Changing the process (2017)

In the last few years, I have suffered from one major problem: too many positions. The average number of positions that I have held is approximately 15, while my ideal number is 8 — twice as much! My dissonance arises chiefly from the oversight that this was not a number I was overly concerned about. My guiding philosophy was more akin to a collector. Once I decided that I want to own a stock, I would justify buying it and pay no attention to the relative valuation of the stock compared to the stuff I already own.

I have decided to change.

Interestingly, the motivation to change comes from the travel vloggers that espouse minimalist living. One of the actionable advice is to only buy things as a replacement for something you have. In particular, if you want to buy something, you need to throw out something else that you already own. I don’t want to be that dramatic but I would like to have more discipline when buying stocks.

In particular: the maximum number of positions that I will allow myself to have is 10, ideally aiming for 7.

I currently hold: Google, Hikma plc, Berkshire, Facebook, Distribution Now, Altius Minerals, Silver Chef, and Cheesecake Factory.

The rise of Theodore Roosevelt

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

One of the best books I have read in my life. Not only because Roosevelt was an impressive, sometimes funny bordering on ridiculous. But also because of his grit and determination. The determination to be healthy. To live life on his own terms. Not minding the asthma attacks. Not minding the frequent fevers. Not minding the bouts of coughing and the weak eyesight. And not minding the express advice of doctors who kept telling him that he will die if he continues to exert himself so much.

Someone who has struggled with health problems his entire life, I had an immediate connection with Roosevelt. He was born a sickly child with congenital and debilitating asthma and a weak eyesight. The weakness of his eyesight was not recognized until much later. His father has a significant influence on him. He told Roosevelt one day “Young man, your first duty is towards your morals, then your body and only after that comes your mind.” In so many words, his father asked him to rebuild his body.

Roosevelt was a man of incredible discipline. He managed to do so much in his life and this book only covers the part until he becomes the president of the United States after McKinley is shot dead.

He was a man with a vast range of interests. A taxidermist. A Zoologist. A rancher. A hunter. A biographer. A historian. And a damn good politician.

Apart from the interesting subject, the book is quite well written. I enjoyed listening to it on Audible. It is narrated by Mark Deakins. He is a joy to listen to. The voice makes or breaks an audiobook and especially for a book which is near 27 hours long, you have to like the narrator.

I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it wholeheartedly.