Thursday, December 21, 2023

Personal Update


As I'm turning 49 next week, it's a good time to update everyone about my life.

a) Managing my Thyroid Eye Disease

Last week, my left eye was occluded, as I can see better with one eye than with two. But a couple of days ago, I got a piece of prism lenses, which improved my look slightly, but there is still some distortion in my vision, and it may take weeks to get used to. But at the moment, I'm struggling to get back to my old productive self, which is challenging as my left eye sheds tears easily, and I give my eyes a rest by taking multiple naps a day.

But the prism lenses are good as they buy me time to transition to government-subsidised care, which can only come online in mid-January. I can't trust my private provider anymore as my options involve high costs and hospital stays - perfect for taking advantage of folks with a high-end H & S policy. The government doctors actually confirmed that outpatient options are available. 

If there's any wisdom readers can pick up from this, incentives matter. If doctors get paid a significant portion of scanning fees, you will always be made to take MRI scans. For folks dealing with information asymmetries in medical care, you should always seek a second opinion, preferably from someone with different incentives. 

Government care is not perfect as my diabetic management can only occur once every 4-5 months, so I am now interleaving visits to a private and govt practitioner. 

b) My side gig

I've started sharing more of my work on my side gig with an educational institution. For three hours a week, I teach legal executives a program on issues running law firms and the specific IT software that comes with it. After my stint at a law firm ended, I wanted to retain my legal knowledge, and I tried to minimise disruption to my training business. 

The work is slowly gaining momentum, and I'm working on a cybersecurity program for legal executives. My career interests me, but I want to remind everyone that I'm a gig worker, and my materials may need approval. 

Also, I might need help maintaining my gig after this one is over in 6 months. This is purely to supplement my dwindling business, which will recover in 2024. 

c) My investment training business

I can handle anything else in my business if I can survive 2023 with my health issues and poor sales. I now run a fairly stable program investing in a dividends portfolio in the local markets and a one-of-a-kind program on operating your own robo advisor to invest in internal ETFs. 

The markets will take a while to recover, but I will struggle much less in 2024. 

d) Financial markets

Regarding investing, 2024 is going to be a good year as interest rate increases have come to an end. I still maintained most investments in REITs, so I would do okay. There could be a chance for a massive upside if a ceasefire occurs or interest rates begin ratcheting downwards. 

But for personal reasons, this is not a moment for aggressive risk-taking. As attractive as getting some leverage seems like a good idea, I do not need to make that much money, and I should keep some reserves for medical emergencies. 

e) Books I am reading

I'm not reading at a pace I like as my eyes get tired quickly, but this month, I have restricted myself to non-business books. I've covered a lot of ground on fiction and tackled a history book that discusses multiple What-If scenarios. I suspect this book will take me all the way into 2024. 

Overall, 2024 is a year of consistent change and evolution - I thrive on change and improvement. If not for my eye condition, I have planned a year of plenty of travel and even the publication of a new book. But at this moment, it's probably not wise to be too ambitious as managing my condition and maintaining all my gigs is already a massive challenge. 

2024 is likely a static year for me. I'd like it to be a lot more dynamic and bring in new stuff to do and meet new friends, but who am I kidding - I turn 50 next year!

Catch you guys again once I turn 49 on Christmas.

1 comment:

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