Moontower #153


Well hello.

It’s been 6 weeks since the last post. In that time, my family’s had covid and after recovering we were traveling mostly seeing my side of the family in NJ. We also did a bunch of tourism in NYC which seemed fitting since moving away 10 years ago. We went to a Yankee game, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, walked the Highline, saw the Vessel, wandered Washington Square Park where a Moontower reader recognized me (he didn’t ask for an autograph darn it), grabbed food at Chelsea Market to picnic at the Little Island, met a friend for a drink at Death & Co (pilgrimage), took a boat to a part of Fire Island only accessible by water (thanks Tina and family!), and spent a day at Coney Island.

3 20k step days in NYC with the kids and I could have happily done more. It will always exude “home” to me. But also, I’m sorry I missed so many of you. When I have the kids with me it’s hard to schedule meetups so I’m thinking to visit a bit more just to hang out with you.

I’m back in CA now and just wrapped one of my favorite weeks of the year. Zak turned 9 and I turned 44 (we went to the hospital on the night of my birthday in 2013 but Zak decided he wanted his own day so he dragged his mama through lots of labor). I want to share a quick observation. The most joyous moments in my life occur when I see the kids accomplish something that took bravery and left them feeling empowered. I keep a list of them: the first time they swam across a pool, when Zak got stuck in the treetops ziplining and didn’t panic (even though I did inside), when he rode his first big coaster, and we logged a new one for his 9th birthday…surfing. If you are in Laguna Beach, I highly recommend Goff Tours. They created this awesome video of his session (see if you can spot the leopard shark). Anyway, the joy I feel when I see a person realize they can do something they couldn’t previously do, that moment of unlocking, is an undepletable source of energy. It’s the high I want to chase. It’s a clue for filtering what I want to work on.

A thousand people signed up for this newsletter since I last wrote a post. If you’re new here, know that I’m figuring my life out as I go along. If you came here for answers you’ll be disappointed. I’m a trader according to my resume but I care more about trying to figure out investing for now. I’m a parent. I’m trying to do that better. It raises more questions than it answers. But you get to come along for that ride. I am in a battle with myself about all the things I need to unlearn. The sense of guilt when I’m not driving forward even though I believe slack and space are critical to unfolding in a way that doesn’t spill me into local maxima. The tension between explore and exploit. The skepticism that a career in finance demands grinding against my over-trusting nature.

The teens who climb the Moontower in Dazed and Confused smoke weed and ask questions. This is hardly the trappings of youth. If you recognize that, you’ll be happy here. Thanks for joining.

Having said all that, there’s so much to cover. There are game things, and investing things, and quanty things, and cultural things, and education things, and random things. But…

Right now, it’s summer.

Sitting in front of the computer is not a summery thing to do (I’m an unabashed summer maxi, I l don’t need any other season. I blame Egyptian blood for this). Plus we re-scheduled “cousins week” which means I’ll be playing camp counselor to 10 kids at my house soon then doing 1 more week of family travel before school resumes.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing recommendations of content I’ve been enjoying this summer. Still, if you want to read things I’ve written, who am I to deny you — there’s a “best of” here.

Money Angle


On Bullshit In Investing (9 min read)
by Benn Eifert

The title says it all. It was a post that needed to be written. If you are reading this newsletter, Benn’s vol wizard status needs no introduction. But this post should be sent to your loved ones who may have been caught up in the investing fever of 2021.

Lifestyles (7 min read)
by Morgan Housel

Morgan’s signature style is to take a generally interesting story and present it as a metaphor or lesson for investing. The power of this approach is the stories make the lessons stick in your mind but there are 2 prereqs for this to work:

  1. The story itself needs to be objectively epic.
  2. The writing needs to measure up to the story’s epicness.

Check and check.

If you have ever heard the terms internal and external locus of control, then you can replace them with “Don” and “Bernie”.

(Not the Don and Bernie you’re thinking of either)

Last Call

I’m really late to this channel. Best watched in the, umm, Moontower if you want to wheeze-laugh.

Stay groovy!

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