Putting A Price Tag On Happiness

Random observations and big personal news.

We have been crazy busy with something over the last couple of weeks which has impacted my blog frequency. More on that below, but first a few things from around the web and Twitter.

Naval Ravikant Tweeted;

Retirement starts when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. You retire by saving up enough money, becoming a monk, or by finding work that feels like play to you.

I retweeted with the following;

I would layer on top of this that the concept of #retirement is better thought of as financially independent regardless of whether you work or not, the focus here is owning your time, setting your own schedule, doing what you enjoy and hopefully getting paid for it.

You no doubt are familiar with the studies that conclude once an income gets to about $90,000, happiness peaks meaning that making $200,000 is unlikely to have a measurable effect on happiness. Not that people should not strive to earn more, but to what extent do you want turn your life inside out to make another $50,000 if you have what you need and want already?

I realize that won't resonate with everyone but I have essentially built my life around this premise.

The Beyond Meat (BYND) mania has been very exciting to watch. The valuation is insane but that doesn't have to matter yet. What I think is important to understand as a consumer is how unhealthy these things are. They are loaded with seed oils which are a source of Omega 6 fatty acids. When we consume too much Omega 6 in relation to Omega 3 we are promoting chronic inflammation which leads to metabolic problems like hypertension and blood sugar issues. Generally, carnivores and vegans both agree that processed food is unhealthy. It is hard to think there is anything more processed than artificial meat. If you are a vegan and buy into all the negative things about red meat, fine but that doesn't mean artificial meat is the solution.

In a similar vein, there is no question we have problems with China. That doesn't mean tariffs are the solution.

Ben Carlson had a fun post comparing the Yale Endowment's performance to just owning a target date fund. Yale, as well as Harvard Management Company, allocates a high percentage into illiquid pools of capital and/or alternatives. Ben says you can't really assess the risk adjusted result with the endowments so what we know is they took an expensive path to ordinary, equity market-lagging results. The influence for me from the endowments is the idea of smoothing out the ride with a SMALL allocation to liquid alternatives. The benefits of doing this, if you can be successful with it, include possibly reducing the number of times you have to confront your own emotions as well as making withdrawals a little easier (if you're down less when the market is down a lot then a withdrawal doesn't have to have as big of an impact).

Now for some personal news. My wife and I just finished filming an episode for a new reality show that will be on later this summer. The premise is that we remodeled our Airbnb. Two years ago we bought the other cabin on our street and turned it into an Airbnb. I will have more details later this summer but it was an amazing experience on multiple levels including how great the finished product is.

The process of how this works is a mystery to me in that it will be a one hour show which means 44 minutes after commercials. If we counted correctly, we filmed stuff for eleven hours and I doubt we'll even have ten minutes of airtime. The remodel and the show hosts are the story (rightfully so) far more than us. I asked one of the crew members how many hours of filming total, I guessed around 200 hours and he said that might be about right. This gives me a massive sense of appreciation for how hard the editing process must be.

The fact that we are going to be on a show like this might be an indication that they are starting to run out of people to do this. Seriously, if you ever have the opportunity to do something like this (assuming that it interests you), the tax implication/consequence probably needs to be the third or fourth question you ask and then you need to talk to your accountant. The numbers could shake out very positively for you on a net basis but you have to understand ahead of time what the tax obligation is in order to make an informed decision about going on the show.

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