☝️ Upwarding #58: Sharks are older than trees, Enlargement (not that kind), 500 day moving averages

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


Sharks have been on earth in various forms for 420 million years.  That’s longer than trees (360 million years).

“Here’s looking at you, kid”


Oliver Burkeman has been writing about human happiness for over 10 years.  He just quit, and wrote this final article summarizing his learnings.

My favorite part: because we are so poor at predicting “what will make me happier?”, he suggests we ask instead “what will enlarge me?”.


As I’ve gotten older, my ability to tolerate stress has markedly decreased.  Andy Johns (ex-President of Wealthfront) wrote a wonderfully actionable article on his own journey to find a better life balance after experiencing stress-related heart issues in his 30s.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


In a very nerdy moment on a long plane flight I asked and answered this question: over the last 100 or so years, when the market has fallen, what “metric” most likely predicts the best 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year performance?

Candidates were:

1)    200 trading day moving average (a favorite of market technicians)

2)    500 trading day moving average (my intuitive guess about “capitulation”)

3)    5 year historical return (the mean reversion theory)

The only trigger that meaningfully predicted better future performance was #2 - to buy when the market was about 6.5% below the average of the last 500 trading days, which has happened in 27 periods since 1929.

If you were to buy on an average day in one of those periods, you would have achieved a 22.6% average one year return, and a 38.8% two year return.  In only three of these periods has the one year return been negative (2 of which were during the Great Depression).

From June 10th through June 23rd of this year, we briefly entered this trigger again.  Hope you bought some shares!  For more detail on this, please see my blog post.


“…how humans work—the only thing that can replace one story is another story.” — Yuval Noah Harari’s History of Everyone, Ever

This quote applies to:
1) motivating people (we can be a new organization)

2) becoming more positive (maybe they cut you off because their kid is in the hospital)

3) why Christmas is on December 25 (overwrite pagan solstice celebrations)

4) eliminating female mutilation rituals in the Masaai tribe (“just stop” isn’t working – must replace with new ritual)

Please forward this newsletter to two friends who might enjoy it!  Thank you,