Five Unusual Things I’m Grateful For Despite Everything Bad

Instead of sharing the usual things I’m grateful for (health, family, to be Asianetc.), I thought I’d share some unusual things I’m thankful for this year!

2023 should have been a a return to the easy life. Unfortunately, I don’t feel very relaxed. The combination of keeping Financial Samurai running and being a father is crushing me.

I hope that by going through a list of common things to be thankful for, even though many of them are bad, I will become more appreciative. That’s what this time of year is for!

I hope you will do this personal exercise as well.

Five Unusual Things I’m Grateful For

No matter how disappointing some things are, I always like to look at things on the bright side. So there is nothing here.

1) Thank you for local government corruption

When you have a $14+ billion annual budget in San Francisco, it’s hard not to have some corrupt officials. Money and power can bring out the worst in people.

But let’s look on the bright side of city officials taking scraps. It means that it is difficult to do things because of the high standards and tones of the competition. If it were easy to do things in the city, we could put the health and safety of our citizens at risk.

See: Former SF Public Works director sentenced to 7 years in prison

Difficult reconstruction or construction of a new property

One example of legal bribery is paying a “permit forwarder” to get your housing permit approved or approved faster. If you don’t pay for it, your permit can be held hostage for months or even years.

In 2005, when I was 28, I built a new full bathroom out of a closet. My general contractor advised me to pay $1200 for a permit forwarder so I did. He told me, “That’s the way it is in the city.”

It sounded fishy at the time, but since it was my first rebuild, I didn’t know any better. The permit expeditor I paid was charged with bribery a year later.

By making it harder for the city to remodel and build new homes, it helps prop up existing home prices by artificially restricting supply. As a result, existing homeowners in San Francisco have seen greater home price appreciation than cities with less corrupt buildings and planning departments.

Next, if you can complete gut remodeling, your home should be much more valuable because it is so difficult to get a permit and go through a strict review process.

Let’s government inefficiency and corruption!

See: Former SF building inspectors took bribes

2) Thank the Fed for creating boom-bust cycles

Instead of gradually raising and lowering interest rates, the Fed takes an aggressive approach that creates boom-bust cycles.

During the 2020 rate cut to deal with the pandemic, we made a lot of money in stocks and real estate in 2020 and 2021. Once the Fed started aggressively raising rates in 2022, we bought stocks at a discount. Now the S&P 500 is up ~20% and the NASDAQ is up ~45% YTD in 2023. What a blessing!

Aggressive rate hikes also allowed me to buy a great property at a lower price 17 months after I first saw it in May 2022. The Fed rate hike gave me 17 months to save, invest, and recover from my stock market losses.

Without the aggressive Fed, the house would have been out of my family’s reach.

Thank you Fed for giving me the opportunity to take better care of my family! As a father, one of my top priorities is to provide my family with a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood.

Finally, thanks to the Fed, we can now all earn ~4.84% risk-free income for up to 20 years State bonds if we want. Earning such a high risk-free interest rate with inflation heading back to 2.5% or lower is a generational win. Millions more savers will experience greater financial security as a result.

3) The bright side of OpenAI’s change to a for-profit company

OpenAI, the AI ​​company that created ChatGPT, started as a non-profit company to help all of humanity. But the leaders soon realized the money-making potential of ChatGPT, so they switched to a for-profit structure. After raising a huge amount of funding, hiring top talent and innovating, the company is now valued at ~$86 billion.

When the company is valued at $86 billion, it hires even more people, which is great for the cities where OpenAI has offices (San Francisco, Seattle, etc.). Moreover, the rapid creation of an $86 billion company increases the desire to create new competitors. Venture capitalists they are funding AI companies left and right!

Antropic, a close OpenAI competitor, for example, came from nowhere and is now valued at ~$30 billion. Not bad for an AI company that also supposedly isn’t profit-driven.

Within a few years, this sudden wealth creation created thousands of new millionaires and dozens of billionaires in the San Francisco Bay Area. Meanwhile, thousands of new jobs will be created.

If OpenAI had decided to remain a non-profit organization and stay true to its mission of helping humanity, all the wealth creation would probably never have happened. Hooray for greed!

AI Is a Capital Vacuum

Now there’s another strong one local economic catalyst for the San Francisco real estate market and economy. I expect even more AI companies to be created as thousands of new financially independent employees branch out at OpenAI, Anthropic, etc. This happened a few years after companies like Google and Facebook went public. Once the shares are fully taken over, employees like to do their own thing.

With a virtuous cycle of wealth centered in the Bay Area, it is now harder to leave San Francisco as other great fortunes will be achieved. The AI ​​revolution is just beginning.

It’s much better to live in an AI headquarters than to be behind walls where AI will systematically eliminate millions of jobs over time. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s inevitable when a company is trying to maximize profit.

If you would like to invest in AI, take a look at Innovation fund. Roughly 35% of the fund is invested in private growth companies in the AI ​​space.

Before you decide to invest and how much, see what the Innovation Fund holds. The minimum is $10. Traditional VCs require a capital commitment first and then hope that general partners find great investments.

4) Thank you for the eternal rejection

When I was not promoted to CEO in 2011, after 10 years of loyal service to Credit Suisse, I decided to make a plan motto to get fired. Idea negotiate a severity package with all my money and supplies set aside, he came to me while I was sitting in a bar in sunny Santorini, Greece. Then I did it six months later.

Being able to leave banking with money in my pocket was a dream come true. Banking made me sick. Within a year of leaving, all my chronic back pain, sciatica and TMJ were gone. Tea health benefits of early retirement they are priceless.

Back then I would give anything to feel healthy again. I had no idea that not working 60 hours a week for years under a lot of stress was enough to get a healthy body. Hooray for hitting the “bamboo ceiling”!

Turn job rejections into profits

After being rejected by dozens of tech companies in 2012, I ended up buying a lot of tech stocks. I figured if I couldn’t work for them, they would work for me! The proceeds from these technology investments allowed my family to eat at McDonald’s every day for the rest of our lives.

Once my wife negotiated strictness in 2015 as high performance, we no longer had subsidized healthcare. After UnitedHealthCare denied one of our health insurance applications, I realized what a powerful business it was. So I bought some UNH stock and it blew away the S&P 500!

Being rejected as a writer

When no literary agent responded to my book idea on how to negotiate rigor, I took the plunge self publishing. The books have now sold thousands of copies and earned her over $550,000 in net profit.

I get comments and emails all the time thanking me for how to do it How to prepare for layoffs he gave them the courage to leave a bad work situation behind. It’s an amazing feeling to change people’s lives for the better.

Being rejected as an athlete

One of the saddest things about sports is aging. At some point, you will realize that your body will no longer cooperate, even though your mind is still strong.

In the spring of 2023, I was rejected by the captain of a 4.5 level public park tennis team to join his team. It was a sad fall from grace that I had it was played at level 5.0 for four years in other teams before the pandemic. But without that rejection, I wouldn’t have experienced one of the most satisfying wins of my life.

On July 6, 2023, my partner and I defeated the captain who rejected me and his partner, 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 in a critical playoff match. Oh, winning was so satisfying, as was seeing the melancholy on his face after he lost. Thanks Jeff for the priceless memory! Public park teams are meant to be inclusive.

Related: Eternal failure: the reason why I save so much

5) Lower than average desire to succeed

One of the biggest destroyers of happiness is never being satisfied with what you have. Since my friend lost his life at the age of 15, since I was 13, I feel more grateful to be alive. Every new year is like a bonus.

At 34, I decided I had had enough and left banking. It was hard to walk away from a healthy paycheck. I knew that if I only worked for another five years, I would at least be able to accumulate another $1 million in net worth. But I didn’t care anymore.

My passive investment income at that time it was not enough to live a lavish lifestyle in San Francisco or Honolulu. But it was enough to live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle as an individual or a couple.

If my intention was to make millions and be promoted to CEO, I would be miserable for the next 5-10 years of long hours. My health would suffer and I might shorten my life by a few years.

Good enough is good enough!

Fame is not worth it

Mostly I found inner motivation do what i want to do While fame can be tempting, fame doesn’t hold my interest. Caution is like an addiction that can destroy a person’s mental health.

During my few months I got a taste of some public exposure Don’t buy this book marketing tour in 2022. It was fun showing my parents TV spots, but fame is not something I want to see continue.

When you’re at the playground with your kids, do you really want strangers walking up to you and interrupting your one-on-one time with your little ones? I think not.

All I want is enough money to take care of my family, do meaningful work and have it the freedom to be nobody. A simple life is a good life.

So many other unusual things to be thankful for

I could go on about the more unusual things I am thankful for. But I won’t bore you.

This post has two main points:

1) Try to look at the matter from the better side. Bad things happen all the time. Train your mind to become more optimistic by finding positive potential. If you do, you will find more opportunities and feel happier because of it.

2) Don’t stop trying. You never lose if you never give up. Don’t underestimate the power of sand. It doesn’t matter if you fail. What matters is that you tried and will continue to try.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I wonder what unusual things you are thankful for? What lucky breaks have you had??

Note: I’m not really grateful for corruption, boom-bust cycles, government bureaucracy, and greed taking over AI. Rejection always stinks too. I just try to look at the positives of sub-optimal situations.

Solve the Happiness Puzzle in five moves or less

How important it is to anticipate your suffering in order to live a more fulfilling life

Thank you for being lucky: The phone call that changed my life for the better

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