bigato's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:41 pm

So today I did what can be the dumbest thing ever but I'm betting this isn't quite the recession yet. I sold my chunk of gold for a 17% profit. It went up too high and too fast and I'm counting that I'll be able to get in lower than that at some point in the next few weeks. Price flutuations for the metal here are amplified by the fact that it's priced in dollars which are the other thing that people buy when markets dip. Also, today I bought another chunk of the big caps etf, while the ibovespa went as far down as a 3% dip and them closed not too far from that.

Today was also the last day I was allowed to give up adhering the voluntary severance program, which I didn't. I'm still enlisted. It was also the last day that someone could have tried to dissuade me or make me some offer to stay. That also didn't happen, which is fine. Yesterday there were some big announcements though. The company now will have three additional steps up the wage ladder for people who are focused on the technical side of things, IT specialists, and they won't need to become managers to keep ascending. Y shaped career type of thing. A programmer, for example, will be theoretically be able get to the same level of wages of an executive today, without the administrative and people managing bullshit. That's as high as one can get before becoming the company's Techonology Vice-President. That's really nice for those who see themselves staying there, like my boss which really deserves it. Also talks from the VP that the era of traditional hierarchies is over.

This solves problems for a lot of people, but I wasn't at the ceiling yet so it matters little to me. Also, it all sounds a bit like too little, too late at this point. The effort for cultural change, using agile and trying to step away from command-and-control, etc, are things that I really appreciate. Still, I can't help but remember the Fight Club quote. Stuffing feathers up your ass doesn't make you a chicken. I'm still of the opinion that in 5 to 10 years, this big bank and all the others in its class will be nothing but a shadow of what it once was in size and power. Some of them may go bankrupt. All in all, it was nice to have an inside view, and in a few years we'll see how accurate my predictions were. If nothing else, my inside view will be helpful guiding my investments decisions in the coming years, as big banks make for a sizable chunk of brazilian big stocks.

It's not all set in stone regarding my exit yet, there's still a slight chance it won't get approved somehow. The concrete answer will be known until the end of next week.

I've been going to the psychologist specialized in autism, but I don't quite feel like talking about it now because my head is spinning too much on this already. The diagnosis is not given yet but we are getting closer. I told her I'm not in a hurry for the label, so we are circling around a little more. It feels like fast tracking some of those once-in-a-decade type of insights. Too bad that I'm almost exiting my job, as that is a challenging environment for me to stay in and a relevant part of that is due to how my brain is wired. Staying longer would have the benefit of fighting the difficulties some more while seeing the therapist.

slowtraveler
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by slowtraveler » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:43 pm

It's cool you're figuring this out.

I'm scared shitless to sell my gold. Up over 23% and still, it's my best hedge to keep my portfolio stable. Stocks down so maybe it'll eek you out another few percent. I dont think it's worth the risk. Too much instability at the moment.

horsewoman
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by horsewoman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:56 am

bigato wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:41 pm
Too bad that I'm almost exiting my job, as that is a challenging environment for me to stay in and a relevant part of that is due to how my brain is wired. Staying longer would have the benefit of fighting the difficulties some more while seeing the therapist.
In my experience a lot of the difficulties went away after a positive change in the environment. I've seen this very clearly in my daughter. The state school system was a very bad fit for her, at age 8 she was severely depressed, and was falling from one meltdown into the next. After a year in a Montessori style inclusive school she was like a different person. Before it was nearly impossible to work on coping strategies. Now she has time (almost no homework!) and enough mental reserves to work with me. There are still enough pitfalls, so no need to be afraid of not keeping your therapist working ;)

For me, enough off-time to decompress has been a game changer in terms of mental health. I only realized how much "masking" I was constantly doing after about 2 years at home (maternity leave), where I could be myself. I shudder to remember the high-strung bundle of anxiety I used to be! Fingers crossed for your severance package :)


Edited to add: after rereading my post I feel like I have not really explained well what I was trying to say.
I think with enough free time you will probably have more mental energy to find (sometimes unbelievabley easy) solutions for problems that seemed very big when working full time. At least it was that way for me and my daughter.

Frita
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Frita » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:12 am

Bigato, I am rooting for you and a green light on your severance!
Last edited by Frita on Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:40 pm

Thanks guys for the support, but my paid exit didn't get approved. It probably didn't help that my executive knows me by name and seems to like me. And the guy above him. Also, that it is crazy hard to find someone to do the kind of job my team does. But it's all good, I'll have a lot more time to adjust expenses and habits. Today I'm full of ideas of changes that I can try to do to my work in order to make it more meaningful and to feel more useful myself. It will probably hurt feelings and egos on the way, which I was trying to avoid but I may be less inclined to stay silent now. I'll probably annoy some people. Or I may just find other ways to vent my frustration, I don't know. I know myself enough not to trust any ideas I come up with in a day like this.

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Lemur
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Lemur » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:56 pm

bigato wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:41 pm
So today I did what can be the dumbest thing ever but I'm betting this isn't quite the recession yet. I sold my chunk of gold for a 17% profit. It went up too high and too fast and I'm counting that I'll be able to get in lower than that at some point in the next few weeks. Price flutuations for the metal here are amplified by the fact that it's priced in dollars which are the other thing that people buy when markets dip. Also, today I bought another chunk of the big caps etf, while the ibovespa went as far down as a 3% dip and them closed not too far from that.
Well, I for one agree with your thoughts here:

1.) As you're, I am merely speculating here and my politic/economic mix predictions have often been wrong but I think the recession, if there will be a recession, will be put 'on hold' due to the 2020 election....I think the administration will compromise with China and the Fed will keep rates low as to artificially keep things humming along. A 'great economy' is always a good news story for Presidents fighting for their second terms.

2.) Peter Lynch would agree with your strategy (from what I remember reading a long time ago in 'One up on Wall Street') that it is reasonable to sell profits when their has been a recent run up in price...especially if the recent run up is due to hype and not fundamentals.

rube
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by rube » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:07 pm

Hi Bigato, sorry to hear but effectively nothing changed compared to a couple of weeks ago. You seem to be full of ideas and plans anyway, so just execute your plan(s)!

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:13 pm

Lemur: exactly my thoughts. Actually just one day after my trade I was able to enter back on the position at a significantly lower price. But I decided to wait on a bit more because I share your view here.
rube: yeah, the only thing that changed is that I can be less careful with the gambling because I can rely on the job some more :)

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:23 pm

Lemur: also, the biggest hike happened on the day India invaded Kashmir. But the way I read it, there's no way Pakistan will do anything about it other than complain. They are in no position to start a war, let alone with a neighboor that has nukes. I don't believe anyone else will do anything about it either, it's too much trouble for little benefit. Also, the reaction from Kashmir people has been really weak. Modi also has shown to be smart about controlling media and communications. Once that situation starts to clear some more, I think gold will drop back some 10%. I may not wait too much tough, because my long time view didn't change.

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Bankai
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Bankai » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:40 pm

That's a shame. Are you going to use your newly acquired irreplaceable status to negotiate better pay/terms/remote work?

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:40 pm

It's not really irreplaceable, more like different color of brick in the wall. Better pay is not so negotiable in a half-public company, but I hope that they'll think of me next time a higher position becomes available. Yeah, negotiating remote work is on the horizon, hopefully soon. Starting with one day a week. I have some actions I intend to do first, and that hopefully will improve my chances on that negotiation.

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C40
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by C40 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:02 pm

how does one pronounce "bigato"?

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:29 pm

hmm, not so sure about how to express the pronunciation in english in written form, maybe you'd better by entering the word in the google translate app? it's a portuguese word, although not very common, that means "white worm" like those you find in fruits or rotting stuff. Something like bee-ca-to, with the middle part being the strongest. The first and last sounds are correct, but I'm not so sure about how to express the middle part. The "a" in portuguese reads like the first half of "i" in english.

wolf
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by wolf » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:29 pm

sorry to hear that your exit plan didn't get approved. Keep on executing your new ideas! I "job-crafted" my work in the last few years and I'm quite happy with it. In the beginning of this change I thought I could not ask my employer for that, but I did it anyway. And nowadays I am working remote two days per week, sometimes take overtime to work only half workdays, etc.. Only after I asked my employer they approved those improvements. Without asking, they would have suggested nothing of that.

Frita
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Frita » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:46 pm

Bummer that your hopes of a nice severance package were dashed. I do notice that you’re thinking divergently and of ways for this to go in your favor. Good for you! I am following to see how you spin it.
Last edited by Frita on Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:28 am

Also sorry about the layoff :( . I do agree with @wolf & @bankai, now is the time to act in asking for anything you think would make the job better. Don't hesitate because you think they won't approve it, just ask. You basically showed you are willing to leave with the severance, so you can flex that muscle at this point in time without any other ultimatums that otherwise might be required. You presently have a ton of leverage, even if it doesn't feel that way.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:05 pm

I started using pomodoro technique coupled with headphones to be able to be productive at work. Also started talking to colleagues about the talking affects concentration, and inquiring what we could do to convince the boss to let us work from home at least once a week. Kind of testing the waters to start a mutiny. The most senior colleague is very much on my side on this. Boss also hates the talking, but then he hates imposing himself as a boss. And is against remote work, but we'll get to that eventually. Good news is that the company is talking about substituting desktop computers for laptops and implementing coworking spaces, making remote work more normal, etc.

Regarding the market, my move selling the gold revealed itself to be a dumb one indeed. I mean, in the following day the price dropped as I had predicted, below my selling price, but not enough that I wanted to buy again. And then it is going up since them. Now that I didn't get the severance package and will be working some more, I'm seriously considering what may or may not be another dumb move this week. I'm thinking about selling everything (big caps etf e and small caps etf), taking the losses, and moving it all to gold. Or 75% of it. All in all, I'd would still be slightly ahead for the month, like 1%.

Besides that investment money that I'm considering moving all into gold, I still have one year of expenses in cash in another account, and I have a big unemployment insurance fund money that I can only touch if I get fired or after three years unemployed if I quit myself. That would be like 8 years of expenses. Plus, I'm as safely employed as I can, with a nice wage that will replenish my cash reserves in the following months fast.

The reason I'm considering this move is because after reading the news the last days, I'm reconsidering my position. Things may be worse than I thought and may keep in this direction for longer. While I still believe Trump will eventually do whatever is necessary to improve the situation as we enter the election year, I think he seems to be willing to make it worser before he let it improve. Also, the fed does not seem to want to play ball. And all other things considered, even working together in the same direction, they can't do so much anymore. People are talking seriously about how having the dollar as the standard international currentcy is not being such a good thing anymore, the same way that having the gold as a standard was being questioned before 1971. China is rushing to deploy its official criptocurrency before facebook does. I'm worried and gold seems like a good bet now.

I'd very much like feedback on this line of thought, specially disagreements.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:54 pm

Stop, just stop.

You are way too gung ho on making all or nothing moves.

I would just stop, and chill for a few months while you reevaluate your long term plan/strategy. Everything you are suggesting now is short sighted and based on emotion and current events.

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:53 pm

Given that a significant percentage of my networth is tied in the unemployment fund plus my rural property now, it's not really all or nothing. My investable assets at the moment are like 50% of total assets, using a very conservative value for the real estate. If I move now 100% of liquid money to gold, that would represent something like 1/3 of total by the time I retire in 2021. Now 33% in gold does not sound crazy, does it? And then the future money I make from my job until I retire would be allocated to assets other than gold. That would be the long term plan. What I am doing here is running the risk of counting on that money that is yet to come, although pretty safe. Worst case scenario would be gold loosing what, 50% of present value in my currency? Not highly likely anyway.

My view for the 1.5 years ahead is that central banks will use whatever is left of their power through lowering interest rates further into negative territory, increasing debts even more around the world, and then they will inflate the debt away by printing money and throwing it at the market in several ways, like buying bonds or even too-big-to-fail banks and companies. Meanwhile the investors will direct their resources to gold, what should produce an effect of the stock market being stuck at around the same nominal level because the state is buying so much of it, but money is worth less and less. In that scenario, gold appreciates significanly and cash looses value. At some point, world leaders may discuss alternatives to this scheme, and then maybe it will be time to re-evaluate my view. Before that, we may havesomething like one, two years or so of complete denial.

An alternative view would be that central banks would suddenly catch up on the need to be fiscally responsible and let companies being reckless to crash and burn. That will hurt everybody in the short term and the too-big-to-fail companies will produce disasters as they go bankrupt. Lots of people would be unemployed and the next decade would see a slow recovery with the corporate culture being more fiscally responsible. In that scenario, we would see long periods of deflation and the market dropping fast in value. In that case, having cash would be useful as it would be appreciating and could buy stocks cheap. Gold would appreciate as well.

Now, I'd like to have those scenarios challenged. How could that go any differently than that? How would my predictions fail? From where I stand, I understand that I should have a plan that doesn't fail too badly even if I'm completely mistaken. I understand that there would be worst ways to loose money than have it allocated in gold. Like having it all in some total stock market fund, which seems to be the FIRE crowd investment of choice. I can't see a scenario where I would loose more than 50% of value in gold at this moment in history, and even in that case I'd most likely be fine. Worst consequence being, I'd need to work one year more or so. Or if I get fired, I'd move to my rural property and grow food. And my vision is that gold may be now in its lowest possible value it will ever have in the next couple of years or so. But again, I'd like very much to have my assumptions challenged.

rube
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by rube » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:58 am

You try to predict and time the market. A dangerous game, needless to tell you. But I do, it is dangerous if it concerns such a large percentage of your NW.
True, I have most in real estate, but even if the value declines it is producing cash flow which would soften even serious declines drastically, unlike gold which is not a producing asset.
Don't get me wrong, I do like gold. But only as an hedge, insurance, like in the PP or Golden butterfly and therefore I still have a small percentage in gold myself.
But I would recommend you to not bet (and count on future money) on gold for such a large percentage of your NW. It is against all logic of the permanent portfolio etc. If you want to bet/play, do it with a small percentage of your NW.

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