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#1 | Back to Top02-21-2016 11:26:29 PM

zevrem
Banned
Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

I want to focus on some rules from "The Winning Investment Habits of Warren Buffett and George Soros," which lists 23 rules that pretty much ALL the super-successful investors who don't crash their funds after 3 years follow. In particular, I'm interested in 2 rules, "Focus on not losing money" and "Keep an eye on transaction costs and taxes."

The "focus on not losing money" rule means that Buffett and Soros look at all investments in terms of their downside potential, not their "upside." If there aren't any low-risk, high-return plays, then they turn everything into cash or park their money in treasury bonds, indefinitely if need be.

The "transaction costs" rule is exactly what it says on the tin, they worry endlessly about taxes and transaction costs, which is something too many investors both large and small ignore.

What would be the dating equivalents of these rules? What would "losing money" be? What would "transaction costs" and "taxes" be?

Candidates for equivalents for "losing money" in my mind include getting cheated on, getting less out of a relationship than you put in, or just any kind of social unpleasantry. As for "taxes and transaction costs," feminism and strong "traditional" morality seem like obvious possibilities, but there is probably a host of more subtle, unexamined forms of "taxation" that are much more onerous. This one gives me much more pause, and any kind of input would be quite welcome.


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#2 | Back to Top02-22-2016 12:04:00 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

Honestly, the best advice I could offer re "applying investment rules to the dating world" is: don't. If not for your own sake, then for that of the others who'd be involved.


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#3 | Back to Top02-22-2016 12:13:26 AM

zevrem
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Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

I think you didn't read my post, those rules are pretty applicable to most areas of life.


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#4 | Back to Top02-22-2016 12:19:19 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

zevrem wrote:

I think you didn't read my post, those rules are pretty applicable to most areas of life.

You're comparing feminism and morals to taxes and transaction costs.

I'm not saying the rules and methods aren't applicable, but I would suggest that it's a bad idea to apply them, particularly to apply them strictly or as if things like human social interaction, romance, or sex are one to one exchangeable with finance as activities or fields.

It's your life. You can do as you like, but you solicited advice, and my advice is... it's not going to work so well (for someone). Whether actual money comes in, or not, you're essentially looking at a method, here, of monetizing people.


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#5 | Back to Top02-22-2016 02:23:11 AM

zevrem
Banned
Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

Whether actual money comes in, or not, you're essentially looking at a method, here, of monetizing people.

I'm really not. I think your perspective is being skewed by my dig at feminism, I picked out these laws specifically because they're so universal and yet so sorely neglected.

They talk about how in the book, good driving isn't based on wanting to go fast, it's based on wanting to not crash. As time goes on and experience is accumulated, this rule becomes subliminally integrated to the point that one can do more and more things without crashing. This is termed "unconscious competency" that's ingrained by obedience to a basic constraint under an ever-growing variety of circumstances, which is commonly known as "experience." It should be obvious that there is likely to be an equivalent "law" in the social world, I'm just trying to pinpoint what that might be. And of course the idea of "taxation" would be contingent on one's definition of "loss" in this context.


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#6 | Back to Top02-22-2016 12:31:19 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

Speaking as someone who has occasionally found it pretty useful to spell out abstract social ideas in concrete ways, I can see the appeal of what you're trying to do here, zev.  I don't think you should say to your dates, "I'm sorry, I'm writing you off as a bad investment."  But of course sometimes that is what we do.

I don't like thinking about money, which makes it hard for me to frame advice in those terms in particular.  There is a certain ethos in business and investing that goes something like this: "money = good; happiness = good; therefore money = happiness."  I think that's an incorrect and dangerous conclusion.  But I think that this time -- this one time -- you should use "money = happiness" in evaluating whether you want to apply investment advice to relationships.  So "focus on not losing money" becomes "focus on not losing happiness."  If a relationship is actively making you miserable, you should get out of it.  "Keep an eye on transaction costs and taxes" evokes the inherent daily work of maintaining a relationship.  It's important to notice that your book is telling you to keep an eye on these things, not to avoid them entirely, because that's impossible.  Taxes and transaction costs are inevitable if you're trading.  They are quite literally the price of doing business.  And relationship upkeep is the price of having a relationship.  If you're making money, making happiness, then paying this price is no great burden.  If you're only breaking even on money or happiness, you ought to question whether the trade or relationship is worth the upkeep.  I think that viewed this way, you've got two pretty solid pieces of dating advice out of Warren Buffett.

So I did what you asked: I gave you an idea about how to translate investment habits into relationship habits.  Now I hope you'll indulge me if I spend a minute suggesting how not to translate investment habits into relationship habits.  A commercial investor is concerned about one thing: growing her own money.  Maybe the investor is also growing other people's money that they've entrusted to her, but the rules for sound long-term investment are pretty much the same no matter whose money you're investing.  This is not true of relationships.  Your happiness is not necessarily the same as your partner's happiness.  You have to look out for both your own happiness and your partner's, which involves communication and sometimes compromise.  If there are conflicts between what makes the two of you happy, you don't try to milk all the happiness you can for yourself as you would if you were an investor; you weight your partner's needs similarly to your own, and you remember that you are both entitled to draw lines that the other person has to respect.  If you've got to think about this as a strategy for keeping transaction costs low over the long term, I guess you can do that, but I'd rather you think of it as a fundamental part of what love is: acting to secure another person's happiness and growth.  The most important exception, I think, is that you shouldn't stay in a relationship that is making you unhappy just because leaving would make your partner unhappy.  We're blessed to have friends and loved ones in our lives, but we are never entitled to it.

Whatever you do, please don't lose sight of the fact that people are not transactions.  You've acknowledged here on IRG, in the past, that thinking about how your words and actions affect other people is a weak point for you.  Don't forget that this exact skill is an indispensable part of relationships, in precisely the same way that it's not a part of investments.  Investment guidelines are a poor substitute for love and caring.

Good luck!

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#7 | Back to Top02-22-2016 03:45:47 PM

zevrem
Banned
Registered: 03-23-2013
Posts: 387

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

So "focus on not losing money" becomes "focus on not losing happiness."  If a relationship is actively making you miserable, you should get out of it.

Good advice all around, I feel there's a clear correlation between these behaviors in real life as well. Things that are financially risky are also generally emotionally risky.

"Keep an eye on transaction costs and taxes" evokes the inherent daily work of maintaining a relationship.  It's important to notice that your book is telling you to keep an eye on these things, not to avoid them entirely, because that's impossible.  Taxes and transaction costs are inevitable if you're trading.  They are quite literally the price of doing business.  And relationship upkeep is the price of having a relationship.

There's always the undesirable influence of destructive third parties. Toxic friends/family, hostile laws, etc. Even if you're not intent on being terribly intimate with bad people, exiling them from your life is always a good plan.

Maybe the investor is also growing other people's money that they've entrusted to her, but the rules for sound long-term investment are pretty much the same no matter whose money you're investing.  This is not true of relationships.  Your happiness is not necessarily the same as your partner's happiness.

There's a rule in the book that says that great investors put their money where their mouths are. If they invest their client's money using strategy x, they invest their own money using strategy x. That, or 99%+ of their net worth goes into owning their company. Their skin is in the game as much as humanly possible. So it's a really good sign that you basically derived that law yourself.

Last edited by zevrem (02-22-2016 03:50:18 PM)


The real purpose of elections is to make the people hate each other more than they hate their government.

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#8 | Back to Top02-23-2016 12:04:27 AM

rhyaniwyn
Myth is my Bitch
From: Tallahassee, FL
Registered: 11-09-2006
Posts: 684
Website

Re: Need help applying investment rules to the dating world

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

Honestly, the best advice I could offer re "applying investment rules to the dating world" is: don't.

satyreyes wrote:

Whatever you do, please don't lose sight of the fact that people are not transactions.

Ditto.


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