Cruelty With Purpose

Welcome to 2017!

I don’t know about you but when I went to bed on New Year’s eve and woke the next morning it all looked eerily familiar. In any event, I’m told that holidays are a good time to relax, which could be true. I’ve never tried it. Instead, my lovely wife and I have a long standing tradition of inflicting as much cruelty on the kids as possible.

What better time than the holidays to really take it out on them?

We spent a lot of time in the burning sun, with pools of sweat gathering in places you probably don’t want to know about, and most evenings when we laid down to rest, our muscles loved us for stopping.

That was me. My kids were surely worse. After returning from a two-day tramp into a hut in the middle of nowhere and getting back just in time to take my daughter to horse-riding lessons a friend asked me, “Why do you pay so much money to subject your kids to do these things?”

He was talking about tramping up mountains, around lakes, through forests, and things like horse riding for my daughter, and various activities such as swimming lessons for my kids. The former is basically free while the latter does cost money.

Well, I have a confession to make. We don’t actually pay for my kids to ride horses, take swimming lessons or go hiking. I mean horses look nice enough but really I couldn’t care less about them. Swimming I personally enjoy, but it’s not my choice, it’s my kids’ choice. Hiking? well, that’s family time.

So, if we’re not paying for them to ride horses, take swimming lessons, or any of this stuff, what are we paying for?

  • We pay for those moments when my kids get so tired they want to quit but don’t.
  • We pay for those times when what was meant to be a 3-hour hike turns into a 6-hour hike because the track is knee-deep in mud, it’s pouring with rain, and I can see they’re knackered and just want it to end, but they press on.
  • We pay for them huddled around a warm cup of hot chocolate after we’ve made it and they tell other trampers how tough it was but are already looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge when they have to go and do it all again, this time knowing full well that the tracks going to be just as hard.
  • We pay for the feeling they achieve of conquering a mountain while at the same time upon looking out over a vast landscape sensing that they are but a minuscule animal on this grand planet of ours. I pay for the perspective they get from that.
  • We pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are “too tired” to go muck out horses (they’ve agreed to it) or go to an hour of swim training but go anyway.
  • We pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined.
  • We pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body.
  • We pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates.
  • We pay for my kids to learn to think of others and put themselves out there
  • We pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don’t get that medal or recognition they’d hoped for, but still have to work hard in their training.
  • We pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.
  • We pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours upon hours of hard work and practice to be good at anything, and I pay for them to learn that success does not happen overnight.
  • We pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships built around healthy activities that will benefit them for life.
  • We pay for my kids to be in the swimming pool, horse paddock, hiking track, or kayak instead of in front of a screen.

From what we’ve seen so far we think it is a great investment!

Good investments a rewarding for those who’re prepared to put in the effort.

Rewarded with views in every direction.
All journeys have bridges.
More rewarding views.

The investments we make today will have repercussions for our and our loved ones’ futures. I think it’s just plain common sense to develop a bit of long-term thinking into where we want to be not in 6 or 12 months but in 5 or 10 years. It all starts with hard work on a daily basis.

I wish you all the most rewarding investments in 2017.

I’ll be doing my best to provide them in the global macro environment we are moving swiftly into, and boy does it look like a doozy.

I think Kyle Bass nailed it when in his end of year letter to clients:

“Today, global markets are at the beginning of a tectonic shift from deflationary expectations to reflationary expectations. What happens to economies at maximum leverage when interest rates begin to rise? Reconciling the potent strengths of the world’s largest economies with their inherent weaknesses has revealed various investable anomalies. The enormity of the apparent disequilibrium is breathtaking, making today a tremendous time to invest.”

Long-term readers know we feel the same way.

– Chris

“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” — Chinese proverb


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