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08 | The Land of Disruptors & Dinosaurs
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the pandemic and how this is changing human lives forever. I’ve written some articles on the blog about flying during pandemic and sustainability lessons from Harvard… but there’s an additional key element: Disruption.
The secret to survival in today’s ever-changing business world is recognising whether you and your company are the disruptors or the dinosaurs.
Mindset is key. This is the ability to find opportunities in different obstacles. Waiting for other people to solve the problem is a passive behaviour and opportunities are not found that way. The only way to adopt that mindset of a disruptor is to disrupt ourselves. This is not easy as we need to get out of our comfort zone and there’s no overnight success either. I do believe though that what we don’t know can be a massive strength if we understand how to leverage that.
Have a great week and enjoy all the new content below!
📸 Issue's Cover
The Village of Braveheart in Glen Nevis
📝 This Week's Blog Post
Just came back from one of the most stunning trips in the land where many films took place, various authors were inspired to write but also several clans battles happened. Welcome the breath-taking Highlands in Scotland.
Read more: Scottish Highlands In 10 Days
💸 Financial Freedom
In previous issues we talked about alternative investments such as gold, luxury watches and fine wine. Additionally, we talked about traditional investments such as bonds and stocks. Let’s briefly talk about funds.
What’s a fund? It’s a collective structure where you pool money with other folks that typically is managed by an expert (fund manager). The fund is divided in multiple units. You buy one (or as many as you can) at a certain price that can eventually rise or fall.
How do you value your investment? Multiply the price of the unit with the number of units you have in the fund. Simple.
What type of funds are available? Mutual funds (money market funds, bond funds, equity funds, balance funds, index funds, income funds, global/international funds, specialty funds and some other combinations), ETFs (like a Mutual fund but they trade on a stock exchange), Hedge funds (privately managed for wealthy people with high risk and significant fees) and Managed accounts (it’s like getting direct access to a fund manager via a broker on a commission, hence high fees). Don’t be intimidated by these names, you only need to understand the basics.
Why people like Mutual funds? They are cheap (low annual fees and entry cost), they have a portfolio manager (a guy who has a respectable degree and reasonable field experience), they offer diversification (you mix assets to reduce risk in your portfolio, or in simple terms: you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket) and risk flexibility (if you want to grow money over a certain period you probably choose a stock fund but it might be the case you’re not comfortable with the fluctuation and you prefer something more conservative such as a bond fund or even a money market fund).
How to get started? You need to open a brokerage account online, link it to your bank account and then add some money to start investing in those mutual funds. Typically these platforms offer a set of funds and you need to do your research in terms of fees, define your risk profile (remember the eggs and the basket), allocations and other stuff that might be relevant in your decision.
As I always mention, never put your money anywhere you don’t understand and always seek professional advice as investments can go up and down.
🛠️ Work Smarter (Not Harder!)
In previous issues, we spoke about a lot of different tools, devices, apps and setups to increase productivity at work.
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of Kindle. I know that not everyone likes the digital book experience but I love it because I take a lot of notes and highlight stuff when I read.
I’ve recently started to use Readwise. This is an app that syncs all my highlights from my Kindle books and Instapaper articles in a clean format and sends me a daily email/notification with random quotes I highlighted. This is a game changer for my knowledge because it brings back to life everything that I considered important on a daily basis with a simple notification. I can even rank the highlights, create tags and adjust to fit my purpose. My current setup is 5 highlights (quotes) per day at 9.00 AM so after my workout, shower and meditation I can revisit some words of wisdom for 2 or 3 minutes.
If you also have a Kindle, then you should definitely try Readwise. You can try 2 months for free and remember to cancel if you don’t like it.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can ignore everything I just said… or reconsider why you don’t have one already? :)
🧳 Lifestyle Design
In some previous issues I shared tricks about luxury hotels and business class flights. I remember saying it’s not as crazy as you might think and if you look properly, you can get great deals consistently. But it’s important to leave your assumptions behind and learn how the system works from scratch. In fact, this is true in life. Once you learn, then what once seemed to be impossible suddenly it became possible. You need to be willing to spend some time learning… or keep watching other’s people success and say “how lucky they are”.
Few days ago I collected my iPhone 12 Pro just released by Apple. In case you missed my blog article, this is what you need to know. It was the first redesign since the iPhone X in 2017, OLED displays and more importantly 5G for the new line. I’m not sure what other people expected about it. Yes, I know that Wall Street analysts were waiting for the “One More Thing” bit with AirTags, Studio AirPods and so on. But hey, there’s another event coming next month where they’ll introduce the first generation of MacBooks with ARM chips and there are big expectations.
If you want to buy it and you’re concerned about cost, delivery and return:
Cost: they offer Financing and Credit (make sure you’re comfortable with the T&C if you use it), Trade In (they give you credit in exchange for your existing device) and some Special Carrier Offers. I used the Trade In option as this time I got a good deal.
Delivery: the usual Apple Store online (laptop or via the app), Apple Pickup (you select day/slot if you want it quicker - the one I used) or literally the Chat function where you can ask extra questions before buying.
Return: If you purchased it and you don’t like it, remember you have 14 days of return and you can even arrange collection if any easier. That’s totally fine, I use this option sometimes when I want to test some devices.
And probably the last question and the most important…
Is it worth buying it? It depends. This is very personal. What type of user are you and what’s your current device?
If you haven’t upgraded for a while, then this is a worthy update given the 5G connectivity (this will only improve with faster networks), the top-notch processor and many other features. Spending extra money now will give you a phone lasting for many years.
If you have the previous iPhone (iPhone 11), keep in mind that the iPhone 12 will offer you in addition to 5G, new design, the Ceramic Shield front, Ultra wide lens night mode / deep fusion, better features for night mode, Dolby Vision for video and MagSafe support at the very least.
Just make sure you’re happy with your decision and don’t do something based on other people’s expectations.