Fear is the mind-killer

Other discussions not related to the Permanent Portfolio

Moderator: Global Moderator

Post Reply
User avatar
Mark Leavy
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 653
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:20 pm
Location: US Citizen, Permanent Traveler

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by Mark Leavy » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:56 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:06 pm
Life feels so much more vibrant now than it did when my focus was on guarding my gains. It's glorious out there.
Outstanding. Great to hear.
Mark
User avatar
Kbg
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1543
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by Kbg » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:33 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:06 pm
Mark Leavy wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:11 pm
You continue to intrigue me, PS.

Finish the quote...

I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Precisely. I no longer fight my fear to try to remove it. I accept it. I lean into it. And then it ceases to be frightening and I find that my mind is clear.

I'll be a bit more specific: I have resolved to completely forget about the money in my retirement accounts because I'm not going to use it for another 35 years at least. I have faith that 35 years is enough time to level out the fluctuations and produce that average 7% annual real return. If it's not, that probably means that the whole USA is in the shitter, which means that having a lot of money that will probably make you a target of the have-nots will be of secondary importance compared to owning useful assets and being socially respected and important.

The real action was always in my taxable portfolio, which I had earmarked for ERE before actually achieving it and getting bored silly. I liquidated the portfolio last year and now it's all cash waiting on the sidelines, which I'm periodically dipping into for home improvement projects that raise my quality of life. Mentally leaving my previous fear-based mindset allowed me to follow my instincts that the stock market was toppy. I have zero fear right now. If the market continues its downward slide, I'll get back in at a nice discount, and if I miss the absolute bottom, who cares. If let's say the market recovers on Monday and resumes its previous rise, the worst case scenario is that I can guy back in at the point where I sold, so I won't have lost anything.

But the taxable portfolio is funny money. I don't care about it. I could lose 100% of it with zero consequences. My family's cost of living is still ridiculously low and I have shed my previous fear that I won't be able to get a job or earn income. Since the last time I posted here, I'm now making $600 a month from my KDE hobby.

Life feels so much more vibrant now than it did when my focus was on guarding my gains. It's glorious out there.

You should care a lot, an awful lot when you are 55 if your savings are going to be a significant part of your retirement income. You should start caring a little bit when you hit 50. Until then, enjoy your new found freedom.
flyingpylon
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:04 am

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by flyingpylon » Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:06 pm

Pointedstick wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:06 pm
But the taxable portfolio is funny money. I don't care about it. I could lose 100% of it with zero consequences.
So why not head to Vegas?
User avatar
sophie
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3515
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by sophie » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:28 am

Pointedstick wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:06 pm
Since the last time I posted here, I'm now making $600 a month from my KDE hobby.

Life feels so much more vibrant now than it did when my focus was on guarding my gains. It's glorious out there.
So what are you doing these days apart from the KDE hobby and some home renovation projects, that's making life vibrant? And that you couldn't do while in "early retirement"?

I am convinced that many early retirees drastically underestimate their long-term spending, because it's based on a tightly constrained, unsustainable lifestyle that works best at age ~30. But, I suspect that the moment of job-quitting and "RE" is simply the start of a new path, and that many (or most) find new and perhaps unplanned ways to earn money to cover those extra living costs, while their savings continue to grow and they enjoy a life free from living in a Dilbert cartoon.

Personally, my intention is to become a "SWAMI" rather than an early retiree. I'm not quite there yet, but getting close and it's already paying big dividends in quality of life. As Mr. MM puts it, "Work is better when you don't need the money." And yes, at some point I can foresee wanting to call it quits, and I'll have the option to do that. That's something you may not imagine right now as a 30+ year old, but that isn't unimaginable at all when you're over 55.
User avatar
buddtholomew
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2057
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 4:16 pm

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by buddtholomew » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:06 am

I have had the opportunity to work from home for the last decade and this has significantly improved work/life balance.

I can’t imagine retiring completely as the boredom would be too much to bear. Even working out 3-4 hours daily, taking care of the kids and the home isn’t enough to feel whole as I need to challenge myself mentally as well (albeit on my terms).

PS is fooling himself as he has a 50/50 AA and hasn’t found the holy grail that he purports to have found (assuming retirement $ = taxable account $). Investors do this all the time - I am 100% equities only to find out they have a well-funded emergency account with a substantial cash balance. Look at your accounts holistically. If you’re so enlightened why have the cash savings at all.
User avatar
pugchief
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3467
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 pm
Location: suburbs of Chicago, IL

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by pugchief » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:51 pm

I cut back from 4.5 days/week starting at 9:00 am, to
  • 1. cutting my start time to 10:00 am
    2. cutting out my half-day Saturdays
    3. cutting out one of my weekdays
    4. cutting another weekday
so now I am working 2 days/week, starting at 10, and have all kinds of free time for other pursuits, basically doing the SWAMI thing Sophie referred to.

It's awesome; I recommend it highly to anyone who can swing it. Don't know if I'll ever quit completely, but I'm 58 so I may feel differently in 15 years.
User avatar
Tyler
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1878
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by Tyler » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:01 pm

I did the full work-free FIRE thing for a few years and eventually settled back into working three days a week on my own terms. Permanent 4-day weekends are great, and the other perk is that I tend to get the low-stress projects as the high-maintenance ones require full-time attention that I no longer offer. The extra money is also allowing me to afford to live in a cool part of town to maximize the enjoyment of those days off. So while quitting is awesome (and I highly recommend a sabbatical for those able to do it), the more important concept is to embrace the idea of building your own happy, sustainable system. A little work is part of the recipe for me right now but that may change in the future. Financial independence is cool like that.

The best way to fight boredom is to do something productive. Granted, trying to suddenly self-motivate is pretty tough after years of atrophy brought on by a lifetime of depending on a parent or boss to give you direction. But with a bit of exercise and a few growing pains it gets a lot easier. I'm a much stronger and more independent person now than I was even a few years ago.
Mechanical engineer, history buff, treasure manager... totally not Ben Gates
User avatar
dualstow
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 10327
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:18 am
Contact:

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by dualstow » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:52 pm

sophie wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:28 am
Personally, my intention is to become a "SWAMI" rather than an early retiree.
Self Worth Amounts to MIllions? O0
loot "goods taken from an enemy, etc.," 1839, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi lut, from Sanskrit loptram, lotram "booty, stolen property,"fm. PIE root *reup- "to snatch"
curfew - early 14c., curfeu, "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour" as a signal to extinguish fires and lights, ... from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire"
User avatar
sophie
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3515
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by sophie » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:02 pm

Tyler wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:01 pm
The best way to fight boredom is to do something productive. Granted, trying to suddenly self-motivate is pretty tough after years of atrophy brought on by a lifetime of depending on a parent or boss to give you direction. But with a bit of exercise and a few growing pains it gets a lot easier. I'm a much stronger and more independent person now than I was even a few years ago.
Ah ha, I think you nailed it! Self-motivating is refreshing if you can do it, but it can also be hard to do. And, it can be depressing when you suddenly don't have immediate goals in front of you. My job requires me to set my own goals so I'm familiar with that let-down feeling when you get stuck in the goals department. Sounds like PS may have been stuck for a while, but glad he's worked his way out of that now.

Dualstow, there's a Mr. Money Mustache post about SWAMI's. I forget what it stands for, but it's a financially independent person who continues to work because they want to.
User avatar
dualstow
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 10327
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:18 am
Contact:

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by dualstow » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:23 am

I just googled it. Thought it might be Still Working and Making Income.
It’s Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual (Swami). O0
loot "goods taken from an enemy, etc.," 1839, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi lut, from Sanskrit loptram, lotram "booty, stolen property,"fm. PIE root *reup- "to snatch"
curfew - early 14c., curfeu, "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour" as a signal to extinguish fires and lights, ... from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire"
Jack Jones
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:12 pm

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by Jack Jones » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:07 am

This has been my favorite thread of the year. PS returns from silent retreat to proclaim the gospel of 100% equities.

For me, what little wealth I have is hard earned and I don’t know if I can do it again. I like having 25% of my wealth outside the system, where the have nots and do naughts can’t touch it.

For better or worse, I internalized the Your Money or Your Life lesson that my wealth represents the product of my life’s energy. Perhaps that will change on the other side of financial independence, but for now, I’m not prepared to witness 50% of that life’s energy evaporate in a drawdown.

P.S. it seems telling that your second paragraph expresses regret in not fully taking advantage of the recent bull market. Hopefully this was just a conversation starter, tapping into the Fear of Missing Out that us conservative investors experience from time to time.
User avatar
moda0306
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 7609
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:05 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Fear is the mind-killer

Post by moda0306 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:53 am

If investing in a deeply diversified portfolio is "fear-based," and losing everything doesn't matter, why not just spend most-if-not-all of your income in any year? By that logic, any hoarding is "fear-based," is it not?

I really don't think the PP is necessarily fear-based, nor is a more equity-heavy portfolio necessarily greed-based. But I definitely could make the latter argument easier than the former. If losing everything doesn't matter, neither does getting a 6% RoR instead of 10%... right? What DOES matter when it comes to wealth, returns, and financial security? I actually mean this as a real question... what are the most important one or few aspects of finances that are important? I'd say that things are most important insofar as they are in a place so-as-to not toxify other aspects of your life. So all the other non-financial aspects of life are best protected (financially) how exactly? Certainly investing in all equities isn't "important" in that model? It's just one way to move the deck chairs around for a hopefully higher return at the expense of higher volatility and potential for sub-par long-term returns, or perhaps a complete crash when you need the assets most.

Always glad to see PS back, but I feel like maybe he's weaving an inconsistent narrative... and you know how this group likes consistency. :)

All that said, I definitely think people put WAY too much stress onto things like market downturns, crappy traffic, social slights, workplace hiccups, etc. Stoicism is a good tool to avoid all that... but to PS's other point about marriage, it can leave you a bit insensitive and overly "sociopathic" in how you view things if you let it. I try to set my "stoicism filter" so to filter out all the bad stuff and amplify the good stuff. Cuz if I'm overly-carefuly-planny about risks, then I've done what I can do and should be able to fully take in the joys of life without carrying any other burdens on my back. I think it works well, but maybe PS has a better-tuned model. :)
Post Reply