It would appear that at some point in January, some of you stopped receiving these emails, and we can’t quite work out why. They’ve still been coming out every 2 weeks, so apologies if you have missed out – however, if you want to go back and read any back issues, you’ll find them all here.
We’ve tried to fix the problem, but if you have previously unsubscribed and now have to again, please accept my apologies in advance!
Episode 73: Having won races like Marathon Des Sables, the Oman Desert Marathon and the Big Red Run in Australia and setting multiple course records, Elisabet Barnes was an accomplished ultra-runner by anyone’s standards; but why, having grown up in Scandinavia, has she achieved her success in the desert?
Elisabet retired from ultra-running during the pandemic and is an ultra-coach, but she has added a new (and very different) string to her bow by qualifying as a sexologist and is aiming to help people transform their relationships and upgrade their sex lives!
Claire and I wanted to get to the bottom of the secrets to succeeding at desert races, how to make a living from running, and how endurance sport affects our relationships.
What I’ve Been Reading
Back when I was travelling around the world after university, whilst in Thailand I read book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Having seen it recommended in a few places recently, I decided to go back and revisit it.
Prior to rereading it, I couldn’t remember anything about what I took from it over 20 years ago but looking back I am fairly sure that it played a role in me walking away from the family farm and starting out in finance. Reading it this time around, when we are making fundamental changes to the way we do business at Efficient Portfolio, it again gave me a new perspective and focus on finding the right path. An easy and quick read, it really is a wonderful book with a few powerful messages that is worth everyone reading at least once.
What I’ve Been Watching
I love Sushi, so when a friend mentioned he had visited the 3 Michelin star sushi restaurant run by Jiro Ono in Tokyo, my taste buds started to tingle, despite not really knowing anything about it. I then discovered Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary on the incredible simplicity and dedication he has devoted to mastering his art.
If you love sushi, cooking, or Japan in general, I’d definitely suggest checking out Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It has recently become free on Amazon Prime, so make the most of it while you can.
Podcast I’ve Been Listening To
I have listened to a few episodes of The Diary of a CEO, but none have been better or more worthy of a mention here than The Happiness Expert That Made 51 Million People Happier: an interview with Mo Gawdat. He’s co-founded over 20 businesses, he’s the author of the ground-breaking books like Solve for Happy and Scary Smart, (which I’ve just added to my reading list) and he was chief business officer of Google X, the pioneering wing of google (aka the ‘moonshot factory’) where they work on all the latest technologies like self-driving cars and robots.
But most importantly, Mo has learned perspective about life. When his son died, this sent him on an incredible journey to look within himself and find the ‘happiness equation’ – a simple technique that can help us all reduce our unhappiness and appreciate life and ourselves more. This episode is packed full of so much wisdom, I will be listening to it again. I suggest you do too.
Quote of the Week
“The best defence is a good offense.”
- Dan Gable
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
I have been asked a few times recently why the portfolio performance has done poorly when the FTSE100 has been remarkably resilient. I covered it a few weeks back, but it is worth reiterating.
The FTSE isn’t a very good representation of the UK market and even less so for a diversified portfolio, as about ¼ is made up of energy and pharma – assets that have done well recently for obvious reasons. Also, many of the companies in the FTSE100 report their profits in dollars, so given the currency fluctuations, they have immediately become more attractive. The FTSE250, which has fallen more than its bigger brother, is a much fairer representation of the UK, but that still doesn’t account for what is happening in the US, Europe or Emerging Markets for that matter.
Whilst the FTSE100 has stayed resilient for the reasons above, the world has generally been affected by Chinese lockdowns, inflation and Mr Putin’s antics in Ukraine, so almost all markets have been negatively impacted. “So should you derisk your investments?” I hear you ask. Well actually, now would be a really bad time, as bonds and cash, which are there to protect the portfolio in negative markets are adversely affected by inflation, a significant current risk; so, the best strategy is to remain in a diversified portfolio and ride out the storm.
Another question I hear asked on this subject is, ‘How have True Potential performed compared to others like Portfolio Metrix (PMX)?’ Their portfolios have been remarkably resilient compared to many, and they have outperformed PMX through this period. So, whilst it might not feel ideal timing to have moved, your money has been better protected by doing so.
I know it’s never great to have a portfolio that is worth less than it was a few months ago, but remember, the secret to long term gains is withstanding short term losses.