Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Art of the Good Life #35 : The Focus Trap



[ I'll catch you guys later for my talk on Financial Independence, REITs and use of the leverage. Unfortunately, my voice is not 100% as I've had some sort of bacterial or viral infection for the past 2 weeks. But I can talk and may need some pauses to get a drink to carry on. I may also get hoarse as the talk goes on as I'm expected to speak for about an hour.  ]

We're a little behind on this series so we have some catching up to do.

The second article this week is about focus.

According to the author, focus is just about as important for time and money. Unlike time and money, focuses cannot be divided and split into many parts. Those who multi-task usually end up being less productive because of the "context switching" that occurs when switching between tasks.

There are five recommendations to maintain a laser-like focus in life.

a) Don't confuse what's new for what's relevant. 

So far, everything I said about cryptocurrency after reading about the 2018 Barclays Gilt report has come true, cryptocurrencies, when modelled like a disease, are unlikely to make a comeback. In inventing an asset class, Millenials, continue to HODL when equities could have returned even more in the meantime. Equities have been around for more than century.

b) Avoid content that is free.

This is harder for me to follow this advice as brokerage reports can be free. It would also be hypocritical as most financial blogs provide articles for free as well.

That being said, there is a lot of time-wasting news out there that are just there to attract eye-balls. I fail to see why people even bother about the Pan Ling Ling Hong Hui Fang dispute.

c) Multimedia is overrated

This I agree. I think the most valuable financial insights are found in text, notably research papers rather than videos. Even when I give talks, a lot of focus was put in making ideas accessible to the audience. I can't really show off the big guns even though I did think them through.

( Particularly, how factor based investing applies to S-REITS )

d) Focus cannot be divided.

Well this has been mentioned earlier. Research on the futility on multitasking and, for that matter, open offices has been shown to reduce productivity of workers.

e) Act from a position of strength.

This means putting yourself in a position to avoid advertising and pointless information. I think Instagram is a serious waste of time but I'm quite mixed about Facebook because I use that to maintain contact with my fans most of the time.

It is also a place for me to get the latest updates on my investments.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Hi Chris,

I think that the best approach is to keep it simple and adopt a relaxed attitude.

Take care and wish you a speedy recovery from your cough.

Ben