Happy New Year! The team here at AfireFi has all celebrated, partied and rested just a little bit. I'm hoping you also had a great time and you're bringing your rest and excitement into 2023. I, myself was able to leave sea level here in Barbados and get up to the mountains in Utah. I'm sure you'll hear little snippets about that trip as we go. We are really excited to start 2023.
Listen, any of that overeating and overdrinking, it's part of the whole experience. Hopefully, it's not too bad, but don't worry about the overspending. We're going to take care of that in upcoming weeks. I just want to ease you into this new year by talking about big picture stuff for 2023, and the themes that impact your lives and therefore possibly your money.
So, the first thing I want talk about is stepping back and looking at the world of investment from 35,000 ft, sort of the top of the mountain.
Ultimately human behaviour is what the market is about. It's about the habits we as crazy humans are adopting or ditching. Along the way, humanity is always in a state of flux. Those who want to evolve are always at odds with those who don't. There are people who want things to stay the same, or even go backward.
Look think about your household - you can always relate world events down to your own household - there's always going to be some level of strife out there.
Right now, with China and Taiwan and Russia and Ukraine, those situations still have stories to tell. With that out there, for me, I feel like fear, inflation, food, and the gas shortage are likely to remain in the headlines and create uncertainty on the world stage as well as in our households. Think of it, when we're fearful and uncertain, we clamp down on our spendin.
The stock market is like any market, it's made up of buyers and sellers. So, if you as a buyer are willing to do less and you relate that to any investor who is willing to do less, investors at this time - when they're fearful and uncertain - are willing to pay less for their investments.
I remember we were trying to buy a piece of real estate and we were negotiating and getting frustrated and considering paying up, and our accountant said, look, "you make the money on the price you pay." His theory really was, start as you mean to go on. If you start out overpaying, it's a habit that you're establishing.
This is not meant to invoke fear, but it's just meant to remind you and create awareness. So, at this time, valuations to me are a lot more important than other times that I have invested.
Remember when we were coming out of COVID, everything was going up. Robinhood was in the newspaper, they were throwing confetti and just about everything was going up. The tech stocks were raging despite their valuations. For me, it's not that kind of market, it's not a momentum market.
So, for me, in my riskier portfolio where I am taking more chances, I am bargain hunting. On a basis of valuation rather than charts, and for safety and for some guaranteed yields. I am looking at good-yielding bonds that I think I will hold to maturity so that I don't have to worry about fluctuations and prices.I'm going try to be sure that those companies or governments are gonna be around too.
Then for my longer-term investments, I'm going to stick with my whole life policies. I love them. I can't recommend them more to my friends, not as a formal recommendation but just for personal satisfaction.
For my managed funds, we remain more focused on defensive shares, the things you have to buy regardless, your utilities, your food, your food staples, and hopefully some of those have some yields. Also, continue to look at commodities and special situations like automation, robotics and defence, because when countries are scared, the citizens are more likely to not balk at higher defence spending.
So, that's where I am. It's not a recommendation, it's just giving you a view into my side of the investment blotter going into the near and midterms.
The second thing, I would like to highlight is a positive shift in human behaviour that I'm noticing. It's something that's showing up in newsletters and I'm hearing and seeing more people talk about it and it's about choice v intentional decisions.
We have had an amazing 15 years of choice. Think about it, the cell phone, tablets, social media, Netflix, Spotify, and low-cost airlines. All these things have come together into an era of choice. We have forgotten what it's like to have five TV channels or one car and things like that and I'm definitely not calling for an end to that, but I think this great experiment in choice has probably been really overwhelming and it feels like people are wanting to move towards more of an age of decision.
Making better decisions, is the space AfireFi occupies…always trying to drive you towards more intentional living, more intentional decisions about your time, and more intentional decisions about your money.
I was watching a Zack Efron documentary on Netflix, it was entertaining, but at the end of the day, it was about the same thing as being a decision-maker in your life. They were talking about it from a much bigger level like climate and I'm trying to get you to within your own household to start making those day-to-day good decisions.
From a different point of view, if you're looking at entrepreneurship this year. I had the great pleasure of meeting Sid Mashburn at the Monocles Dallas Chief's Conference back in November, and he's a founder of Mashburn. At an inflection point in his career, he took a bet to open a collection of beautiful total-look clothing shops in the South.
As soon as you walk in, you're engulfed in music and art and southern charm, and I mentioned this because in the face of Amazon doing so well, he made the bet to open up this collection of retail stores and he made the bet that humans will begin to make more conscious purchase decisions.
So, if you have a budding business idea, keep this trend in the back of your mind. The whole of humanity is not going move at once. There are always people ahead, and there are people at the back.
Think about serving the people that are ahead, the people wanting to make more conscious decisions, and remember that the dream section of AfireFi is a perfect place to ideate these types of thoughts. Get them out of your head and down on paper, so to speak, and give them a fighting chance of bringing them to fruition.
So just these are two big, high-level thoughts for the beginning of the year to inspire you.
Please go into, the app and getting going on some simple housekeeping guided by the routines section. Thank you for visiting with us.