

The feeling of meaning emerges from an ever expanding perspective and sense of context (at whatever scale you see relevant), whether it's directly related to physical survival or not. The lowest order of survival consists of mindless genes. They know nothing, feel nothing, their "wanting" to multiply is bound by simple physical laws making one molecule more likely than another. At the next level comes following reward chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine. Yet higher up the the complexity scale, the metaphysical drive for novelty, pattern recognition and context in that pattern (which all boil down to productivity and survival at the lower levels) make us feel we are going places, that there is a path with a beginning and an end. That path is the meaning. The Path Of Meaning only exists if we do "meaningful" things, defined as doing new things, experiencing more, having deeper relationships and so on, i.e. doing things that the body can expect lead to a sustainable or increasing level of visceral rewards in terms of brain chemistry.

take one word that

resonates with your way of life


bounce it around in your head for five minutes

to create your specific word cloud of meaning

What should you in practice do with this insight?

Record how you feel during and directly after an activity (present fun). Pay attention to how you feel about looking back at an activity after a week, a month, a year (memory fun). If it felt good and worthwhile, instilled satisfaction and pride rather than shame, as well as furthered your goals and your power to do more to the same effect (productivity), it was meaningful. Long term satisfaction is meaning. In fact it's all the meaning there is.

Meditate on it, i.e., set aside some time to think about your activities and your feelings about them. Why not do what I did that sparked this article; take one word that resonates with your way of life and bounce it around in your head for five minutes and see what else it can break loose. What's your version of my Perspective - Productivity - Experience - Procreation word cloud?

Fuck and play: Take care of your physical health, preferably through sex and physically challenging sports involving other people. The organism likes moderate challenges, physical contact and simulated procreation. You'll like it too, once you break out of that "ordinary life" homeostasis of working for the man, buying stuff and thinking you'll just do this for now, and 'later' you'll reap the rewards of life.

Read and try: Learn new things, including both physical and mental abilities and knowledge. This feeds the innate drive for novelty and pattern recognition. Not least it's the first step to enhanced perspective and increased awareness, which are prerequisites for meaning.

Socialize: Go deeper. Get to know your friends and partner at a deeper level. Meet new people. Knowing they know you works as a factor multiplier for your sense of context and perspective.

A last word on meaning: True enjoyment and meaning, from physical activity and challenging cognitive activities, leave less cravings for empty hedonism such as gluttony and sloth. Just as perspective begets perspective, meaning begets meaning and consciousness begets consciousness; physical and cognitive health beget physical and cognitive health, thanks to satisfaction saturation a.k.a. meaning.

Regarding the closely related notion of "success"; in my opinion success consists of the power and time to do what I find meaningful (i.e., what is long term enjoyable). Money is one means to that end, interesting, deep and close relationships another, meditation a third. Stuff, fame and status usually are hindrances on the path to success.

Remember where you found this article: mikaelsyding.com


Taggar (blogg): 
22 augusti 2017

If you insist on being goal-oriented you risk just reaching your goals

Topic: Focus on goals, and that's all you'll get (if your goal is to become a billionaire, you risk becoming one -- and nothing more)

Conclusion: Avoid goals. self-esteem, happiness, experiences and knowing yourself are paramount to second hander "success"

Child psychology for adults with the wrong priorities

The famous Danish child psychologist, Jesper Juul, has advocated witnessing your children's upbringing, as well as being a true role model, rather than trying to shape and raise them with praise and bans.

Juul builds on observations of children's willingness to mimic and assist; being helpful. Children try to do the same things you do, and they try to assist you in whatever you're doing -- regardless of what you're trying to teach them. Children are very competent in this regard, i.e., in doing what you do, rather than what you say.

Juul also discusses self esteem vs. confidence. Self-esteem comes from being seen, loved and cared for, which produces a sense of intrinsic human value. Confidence on the other hand is associated with actual ability, such as being good at running, building things or doing math.

According to Juul, or at least what I remember from his book "Your Competent Child", you should refrain from overly praising your child, telling them they are "good at drawing", "good at running" etc., or for that matter issue orders like "get down from there!", "you are not allowed to..." and so on. Instead, by saying things like "that's look fun!", or "do you like to paint?", a parent encourages children to do things for themselves, to find their own center.

In addition, expressing love unconditionally builds long term self-esteem and a sense of inner worth, whereas praise tends to lead to "only" confidence, which can be ruined by a single poor execution. Nothing can ruin a solid self-esteem, while if your worth is based on ability, any little accident or setback can ruin you.

If you cheer on and praise competence and ability, you risk creating a feedback loop of: achievement = > praise => confidence => good feeling => search for more praise => achievement ... => => tangible success

It might sound good being a catalyst for your children's success, but what's missing is self-esteem, being happy in oneself without the need for other people's appreciation. When you're constantly trying to prove yourself in the eyes of others, it's difficult to find yourself and attain true happiness. You risk creating materialistic and successful but ultimately unhappy second handers.

In short, if you instill target-seeking in your children (or pursue targets yourself), they risk merely reaching those goals, and missing life altogether.


"If you do not change direction,

you might end up where you're heading"

-- Lao Tzu


(read that quote, and fifteen more of my favorite, important and useful quotes here)


You want to become rich? What if that's all you do? (realizing at the age of 87 that you have no friends, are unhappy, lack memorable experiences, have health problems and so on). Imagine you could trade places with Warren Buffett right now. You'd get 100bn dollars, give or take, and you'd be transferred to his 87-year old body. I trust you would say no (as I wrote about here regarding Time and Money)

You want fame? What if that's all you get? (no real friends, no riches, harassed by stalkers, never left alone)

You want to go to Mars? What if that's all you get to do; all alone on a space ship, than all alone on an empty planet?

You want to be the world's strongest man? You want to be the biggest bodybuilder? The fastest 100m dash sprinter?

All of those things may very well lead to interesting experiences, but if the specific goal is all you attain, your life will most likely be a meaningless one. Even worse so if you miss your one goal as well.

A final word: Be very careful in choosing your goals; update and amend them often according to who you have become in the meantime. Prioritize mid-term goals (months to years) over long-term ones (decades to life-time), and mark and celebrate your short and mid term accomplishments.

Don't ever feel the need to adhere to a plan or goal that your younger self set up, if present you wouldn't go back and set it up. Present you is all there is (but you might want to do some investing on behalf of your future you, just not too far off into the future)

Do you want to constantly learn new things, experience new things, get to know new people, hang out with friends and so on, then you can start right away and enjoy the entire journey.

It may be too late for you, but please avoid passing on your misguided goal orientation to your children by constant praise or threats and bans, rather than participatory witnessing as a role model.

My next post will be about the difference in longevity between men and women, and what that implies for your lifestyle if you want to live a long and meaningful life. Bookmark this page and subscribe to my newsletter to stay tuned.

Taggar (blogg): 
1 juni 2017

The covfefe lemma: How to choose between Time and Money

Topic: The covfefe choice between time and money

Summary: no 25-year old would trade places with Warren Buffet, but where does one draw the line?

Inspired by an interview in Framgångspodden, and several articles and tweets by Wall Street Playboys, here are some of my thoughts regarding time, money, retirement and the meaning of life.

I was 42* when I retired with an 8-figure net worth in US dollars. 42. By then I had read the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy more or less once a year since I was 18. So, 24 times, give or take. 42 backwards**.

*actually I said the magic words a few days before my 42nd birthday, but I stayed on a while longer as just the Managing Director without any portfolio management responsibilities, thus retiring at the age of 42.

**"42" referring to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy as The Answer

Time isn't money; time is covfefe everything

Life Utility Function: Optimize your amount of quality time

Quality time: Time spent doing what you want, what's rewarding, what's meaningful, what doesn't subtract too much from your health account, or -if possible- what adds to your life span without being too tedious.

There are a few minor snags here. For one, I don't know when my life will end (accidents, genetics, technological breakthroughs, lifestyle). Second, I don't know what my current wealth will afford me in the future (return on capital, money paradigm, war).

Did I say "minor" snags? I meant major. In effect, it's impossible to make any useful predictions so any solution will be highly subjective. Here is mine:

Choose something interesting to do; the most interesting and worthwhile undertaking you can think of for both you and others. If chosen wisely you will optimize your income, while still enjoying yourself and feeling relevant.

If your line of work is weighted more toward making money than being truly rewarding, quit (at the latest) when you have 5-10x the amount you think would sustain your lifestyle given a status quo economic system.

Why 5-10x?

Because once you have 1-2x, increasing that by 2-4x  only means keeping your momentum going for another 5-10 years or so (less time left means you don't need 5-10x the 1x amount from 10 years earlier), and that extra buffer can make all the difference once you get off the machine (in case it proves difficult to get back on).

With 1x you have no disaster buffer. With 2x you can support one other person if needed, but still no buffer. With 4x you can diversify your assets between, e.g., stocks, bonds, gold etc., and still be okay even if war strikes, stocks crash, the money paradigm changes, or similar non-linear changes take place. With 8x you can do the same for one more person that lacks funds.

I'm not at all advocating aiming for 5-10x the wealth you need, I'm saying any sane person should stop making money at that point, unless it's the most meaningful use of their time they can think of.

It's my time now

When I was studying or working I had basically no time of my own. It all went to following orders or templates, going to meetings and doing things for others... for money. I didn't read a single piece of fiction for years during that time. At first I did it because everybody did it. Then I did it for the money and to prove something. Eventually I did it out of loyalty (and maybe, by the very end, a little greed and/or homeostasis). Owing to growing tired of my Ferrari and Lamborghini, as well as a very disappointing test drive of an Itama 55, I realized I didn't care for stuff. I realized sleep, health and my time (which are all facets of the same underlying concept) were what I valued the most.

I'm not interested in clothes, cars, watches, boats or conspicuous real estate. I simply enjoy making my time meaningful, which for me entails reading books, listening to podcasts, talking to interesting people, learning, writing, playing with my dog, and occasionally using my body for something breathtaking, for exercise, for partying our dining out with friends.

That's basically it.

I really don't need more than 30k USD a year (including the condominium fee), or let's say 1m USD at 3% yearly interest, to sustain my lifestyle. Thus 10m is plenty -- in particular assuming I can get more than a 3% return on average over a very long time, not to mention slowly chipping away at the capital.

However, if you can't reasonably quickly get to several times the wealth you would need for your desired lifestyle, you should focus on optimizing your quality time right away.

The College-Buffett covfefe equation

Unless you're mentally ill, are afflicted by an extremely expensive disease, covfefe, or very, very poor, if you're in your college years you would never trade places with Warren Buffet, despite his 100 billion dollars to his name (74bn, according to Forbes). The reason for that of course is that he's turning 87 this year and most likely doesn't have more than a few years left to live.

Where do you draw the line?

Would you trade being 25 with 10k, 100k, 1m to your name for being 45 with 2m, 5m, 10m? How much are your 20s worth? Your 30s? Your 40s? Your 50s? What if you were 90 years old and about to die; how much would just 1 more day of quality life (as if you were 25 again) be worth? 1 million, 1 billion? The answer is, I hope: all the money you could ever scrape together no matter the amount.

I'm fully aware we all have different utility functions, and some are hopelessly stuck in a kind of competitive KUWTJ mode (Keeping Up With The Joneses, i.e., trying to outdo your peers for no other reason than outdoing them). It doesn't necessarily make their lives less enjoyable and meaningful. They might get just as much serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin as I do (though I doubt it). What's important is to think about it, really think about it, and optimize along the right parameters, rather than merely living reactively and driven by homeostasis.

Is it really worth it, slaving away with something you don't care for, in order to fit in, in order to buy better suits (for the work you don't like anyway), a better car (to show off for "friends", neighbors and clients) etc.? Have you thought it through? Have you compared the years you're giving away to others for the (few) years you leave for yourself later on when you're older and less agile?

An eye for an eye, a year for a year

Who's that extra year for? Who's that extra wealth for? If you're proving something (like I did), or seeking revenge for a poor or unjust upbringing, for whom are you doing it?

I'm not saying "skip college", "drop out", "quit your day job" to hitchhike around the globe, living hand to mouth. I'm asking you to make an informed choice between spending one more year doing what you're doing (mostly for others), and using that year for something you really like and would do without having to tell others about it.

I had the luxury to come into enough wealth reasonably young without even thinking about it. I also had the luck of understanding the choice outlined above and quit in time. I understand the lure of riches, luxury and conspicuous consumption, and how difficult it is to fathom their uselessness unless you've experienced it yourself. Thus, I urge you to try it if you think you want it, but I'm also asking you to make an effort to back out quickly once you realize time, action and community are more important than stuff and theatricals. In the coming era of automation and cheap energy, material wealth could soon become moot anyway, as Peter Diamandis alluded to here:

“The son or daughter of a billionaire in New York or the son or daughter of the poorest farmer in Kenya is going to have access to the same level of education delivered by an AI, the same level of healthcare delivered by an AI, or intervention delivered by a robot. So, we're going to start to demonetize all the things we think of as the higher stakes of living,” he said.

Summary: the covfefe lemma

So, at what extra unit of material wealth vs. on less unit of time do you draw the line? Where is your so called covfefe point, where you wouldn't trade more time for the amount of dollars you can add per unit of time?

Bookmark this page, share it, and subscribe to stay tuned for more of my musings on life, money, technology and financial matters. You'll get my free e-book about my time at the European Hedge Fund Of The Decade too.

Taggar (blogg): 
29 maj 2017

How grit, time and practice leads to creativity

Topic: Creativity

Summary: Creative insights take years and decades of experiences to get, so you'd better engage your grit yesterday already

We are down on the month with just two days left. Get me something good NOW. Nobody leaves until we've fixed this. Be creative!

-Bobby Axelrod in Billions being his typical unreasonable and incredulous larger than life self

Be creative. Now.

Wanting to be creative just doesn't work

Sometimes I want to be creative.

Sometimes I feel as if I haven't produced anything of value for some time, and just want to make something worthwhile, be it an investment, a blog post or just a witty or insightful tweet.


That's exactly what I typically come up with. Regarding investments, that's probably a good thing.

The silent YouTuber

The same goes for my YouTube series in Swedish: Listening to several hours of scientific and economic podcasts every day usually triggers shareable thoughts by the handful. However, if I don't write them down the insights are often gone just like that. OK, to be honest, I can keep a few fresh in my mind for several hours if I really want to. The problem is that forcing my memory that way severely limits the amount of new information I can digest.

What's sometimes frustrating is that despite churning hundreds of ideas through my mind and commonplace each and every month, if you (or I) put a video camera to my face and request I pull even one out of my theoretically shock-full hat of ideas...


It's not stage fright. I mean I can say something. I can whip up some old wisdom about patience, or whether to aim high or low. I can even be a bit witty, talking about investor mistakes (mostly my own), or gym stereotypes. What I can't do is create something new, connect some dots, do what some people seemingly effortlessly do all day long in social media. (oh, I know most of them only do it when they have those automatic strokes of insight, when they're hit by that strange type of boson called inspiratons, just like I am every now and then)

I have no problem accepting this, not least as I know I'll have new ideas tomorrow.

Inspiratons hit those heavy in experience

That's the message here really, that you'll get your inspiration when you get it. That there are no short cuts to creativity, that it's not like lifting weights or some other performance activity. That your moments if insight are the product of everything else you have done over days, weeks, months and years. When you hear something new, creativity is the automatic process of connecting dots from that to the sum total of your experiences.

At least that's my perception of creativity. All the books I've read, all the podcasts I've contemplated, all the deep conversations I've had, all the projects I've struggled with, it has all taught me something and given me a platform from which to interpret everything else I come across today. Trying to force creativity in the moment just blocks it for me, but constantly seeking out interesting and rewarding experiences means I will get strokes of insight in the future.

So, you want to be creative?

You think you're entitled to?

You want the truth?

You can't handle the truth!

My apologies..., I couldn't help myself. Perhaps it's some lingering effects from the creative brainstorming activity from last week.

Anyway, to be creative you need 1) experience, knowledge, and 2) curiosity to find and identify input.

I suggest you start experiencing as much as you can: reading, listening, conversing, doing, experimenting, all the while keeping structured and interlinked notes of what you're doing and why. Creative insights will come "for free" once you've had enough exposure.

However, "for free" doesn't mean you can be lazy about it. Including in "experience" is working for it, working through tough projects, reading and understanding complicated articles and books, engaging in and losing arguments etc.

Failure is the mother of creativity. Sweat its father.

The dark part of this message is that if you've already spent the better part of your life watching action comedies and soap operas, scrolling on your phone during your commute to and from work, you won't become creative overnight. Because creativity can't be plucked from thin air. The inspiratons are only attracted to bodies heavy in thoughtful, gritty experience - sometimes referred to as deliberate practice.


Nevermind trying to be creative.

Focus on learning and experiencing.

Your insights will come later, once you know enough, understand enough. Put your mind to connecting dots whenever you can - keep flexing that muscle - but don't expect true creativity until you truly understand a topic.

First time here? Subscribe to my free newsletter for weekly-ish updates, and read my free e-book about investing (no spam, albeit the letter does contain messages pertaining to my own businesses or affiliates)

Taggar (blogg): 
25 april 2017

Why religion is the lazy coward's way

Summary: Religion is to science what snacking and TV-addiction is to exercise and deep work; a little bit like how technical analysis relates to fundamental analysis in investing.

Disclaimer: Before bashing on religion you should always ask what kind it is, i.e., exactly what the believer actually believes. When I'm talking about religion, I mean the existence of a personalized God that can and will communicate with people, governs some kind of extra-material realm, as well as can break or change the natural laws. All of that is of course complete bunk.

Religion is lazy, indulgent, and intellectually cowardly.

A scientist has to work much harder at uncovering the true nature of reality.

It takes centuries of missteps and breakthroughs, of courageous individuals and diligent teams challenging and building on each other's findings, to chip away at the big marble block of nature, piece by piece revealing what's beneath.

In contrast, any child can succumb to an overactive amygdala, and assume agency in every occurrence. God is a childish invention, where the familiarity of grown-ups controlling and creating the child's world spills over into adulthood, infecting the mind with shortcut solutions to complex problems.

It's the snack eating, TV-couch dwelling, dopamine addict personality that turns to God for a quick fix; whereas the curious and diligent homeostasis breaker works hard and deeply, knowing that the satisfaction from accomplishment beats any short term sugar rush.

You can tell your bible touting friend the next time you see him, that he's nothing but a feeble-minded, childish addict that's too lazy or too scared to try to understand the true nature of reality.

Hey, if that made you think, why not subscribe to my free newsletter (and get my e-book about investing for free)? After all, I did receive the only European Hedge Fund Of The Decade award to date. Or why, not check out this summary of my 12 investment lessons from the book.

Taggar (blogg): 
7 mars 2017

Sticking to your strategy is much harder than forming it


Investing isn't easy.

Investing involves a multitude of various investors, consumers, companies, managers, employees, fiscal and monetary policies, weather, disasters, your own psychological biases, and not least chance. Investing is thus like playing a multi-dimensional board game, with considerably more moving parts than in a game of Go.

In my book about 15 years at the best performing hedge fund in Europe over a decade, I list 50 rules of investing.

Over the coming weeks, I intend to go through and explain twelve of my most important insights from that time. Taken together I believe they will make for a useful inspirational reminder for enhancing your investment habits.

Strategy means having, and systematically and consistently complying with a system for investment decisions, rather than relying on intuition and gut feeling.

Some prefer a fundamental, value-based stock-picking strategy. That insures against permanent losses if market momentum suddenly turns negative.

Others prefer value-agnostic methods, based on, e.g., momentum or specific share price patterns. In theory, you could make money that way in any market environment. Yet others rely on asset class diversification with fixed rules for adjusting the relative weights.

Some investors focus on macroeconomic information, while some prefer pair trading, focus on special situations or risk arbitrage. A select few have chosen more or less complicated derivatives strategies.

There is no one optimal investing strategy. You can get rich or poor fast with any of the mentioned strategies.

Many strategies can carry the required load on the financial markets; and different strategies work better for different individuals or institutions. It's consistent execution of the chosen strategy that leads to exceptional results.

Hence, you should choose a strategy - logical, rational and back-tested - and modus operandi that you are comfortable with trusting in good times and bad, neither amending your sizing, risk tolerance, asset allocation or positioning during streaks of good luck, nor in streaks of bad luck.


Form a strategy

Stick to it

However, do adjust the strategy deliberately if needed; but don't deviate from it in ad hoc fashion based on emotional reactions to particular circumstances or stress.


My own strategy is based on thorough fundamental research on individual companies. I want to buy fair companies at a fantastic (low) price, including unproven start-ups with great ideas at very low market capitalizations. I tend to find it difficult buying great companies at great prices, mostly since I find it difficult to identify truly great companies without their prices being insane - a price point I've never been able to stomach.

I typically trade (buy or sell) in increments over a fairly long period (sometimes weeks, sometimes years), mostly to avoid the psychological blow of buying or selling the entire position at the wrong price right before an important (unknown) event, partly to enable trading on share price overshooting, and finally in order to learn more about the company before becoming psychologically stuck.

In addition, I trade around long-term positions whenever the share price overshoots or undershoots due to news or movements in the general market.

I'm always prepared to lose money, albeit not bond-pit trader style like Mark Spitznagel, but rather as part of reality's natural tendency toward an unpredictable range of outcomes. To insure against too large losses, I diversify across a range of assets, such as my apartment, physical gold and platinum options, private companies in a range of industries and stages, private bonds/loans, and listed stocks in various sectors.

I combine my bottom-up investment style with a top-down view of the general economy, as well as an overall view of the stock market (in particular the median valuation level, and trend convergence of technical gauges), in order to decide on my overall risk level and how to weight the various slices of my investment pizza.

In short, my strategy can be summarized thus:

  • Fundamental bottom-up value-based stock picking
    • Averaging in and out
    • Position trading
  • Overall market valuation
  • Overall market trend
  • Top-down macroeconomic overlay
  • Quattro Stagione asset class diversification pizza portfolio

My Strategy:

Right now the stock market is insanely expensive and technicals point to a trend change downward. Hence, I'm underweight listed stocks (actually net short including my XACT BEAR position). Nevertheless I'm long a few gaming companies with strong momentum, a hype/hope biotech stock, a nuclear energy consultancy stock and the Uranium ETF: URA.

Real interest rates are negative, and fiat currencies seems overdue some kind of re-set, explaining why I'm overweight precious metals (options on physical) as insurance against long term mayhem.

I have lent out money, with a large margin vs. policy and market rates. If the economy improves and interest rates rise, my rates rise too. If the economy weakens, I'll just have to hope my friends can keep their jobs. I'm overweight this kind of junk/friend private bond market due to extremely good rate margins, despite a half-decent macro outlook for Sweden.

I'm neutrally weighted private companies, even if it sometimes feel like I'm overweight - probably due to my low current weight for listed stocks. Listed stocks are expensive, while certain sectors and classes of small private companies are quite cheap - not to mention restricted to few well-connected investors. Hence, I have focused my investments during retirement more and more toward private companies within, e.g., HR software, consumer motor/water sports, medtech, retail and a few others.

My guess is I'll keep increasing my weights in private companies in tandem with the economy getting weaker at some point in the future, and me thus getting more and more calls for investments. After that I hope to reap handsome rewards starting in 2020 and going forward. Hopefully several of my private investments will become public around then. In 2022 I'll turn 50 and some time around then, my strategy is to do more travelling and spend less time on risky investments again... for a while.


Occasionally I will offer subscriber-only material in my newsletter. Please sign up (it's free, and it includes my book about hedge fund investing), if you want to make sure you don't miss out on freebies, offers and subscriber-only discounts on special products.

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