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YTD Performance

As we sail past the half way point of the year I thought I look in the rear view mirror might be interesting to see how a few select markets have performed. There are no prizes for guessing that the local market has been shit.



Maryam Mirzakhani

I first wrote about Maryam Mirzakhani when see became the first women to win a Fields Medal in mathematics.  Sadly a few weeks ago she lost her battle with cancer aged 40 – the world needs more special minds not fewer but disease of any kind owes no one any favours. For those interested in a short biography of this remarkable women you can listen to short piece by the BBC here. What interested me about Mirzakhani was not necessarily the fact that she had won a Fields Medal but rather she had done this growing up in revolutionary Iran – country not know for its tolerance of women. What also intrigued me was that she choose to apply her intellect to the study of surfaces, most notably Riemann surfaces which are hellishly complex. Most of us have trouble conceiving of shapes that occupy more than two dimensions. Mirzakhani was able to conceive of shapes in multi dimensions – it takes a rarefied mind to be able to achieve such feats that the rest of us would consider to be akin to magic.

However, the point of this piece is not a late eulogy for someone who made an impression and left too so but rather a jarring point of contrast I noted the other day. LB’s little girl has been home sick this week with a stomach bug. And as all of us do when we are laid low by such things we drop into our own minimum energy state of collapsing in front of the idiot box and wait for it all to pass. As I wandered through the lounge room I took a quick glance at what she had found to watch and I can summarise the plot quite easily. Young women are judged on their looks, they need to be bitches (particularly to each other) and they should aspire to be stupid. It is this aspiration to be stupid that most concerned me. Granted we may be able to lay the blame at the feet of social media and many young women undoubtedly do exist in an echo chamber where idiocy is the end point of all existence. However, I am certain there are young women out there doing remarkable things that we never hear about. I only have the vaguest of ideas as to why idiots get all the air play and generate all the influence.

However, make no mistake idiocy is not in any way exclusively sex linked. Young men are universally stupid – I should know I used to be one and I was remarkably stupid. And the young have no monopoly on cretinism, all you need to do is look at our elected officials to realise that having the IQ of a trout is more common than you think.

But it is the message of aspiring to be a moron that I dont understand and I have no idea what can be done about it.





Some Bastards Have The Best Jobs

Kermit Weeks inherited a sizable fortune and parlayed it into one of the worlds largest collections of vintage aircraft…the lucky…lucky…bastard.

The Unexpected Antidote To Procrastination

A recent early morning hike in Malibu, California, led me to a beach, where I sat on a rock and watched surfers. I marveled at these courageous men and women who woke before dawn, endured freezing water, paddled through barreling waves, and even risked shark attacks, all for the sake of, maybe, catching an epic ride.

After about 15 minutes, it was easy to tell the surfers apart by their style of surfing, their handling of the board, their skill, and their playfulness.

What really struck me though, was what they had in common. No matter how good, how experienced, how graceful they were on the wave, every surfer ended their ride in precisely the same way: By falling.

More here – Harvard Business Review

Fun And Games

Recently LB and I have been doing the Short Term Trading Magic seminars in a few places and it has been sometime since I did any form of presentation on a semi regular basis. As such it has been interesting to observe people as they work through various trading issues. One of the things I have noted is that people take trading far too seriously and this is reflected in a form of desperation. Desperation is the antithesis of the state of mind you need to be in to trade effectively.

There is no deny that this is a phase everyone enters at some stage in their career but to be successful you need to move beyond this and begin to treat trading as the game that it is. Once I started treating trading as a game then it became so much easier on the soul and my results reflected this. I even have a t-shirt that says that the fewer fucks I give the more I make. This is not to say that I am reckless but rather that I am in no way wedded to the outcome of any trade. At its core my life will not change if a trade or even a cluster of trades are winners or losers – they are simply not that important. When compared to real life, trading is nowhere near as important as people think it is.

It is often commented that children are better are learning new things than adults who seem set in their ways. I am not so certain that this is a reflection of any great cognitive superiority or plasticity that the young may have but rather a reflection of their willingness to be both wrong and to play. Young children have no ego therefore the mistakes that their play generate have no impact upon their sense of self worth. As adults we lose this resilience because we believe that it is somehow catastrophic to our self image if we do make mistakes. But in trading your mistakes are your own – no one else can see them so you are insulated from the judgement of others. This isolation gives you the freedom to be wrong but the only thing you have to cope with is your own judgement.

 Markets are a wonderful universes for exploration and for play. The presence of micro contracts in various instruments and online trading mean that you experiment very cheaply. The price of admission to the fun park is much lower than it used to be and the number of rides has gone through the roof. It is a shame that more traders dont view trading as little more than a theme park where you can play to your hearts content and during the process of playing you learn much more than you would if you were consumed by seriousness and desperation.

Six destructive habits that could be holding you back

We’re having a ‘Michael Yardney binge’ today. Here’s another article from our great property mate.

I’ll hand it over to Michael now…

I am a big fan of habits. Good ones that is. Of course, not all habits are productive ones.

Some are bad for us, they stop us from succeeding, and they reinforce negative patterns that we’ve picked up from parents, friends or colleagues. No one is perfect, but I’ve found that the most successful people find ways to replace their bad habits with good ones.

A successful career, after all, is really just a series of good habits put into action over and over again. But in order to eliminate our vices and form productive habits, we need to identify our destructive ones.

Here is my checklist of some of the all-time bad habits.




I can’t tell you how often I come across this one.

A lot of people are quick to blame others when things go wrong and they fail to take responsibility for the role they may have played in the situation. Of course, sometimes people have a run of bad luck or are treated badly, but that’s different from playing the victim all the time.

Think about your social circle, your friends and family.


I’m sure there is at least one person you can think of who always blames others for their bad fortune. Tiring isn’t it?


Fact is : there are no rich or successful victims.




Setbacks will happen. To everyone.


It’s easy to look at other people’s successes and think they got an easy ride. Most of the time, they didn’t. They just didn’t let setbacks stop them.


Depending on how you were raised by your parents, you will either take setbacks in your stride or you will let them crush you. If you fall into the latter camp, then it’s time to try and change this “Poor Habit.” Catch yourself every time you feel defeated or when something is not going your way, and change your thinking.


Do not give up at the first hurdle.




A small number of people have the opposite problem to giving up too easily: they don’t know when to give up. They pore endless amounts of time, money and emotion into a project despite endless  rejections and knock-backs.

Rather than try a different approach, they continue to butt up against a wall that is not going anywhere. This kind of blind pursuit is not resilience, it’s what I would call stupidity.


As important as it is to chase your dreams, it’s equally important to know when to stop, to take a breath, and try something else.




Thinking you know it all and that you have nothing left to learn, is foolish.

This kind of belief system cuts you off from growing, it short-circuits the imagination and it stops you from developing new ideas. Aim to be one of those people who asks other people questions at barbecues.


Don’t get so stuck in your own head, and your own career, that you forget that other people are leading interesting lives and may very well have a role to play in yours, too.

Always be on the look out to learn more. It’s good for business, but it’s also good for your soul.




Speaking of soul, it’s important unhealthy lifestyle habits are ditched. That means no burning the candle at both ends.


You may be busy — busier than you have ever been — but you need to find an exercise regime that suits you and one that you’ll stick to. Eat well, try and get lots of sleep, and maintain a decent level of fitness.


Looking after your body will help ensure you’re in good shape when life throws those inevitable curve balls at you.




If you’ve got any bad debts, or some credit cards that are no longer serving you well, then get rid of them.


The ability to look after your finances is one of the best predictors of success. If you can manage your money, stick to a budget and save, it shows you have the kind of self-control and maturity that is needed to be successful in life and to see something through.


Many of us have one or more of these bad habits that we need to work on, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. Bad habits hold us back.


They stop us from reaching our goals and they often keep us poor, tired and unhappy.


Reason enough to ditch them for some good ones.


Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 



The key to financial freedom? Finding your mentor.

We have a special blog article for you today from guest author – Michael Yardney. Our ‘unreasonable friend’, property expert, and thought leader.


The key to financial freedom? Finding your mentor – by Michael Yardney


When we think of entrepreneurs we often think of trailblazers forging ahead on their own, someone who’s doing something different or creating something new.


While it’s true that in order to achieve financial freedom, you’ll have to rely on your own wits and talents, it’s also true that no one succeeds on their own.


If you’re going to do something difficult, something that most people would quit when things get tough, then it makes sense to seek out others who’ve been there before you. Otherwise it’s going to be a very long and lonely journey.


Here are some of the best reasons to find a mentor:




There will be times when you feel that you’re on your own or that the problems you’re facing are unique to you. That’s when a mentor is extremely handy. They have been there before and they know exactly what it feels like to lose their footing. They know what to say and when to be tough and when to offer compassion.


This is invaluable when you stumble and feel like giving up.




Many entrepreneurs and risk takers often think they have all the answers. That’s largely because they’re so self-reliant and confident, and they know that very few people work as hard as they do to get the job done.


But entrepreneurs need to learn when it’s OK to ask for advice.


Even the most talented people don’t know everything, which is where a mentor comes in. They can provide hard-won experience and wisdom. The kind of knowledge people take short courses and pay good money to access.


Mentors can provide you with the benefit of their hindsight and prevent you from making the same mistakes they did. Priceless!




A mentor can also introduce you to new people who could radically change the course of your career. So much of success on life is based on being at the right place at the right time and talking to the right person.


In life it’s not who you know, but who who you know knows. (And I’m not stuttering)


You see…there’s only so much we can control, but exposing yourself to the inner circles of the well-connected increases your chances of this happening. And you never know where an encounter at an event will lead…




Yep, that’s right.


A mentor, a good one, will challenge you. They’ll bring out the best in you by making you look at your decisions, the way you’re approaching your career and how you face failure.


They’ll force you to reach into untapped reservoirs of resilience and forge forward. They’ll expand your mind with their knowledge, and lead by example.


In this way, a good mentor is life-changing.


Don’t think I’m overstating it because it’s true. A truly great mentor is character building.


So you may be wondering how to find a good mentor?


Take a look around your networks and ask yourself who it is you admire. Is there someone who seems to command a lot of respect?


Look for someone who is always professional, doesn’t gossip about colleagues behind their back, and has integrity.


Experience helps, too.


Because the truth is: you can’t do it on your own. You have to find people to help you on your path in life, and this can be a great thing not only for your career, but for your social life as well.

After all, great friends are made in the trenches.




Guest author:

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog. 







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