Essential: Essays by The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus

Essential makes you question the value you place on the objects in your life.

Book notes

“Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. Rather, we focus on making room for more, more, more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment—and more freedom.”

Having more stuff brings us stress and anxiety, and can trap us in a job we don’t like

It’s not enough just to organise – “organizing is well-planned hoarding”

Getting rid of things creates physical space and frees up ‘head space’

“The things you own end up owning you.”

Be more intentional in how you check your smartphone

Schedule responding to emails for a specific time

Be yourself online

Be proactive and deliberate, rather than reactive and passive

Invest in experiences over possessions

Take control of your expenses by dividing them into three categories: Needs, Wants and Likes. Start by getting rid of everything except Wants, and reduce the Wants by half.

Improve your mind by eating healthily, sleeping and exercising

Give experiences instead of material gifts

“The best, most loving gift you can give someone is your time and undivided attention. Presence is the best present.”

Your true priorities are how you spend your time now.

Avoid ‘busy’ things: meetings, conference calls, updating social media, multitasking etc.

Reduce the number of tasks you do, but increase their significance

Work towards ideals in key areas of your life: body, diet, relationships, work environment

Radical growth happens when you feel vulnerable

Aspire to be someone only if they are happy

“You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.”

A more intentional life is more rewarding

Treat uncertainty as variety

“Success is a simple equation: Happiness + Constant Improvement + Contribution = Success”

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The Art of Execution: How the world’s best investors get it wrong and still make millions by Lee Freeman-Shor

The Art of Execution looks at the decisions investors make after taking a position in a stock. Whether you are up or down on your original investment, it’s easy for different behavioural biases to affect your judgement.

Book notes

Don’t get into a position that is too illiquid to sell on public markets

Ensure your views reflect reality

Don’t be slow to change your mind

Get comfortable with crystallising losses

Big positions can make you indecisive

Have a plan before making an investment about what you will do if it doesn’t work out

Ask yourself: “would I buy into that stock [today] given what I now know?”

Speak to people with opposing views

“A loss of 33% requires a 50% subsequent return to break even.”

Don’t let the original rationale for investing cloud your later judgement

Beware of the “break-even effect” – risk-seeking behaviour after suffering a loss

And beware of the opposite effect – risk aversion when you are ahead

Peter Lynch: “I’m accustomed to hanging around with a stock when the price is going nowhere. Most of the money I make is in the third or fourth year that I’ve owned something.”

Target long holding periods of ten years or more

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