2019 has been a busy year. (This post is meant as a review on the year and what’s planned for 2020. Feel free to skip it, if that’s not your thing.)
Every year I challenge myself with a new project. Some are one and done. Others are ongoing, mostly to help reinforce habits.
This year was no exception. I went overboard on four new projects. Only one was planned — book notes — at the start of the year. And the rest?
One was unexpected. Finding a hosting company for the site became a necessity back in May. I won’t waste time on the details. The new host was proactive, helpful, and still are. Thankfully, the migration process went smoother than expected.
The other two projects were somewhat intertwined. A decision to start the CFP coursework meant less time to work on another project I’ve mulled over for a while. So I started another project early in the year while I had the time.
Now about those planned projects.
Book Notes – A few years back I pushed myself to read more books. Taking notes became secondary, but was hit or miss. Now, not every book deserves notes. But for those that do, I find that I remember the subject matter better going through the book a second time, taking notes, adding my own thoughts, etc.
The primary focus this year was to publish my notes to reinforce the note-taking. But before I could publish anything, I spent the last two weeks of 2018 and the first weeks of 2019 coding. Basically I set up a custom post type within WordPress that allows me to control the look and feel of the main Notes page. It also makes it easier to change the page without disturbing the rest of the site.
As far as notes go, I added 24 this year. It’s not a big number. Of course, 24 is about one every two weeks, which is roughly 100 books over four years. I hoping for more but it’s not horrible and I learned a lot along the way.
The process did get easier as the year went on. But a few books required more time than others and making time was the problem. The perfect example is Graham’s The Intelligent Investor. It was a personal goal to finish those notes by year-end. Instead, I’ve been stuck on chapter four of what is roughly 70 pages of notes to edit.
That’s one of many books in the backlog of notes to add. Guess what I’m working on the last weeks of 2019?
Quote Collection – Putting this together took longer than I expected. It became a year-long project after a spur of the moment decision, knowing that time would be an issue by years-end. It also explains all the “Wise Words” posts lately.
The reason behind it: I come across great one-liners all the time throughout the stuff I read. One always seems to pop in my head related to a topic I’m writing about. Since I can never remember where I read it or the quote verbatim, I waste time searching and only sometimes find it.
So, this is the result. It’s my public note-taking app for quotes with linked sources (the sources conveniently help avoid the proliferation of misattributed internet quotes like the “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world” that Albert Einstein never uttered).
Anyways, I didn’t want to create a bunch of images. Instead, I let code do the work for me. I created another custom post type but coded it to make it easily searchable by author or category. Having done the code for the book notes made this easier than I expected. Code also makes it easy to change the design anytime without recreating new images. And adding new quotes is about as low friction as I could make it — copy/paste and hit publish.
The process was a fun way to reacquaint myself with stuff I read years ago and had forgotten about. I even debated expanding it into something closer to a BuffettFAQ.com style resource for each big-name investor. But time being an issue I scrapped the idea. Maybe a project for another day.
In total, I added over 500 quotes in the backend throughout the year, then categorized and published each one over the past few weeks.
The Library – Anytime I come across something worth reading — like interviews, speeches, research, etc. — I add it to the Library, so subscribing members can follow along.
The Library continues to grow after I created it last year. To date, 389 pieces are inside, with 146 added this year. And it passed the 1,000 member mark this past November.
If you’re interested, check it out.
CFP Courses – I started the coursework toward the CFP designation this past October and will continue all of next year. It seemed as good a time as any to get started on something I’ve thought about doing for a while.
The next step is a resume and job hunting to put it to use, which I’ll start after the holidays. I’m curious to see how that unfolds.
2020 – Getting through the CFP coursework is the project for next year. It’s not blog specific but as I learned the past month, the class and studying took time away from everything — reading, writing, basic free time. The issue is time management that I’m still figuring out.
The site could use a makeover too. It’s been years since I created this version. With everything I added to the site since and the changes in WordPress, it’s way overdue. But that’s on the back burner…until I get the itch.
I have no idea what comes next, but everything else — the reading, book notes, quotes, library, and weekly posts — will continue as planned. After ten years of working on this experiment, I consider it an asset worth building on.
Also, the asset return tables will be freshly updated with shiny returns for 2019 within the first couple of days of 2020.
Finally, this is the last post for 2019.
Have a Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!
See you next year!
- On the Impact of the FAMANGS – Albert Bridge
- The Danger of Overscrutinizing Out of Favor Investment Metrics – ValIdea
- Strong-Performing Bond Managers May Have Better Odds of Future Success – Morningstar
- The Factor Archives: Momentum – OSAM
- Why I Believe Paul Volcker was the Greatest American Hero I’ve Known – R. Dalio
- Intro to the Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America – L. Cunningham
- Buried By the Wall Street Crash (podcast) – Cautionary Tales
- The Lesson to Unlearn – P. Graham
- The ‘Nocebo Effect’ May Be Even Stronger Than Placebo – Elemental
- Tradeoffs: The Currency of Decision Making – Farnam Street
- 52 Things I Learned in 2019 – Fluxx
- 41 Favorite Sports Moments of 2019 – The Ringer
- If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel – J. Worth