Skip to main content

Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea

Never Enough: Appetite For More



2020 is one for the record books. As the year wraps up, it's still hard to comprehend how weird it's been. For investors, what a journey. We entered the year riding a decade-strong bull, poised to only get stronger. Then COVID entered the chat and along came the big bad bear. The market fell off the cliff and all looked dire. Then in an unprecedented snapback, we hit all time highs a few short months later.

I was fortunate enough to have stayed invested and continued investing throughout the year. Buying all the way down and all the way up. All things considered, it's been a solid year of returns. Much better than I expected. I should be very happy.

But I'm human, and FOMO is real. Stories of investors making a fortune betting on stocks make my returns look like peanuts. The pandemic-induced volatility has stocks doubling and tripling in a matter of weeks. I can't help but to be tempted to join in. 

Airlines are still down 50%. These stocks are due to recover and I'll double my money, right? It's not that easy. A company can go to zero in an instance. Concentration is as risky as it is rewarding. If this year taught us anything, there's no guarantees.  

Whenever I'm tempted to change my investing approach and take on more risk, I come back to my goals and ask myself "do I need to?". Need is the key. It might be fun to juice up my returns but if I'm fortunate enough to not need it, I'm better off staying the course. 

Knowing what's "enough" is a challenge. We alway want more but there are costs. Warren Buffet puts it best. "Never risk what you have and need for what we don't have and don't need." 

This post was a note to self. Stick to the plan, dude. 








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Giving Feedback

Constructive feedback is an awkward affair. You don't want hurt feelings, but recognize the importance of honesty. You've tried the classic "hoping things will get better on its own" and unfortunately it hasn't played out. When giving feedback, here are a few things that I try to keep it mind. Start with empathy. Step into their shoes and understand their story. If you don't know, ask. Be genuinely curious. Feedback is a dynamic affair. Shared communication with a shared goal towards progress. Take the emotion out of it. Focus on the situation, not the person. Focusing on the person adds unnecessary weight to an already emotionally-bloated event.  Be specific. Give clear examples. Vague feedback equals dismissed feedback.  Doing above won't de-awkward things fully, but it will dampen it and increase the chance of better outcomes. 

Step One is Knowing

In school, we listen to our teachers. At home, our parents. Throughout our childhood, following instructions is praised and rewarded. When we're young, there's value in this. We don't understand how the world works quite yet, so guidance can be lifesaving.  The bias to just accept obviously has drawbacks. Insert old jumping off a bridge adage .  This conditioning is especially strong for kids from lower income households. Their parents are more likely in working class jobs involving strict order-taking. Parents of middle-class households tend to be knowledge workers where influence is essential.  Studies have shown kids from middle-income households are more willing to negotiable with their teachers. They learn from their parents that things are not set in stone. This leads to better grades and learning outcomes when compared to their lower income counterparts who don't negotiable.  In business, if we simply accept things as they are, we would never innovate. In work, w

Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea