Taking Bits Of Process From Other People


About a year and half ago I learned how bad carbohydrates are for us. We collectively consume way to many carbs and we have obesity/diabetic problems because of it. I did not eliminate carbs but I cut them dramatically and lost 25 lbs I didn't know I needed to lose. If anything I say about this piques your interest then I would tell you to go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion.

After the weight loss I got more interested in how this all works and wanted to know more. My objective is not very heroic, I don't want to run a marathon or anything like that but there are things I enjoy doing that I would like to do for a long period of time like continuing to be a wildland firefighter. One of the first concepts I learned was that all of the things we were taught about fatty diets as being bad for us actually pertains to sugary diets, all of it (go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion).

Just as there is a crowd in Twitter devoted to investing and other markets related topics there is also a low carb/high fat (LCHF) diet crowd. I follow a couple of people in this crowd but I see content from many others by virtue of likes and retweets. Nassim Taleb is sort of in the LCHF crowd, he has some very specific thoughts on diet and exercise along with all the others. The LCHF crowd has some overlap with a different cohort, I'm not sure what to call them, younger motivational dudes that either do or try to make a living with newsletters about their ideas on how to be successful, not trying to troll those guys, please leave a comment if I don't have this right.

Both cohorts, if they are actually even separate, Tweet a lot of similar thoughts on working out and some similar thoughts on diet. I take in this content and weigh it out in terms of what I know about myself and what I am trying to do. For example, the group is not big on cardio exercise. The argument seems to be along the lines of depending on how you do it, it can actually be bad for you (go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion), also with the right routine in the gym you can get the same benefits. That one is not right for me. I've been doing far more cardio for the last dozen years than I did when I was young and at 52 I am a more fit wildland firefighter than I was at 37 when I started. It requires a stamina that I don't get from just lifting weights. It is however crucial to lift weights for all sorts of reasons as we get older; like naturally losing muscle otherwise, staving off frailty, bone density benefits, agility and balance and that barely scratches the surface (go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion) but I have picked up a couple of things from this crowd that have influenced a couple of changes in how I lift weights (I have pretty much lifted weights since junior high school save for about a year and a half around the time I got married in 1993).

There have been other dietary ideas this group has made me aware of, some of which make sense, some of which do not. The group seems to be down on including salad in their diets. I don't draw that conclusion but there is a lot about how bad seed oils are because they are high in omega 6 fats. Our ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is out of whack which leads to inflammation which leads to a lot of diseases that can kill us (go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion).

There are many befits to intermittent fasting (a form of calorie restriction) that I have learned about, autophagy is the key concept here to learn about. I fast twice a week and it really is no big deal. On Wednesday I wait until about 2pm before having anything, I do have a morning coffee though, which starting from the night before works out to 18 hours and on Friday I do something similar until about noon. As with anything else in this post, go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion. Another crucial, crucial concept that I won't get into here but is worth learning about is insulin resistance/sensitivity.

Embedded in all of this is something of a belief of nefarious motivations behind the medical industry appearing to have been very wrong about a lot of things and nefarious motivations for essentially staying wrong about it. Maybe that's right but I can't get there, regardless of that though it doesn't influence the desire to learn and try to be healthy, that falls squarely on us as individuals to learn about and do what we believe is best for us.

Pivoting to investing, a long time tenet that I have written about is to take bits of process from other people to create your own process. I've been influence by Jim Stack's comments about the 200 day moving average about 25 years ago in an article for Smart Money Magazine, I've been influenced by Peter Lynch in terms of ideas should be simple to explain to people who don't invest (Lynch said children), I've been influenced by Ken Fisher for sector weighting and a couple of other things, I was influenced by Jack Meyer about using alternatives and there have been other influencers.

As I have cross posted on Seeking Alpha I have had comments stating that indexing is the only way to go and people just as confidently declaring that everyone should only invest in dividend growth stocks. Just as LCHF (to pick just one idea from above) won't be right for everyone, the idea that one investing strategy must be right for everyone makes no sense whatsoever. I maintain what I believe to be a diversified portfolio, BTW not everyone believes in a diversified portfolio and that's just fine for them. Included in my idea of diversified portfolio are some dividend growth stocks, some indexed products as well as some holdings that fit neither bill. Dividend growth makes sense to have exposure to. Indexed products makes sense to have exposure to. I recently disclosed selling an individual stock that had done well that didn't fit in to either category and still have plenty of other holdings that are neither indexed products or dividend growth stocks. Having holdings with varying attributes ties in with trying to reduce volatility. The objective of reducing volatility will not resonate with everyone and of course that too is just fine.

You take bits of process that you can use and make sense to you and discard the ones that don't. I have learned a lot from Nassim Taleb over the years and as mentioned above, he has some very specific idea about diet and exercise. He believes it is healthier to develop a thick waist from heavy lifting. That makes no sense to me. What makes more sense is the idea that we are genetically programmed to a certain body shape and we should try to be somewhat close to that. How do we know what that shape is? We may not but I think there are clues to this based on what we looked like in college or perhaps what our parents looked like when they were young. Taleb has also talked about walking on rocks/uneven surfaces. At first I didn't get it, I may have even made fun but he meant hiking on trails, which I have been doing forever, as a means of promoting balance and agility which as mentioned above, staves off frailty (go learn about it and then draw your own conclusion).

You take bits of process that you can use and make sense to you and discard the ones that don't.