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In a few days, many people will be taking some time off from work for their annual vacation. That is of course if they are fortunate enough to have a job.
So, when I was thinking about this blog, several thoughts came to mind:
- Firstly, let’s do something different; hence the podcast;
- Then, I thought about a fascinating book that I have been reading by Matthew Walker titled “Why we Sleep”;
- I also thought about what am I going to do over this period.
There are always mixed feelings over this period for me. Firstly, there’s the mad rush to make sure that I complete all the tasks and goals that I had set out for myself before I go on vacation with my family. Then, there’s this angst about all that is happening out there: How will the stand-off between the United States and China play out? What is Vladimir Putin planning now? Will anything come out of the State Capture Judicial Commission? How will the elections in South Africa pan out in 2019? The list can go on and on …. All of these can have some bearing on how the markets perform and ultimately on the performance of the portfolio too.
Coming back to the Walker’s book on Why We Sleep. This latest research and conclusions on the importance of sleep for mental and physical health are profound. Very aptly, you should try to get 8 hours of sleep daily. This is good for your physical and mental health, for your creativity, memory retention and emotional well-being.
On reading the book, I could not help thinking about the importance of taking some time off regularly to clear one’s mind, to spend some quality time with good friends and family, re-connect with nature, get some exercise and some rest, switch off from all the noise in the media, and use the time to read a few good books. I have a few books that I want to read: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Hariri and the Lean Start Up by Eric Ries. I’d like to also get through a novel or two.
The time off will also be good preparation for the year ahead. Whilst, we have done quite a lot of analysis on our investment strategy for 2019 and started implementing them, I’m sure after a good rest, there would be some more thoughts and ideas that we could test and implement.
From a personal financial point of view, this is also a good time to check if my financial plans are still intact. Should I do something different?
- Spend less and invest more perhaps after the dire markets of the last few years?
- Will I have sufficient funds when I retire?
- What will I change of my investment strategy: more or less offshore, which markets, etc?
- Is my Family Balance Sheet up-to-date?
Taking a good break will go a long way in reenergising our minds and bodies. This will be good preparation for the year ahead.
Mostly though I am looking forward to spending time with my family and good friends and having some fun times with them.
Wishing you all of the best.