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FI Weekly – November 22, 2022: Giving Thanks, Munger Quotes on Investing

Giving Thanks

With this week of Thanksgiving upon us in America, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all our public servants and men and women in uniform.

That generally sounds trite, but I was reminded of their essential nature just last night when we had a carbon monoxide alarm go off in our home and our local fire department showed up within 5 minutes of our call.

Three firefighters and an engine came out and professionally tested and swept through our home in minutes and, after diagnosing the faulty sensor, gave us the all clear.

That is why we pay taxes and why we have a society that functions.

I’m reminded of this every time I go to the library or a state or national park; or when the school bus comes to pick my girls up to take them to public school.

Tens of millions of public servants working to make this a happier, healthier, functioning society.

Thank you.

Munger’s Best Quotes on Investing

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is, in my opinon, one of the clearest thinkers on Earth.

I find such wisdom in his statements that I’m constantly searching for more gems from Charlie.  I came across this Twitter thread with 100 of Charlie’s best quotes on investing.  The entire thread is worth diving into, but I wanted to curate some of my favorites:

  • “It’s waiting that helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait.”
  • “Everywhere there is a large commission, there is a high probability of a rip-off.”
  • “Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”
  • “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time – none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads -at how much I read. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”
  • “I try to get rid of people who confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge.”
  • “Part of what you must learn is how to handle mistakes and new facts that change the odds. Life, in part, is like a poker game wherein you have to learn to quit sometimes when holding a much-loved hand.”
  • “Generally speaking, envy, resentment, and self-pity are disastrous modes of thoughts.”
  • “What is the secret of success? I’m rational. That’s the answer. I’m rational. It’s not possible for investors to consistently outperform the market. Therefore you’re best served investing in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds [or exchange-traded funds].”

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Jennifer said, “I’ve been listening to the ChooseFI podcast for a while, but recently started taking ACTION towards making my life better. To start, I got a Charles Schwab debit card. I hiked the Inca Trail in Peru and the hiking company I went with requested that I pay $600 in cash or they would charge a 5% fee to use a credit card. With my Charles Schwab debit card, I used an ATM in Peru (I didn’t want to carry that much cash internationally) at least 5 times and got about $40 back, plus I didn’t pay the 5% fee! Second, I registered for BeTheMatch and am now in the registry. Lastly, I got a password manager to help keep my financial passwords secure. Thank you and the ChooseFI Team for all of the actionable tips to optimize my life!”
  • Ben said, “My 1% better this week will be returning to making all my own meals and not eating out at all after coming back from vacation in Spain with wonderful cheap food, pastries, and coffees.”
  • Dana said, “I added my elementary-aged children as authorized users to my credit card to help them grow a credit history. I then opened a Southwest Rapid Rewards card to work towards a Companion Pass for 2023/2024. Then I began moving my previous cash-back rewards strategy that I was using for debt pay-off, to travel rewards to maximize my time with my young kids since I’ve met the debt payoff goals.”
  • Mandy said, “My 1% win was finally sitting down to review my fidelity 401k and IRA positions, and switching to a HSA medical plan for the retirement perks. It takes time and mental energy to do an in-depth review/analysis and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I found myself with too much money left over each month after pre-funding my regular budget categories and knew I needed to make changes sooner than later to my 401k contributions if I want to get closer to FI. I ended up maxing out my HSA and increased my contributions to 401k by 8%.”
  • Cassandra said, “My 1% better is that my husband and I have saved up our 6 month emergency fund! It feels great to have that cushion in case we need it!”
  • Michael said, “My 1% better this week was contacting my satellite entertainment provider to reduce the monthly bill. I called, asking to speak with a Customer Retention representative. After a brief hold, the representative reviewed my account and offered a $55/month (30%) reduction for 12 months. I politely pressed further, asking if that was the best offer. She replied yes, at this time. I accepted, adding a reminder to my calendar for follow up a year from now. The phone call lasted 8 minutes and netted a $660 savings.”
  • Greg said, “I just scored a 50% raise while maintaining the same position in a job that I love. While I was simply offered a substantial raise due to some company changes, I still turned around and negotiated an additional $10,000/year on top of the original offer, even when I was told there was ‘zero room to negotiate.”

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