63 | Die With Zero
This week, I released a video -> MUST Do in Madrid THIS Christmas and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts! And I really mean it! ❤️
This is going to be long, apologies. If you have no time, please stop reading right now. I recognise how valuable time is these days for everyone. But if you do have some minutes, I'll share something that hopefully can give you some value about life and money. This is NOT something I share in videos or in person or in any other channel. It just comes to me when I sit down and write on a weekly basis (“journaling” these days) when most people are sleeping.
Still with me? OK, thank you. Let's dive into it. One of the books I explored some time ago was called Die With Zero, written by one of the world's most successful hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs.
This is a thought-provoking book about how to use your money during your lifetime. Even though I didn't agree with some concepts, it gave me a fresh perspective about money and life correlation. To be clear, the book is NOT about how to make money or how to run a business. It's about what to spend your money on, when and how. Bear with me, I promise if you keep reading, an interesting concept will come up.
Let me ask you something. What's your most valuable asset? Probably you'll tell me about your amazing house, your fantastic car, your great financial investments (stocks/bonds, funds, real estate, commodities, crypto, etc.) and a bunch of tangible things, right?
Well, the answer really is your memories! Because they define who and what you are. But how is this related to the book? If you don't want to read a single page, I give you the short answer: spending money to build up memories is the best use of your money. That's it, you can stop reading now if you wish.
If you're still with me, I'd still recommend you read the book. For me working in the financial industry for the last decade, the concepts of the book gave me an interesting fresh perspective / reminder of life and money.
This is about spending your money on experiences, not things. Experiences can be on your own or with your family and friends. It's up to you. Sure, this is is a cliché right? Yes and No.
My favourite book of all time is called The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I'm not afraid of confessing it. This a book for kids but with lessons for life. I'll share some quotes right now to highlight the point I'm trying to make in the next paragraphs:
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
“I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him... The land of tears is so mysterious.”
“You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.”
I think there are moments for everything in life. When is critical. If you're young, chances are that you're happy staying in hostels, eat once a day and walk to save on transport. This is myself back in 2009/2010. I didn't even want to spend on a €2 sandwich. My budget was very limited but I was unconsciously looking to acquire experiences and started to travel the world even on a €100-200 budget (using free accommodation such as Couchsurfing, staying on a 16-bed-room paying €12-15 per night, sleeping on a bench/coffee shop when travelling to save an extra night, buying the supermarket cola for €0.25 or their “Nutella” for €1… just to share some examples). No, I don't want you to feel sorry. Looking back, this was a life changing experience for me and I'm extremely grateful about everything that happened. From a young age I wanted experiences as I knew eventually I was not that stupid and I could find myself making money. And even if one day I lose everything I have, I'm very confident about my skills, discipline and resiliency to be able to get back on track. That's not the point but I need to give you this context for the next paragraphs.
How is this anecdote relevant? Well, I became older and started to make money and sacrificed some experiences in the interest of saving to buy property, investing and that usual stuff we all do at some point. That was cool. But the older I become, the younger I want to feel. So I keep connecting to that little kid I once was (I don't tell anyone because I built a big wall to protect myself… but I have a moment every week where I “travel” back in time to find him because he keeps me hungry and gives me a spark of madness).
Anyway the point here is that these experiences will change your life. This can be so many different things such as giving money to someone you love, supporting a charity, teach somebody something they don't know, hiking in your dream place, doing an extreme sport you thought you couldn't, confronting your fears, etc.
It's all about stages. The author of the book, Bill Perkins (The Last Cowboy according to the Wall Street Journal) deeply regrets not going with his friend through Europe, staying at hostels, in his early 20's and a bunch of those “I need to do it one day”. Sure, you can do this when you're older but the feeling might not be the same. So we can't fight time. We can still do what we can, go for our dreams but the meaning changes over time. This is life and living abroad I see this everyday.
The point here is that if you die old with a lot of money sitting in your bank account and you haven't used it to acquire experiences, then you'd deeply regret it. What's the point of all those bank notes if you didn't make anyone happy or more importantly… you never allowed yourself to be happy. What is that thing that you really wanted to do and you couldn't? Can you still do something about it?
I know this looks super obvious but the book is packed with facts and great examples. I cannot make anyone feel this way but the way I feel these days is similar to when I was in my early 20s with the difference that I now have the money but less time. So I've been spending time on planning all my pending wishes and make everything happen because life is too short for drama and “what if” games. I want to make sure that by the age of 40 (November 2024) I did everything I wanted and have no regrets. I just set a target because I know myself and I work better with deadlines.
The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now.
Have a great week!
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It's that time of the year, Christmas around the corner and we're all planning it. Where will you be? If you're thinking of Spain, this video might be for you.
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