Bonus Points: Failing Early And Often

Bonus Points

Today SpaceX launched its new and massive Starship rocket on its first test flight, and the event ended with a flourish. By “flourish” I mean it exploded in spectacular fashion.

One of the more confusing things that seems to be tripping up people unfamiliar with such tests is the reaction of SpaceX employees on the live feed. At the moment when the rocket experienced its “rapid unscheduled disassembly”, rather than hanging their heads in failure the entire team erupted in applause. It’s easy to wonder what world they’re living in.

But engineers watching the event understood. The greatest design achievements are never achieved flawlessly in a single step. If they were, they wouldn’t be such great achievements! So rather than planning forever for a reality full of unknown variables that we’ll never truly understand until we finally hit the launch button, we celebrate failures for what we learn. And we press on creating something even better.

If you’ve ever found yourself evaluating portfolio ideas for the thousandth time without making a decision, stop for a moment to think about the flight crew cheering their work going up in flames. I’m not saying you should make hasty financial decisions. Be smart about it and start small. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to try or regretful when things don’t go as planned. Embrace each small failure as a required educational step towards your long-term success, and before you know it you’ll be enjoying the view from orbit.

Bonus Points: Holiday Chillin’

Bonus Points

The weeks surrounding the New Year are always some of the busiest for me, as between holiday plans and preparations for annual data updates there’s always a lot going on. Combine the normal festivities with a major winter storm here in the United States, and simply staying warm, happy, and productive will be top of mind for a little while.

So in lieu of an elaborate new post to wrap up the year, I figured this would be a good time to re-share a particularly good one from last December that is honestly pretty timeless.

Bonus Points: A Time to be Thankful

Bonus Points

The whole world is watching the ongoing financial carnage resulting from the FTX collapse, and every revelation is truly a sight to behold. I’m definitely working on my own article discussing the situation, but an extended writeup about greed, corruption, and downright stupidity just seems painfully out of place during the week of Thanksgiving. To highlight the worst in the world completely misses the point.

So in honor of my favorite holiday, let’s take a moment to turn off the inflammatory news and appreciate the good things in life. You only get one, so don’t waste it being angry or disappointed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bonus Points: Election Hangover Edition

Bonus Points

The Tuesday after the first Monday in November seems arbitrarily ordinary when you write it out like that, but for US investors it carries a unique importance. It’s election day. That day came and went on Tuesday to much stress and fanfare depending on whether your favorite candidates or ballot measures won or lost. I don’t know about you, but I could use a break.

The beauty of asset allocation is that it transcends party affiliation. Sure, politics affects markets. But diversification is there to help no matter who is in charge, and the sovereign law of compound interest doesn’t care who the nightly news is talking about today. Wise portfolio construction is the level head that steadies the ship in both calm and stormy seas.

So as you detox from the political bender affecting all of us, maybe take a moment to appreciate the stable things in life. Find the right portfolio, turn off the news, and take a walk outside. In both politics and money, the quiet voice of calm clarity requires focus to hear over the din of loud, attention-seeking voices. But it’s worth the effort.