World Champion, and the people’s choice

If you don’t understand Swedish, just please click this link and vote for my friend, Patricia Axling – Swedish, European and World Muay Thai Champion in 2016 – as the People’s Choice in this year’s Swedish Martial Arts Awards.

If that’s not personal development, I don’t know what is.


Om du kan svenska får du gärna läsa lite mer innan du röstar.

Kos

Jag träffade Patricia första gången 2003 på en resa till Kos med typiska inslag för ungdomliga medelhavsresor.

Visby

2005 träffades vi igen på en reunion i Visby under liknande former. Den resan slutade med att vi blev ett par, vilket vi fortsatte vara i 10 år.

Under den tiden hann hon sluta med Karate (där hon tog 6 SM-medaljer, men aldrig något guld), börja med motionsboxning men som efter några år motvilligt övergick i en elitsatsning som gav två, eller kanske tre SM-medaljer till innan en kombination av hinder fick henne att sluta boxas 2013.

Muay Thai 2014

För (bara) snart tre år sedan, våren 2014, öppnade en ny thaiboxningsklubb i Stockholm och Patricia gick dit för att prova på. Hon ville helt enkelt hitta en ny motionsform efter en dekadent resa tillsammans till Jamaica som avslutning på ett år av skador, huvudvärk, tränarbyte, sjukskrivning mm.

Matchgrupp

Ganska snabbt gick hon från motionär till matchgrupp. Under det första året slipades karate- och boxningslater bort och kompletterades med thaiboxningstekniker. Den som har bytt kampsport förstår vilken envishet och disciplin det krävs för att byta stil på riktigt.

Ett bra 2015 ledde till SM 2016

2015 var ett bra år, men ännu var inte thaiboxningen helt naturlig. Boxningsteknikerna var hårdast i Sverige, men clinch, blockar, knän höll inte riktigt samma klass. Konditionen och uthålligheten hade dock gått från medioker till toppnivå.

I slutet av 2015 såg hon till att säkra en plats i SM genom några viktiga vinster.

2016: SM-, EM-, VM-guld och nominerad som första kampsportare någonsin till svenska idrottsgalan

Så kom 2016 då Patricia först vann SM och därmed tog en för många överraskande plats i svenska landslaget och fick representera Sverige i VM.

I fyra macher, bland annat mot “OS”-vinnaren från Thailand och en ryska i finalen övertygade Patricia och slutade turneringen med ett VM-guld i 57kg-klassen. Kort därefter tog hon hem EM trots en förkylning.

Nomineringen som årets nykompling till Svenska Idrottsgalan var totalt överraskande. Ingen kampsportare har blivit nominerad tidigare. Tyvärr förlorade Patricia (till en bowlare som lyckats med det omöjliga på touren i USA).

Folkets Pris?

Kan Patricia Axling istället få vinna Folkets Pris på Kampsportsgalan 2017?

Hjälp mitt ex Patricia Axling, numera en av mina bästa vänner och matte till vår fortfarande gemensamma adopterade hundstallshund Ronja, att vinna Folkets Pris genom att rösta via den här länken. OBS att listordningen slumpas fram så det kan se annorlunda ut för dig.

 

 

7 secrets to top level investment performance

 

Topic: Tips for mentoring a trader (or weight lifter)

Executive summary: Focus on the big picture in investing, weight lifting and life: The 7 most important things to consider as an investor

Length: Fairly short


Big mistake, huge

My biggest mistakes in life are typically associated with suboptimization.

Sometimes I’ve focused on the wrong thing, climbed the nearest hill instead of the right one. Sometimes I’ve tried too hard, sometimes too little.

aconcagua summit underwear

Aconcagua summit

What I should have done is mapped out the entire landscape, identified the desired area and put in an adequate intense work effort there and sustained the effort for a long time.

Sure, I did pretty well anyway, albeit in my signature ad hoc, haphazard fashion. The hedge fund industry between 2000-2014 turned out to be a good ant hill to climb. And the way I happened to play it was with enough intensity (well, the right colleagues at least) and long-term enough to win The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade award.

But, I could have done better… and faster in the world of finance. I could have provided more value for clients, contributed more to my colleagues; and learnt more and advanced faster, got out earlier (or enjoyed staying).

Not least, I could have done way, way better in the gym by, e.g., sleeping better, eating better, and focused on the big picture (programming, recovery and long term progress), rather than maximum ‘effort’ in every set and workout. ‘Failure’ is just one of the options for a set ;) 

My worst trait is being stubborn

Grit is probably my best

– It’s kind of the same thing

My natural independence has been of great value to me

Whereas my contrarian streak often gets me into trouble

– You get the point


Big picture thinking

I listen to podcasts every day during my dog walks and weight lifting workouts. My main interests are science, health and economics/finance (as you can tell from this list).

The last few days I’ve been listening to several episodes of Sigma Nutrition Radio (an evidence based exercise and nutrition podcast).

Some of the more important points from episodes 148-153 have concerned big picture thinking, as opposed to being myopic or esoteric.

One thing that struck me – among the information about gluten sensitivity (possibly caused by a poor diet and suboptimal microbiome), the importance or not of drinking water and how to gauge your hydration status, how food composition and timing affects your body composition or health, whether you’re likely to be a hard gainer (no, you’re not), and how dangerous or healthy red meat and coconut oil* really is for you – was the weight to put on applying an 80/20 mindset to what to do and how to do it.

* note: forcing down water seldom is a good idea, and hydration mainly takes care of itself if you drink when thirsty (unless you’re an extreme athlete), food composition and timing hardly matters unless you compete at the national level, red meat usually isn’t the culprit and coconut oil is bad in large and concentrated doses.


80% machine, 20 % human

What really hit home with me were the following two points 1) Greg Nuckols’ statement about envisioning the entire lift, rather than paying too much attention to parts of it and 2) Giving clients mostly what they need long term, and then a little of what they want to keep them happy short term

Those weight lifting and coaching mindsets can be applied equally well to life in general and investing or trading – whether a mentor/master or apprentice:

  1. Health: Eat whole and right 80-90% of the time and more or less whatever you want the rest of the time; as long as your energy intake is what you want and your macros satisfy a minimum required level. Sleep enough. Do compound exercises for an hour or two about every second day. That’s the 20% giving you the 80%.
  2. Trading: Be Analytical, Unemotional, Strategic and Patient most of the time (A USP for you and SUPA for Swedes), but do experiment, gamble and have fun some of the time (sometimes a lesson learned, sometimes free money) if that’s what keep you ticking.

An effective choice of endeavor is more important than efficient task execution

The general idea is to avoid wasting time and energy on unnecessary nitty gritty details, and put quality effort into doing the right things adequately well (instead of aiming for 100% comprehensive scope or detail).

matterhorn

Cutting to the chase, here are 7 things I would have improved, if I had a do-over as an investor. They are all about being systematic, unemotional, mindful and focusing on true value drivers (statistics, learning & people):

  1. Start a commonplace book for investment decisions
    1. List of best practices
    2. List of mistakes
      1. why, what “happened”
      2. what you could have done (before and during)
      3. Be quick to realize and remedy mistakes
        1. That doesn’t necessarily mean “tight stop-loss levels”, but regarding fundamental mistakes in logic or turn of real world events
      4. See if the lesson can be formulated as a best practice
    3. List of wins
      1. why
      2. was it luck or skill – be brutally honest
      3. what you could have done even better (before, during and exiting)
      4. Best practice?
    4. Read the notes regularly
      1. always check your best practices before an investment
      2. keep updating best practices with new insights
  2. Read more books and articles, less sell-side research reports
    1. Take and keep notes of actionable investment wisdom
      1. distill best practices check lists for research, for investing, for interviewing, for discerning causal relationships
    2. Read book notes regularly
      1. repetition
      2. new insights
    3. Read research reports (only) for very specific purposes
      1. to poke holes in your own thesis and conclusion
      2. to find new ideas (but then you need to research them yourself as if from scratch)
      3. searching for data series for certain (proprietary) variables
      4. enable further questioning of analysts or company management
      5. gain new perspective (read reports with different conclusions from yours)
  3. Think more about thinking, think ahead, be proactive
    1. Prepare what you want to get out of a model, meeting or conference before going
      1. all too often I would go to meetings and just react
      2. sometimes I started on a model with no plan and continued and finished it purely driven by homeostasis
    2. Spend at least 1-2% of the time (1h/week?) on strategic planning, structuring and streamlining your work in a systematic fashion (commonplacing)
  4. Be more systematic and evidence based (statistics) when inferring causal correlations
    1. Document exactly why I think a certain correlation is meaningful
      1. fundamentally (causal), or short-term market-wise 
      2. is the covariation large and stable enough to matter
      3. regularly re-check if the correlation still holds
    2. Define a maximum of maybe 5 variables for forecasting, e.g., sales, and move on to more important things
      1. Don’t get bogged down updating detailed information that hardly matters
    3. Forecast only what you can reasonably have an idea about
      1. be clear about what you don’t know
      2. forecast very wide ranges for unknowable factors, if need to forecast at all
      3. make sure your forecasts are expressed as ranges reflecting the actual underlying uncertainty
    4. Use your intuition by all means, but only as a starting point. You still should do the research from scratch, using your best practices list
  5. Less “face time” and showing off
    1. Focus only on what matters (very different whether you’re a PM or a sell side analyst)
      1. PM: investment decisions
        1. understanding value drivers
          1. “fundamentals”, including allocation flows, ownership structures etc.
          2. technicals (widely defined)
        2. not time at the office
        3. not memorizing facts to appear knowledgeable
      2. Sell side analyst: getting more commissions
        1. appearing clever
        2. keeping PMs happy (take blame, give praise, let them win arguments and in golf)
        3. keeping clients
        4. being a good host at trips and conferences
    2. Deep work: Work when work. Relax when relax
      1. Clearly define which is which, and what the purpose is.
      2. There is still room for mingling, partying, gossipping, team building – just know when you do what and why
      3. Be systematic; assign time slots using Deep Work and Pomodoro techniques
    3. Do nothing
      1. Block off your calendar for meditation, walks and serious mobility exercises
      2. Regularly take several days and weeks off from the financial markets
  6. Meet more people
    1. The right people, not wasting times on lunches and cocktails unless for pure unadulterated fun, team-building or similar
    2. Discuss matters IRL instead of over e-mail or just reading reports
    3. Move during meetings, preferably walk outside in natural surroundings
  7. Ask more ‘stupid’ questions
    1. Disregard everybody else, e.g., during a telephone conference.
    2. Ask “why” 3-5 times in a row to get to the root cause
    3. Make sure you understand, instead of trying to appear clever
      1. Ask again; if they can’t explain it clearly there is probably something fishy going on
      2. If needed, go back and research the topic, look up the definitions, then ask again

KISS

ONE thing I actually did do really well was using increasingly simple models for forecasting sales, profits and cash flow. Since you can’t know the variables and outcomes in any detail anyway, that’s just not where you should spend most of your time, unless you’re an analyst trying to impress your boss or client.

Keep

It

Simple

Stupid

If you’re a PM or private investor you need a minimum of modelling for a ball park estimate of the development, in order to gauge if things are going as planned or not. Depending on your position you might need a little more nuance if the SEC or a higher level director demands it.

If you’re a buy side analyst you might need a lot of details to be able to ask any kinds of questions from bosses, authorities and clients.

Finally, if you’re a sell-side analyst there is no end to how big and detailed models you can build to impress everyone in your ecosystem – the only snag is it won’t help you make better investments. Make sure you remember to change your style to something more practical should you advance to a PM position.

Summary – start commonplacing
Lifters and investors alike should focus foremost on the big picture.
A lifter should focus on compound lifts, overall programming, sleep, calories and threshold level macro nutrients, before anything else.
An investor should be strategic, analytical, patient and unemotional, before experimenting or going by his intuition.
Mindset: you’ll get very far – far enough at least – by just avoiding stupid mistakes. Trying to optimize every little detail could on the contrary lead to really stupid mistakes and misallocations of your resources.
7 important tools for every investor:
  • Start a commonplace book
  • Read more books
  • Think more about thinking
  • Be more systematic
  • Less face time
  • Meet more people
  • Ask more stupid questions

Continue reading about my views on systematic and patient investing in this article (posted October 31, 2016)


Do you want more free and valuable stuff?

Join tens of thousands on my site, and sign up for my free newsletter. There is a free investment lessons e-book waiting for you. 

Are you curious, philosophical, and looking for truth, understanding and happiness? Do you know more people like you and me? Please help me spread my insights about how to live a happy, healthy and wealthy life in modern society – tell others about this site, share it in your social networks.

Limited. Every now and then I clean my e-mailing list from inactive subscribers, to make room for new ones. Sooner or later I might introduce some kind of a latecomer fee to finance the growing list. However, it will always be free for incumbent, active subscribers.

Mistakes are the foundation of my knowledge, not least in my private investments since I retired from professional investing.

Share. I sincerely hope they can be of use to you and others; so please share this article and my site with your social networks.

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Why you should plan for sleep all day – and how

Length: short

Topic: how to structure your daily activities around sleep (manage and plan for sleep all day)

Executive summary: Sleeping is the holy grail, the fountain of youth. Sitting is to sleeping what the anti-Christ is to God; what sugar is to salmon.

People claim to know and understand how important sleeping is, but they do next to nothing more than pay lip service to the fact. This article tells you how you should start planning for next night’s sleep as soon as you get up (even before, really; no alarm)


Sleep is incredibly important

Sleeping too little affects your intelligence, concentration, memory, ability to learn and make decisions

full retard

So what?

Sleeping too little reduces the positive effects of working out (makes you less muscular, e.g.)

robot sprezzaturian

So what?

Sleeping too little increases the risk of diabetes, alzheimer’s, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression etc.

butt of the joke

So what?

Sleeping too little hampers your will power and makes you hungrier, and more susceptible to hedonistic temptations (sugar, coffee, alcohol, TV, snacks). In short, you risk getting unhealthy and fat which make you sleep even worse. 

kju

So what?

Sleeping too little has adverse effects on your immune system

influenza

So what?

All of the above make it difficult to sleep, thus creating a vicious cycle, making you an increasingly fat, lazy, depressed and stupid, not to mention tired, version of yourself

So what?


You risk getting a cold if you sleep too little

Oh! My! God! Tell me what I should do.

sleep-better-2


Sleep enough

-start with the average need of 8 hours a night, wake up without an alarm and pay attention to how you feel. Then adjust from there.

Yes, yes, OK, but how?


Manage your sleep all day long

-This is where it gets really interesting

sleep-a

Take care of your sleep throughout the day:

  1. Eat right for your microbiome
    1. Your bacteria controls much of your behavior, immune system, sleep and hunger hormones etc., and your food governs the microbiome diversity
    2. Eat a varied and fiber rich diet of beans, leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, fruits
  2. Manage your caffeine and alcohol intake
    1. Avoid caffeine much later than mid-day
    2. Don’t drink coffee too early in the morning
    3. use coffee for focus, not to force yourself awake when suffering from sleep deficit
    4. Alcohol ruins the quality of your sleep; don’t regularly drink alcohol close to bed time
  3. Expose yourself to sunlight, as much as possible during the day
    1. The circadian (=approximately a day) rhythm needs sunlight to function properly
      1. it’s also associated with early day DNA repair and the body’s daily battle against cancer
    2. Take walking meetings outside if possible
    3. Eat outside
  4. Avoid sitting
    1. Sitting is to sleeping what the anti-Christ is to God; what sugar is to salmon
    2. cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, cognition, depression, etc. What sitting causes, sleep remedies 
  5. Lift weights, run and do mobility exercises
    1. Poor circulation, weak muscles, poor posture negatively affect your sleep, and can even cause Willis-Ekbom’s disease (restless legs – here is how to fix that by the way)
    2. Inactivity makes you apathetic but not sleepy
  6. Sleep enough
    1. Plan your day around sleep not the other way around; make room in your schedule for sleeping enough.
    2. …but refrain from taking too long naps during the day, if it affects your ability to sleep at night
    3. To really drive the point home, sleeping too little makes you mismanage points 1 to 5
      1. eating more sugar and bad fats; sleeping too little catalyzes “the munchies” through the same pathways as the use of cannabis
      2. drinking more coffee and alcohol
      3. staying inside (tired and apathetic and thus less prone to walk outside, less effective and consequently staying by the computer)
      4. sitting more
      5. skipping gym

sleep better


Here you’ll find an earlier post by me about sleep: 18 points to make you sleep better

And, if you’re Swedish, check out Styrkelabbet’s excellent podcast episode about sleep.

 


Summary

Start with your sleep requirements.

Then plan everything else around that, such as where to live (commute), what to eat and drink, work and meeting habits, screen time, choice of furniture, outdoor exercise routines.

Don’t turn sleep on its head, making it a mere residual of work, play and gluttony

my bitches

sleeping


Do you want more free and valuable stuff?

Join tens of thousands on my site, and sign up for my free newsletter. There is a free investment lessons e-book waiting for you. 

Are you curious, philosophical, and looking for truth, understanding and happiness? Do you know more people like you and me? Please help me spread my insights about how to live a happy, healthy and wealthy life in modern society – tell others about this site, share it in your social networks.

Limited. Every now and then I clean my e-mailing list from inactive subscribers, to make room for new ones. Sooner or later I might introduce some kind of a latecomer fee to finance the growing list. However, it will always be free for incumbent, active subscribers.

Mistakes are the foundation of my knowledge, not least in my private investments since I retired from professional investing.

Share. I sincerely hope they can be of use to you and others; so please share this article and my site with your social networks.

Subscribe