Over the past few weeks, an interesting, and rather dramatic, development has occurred: A good minority of the population, often those in possession of what they deem to be stable incomes and sufficient savings, or who are otherwise cradled by some sort of safety net so they need not worry about homelessness and destitution, have moved the goalposts of the lockdowns from “flatten the curve to buy time for the hospital system to deal with a dramatic rise in patient loads” to “shelter-in-place until a vaccine is developed so this thing doesn’t spread.” The latter is predicated upon a fundamental misunderstanding that ignores the scientific reality of what we are facing. Looking at subsequent developments in the pandemic, it’s time to face facts based upon all available presently-known factors.
Given that so many of our family and friends can’t travel to see us during this pandemic, Aaron and I wanted to share an early access glimpse into our asset management firm’s new home. It’s not the same as seeing it in person but it should at least give you an idea of where we will be spending a lot of our time in the coming years as we allocate capital and scale operations.
The expected death toll from COVID-19 in the United States has been reduced dramatically to 100,000 to 200,000 people. While that may be a scary number, it’s actually good news because in a “normal” year, around 2,813,503 Americans die from a wide range of causes. While tragic, these numbers are not civilization-ending.
We need to have a hard conversation. These conversations are not natural, or even comfortable, for a lot of people but at this time, in this moment, it is necessary. To that end, I am going to be candid and may even offend several of you. That is not my intention. Rather, I think it is important for us to be honest about what we are facing, the trade-off calculations that are going to have to be made sooner rather than later, and the political and social ramifications of those decisions.
Along with 1 out of 2 Americans, including the entirety of the rest of the State of California, Aaron and I have been sheltering-in-place and practicing social distancing. Given that we spent a vast portion of our lives together living semi-retired, this is not a significant change for us. If anything, it feels like a return to our Missouri days, especially considering that after two years in the heart of Newport Beach, we decided not to renew the lease on our existing place and, instead, move up to Newport Coast so we can decide if that might be where we ultimately want to buy a house once our kids are born.
I’ve been watching, with increasing interest, the catastrophic market decline that has been playing out in antique case goods, furniture, decor, and other related historical items. This category of assets, which had been on a steady, upward climb for nearly thirty years prior to the Great Recession, has been in a free-for-all, nosediving with such violence that the implosion is breathtaking in both scope and severity.
One of the things I’ve most disliked over the past three years since starting our asset management firm is that I’ve had little to no time to show you what is going on in our lives. Entire trips, events, special occasions, holiday celebrations, birthday parties, concerts … things that would have been documented have fallen by the wayside because the time it would take to prepare the photos, write the post, and publish the results required precious daylight (or sleep) I couldn’t spare as we were in the midst of spinning up a highly regulated entity. To us, personally, this meant the momentary absence of a valuable journal of our own life; a chronicling of our experiences that helped keep our timeline in order.
Three Questions That Can Dramatically Improve Your Life – Thoughts and Reflections on My 37th Birthday
As we celebrated my 37th birthday today, I thought about three questions that Aaron and I have used in managing our lives that help us live better, avoid mistakes, and improve our outcomes. I wanted to share them so they might help you in your own journey.
A Round-Trip Flight from California to Kentucky and Reading Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot
The masterpiece Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life is considered by many literary critics and academics to be the greatest novel written in the history of the English language. A work of historical fiction, the story is set during the years 1829-1832 and follows the lives of the inhabitants of a fictional town, Middlemarch, as threads, both visible and invisible, weave the fate of their their homes, marriages, businesses, fortunes, happiness, and misery together.
So many of our clients, friends, and acquaintances bike, including for pleasure, exercise, and/or commuting to work, and we had grown so accustomed to seeing people on their bikes all the time out here given the near year-round perfect weather, Aaron and I decided that one of these days we were going to visit a nearby bike store in Costa Mesa, California. Yesterday, we finally checked this off our task list and we’re so happy that we did.