TSF Digest #04: Your Brain Needs Sleep

I have always been curious of our brain and a strong believer in prioritizing brain and body capabilities. For example, I take multiple 5 minute breaks in a working day to allow my brain to “breathe” and relax my focus. I am impressed with individuals like Elon Mush who can perform on the long run with 4 hours of sleep but I strongly strongly disagree with this approach for the common individuals.

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Net Worth Update #03: March 2020 – Partial Unemployement (+3’838 CHF)

This month of March 2020 has been quite unique for me. First, we saw the fastest bear market for the stocks in history. At the time of writing this article, the S&P500 has gained more than 20% from its current bottom making it the strongest stock market increase since the Great Depression. Also, for the first time in my life, my employer has put me under partial unemployment.

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TSF Digest #03: Time to learn new things

So, as per Emmanuel Macron announcement to pursue the lockdown rules in France until mid-may at least, we can reasonably assume the lockdown in most of Europe until mid-may. So we have so much time to learn new things! I mean, the Tiger King documentary on Netflixn can count as learning right?

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Apps we used to digitalize our life (Apple/iOS)

I am a huge technology fan and is known by my friends and family as the “geek”. I still get calls from my mum which I usually answer first with “did you search on Google?” to close the topic. It’s too easy to call for someone and not learn right?

Back to the topic. I wanted our family to be as digital as possible and not rely on papers for archiving purpose and searching capabilities. This also unlocks the ability to share information way easier. Here are some of the apps/process we use.

Ecosystem: Apple

Let’s start by saying all these suggestions are based on Apple and iOS ecosystem for my wife and I. However, most of the apps I will suggest are also compatible with Windows and Android.

A task manager: Todoist

If you want to collaborate with you loved ones such as bills to pay, contractor to call, meeting with the bank, or simply share a grocery shopping list, you need a task manager!

I used to be a fan of Wunderlist and never have been able to fund a suitable replacement since it was bought by Windows. We currently settled with Todoist. You can create list for your own tasks, grocery shopping list, list of things to do in the flat … You can share each list with your loved-ones and anyone can mark it as completed. Todoist also allows for task attribution and due dates.

All of these features are free and you have apps for Android, Windows, Mac OS and also a web version. The only thing missing from the free version are reminders.

I plan to try with Microsoft To Do app, which replaces Wunderlist and also see if the stock app from Apple, Reminders.

Calendar from Apple

How do you make sure you can make an appointment at the physio of your loved one took the car to go shopping or see his parents? We use the calendar to mark our social gatherings with friends, when we plan to go see the family and also our work related events such as conference, afterworks etc … When we create a new entry, the default calendar is the shared one.

Below is a step-by-step guide to create a shared calendar with whomever your want.

If you want to setup this new calendar as default, you will need to go to Settings > Calendar and select it as below. Once done, when you create a new calendar entry, it will select by default your newly shared calendar.

Notes from Apple: bills and warranties

In the spirit to keep everything digital, we have been using since the last iOS version Apple Notes to share notes. We create a note for any item we purchase, saving the ticket and mentioning the product and month of purchase. This way we have a trace of our warranties as long as the cloud servers don’t melt!

As you can see we put in the title not the item purchased as well as month and year. In the note you can scan your ticket.

This also a great way to work on holiday ideas and plan on our side and share our picks with each other. You need to have an app to share notes!

Dropbox to share files

The last mandatory item in your shared digital life will be an app to share files. We have been using Dropbox since we met but it’s use as been minimal in the last 2-3 years. One key issue is my wife does not have as much free space as me.

I understand Apple has, or is soon going to, given the possibility to share folders and files from its Folder app! I am already paying a monthly cloud storage space to Apple for my iPhone and iPad backups, I am going to take a look at this in the next weeks.

I will not share an example of how we setup our folders as, 1) it’s a mess and 2), we need to find an alternative as we have storage issues.

Next steps

We recently purchased a NAS to upload all our movies and TV shows to be used anywhere with the Plex app. I plan to setup the NAS also to backup our devices and be a central music library. Unfortunately we can not use the NAS a central repository for pictures when using the stock app Photos from Apple.

Finally, I never took the time to look at Shortcuts and see how we can automate some easy tasks. I want to include into these routines our Sonos and Philips HUE setups.

How I Manage My Finances During This Crisis

For many years, I did not attach any importance to my cash savings in general and was a big spender. I was betting on my future income to create my cash savings. Obviously, this all changed a year ago when my spouse and I decided to be active in how we manager our money. I want to emphasis on her and her will to have a substantial amount of cash. What a great idea she had, especially today during this crisis.

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TSF Digest #02: Learn about communication, privacy and podcasts

I have successfully completed my third “work-at-home” week with the Ms. We are staying home but to go shopping and see if the horse is doing well. The stable is 3 km away before you ask.

This time is perfect for me to read articles I saved during the last months. Here are some of my best recent reads.

To read

  • Adopting asynchronous communication: In a time where you are not in the office and can not reach to your colleague directly, a dire need for new ways to communicate exists. The biggest challenge for me will be to change people’s behavior.
  • The best browser for privacy. TLDR, download the Brave browser.
  • Zoom: the new king of videoconference is currently seeing a tremendous user growth due to the global worldwide lockdown. The company stock price has not fall down. However, recent news have shown how bad from a privacy perspective this tool is (my opinion: it’s a disaster). However, it’s the first time I see a company answering the right way to user’s concerns.
  • The Guardian’s take on “how plant-based meat went mainstream“. I believe in a plant-based protein source to feed the world. I also changed my diet a few months ago and switched 50% of my protein source to plant based substitutes.

To watch or listen

  • A list of 50 podcast to listen to. I’m sure you can find the time.
  • Podcast: Business Wars. I enjoy a lot these stories such as Ford vs Chevrolet and Airbus vs Boeing. Currently listening to Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts. Don’t forget We Crashed as well on the rise and fall of WeWork.
  • Documentary: Dirty Money. From Wolkswagen cheating its diesel emissions to drug company Valeant passing through HSBC being the cartel bank, some key scandals you should be aware of. And they have a new season that I plan to watch.

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I hope you enjoy this collection of article. I’ll see you next time.

Net Worth Update #02: February 2020 – Before the storm

This update is also published a bit late (end of March 2020) but is important. In February, the COVID-19 had an outbreak in Europe, and Italy put the country in lockdown in the end of February. This decisions, which was also followed by other major europeans countries, had a dramatic effect and marked the start of a bear financial market for stocks.

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TSF Digest #01 – What a time!

This post starts the series of weekly (or so) newsletter where I will summarize key articles I read and are worth sharing. There will also have a dose of entertaining content such as videos. I hope you enjoy this collection.

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COVID-19 And Your Investments

I am writing this article today as I just been informed that a mandatory home office policy is applied globally as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe and North America.

The news of this epidemy started for me mid-January, only impacting China mainly. I did however carefully monitored the situation as China’s economic power is significant, and so is its supply chain for the rest of the world.

Complete transparency: I sold all my shares of VT and VTI the 24th of February and I plan to consider entering the market after the April earnings cycle.

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#01 Net Worth Update: January 2020 – The Beginning

// This article was written in very early February but only published mid-March 2020. Sorry for this delay. I have not touched the text of evolution and expectations for each wealth category. Things have since drastically changed.

Friends, today is the first edition of the upcoming monthly Net Worth Updates! January 2020, how did we do?

This month was not planned to be a great from a saving perspective. Between Christmas with the families (travelling and buying presents), new tires for the new car, and random activities to enjoy the 2-week break this was not expected to end with good results.

But we are following the “fat” FIRE mindset and therefore we enjoy ourselves from time to time. Let’s get to the numbers.

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