2019 – The year in review

By | 22nd December 2019

Just like how a business should review it’s performance every quarter, an individual should track progress from time to time(not too often as that can be detrimental). So here’s my review of myself based on things I care about.

Do note that 2019 has been a tough year for me personally, something which I would not like to delve publicly. This post is heavily biased on the positives and will weigh things quantitatively. 2019 was a lot about keeping things that worked for me going and compounding results, than trying new things.

Investing

My largest portfolio pick Facebook performed very well in 2019

My net worth is up nearly 55%. A large part of this is because of high savings rate. I can save up when I’m not travelling as I live with my parents. I like to avoid spending on unnecessary items. The other reason is high conviction bets that went right. I also realigned my portfolio to increase concentration and make it simpler. I now hold 8 total companies(excluding tracking positions) and 2 mutual funds in large quantities. I hope to increase concentration further in the future as my conviction increases.

Facebook was one high concentration bet(largest holding) that I started buying heavily since January 2019 that went very well. It is my largest position and I keep adding. I am fully invested and almost all of my net worth is in equities.

Fitness

I re-started lifting weights in December 2018 on the back off a meniscus tear in my right knee and a shoulder injury. I have managed to fix both, however the meniscus tear has relapsed a couple of times but the situation is workable. I’m happy that I managed to avoid a surgery, which could have caused me further issues later on in life. My squat is up from 40 kg to 120 kg, bench is up from 20 kg to 80 kg, overhead press from not being able to lift my arm up to 55 kg, deadlift from not being able to deadlift at all to 140 kg; all for 5 reps. I think this is phenomenal progress and would like to keep going.

I also try to eat healthier, get more sunlight, sleep more, meditate. I’ve noticed all of this pays off on you mentally as well and you feel much better.

Travel

Angkor Wat would probably the most noteworthy place I’ve visited this year

In 2019 I visited 5 countries, 2 other destinations in India. South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Bangalore, Mumbai. You can add Singapore to the list if a long transfer at the airport counts. Roughly 25-30% of my time was spent on the road. While this does eat into my savings, I feel it is well worth the investment because it is something I am very passionate about.

I’m dabbling with the digital nomad lifestyle. I plan to make blog post about it in due course. I try and not spend a lot while travelling, instead opting for Airbnb, cooking my own food and flying on the cheapest tickets everywhere. My observation is that what you pay and the value you get can differ significantly. Reviews are always more important than what you’re paying. More on that in a future post.

The South Korea trip was mostly to attend APRICOT 2019. It was an extremely fulfilling experience and I learnt a lot from other people in the internet community. I hope to attend more such tech conferences in the future. Meeting new like-minded people from the tech community is fun and helps me learn new things.

Learning

I learnt more programming(in Python, PHP and Ruby). My job does not require me to code, but it is extremely useful skill to have. Also learnt Kubernetes, learnt more of Chef, Packer, Ansible, Groovy DSL. Also learning more about accounting and finance through online resources.

I found a new hobby in reading. It gave me new ideas that I could apply in my life and new perspectives to enrich my world view. I particularly enjoyed Zero To One by Peter Thiel and Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. Naval’s podcasts also gave me new ideas, and re-enforced a few old ones. I earlier felt that books were not very useful. Happy to be wrong there.

Others

Some other things I’m upto.

  • Reduced addictions. Didn’t drink even once in 2019, gave up vaping. Extremely proud.
  • Deleted most social media. I only have WhatsApp and an anonymous Twitter account. Best decision I’ve made. This free-ed up more time to do what I love and made me spend less time over what others think, something which I don’t give two hoots about.
  • Learning trading with play money. Mostly with BTC futures and leverage.
  • Cooking more often and doing household chores myself, especially when not at home. Useful life skills.

So what are the plans for 2020? Well I plan to try new things, maybe make some drastic changes and take more risks. It’s difficult to say what could be in store. I like to live in the moment. I certainly hope I could blog more and have more time for myself. 🙂

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