Many of you how how much I hate dumb people (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, etc), including pundits who try to predict things but quietly fade away when the results come in, and hand-wavy arguments that people use to rationalize not getting started (like here).
Anyway, this year I'm going to make 5 very modest resolutions. New Year resolutions are always weird to me. Isn't it odd how we treat the new year like it's a complete rebirth, which often leads to unreasonably ambitious resolutions that never seem to happen? And we ignore that this pattern has been repeated for the last 20-something years? Now, I'm all for ambition and anything that will help us be more productive and happy, but one of the core tenets of iwillteachyoutoberich is recognizing the difference between being sexy and being Rich.
It would be sexy to say "I'M GOING TO MAKE A BILLION DOLLARS THIS YEAR!!!!!!!" or "THE CURRENCY INFLATIONARY CRISIS, COMBINED WITH INTERNATIONAL SPECIALIZATION AND IMMIGRATION, HAS MADE ME BEARISH ON THE STOCK MARKET, SO INSTEAD OF INVESTING I INTEND TO HOLD MY ASSETS IN CASH AND PERHAPS GOLD." Really? Instead, I'd probably just say "I'm going to set up an automatic transfer of $500 from my bank to my investing account on the 1st of every month" or "I'm going to read one book per month on personal finance." Not as sexy, but with a long-term horizon, I think it works.
As Paul Saffo recently wrote,
As this portentous year draws to a close, many are tempted to forecast a coming new utopia -- or unimaginable new hells. Both outcomes are unlikely. Instead, humankind will do what it has always done, namely muddle its way forward.
Okay, that's definitely cynical, but the message still comes through: Instead of grandstanding, small, simple steps work for me. So after some thought, here are my modest resolutions:
- About 23% of my readers are women. I want to increase that number to 35% by the end of 2007. This will be hard.
- Go against my personality and say "no, thanks" to opportunities that might seem interesting, but aren't a core part of what I want to do this year.
- Share what sources I read more frequently, including links to other blogs and 2 book reviews per month.
- From a personal-finance perspective, I'll make more, save more, and spend more than ever before this year. I spent most of December thinking through a new asset allocation, which I might write about later.
- Write for 30 minutes every day.
That's it! Happy 2007.