Many thanks to all of you who have subscribed so far. If you're being forwarded this message, you can click HERE to subscribe yourself!
We are officially in week 2 of this newsletter, and I appreciate all of the feedback I received after last week. First off, I apologize for the links to purchase the books I mentioned not working. They worked in the email tests, but I will double check and make sure all relevant links work this week!
The topics covered each week will differ a bit, and it will all depend on the best content I encountered that week. As always, if you have any feedback, or if you want to see more/less of certain topics, just respond back to this message. I read every email, and will respond to every message in time. Thanks, and enjoy!
Get Up, Stand Up
In a surprisingly unsurprising scientific study, standing has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and improve metabolic health. Blunted insulin sensitivity is a precursor to adult-onset diabetes, and metabolic disease is one of the biggest issues ravaging modern societies.
In a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, researchers from the University of Turku were able to definitively prove, for the first time, that standing has a direct benefit on these biological metrics. For those of you who already exercise regularly, you may not be shocked by this revelation. That said, it's still a great reminder to get on your feet as often as possible throughout the day.
Since insulin sensitivity has a direct correlation with body composition, setting regular reminders to stand up from your chair during the work day will likely have a net-positive benefit on your body fat levels and your overall health and wellness. Not to mention, getting up throughout the day will keep your hips and lower back from getting angry. Try to stand up and briefly stretch, or even do a lap around your desk at least once every hour during the work day.
A Brief Financial Education
Allan Roth, a financial advisor who has been teaching investing for the last 20 years, recently put out a great article debunking some of the main lessons he learned in business school. His perspective aligns well with some of the great financial thinkers and economists who have influenced my thoughts on finance over the last several years.
The first, and most important thing to understand, is that money loses value over time. Many of us were taught to save for a rainy day; this advice is true, to an extent. The reality is, due to inflation, the return on most savings accounts does not even keep pace with the decreased value of the dollar year-over-year. Once you understand this, you will realize that the only way to maintain, and increase, the value of your savings is to invest.
The issue with investing, as Allan Roth points out, is that there is no such thing as zero risk and, more importantly, most of what we understand about economics is wrong. Economic theory states that markets behave in a rational way but, as we have seen this last year with the rise in popularity of "meme stocks," there is no such thing as rational markets. Human behavior and specifically, human emotion, influences economics at scale.
Roth mentions the research of Daniel Kahneman, a behavioral psychologist who proved that human emotion plays a large role in our interactions with each other and with the world at large. To avoid going down the rabbit hole too deeply this week, I will be diving into Kahneman's work, along with the work of Nicholas Nassim Taleb, in next week's newsletter.
For now, understand that if you currently invest, there are two main strategies that will serve you well. Strategy 1 is to simply buy an index fund that follows the S&P 500 because, as Mr. Roth states in his article, the only way to truly diversify is to town the largest swath of companies available. The other strategy (which can be done at the same time!) is to expose your portfolio to many positive "Black Swans" which we will dive into next week!
Never Split the Difference
Daniel Kahneman has heavily influenced many prominent thinkers, authors, etc. in the world today. One of those men is Chris Voss; Chris had a long career as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, working high-profile cases in a number of sensitive units. In his book Never Split the Difference, Chris shares some of the lessons he has learned throughout his successful career.
Kahneman's research surrounding human emotion and the irrationality of our decisions heavily influenced the methods Chris developed and employed in negotiations. Fortunately, most of us do not need to deal with criminals holding hostages, or negotiate with terrorists seeking to cause undue harm to civilians. That said, many of the strategies he suggests can help us get lower rates on used cars, free upgrades on flights and hotels, and many other perks that we may not even realize are available.
The biggest, and most important, thing is to actively listen. Listening, Chris explains, is a difficult exercise and is often mistaken to be a passive activity. He argues instead that we must listen to hear, not to respond, and this is something that takes active practice. Next time you have a conversation with someone, focus as intently as you can on absorbing everything they say. From there, you can "mirror" or repeat some of their words and phrases to confirm and gain deeper understanding. You should always focus on listening more than you speak.
Emotion plays a large role in negotiations; because of this, Chris suggests that we aim to show empathy for everyone we interact with. This doesn't mean that you need to agree with those individuals, you should simply strive to understand why they believe what they do. Empathy is in short supply and high demand these days. Focusing on actively listening and shifting your perspective can be a powerful tool to build deeper relationships with those around you.
|Purchase Never Split the Difference HERE|
That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!
If you've been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe here:
Follow me on social media below: