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Intelligent Investing, Abbott Fuller Graves, & Keeping Your Head

By: Michael Blankenship |

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

– Elbert Hubbard

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we’re sharing time-tested investing advice, unveiling gorgeous floral paintings from an American you’ve perhaps never heard of, and explaining why keeping your cool is a fundamental part of growth and success.

Enjoy!

Intelligent Investing

Warren Buffett once called The Intelligent Investor “by far the best book on investing ever written.”

And while it might be worth a cover-to-cover read for stock market savants, much of the advice enters a depth that is unnecessary for the common investor. 

Still, its advice is crucial — most of which pertains to having the right mindset about market fluctuations, stock picks, and gains and losses. 

For those of us uninterested in reading the book in its entirety, we can thank The Swedish Investor over on YouTube for putting together this 13-minute summary video.

He describes the market as a “bipolar person” who comes to your home with mostly “pure gibberish” as to what your shares are actually worth. Part of good investing is avoiding “Mr. Market’s” terrible advice of when you should and shouldn’t buy or sell shares. 

The video is worth watching if you want to learn more about investing without reading 600 dense pages of investing advice. 

It’ll give you the gist of what Benjamin Graham proposed in his bestselling stock market bible. 

Abbott Fuller Graves

You’ve likely heard of world-famous painters like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso. But have you heard for Abbott Fuller Graves? 

He was an American painter and illustrator who, as Wikipedia puts it, “specialized in decorative open air garden paintings and floral still lifes.”

His paintings are absolutely gorgeous — a quick Google search for his name under the “Images” tab will have you basking in the floral flamboyance of his best works. 

Here are a few more that we love…

Keeping Your Head

Have you ever thrown in the towel on exciting plans, right at the moment when the stress or anxiety of anticipation reached its crescendo? 

Just a few months ago, someone told me (Mike) about their plans to move to Hawaii (where I currently live) — it was clear in the way they talked about it that this was to be a life-changing move for them, one they were excited to tell others about. 

But just a few weeks before moving, they called it off due to ambiguous fears — it wasn’t the right time, they didn’t have the money for the move afterall, their plans fell through, so on and so forth. 

I also coach some budding freelance writers. And I’m often surprised at the excuses they make for themselves in order to avoid doing something that would spiral their career toward success — the worry is often so arbitrary that it’s difficult to argue with. 

This seems to be a common tendency.  

When anxieties arise, excuses abound. 

Right at the moment when it’s most important to double down on your commitment, the temptation to secede from your goals entirely is at its greatest. 

These moments are usually signified by pivotal moments. 

You have to pay money. Or start packing your things. Or do something uncomfortable. Or spend a significant amount of time on research. 

Your mind seeks excuses, tries them on, sees how they taste. 

If you let it, your mind will settle on one that’s just good enough to allow you to exit without losing your dignity. 

And three months down the road, you’ll regret having done so.

Goals are easy to set, but when execution is finally required, they are also easy to abandon.

Instead of giving in, remember…

  1. Why you started. 
  2. How wonderful the result will be. 
  3. That life is going to be crazy and unexpected no matter what path you take, and so you might as well take the path that is interesting and exciting.  

Extra Stuff

Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!

This Week’s Photo

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

“Cosplayer Dom Charland, dressed as Batman, poses for a photographer on the Edge, a sky deck in New York City’s Hudson Yards, on March 10, 2022.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

You buy me to eat but you never eat me. What am I?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

How do you keep your cool in difficult situations? 

This Week’s Challenge

Think of a time when you quit on one of your goals, when you threw in the towel and turned the other way. How did that feel? Now think of a time when you kept going even when it was difficult. How did that feel? Spend some time journaling about the importance of keeping momentum especially when it’s difficult to do so. 

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: Plates and bowls.

Join the movement below and challenge yourself to be better every week!