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Tyler P
$2M follower assets
Investing for retirement (40 year window) and managing custodial accounts for my kids’ college funds.
151 following62 followers
Do you think every investing generation says things like “the market is just so much more efficient today” and “it’s not like [insert decade in the past] when you could find great deals”?

Easy Money
“During bubbles, folks often speculate wildly, hoping to sell a thing they see rising in price to someone else for even more money. In economics, this is called the greater fool theory. The price of an asset becomes uncorrelated with its actual value, and it ends up only being worth what you can convince the next person, the person more foolish than you, to pay for it.”

This book is a triumph of reporting and investigative journalism and serves as a deserved takedown of an industry that continues to prey on those who can least afford it.

Google Books
Easy Money
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A smart, savvy road map through the mayhem of the cryptocurrency madness.”—Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Alexander Hamilton From “one of the crypto industry’s unlikely but most prominent critics” (Washington Post), an entertaining and well-researched account of the rise and fall of cryptocurrency. At the height of the pandemic, TV star Ben McKenzie was the perfect mark for cryptocurrency: a dad stuck at home with some cash in his pocket, worried about his family, armed with only the vague notion that people were making heaps of money on something he—despite a degree in economics—didn’t entirely understand. Lured in by grandiose, utopian promises, and sure, a little bit of FOMO, McKenzie dove deep into blockchain, Bitcoin, and the various other coins and exchanges on which they are traded. But after scratching the surface, he had to ask, “Am I crazy, or is this all a total scam?” In Easy Money, McKenzie enlists the help of journalist Jacob Silverman for an investigative adventure into crypto and its remarkable crash. Weaving together stories of average traders and victims, colorful crypto “visionaries,” Hollywood’s biggest true believers, anti-crypto whistleblowers, and government operatives, Easy Money is an on-the-ground look at a perfect storm of irresponsibility and criminal fraud. Based on original reporting across the country and abroad, including interviews with Sam Bankman-Fried, Tether cofounder Brock Pierce, Celsius’s Alex Mashinsky, and more, this is the book on cryptocurrency you’ve been waiting for.

Not hard to figure out what happened here. Ownership and private equity pushed this thing to IPO too quickly so they could get some liquidity and cash out. $62 at offering to 56 cents today means, if there’s any justice in the market, heads should role in the c-suite.

This comes a couple of years after the sitting CEO fired 1,000 employees over Zoom.

For all the warts, anecdotally speaking, my wife and I used Better in early 2021 to refinance our mortgage. The process was quicker and easier than any of the alternative mortgage companies we investigated and got quotes from during that time.

I think this is a good company/good product, and at this price, I will invest as soon as leadership is turned over.
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First time I’ve put our full portfolio on paper. My and my wife’s 401k have security features that prevent them from linking to Commonstock or other third party financial apps, so this is the first time I’m seeing it laid out in total.

I’ve counted our emergency savings in here as well just for information’s sake. We continue to be #long America, and #long the S&P via VINIX.

I suppose our investing style is part Jack Bogle and part Peter Lynch. We believe in riding the rising tide of the market and prioritizing low fee funds. We also like to invest in companies we know, understand, and want to see succeed.

We intend to stay 95%+ in stocks for the foreseeable future (this excludes our emergency cash) as we hope to invest for 2063 instead of 2023.
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“I suppose our investing style is part Jack Bogle and part Peter Lynch. We believe in riding the rising tide of the market and prioritizing low fee funds. We also like to invest in companies we know, understand, and want to see succeed.” This right here is the best way to set yourself for a very successful future. I invest the same way. Low cost funds in my 401k and Roth which are not synced to commonstock and invest in businesses I know, understand, and want to succeed.
I’m currently reading Griftopia by Matt Taibbi, and while I don’t totally agree with everything in it, I think it’s useful to read an account of the 2008 financial crash as it was happening in real time. Taibbi is a great writer, and the book itself is very interesting and engaging.

Through the first couple of chapters, Taibbi explains how the mortgage bubble was created and lays it mostly at the feet of former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

The validity of that aside, there are a couple of quotes in the book from Greenspan during the dot com bubble that I think are somewhat applicable today. That is not to say I think a crash is imminent or a bubble exists in the market right now, but his language is eerily similar to me, a layman, with the language around artificial intelligence in 2023.

“When we look back at the 1990s, from the perspective of say 2010, the nature of the forces currently in train will have presumably become clearer. We may conceivably conclude from that vantage point that, at the turn of the millennium, the American economy was experiencing a once-in-a-century acceleration of innovation, which propelled forward productivity … at a pace not seen in generations, if ever.

Alternatively, that 2010 retrospective might well conclude that a good deal of what we are currently experiencing was just one of the many euphoric speculative bubbles that have dotted human history.”

  • Greenspan, circa 2000

There is certainly an artificial intelligence boom today. To suggest otherwise would be asinine. Just as the dot com bubble changed our world forever in positive ways, AI will as well. Amazon, PayPal, EBay, and a whole host of other companies came out as winners in the early aughts. But imagine pitching those stocks in 2008-2009 during 10% unemployment, or while 5 million homeowners were facing foreclosure.

There’s an old saying you don’t know you’re in a bubble until it pops. In my unsophisticated view, there are too many financial pundits speaking in absolutes about artificial intelligence when very few actually understand it. Of those who understand it, even fewer of them can predict which companies will be long term winners and losers. And even if those predictions come true, the market may correct itself anyway because of a totally uncorrelated crisis. Apple was down 50% from December 2007 to September of 2008. The same is true for Amazon and a whole host of stalwarts.

I am not in the business of telling people what to do with their money. There are folks on this platform far more intelligent and knowledgeable than me in every conceivable financial topic.

I’m not suggesting people sell everything or buy, buy, buy.

My only piece of advice is to be mindful of who you take advice from and how their opinions and actions might be influenced by their emotions and the general exuberance of a technology they don’t understand in any meaningful way other than to say “this changes everything.” AI absolutely changes everything - but the follow up questions should be: in which direction? For who? When? Will it matter if people are unemployed? Will it matter if they can’t make their mortgage payments?

New technologies rise and fall. Human nature largely stays the same.
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I consider myself a non-competitive person. I think there is room in the market for all participants to do relatively well. The market, as a whole, compounds over time. (100% of my 401k is in Vanguard ETFs because I know this to be true.) We can all be winners with enough patience.
My individual stock/equity investing most often falls in one of three categories (the more it overlaps, the better off I am):
  1. I understand this company.
  2. I want this company to do well.
  3. I believe this company has done well and will continue to so in the future.
Beating the market is not a motivation for me. Maybe because I am skeptical of my (or any specific person’s) ability to do it over a long range of time.
I see my investments as political donations. You give money to a candidate whose platform you believe in and want to see succeed.

To me, investing is no different. I don’t want to take profit in companies that have a mission antithetical to my personal beliefs, goals, values, culture, etc.
I’d rather my dollar garner a moderate (but consistent) return in a company I respect than chase market beating returns in a company I despise or don’t understand.
What do you think? How do you invest?
Do you invest to beat the market?

12 VotesPoll ended on: 9/8/2023

100 percent of my 401k and Roth are in ETF’s for the same reason you mentioned. In regards to individual stocks category I couldn’t agree with you more. I own stocks that I understand and if I don’t I don’t buy. It’s why I stay out of a lot of tech and growth names. It’s the biggest thing to me understand the company your invested in and how it makes money and the risks too. So I guess you can say I tend to agree with your analysis for sure
I’m reading The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham for the first time.

I thought this section was timeless:

We lack space here to discuss in detail the pros and cons of market forecasting. A great deal of brain power goes into this field, and undoubtedly some people can make money by being good stock-market analysts. But it is absurd to think that the general public can ever make money out of market forecasts. For who will buy when the general public, at a given signal, rushes to sell out at a profit? If you, the reader, expect to get rich over the years by following some system or leadership in market forecasting, you must be expecting to try to do what countless others are aiming at, and to be able to do it better than your numerous competitors in the market. There is no basis either in logic or in experience for assuming that any typical or average investor can anticipate market movements more successfully than the general public, of which he is himself a part.

There is one aspect of the "timing" philosophy which seems to have escaped everyone's notice. Timing is of great psychological importance to the speculator because he wants to make his proft in a hurry. The idea of waiting a year before his stock moves up is repugnant to him. But a waiting period, as such, is of no consequence to the investor. What advantage is there to him in having his money uninvested until he receives some (presumably) trust worthy signal that the time has come to buy? He enjoys an advantage only if by waiting he succeeds in buying later at a sufficiently lower price to offset his loss of dividend income.

The Intelligent Investor
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