10 things I learned in ’11

by gbsmith4

While nearly everyone is looking ahead to ’12, I find it’s more helpful to look behind and see if I learned anything in the past 12 months.  Usually, I stumble upon something useful…which I quickly forget about the second week of January.

Anyway, this year I’ll at least have a record of my insights/discoveries, and won’t make the mistake of “re-learning” them in 2012.

1.  “Breaking Bad” might be the best show on TV.  I recently discovered this via Netflix about a week ago, and have been watching a new episode each evening.  Not sure how I missed this.

2.  My WordPress column, “How to be a d*ck,” was the most read column in the past year.  Did people like the title?  Do they strive to be a d*ck?  Did they think I meant DUCK??  Not quite sure.


3.  My most notable talent is the ability to grind away.  I admire superstars in any endeavor: the trader who posts a 1000% year; the cyclist who can put out 1500 watts; the golfer who can drive it 300+ yards.

Sadly, I am none of those, in pretty much every thing I’ve tried.  No, I’m a lunch pail carrying “mudder” who’s primary resource is consistency.

I guess that’s something, though, as “showing up” is a pretty big part of success. Hopefully.

4.  Dividend.com is an excellent resource.  I have about 3 or 4 outside resources I use as sanity checks for my investing/trading.  Dividend.com is a recent and valuable addition.

5.  I am dull.  Or maybe just “consistent.”  In any event, a great day for me is breakfast, email, trade, workout, nap, walk the dogs, dinner, TV, bed.  And, apparently, I can do that 365 days a year with zero deviation and be quite content.  Again, is that dull or consistent?  Both, I guess.

6.  Twitter exposes nearly everyone’s need for approval.  I’ve written about this before, but the sheer volume of “look at me” posts (including from myself) is mind-boggling.  I guess very few of us are all that secure.

7.   July is my favorite time of year.  It’s when the Tour de France is on.  But, you have to be a cyclist, I think, to truly appreciate it.

8.  DC sports teams are pathetic.  I really only care about the Redskins, who are maddening in almost every respect.  But, the Wizards, Caps, and Nationals are also terrible and look to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

9.  I like butternut squash. This is the Breaking Bad of vegetables.  Nancy whips it up so they’re like sweet potatoes.  Heaven.

10.  When I’m giddy, it’s time to sell.  I think I’ve learned this every year for the past 20 years, but it finally dawned on me this year to go to cash when I’m feeling great about my trading success.  Hope I don’t forget it in 2012.