☝️ Upwarding #42: I’m TikTokked, You Have Two Lives, Displaying Information, Velocity vs. Speed


Speed vs. Velocity.  Make sure you’re going in the right direction, even if it is really slow.

OK.  My newsletter absolutely exploded last year, growing about 2500% in readership.

So it might seem a little strange that I’m considering different formats – like TikTok!

It’s hard to go from an engaged newsletter base to TikTok where I get 2 likes and one comment on a post.  But something tells me that TikTok is going to be a great avenue for furthering my mission – to Ignite The Extraordinary With A Smile.

I’m parking the ego and try something new, but I am inspired by this great construct from Farnham Street.  Would love any reader feedback on this latest iteration of Upwarding.


We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.  -Confucius


We make more than 200 decisions about food per day.  Thoughts:

  1. Do you want to autopilot this to make it easier and take up less brain space?  Strong case to be made for freeing up your willpower and mindspace through meal planning or just limiting the diversity of your diet.
  2. If you want to improve those decisions, how about just doing one change at a time, for 200 weeks?

#2 is closer to the philosophy behind Noom, which is a booming weight loss app.


As this is the first newsletter of the year, I wanted to update you on the performance of the Ultimate Liquidity Portfolio, which is my strategy/philosophy for how to invest your “emergency fund” (EF).  88% intermediate term US government bonds (VGIT) and 12% total stock market index (VTI).

For the 20th straight year, the portfolio had a positive nominal return last year, of 9.73%.  This is above the expected long term average of inflation plus 2-3%.

I again caution anyone against putting money in high yield savings, the traditional EF vehicle which has been losing to inflation for(almost ever).

Random Thoughts

“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as 'users': illegal drugs and software. " — Edward Tufte.  I might change the word software to “internet”.

By the way, Tufte wrote what I consider to be one of the best books of all time called “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”.  Should be required reading for anyone who cares about displaying data.  And Tufte would hate the graphic above.


I’m still obsessed with incremental rather than revolutionary progress.

From legendary investor Charlie Munger:

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts… Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day, at the end of the day — if you live long enough — most people get what they deserve”.

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