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Three Things I Think I Think – Bigly Things Brewing….

Here are some things I think I think.

1) Big Things Brewing. I have some HUGE personal/business news coming down the pipe next week. Tune in next Tuesday for more.

2) Tell Us How You Really Feel About ESG Investing. Here’s a brutal takedown of ESG investing by Aswath Damodaran of NYU. He says he can’t find any good points about ESG. The short summary of Aswath’s article is that no one can dictate what “good” and “bad” is in a free market. I said the same exact thing in a piece here in 2019. My basic view is, your vice is someone else’s virtue. Trying to apply morals to portfolios is extremely subjective and probably counterproductive. You hate guns? Someone else loves guns. Sure, you might feel better not owning guns in your portfolio, but then you’re just interjecting in the market with an active opinion that is likely to result in higher taxes, higher fees, less money for you and therefore a reduced ability to enact change in the real world where it matters most. I always tell people – you wanna enact real change? Buy the total market, don’t interject with your morals, earn higher returns and then take those higher returns and contribute to the causes you believe in. Don’t let other people earn higher returns and dictate who gets those higher contributions.

Anyhow, I am very biased here because it’s nice to hear a famous NYU professor agreeing with my exact view, but go have a read. He’s a smart cookie.

3) How You Feel About Money. Here is a wonderful piece by Michael Batnick talking about emotions and money. He talks about how some people have a hard time divorcing their quality of life from the size of their portfolio. This has become a favorite topic of mine as I’ve gotten older. Money is so personal to all of us and it really screws with people’s minds in a lot of ways. We’ve become so married to our bank accounts and brokerage accounts that we have a hard time finding balance between growing those accounts and actually using the money to do the things that make us happy.

I think about it a lot more now that I am dad and I have people who rely on me to survive. I can only imagine how often I’ll think about it as I near retirement. It’s funny though – I sometimes wonder if I add value to people’s lives looking over their finances and whatnot and the more I think about it the more I realize that the best advice I usually give people is to spend that money. Do what you love. Don’t get paralyzed by fear of not having a certain size portfolio.

Then again, I can’t even keep my daughter off of tables at restaurants and she’s only 18 months old so I guess I am still trying to figure it all out.