Each day, I ‘pay myself’ a minimum of one hour but ideally two. It’s my time to learn, be entertained, lower stress and improve myself. The best investment you’ll make is yourself.

In 2018, one of my three goals is to spend two hours each working day on learning a computer language and reading. Click here for last week’s reading list.

Here’s a collection of some great psychologyfinance and investing podcasts, books and blogs, I consumed this week. Reading for knowledge — rather than entertainment — is really important to me.

Robert Greene’s “THE 3 SECRETS THAT HELP ME WRITE AND THINK”

This is a short, five-page document on writing better from author Robert Greene. His three secrets are:

  • Rigorous exercise — not just exercising, but rigorously exercising
  • Zen Meditation — taking some time out when you’re stressed is hugely powerful. This is a very common strategy used by many of the best writers. Forget the stereotypes, meditation comes in many forms: yoga, walking, martial arts, simply breathing deeply or focusing on positive thoughts.
  • Research. For every book he writes, Greene says he reads around 250, scribbles in the margins, write the ‘essential elements’ on notecards and thinks them over, asking himself how they could be used in another context or story.

Here’s a fantastic quote:

“We too often think that those who achieve great things possess a larger brain or some innate talent, giving them the raw materials that we weren’t blessed with to transform themselves into geniuses and Masters. But through my research I’ve come to know that many of the greatest figures in history were mediocre students; they often came from poverty or broken homes; their parents or siblings did not display any kind of exceptional ability. Their powers did not appear in their early years, but were instead the fruits of intense labor and consistent routine.”

Find the PDF here. 

Some of Greene’s books include:

  • The 48 laws of power
  • The Art of Seduction
  • Mastery

Animal Spirits Podcast

This is a podcast by Mike Batnick and Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management. It is a short-ish commentary on (primarily) US markets. They are easy listening, ideal for when you’re in the car or train for 25 minutes. The podcasts are funny and insightful. They also share some of their best books and articles from the week.

This week’s episode starts with Q&A. One question stood out to me, it was from a listener who is a freelancer looking to invest in shares. To paraphrase Mike Batnick’s response:

‘Regardless of your job, have at least six months of expenses in cash.’

Here’s the link.

PsychSceneHub

This is a site run by medical professionals. Some of the content goes over my head because my medical knowledge starts with ‘don’t eat white rice’ and ends at ‘drink water’. However, many of the pieces on behavioural research are great and applicable to investing and finance.

This week I read an interesting article on Internet Addiction Disorder. Psychiatrist Dr Malika Weerasinghe writes:

“A 17-year-old student was brought to the clinic by his parents with a one-week history of changed behaviour and unusual beliefs. He started believing that his movements and actions were controlled by an external force through his laptop and phone resulting in him stopping their use.”

Among other things Internet Addiction Disorder, or IAD, Weerasinghe says, might be characterised by:

  • A preoccupation with the internet
  • The need to use the internet more and more often
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop using the internet, and
  • Lying about internet use

An article which is a fantastic interplay between finance and psychology is, “Return On Effort: Can This Formula Improve Your Life?”For finance geeks like me, you’ll be familiar with the profitability ratio of “return on equity” and how that can be broken down using DuPont’s method.

Here’s a novel idea…

Using Return On Effort, Dr Snail Rege and Swapnil Rege opine that we may be able to improve quality of life by focusing our attention on three key aspects:

  1. Return on physical and mental assets: using our time to learn and improve our personal ‘asset base’
  2. Making ourselves more efficient
  3. Lowering stress. “Negative stress can play spoilsport in this entire equation,” the authors write.

Takeaways

Compared to last week, my reading list is a little thin this week. Most of the week I was working behind the scenes here at Rask HQ. I was knee-deep in PDSs, legal documents and planning for the future of our businesses. It’s exciting stuff!

Remember, if you have any books, podcasts, or content you would like to share, I’d love to hear it.

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