Monthly Newsletter - December 2021

🥂 Happy New Years! I know its a few days late, but here is my newsletter for the month of December 2021.

Around the web

🪜 I really enjoyed Lawrence Yao’s illustrated essay titled The Many Worlds of Enough which details how and why our idea of what is Enough changes over time as we progress towards a goal, like a financial net worth number. Yao’s explanation is very different than the traditional idea of the goalposts moving due to the hedonic treadmill, and rather that as you progress toward your goal of Enough, you gain so much in the form of skill and experience that a fundamentally different version of your identity branches out and your definition of Enough changes with it. To drop a few more excerpts from his essay: Enough is elusive because when you reach it, you’re no longer the person that once desired it... You must self-adjust your definition of enough, instead of having it forced upon you. Wisdom is in self-correction, while misery is in coerced correction. Yao’s illustrations do a great job of explaining his concept and I highly recommend giving this essay a read!

🚿 Do you use shampoo? A fun fact about me is that I haven’t used shampoo in over 4 years. I recently came across nopoomethod.com which has detailed tips about going shampoo free (No Poo), and figured I would share this site along with experience of going No Poo.

My journey of not using shampoo started 4.5 years ago, in the summer of 2017 when I spent 5 weeks traveling around Europe before starting my first job. I forgot to pack shampoo at the beginning of my trip, and decided that I would try just going without shampoo for the trip. After a few weeks on “No Poo,” I noticed that my hair was completely fine, not oily, no dandruff, and perfectly healthy. And it was kind of nice to not have to deal with shampoo. 4.5 years later, I still don’t use shampoo, my hair is healthier than when I used to use shampoo, and I have one less thing to buy every few months.

✈️ How Airlines Quietly Became Banks. Wendover Productions consistently puts out some of the highest quality videos you will find anywhere. I really enjoyed his latest video titled How Airlines Quietly Became Banks, where he explains how airlines are loss leaders - the only thing that makes airlines valuable are their loyalty programs. This is because the margins in the airline industry are very low, and airlines instead mostly profit by selling rewards program points to credit card companies and other partners. Airlines act like the central banks of their own virtual currencies, because they alone control the supply of their currency. And, to quote Wendover, frequent flier programs are genius financial instruments because it’s nearly impossible for the airlines to lose. Think about that the next time you fly!

💸 Lastly, check out Jack Raines' substack titled Playing with House Money about why our appetite for risk grows with our investment gains. The house money effect is a theory used to explain the tendency of investors to take on greater risk when reinvesting profit earned through investing than they would when investing their savings or wages. His essay is about how in these crazy times of young people getting very rich quickly via meme-coins, that Getting rich can be the biggest impediment to staying rich, to quote Morgan Housel.

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