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#008 Fireside Fridays - Sleep For Performance, Why Your Home Is A Bad Investment, Travel Vs Vacation



Eating One Doughnut At A Time


The stories I'll share in this and the upcoming newsletters pick up where my book, School Dropout, Chimney Sweep, Investment Banker:The Art of Pursuing Goals That Seem Unattainable at First Glance, ends. It's the epilogue that didn't get printed but happened in the chapters of real life.


Three weeks have passed since I charged my brokerage account with $1000 and started trading on my live account with real money on the line. I traded almost every weekday, but it looked vastly different than I thought. Instead of making wild bets and trading multiple times per hour, I would sit in front of my computer screen for hours, watching charts and waiting for a trading signal, making only one or two trades a day. However, my efforts and consistency paid off, and I traded my account up to around $1200.


Nevertheless, it was hard work. I had to fight my inner demons, aka human psychology, all the time. Imagine you are hangry as hell, sitting in front of a box full of doughnuts. There is nothing else to do in the room than to look at these lovely sweets. However, if you touch them before the bell rings, you have to pay $100, and the tragedy is that you don't know how long it takes. It could be 10 minutes or 2 hours. When you're finally allowed to eat them, you can only eat one of them; otherwise, you have to pay $100 too. Well, that's how trading feels.


First world problems, right?


At the end of the day, I just made a 20% return on my initial capital within three weeks.


As I sat there one afternoon, filling out my trading diary after closing my position successfully, an idea lit up my mind. This whole trading thing worked, and if I add the time from my demo account, I tested it for roughly two months yet. The method behind is not that hard to learn; it's rather managing your emotions that makes it tough.


Why not make a business out of it and earn twice?


First with my trades and second with selling the information on how I did it. That's how my first business idea was born... "Capital Leverage," a live trading YouTube channel...


You are curious what happened so far?



1. Level Up Your Career Game: Sleep - The Hidden Superpower for Peak Performance in Your Career


I am a fitness enthusiast and convinced that you can't perform at your highest level if you don't work out regularly. Even in my crazy investment banking times with 80h+ workweeks, I snatched in brief training sessions at least two times a week.


For years, I focused on optimizing anything around health and fitness, from nutrition and supplements to training methods and different sports.


However, I neglected the single most important factor all the time - sleep.


In fact, I didn't even spend a thought on it. I grew up in a world where sleeping 6h a day or less was glorified, and my days as a chimney sweep were starting early. If you have to wake up at 5am every morning, sure, you can go to bed at 9pm to get your 8h of sleep per night, but let's face it, I didn't care as a teenager.


Over the years, it became a habit to sleep not more than roughly 6h, and it felt great because I had 2 extra hours a day to get things done. I mean, it also felt normal to be tired as hell in the morning and being a complete mess without gulping down my first coffee right after waking up.


However, two years ago I stumbled across a book by Matthew Walker, "Why We Sleep", and it changed my world forever. Just a few examples that blew my mind:


Impact of Caffeine and Its Half- and Quarter Life:

A crucial point that many people aren't aware of is the long half-life of caffeine (about 5-7 hours). This means that if you have a cup of coffee in the afternoon, a significant portion of that caffeine could still be in your system by bedtime, potentially affecting your sleep quality. Furthermore, the quarter-life of caffeine is even longer, around 12 hours, which means that even after 12 hours, a quarter of the caffeine can remain in your system.


You Can't Catch Up on Sleep

Contrary to popular belief, "sleeping in" on weekends to compensate for lost sleep during the week is not an effective strategy. This irregular sleep schedule can disrupt our circadian rhythm and lead to "social jetlag." The accumulated sleep debt from the weekdays can't be easily repaid, and the longer-term health consequences remain.Chronic sleep deprivation is linked with numerous health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, weakened immune system, and even certain cancers.


How One Hour Less Sleep Increases Heart Attack Rate Due to Daylight Time Switch:

Walker highlights a concerning observation that the risk of heart attacks increases by about 24% the day after the spring daylight saving time switch, where people typically get an hour less of sleep. This underscores the profound impact that even a slight change in sleep can have on our cardiovascular health.


These are just a few facts that made me rethink my approach to sleep. I highly recommend having a look into the book; it's just crazy how deeply sleep affects our health and performance.


So far, I saw sleep as an element of good health and well-being, but it's rather the foundation.


Over the last two years, I prioritized sleep above everything, and it's like a new life. My productivity and cognitive capabilities skyrocketed. I got injured less often and was able to ditch coffee and switch to tea. I consume fewer calories and don't have binge-eating attacks anymore. My 8 hours of sleep are non-negotiable these days, and it feels amazing—give it a try.



2. Retire Early: Why Your Home is a Bad Investment (as Long as You Live in it)


Everybody wants to live the American dream. Owning a home is perhaps the most symbolic representation of this dream. Your own four walls, your own patch of land, a piece of land from the land of endless possibilities. For many people, owning a home is the most important investment of their lives and you've probably heard these statements quite often too: "Sooner or later you have to buy." "Owning property is the only way to prevent poverty in retirement." "Renting is throwing money out the window." "I'd rather pay mortgage installments and own something than pay rent," etc. In my opinion, a house is a terrible investment as long as you live in it...


Why?


Let me explain:


1. Often houses are bought before even the first shovel hits the ground. The real estate agents and banks then lure you in with great offers like interest only payments for the first 2 years until you can move in. What the hell, who wants to pay interest on something that doesn't even exist yet. That's an outright crazy concept.


2. Ask your trusted real estate agent; with real estate, there are three important factors: location, location, and location. The problem with houses is, often they are located somewhere in the suburbans (because you can't afford a house close to the city).


3. New house, new furniture. Do you know anyone who bought a new house and took the old furniture with them? Me neither. You'll spend a fortune on new furnishings; after all, it's your dream house and it needs to be furnished accordingly. The problem with furniture is that its value retention is about as good as cars, it's a money-burning machine.


4. Speaking of cars, since your house is in the suburbans, you obviously need at least one car, but usually two cars (for you and your partner) to get to the city. There, you either pay a fortune for parking tickets and get regularly annoyed about fines, or you rent a garage. Doesn't it sound absolutely insane to you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month just to be able to drive to work?


5. Have we already talked about debt? You've actually indebted yourself for 30 or 35 years and probably maxed out the monthly installments. Congratulations, you've just chained yourself to your office desk. You'll pay double the original cost of the house due to the compound interest effect (depending on the interest rate), and when you're finally debt-free in retirement, you'll need to renovate the roof and renew the heating system.


With all these issues, we haven't even considered that you have to deal with a massive negative cash flow drag your entire life.


Conclusion: As long as you live in a property, it's not an asset but a liability.


What's the solution?


Rent a place to live and view real estate as an investment.


For example: You buy properties and rent them out so that the tenant pays the mortgage payments. With a properly structured deal, you'll have positive cash flow during the term and a debt-free asset that someone else paid for at the end of the term.


Come to the dark side...


...make the leap from consumer to investor.



3. Travel The World: Why You Should Travel More and Vacation Less


Are you a vacationer or a traveler?


At first glance, these two words might seem synonymous, but there's a profound difference between them. Here's a breakdown:


Vacationing: The Comfortable Escape

Imagine this: You book a package holiday, fly to a beautiful resort, and settle into a luxurious hotel. Your days are spent lounging by the pool, indulging in familiar foods, and maybe taking an occasional hotel-organized boat trip. Interaction with the local culture? Minimal. New experiences? Limited to the hotel's itinerary. After a week or two, you return home well-rested but largely unchanged.


Traveling: The Path to Adventure

Now, envision this: You pick a destination after some research, maybe even learning a few local phrases. You've only booked your first night's accommodation, giving you freedom for spontaneous decisions. Upon arrival, you rely on public transport, soaking in the authentic sights and sounds. You chat with locals, gather recommendations, and adjust your plans based on their insights. Every day is an adventure, whether it's discovering a secluded beach, learning local recipes, or trekking through scenic trails. Your journey leaves you with not just memories, but personal growth and connections.


So, What's Your Choice?

- Which journey excites you more?

- Which do you believe offers personal growth?

- Which promotes global understanding and connection?


For me, the thrill and enrichment of travel far outweigh the comfort of a typical vacation. I'm on the path of the traveler, and I hope to bump into like-minded adventurers along the way. If that sounds like you, let's embrace the world's wonders together!


Adventure Awaits,


Kevin Schwarzinger

Founder, ChimneyCapital

Author, World Explorer & Solopreneur




Refer Like-Minded Friends


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