FI or bust; FBeyer.

Where are you and where are you going?
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jennypenny
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:20 pm

FBeyer wrote:I've come to absolutely detest other people's physical possessions...
In case you haven't seen Carlin's bit on stuff ... "their stuff is shit, and your shit is stuff"

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:31 pm

I consider my own stuff shit as well. :)
Carlin's skit is great though.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by wizards » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:23 pm

I enjoyed reading your update – hopefully the rest of the summer will more relaxing (and a bit warmer).

Had to comment on the surprise egg videos… I really don’t know what’s so catchy about those – my 2 year old son seems to love them…

Re: Investment portfolio – I like this approach – “surprise” as it has the same components as I hold.

Hope to see you at the meetup next month. :)

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Eureka
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Eureka » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:08 am

Nice update. I enjoy reading your considerations about investing under Danish conditions. This leads me to the question of how you envision to make profit of ½m dkk in real estate in the Copenhagen area.

I guess if you buy an apartment/house in a really bad condition for 3m dkk, fix it for ½m and resell it for 4½m, then you have doubled your investment after paying tax and buying/selling fees. However, this strategy needs quite some cash flow.

Or are you planning to use the ½m as a down payment for a place you'll rent out and then set the rent hight enough to also cover all mortgage and maintaining costs?

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BadHorse
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by BadHorse » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:31 am

Interesting update!

I'd also like to hear how you plan on investing in real estate in Cph.... flipping houses I get, but as Eureka says, that requires time and money. As for rental properties, from what I understand there is a very strong protection of tenants under Danish law. I read that you can't consider your own mortgage expenses when setting the rent, so that could make it difficult to earn a profit, I guess.

Hoping to learn a lot from everyone at the meetup! :D

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Eureka wrote:Nice update. I enjoy reading your considerations about investing under Danish conditions. This leads me to the question of how you envision to make profit of ½m dkk in real estate in the Copenhagen area.

I guess if you buy an apartment/house in a really bad condition for 3m dkk, fix it for ½m and resell it for 4½m, then you have doubled your investment after paying tax and buying/selling fees. However, this strategy needs quite some cash flow.

Or are you planning to use the ½m as a down payment for a place you'll rent out and then set the rent hight enough to also cover all mortgage and maintaining costs?
I envision spending the next 6-10 months reading up on RE investing along with Danish taxation and anything I can get my hands on regarding flipping and the rental market. 'same as I did when I wanted to start investing in the first place. I'll be nose-deep in books and internetz until I feel I have a somewhat good idea of how real estate investing works in DK. I'm pretty certain the first meetup is graced with the presence of someone who has worked in real estate investing for quite a lot of years...

I also personally know someone who flips RE in Copenhagen (last trade was a 1.5 mio > 3.0 mio in a year) and he knows exactly what to look for when looking to flip.
long-term I'm looking to rent though, but Lejeloven has quite a kicker: If you've never lived in your apartment yourself, you cannot, ever, evict your tenant. If the tenant moves out the tenant is allowed to insert a new tenant that you cannot evict either.
You read that right...

The obvious fix would be to move my address to the apartment, but that voids the joint will between me and my GF since we're not married...

The laws on rent are also absolutely ridiculous: close to 400 kr per m^2 per year(!!11!!one!exclamation mark), BUT, I wholeheartedly intend to set the rent to a very acceptable level which should drastically reduce the odds of fuss. Very many people are renting out two room apartments for 12K. That's just stealing, and I do not intend to bleed anyone dry because I've decided to leave the active job market some time in the future.

It'll take some time, 'cause I need to put half a mil in stocks first, and THEN earn another half to get started in the RE business so there is plenty of time to figure out how to do this. Current savings rate is about 65%. I'm almost halfway in stocks in a little over a year but I'm not certain my finances have been representative for the future for the preceding year, so I'll just take it as it comes. I'm also looking to graduate from a below median paying position to something math/statistics/PhD related; that should boost my income substantially. But, as stated in the OP, I'm 100% certain I will become FI, my only concern is to avoid going insane while getting there. My mental health as at the forefront of my mind, not my money.

IN OTHER WORDS: I don't know; I'm learning! Leave me alone!! ;)

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:13 am

People(*) like pictures I've been told. I figured that a pie chart illustrates the portfolio I'm building better than a lot of words.
Seeing it in print makes it looks absolutely ghastly. In my head it looked much simpler... funny that.

SO!
The overall layout is a three way portfolio with three major asset classes which looks like this:
Image

The breakdown in mutual funds looks like this:
Image

And the overall contents of the portfolio is:
Image


(*) and BRUTE

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:21 am

Ugh, those pictures are labelled all wrong... Never the less, I reckon most of you understand what's going on.

Now!
Jennifer April's book about super efficient learning is free, as in gratis, for the Kindle. I advice everyone to get it and read through it. The book summarizes the most efficient things one can do when learning something new, and it does so in a very concise manner. The book is short, to the point, and really really useful. Combine it with the first chapter or two from Carol Dwecks book about growth mindsets and you're set for some mental progress.
If you really want to bump up your learning, research SQ3R and/or Cornell notes and experience how your learning progress changes from what you've experienced before.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everyone-Shoul ... t+learning

I'm not just posting this to advertise a free book however, I'm writing this to highlight a single crucial thing I realized from the book:
Realistic, measurable, sensible goals won't get you where you want to go, systems that push you towards your goals will.
In other words: schedule an hour and a half every evening for studying. Make sure the books, notes, pencils and computer is laid out such that it's very easy to pick up and get started on your studies.
If your meditation cushion always rests on your sofa, you have to move the cushion to sit your lazy ass down. That should be a clue that you ought to take your 10 minutes on the cushion before your two hours on the couch.
Schedule free time. Schedule time to read, place your kindle in the recliner on top of a blanket before you leave the house in the morning. Schedule time to exercise, and place your training gear, jump rope and block of magnesium where you'd have to move it to laze off later. When the current you -the one with the mental surplus- sets up a system for future you -the one who comes home tired from work- future you will truly appreciate past you and you help yourself go where you want to go. There is an activation barrier for most things, even things we find fun, overcome that activation barrier systematically and while you have the surplus to do so and you'll see yourself improve much faster.

Finances:
I've received the first back payment for a personal loan so I'm looking to almost double my portfolio value this month.(*) Incidentally that also means that I can incorporate all the components I want for the equity part of the portfolio and rebalance between the components with saving for the next couple of years.

Being 100% in stocks is kind of frightening, but given the tax implications of investing in REIT or bonds means that it's the most tax efficient way to build for now. As far as I know... None the less, all the volatility of stocks will probably help me appreciate the more stable behaviour of the portfolio as I fill it with more and more stable income.


Work:
My PhD involves learning statistics, which is freakin' awesome, but before I can do those statistics I have to document and clean up the entire code base for my predecessor. I'm still at loss for words how terrible that task is. I know the long-term benefit of my work, I know the Prof will greatly appreciate it being done, but gosh darnit(**) I have never had a task I wanted to do as little as this(****)
I'm truly struggling to find a way to muscle my way over this particular hump, because I fear that whatever I do to the code will be functionally useless/outdated in a year or two/sabotaged by colleagues who copy/paste from their own dropbox rather than use the git repo/plain wrong due to the complexity of the code...

Those of you in software development: How do you quickly clean up a 20K SLOC code base where EVERYTHING uses global variables? Although the code is formally split into separate subroutines, all the variables are inherited from the workspace(*****) or loaded variables from *.mat files.

Our data undergoes about 15-20 data manipulation steps before we have a final image of what we've measured in the lab and I have no idea how to manage any of that without a complete re-write, and I DON'T have time for that (PhD end Feb 2018, I've done nothing but hack away at the software since Feb 2015, and I can't do any of the math before the software works flawlessly).


TOO LONG DIDNT READ:
- Yay money!
- Hell is other people's Matlab code!



(*) Cynics, not in the philosophical sense, but the modern sense, would point out that my portfolio can't be very big if a single back payment will double my invested assets. Well screw you, I take what I can get! :)

(**) Read this as: Jesus titty fucking, leprous, shit-eating(***), Christ

(***) Please free to add expletives until the sentence transcends mundane swearing and becomes funny...

(****) And I've spent two months drilling holes outdoors in a raging snowstorm.

(*****) FUCK matlab and it's stupid AF workspace!

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:11 am

FBeyer wrote: Those of you in software development: How do you quickly clean up a 20K SLOC code base where EVERYTHING uses global variables? Although the code is formally split into separate subroutines, all the variables are inherited from the workspace(*****) or loaded variables from *.mat files.
I once vectorized an f90 code (written with the mindset of f77 spaghetti, so everything was global too) turning it into HP fortran. To a large degree, I did this variable by variable: rewriting the code making the particular variable local; then deleting it from the global namespace and verifying that everything was still working(*). Rinse and repeat with the next global variable. Start with the variables that are obviously not global, e.g. "position" or "particle id", not "temperature".

(*) That of course being the most important issue ... This is the very reason that physicists still use decades old codes. The equation of state (EOS) I used was some old f77 monster, also global variables of course, and all the variable names where Japanese short hand. You had to guess what they were based on context. Either use unit tests if you can ... or pick a few fast test problems.

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El Duderino
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by El Duderino » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:14 am

Lol, I know what you mean about matlab, man. I think that is the primary reason I switched majors from EE to business back in the day. Soooo glad I didn't stubbornly stick to the 'right' major.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by SalutNounou » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:53 pm

Yep, I don't know if it is available in Matlab but I would strongly advise you to shield the legacy code with tons of unit tests. Then you can start to do the heavy refactoring legwork.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:28 pm

Now Playing: High Impact Velocity Spatter
And because Jacob is a Big fan of 8-bit music: Enjoy


Word came in last Monday. The code that I've been trying to humanize, so the group I'm working with can use it in the future, has now been put up for a legacy freeze. All my tinkering, all my attempts at graphing out more clever pathways and reorganizing the whole thing is now superfluous. The code is to be put back in its legacy state, I am to add headers to every subroutine (there were none, zero, no documentation before) and I will compress the whole thing in a .zip file that I believe no one in their lifetime will unpack in an attempt to analyze any of our old data.
I have to unroll the entire code base to its old weird format, add documentation to it and wrap it in a bow and kiss the last 9 months of work goodbye...

That meeting just pulled the plug out of my mental tub and all the hot water where my ideas used to float just drained away with a thick gurgle. My motivation is slowly shriveling as it clings sickly to the sides of a quickly drying vessel. I can feel the dried up, curly ends of what used to drive me to work with intent and focus, shrivel away and drop off to join the crummy gunk left on the bottom of the tub as all mental buoyancy was lost.

My work ethic, in pictures, is best described as trying to balance a soccer ball on top of a broomstick handle.

14 years ago I worked outdoors in a two-month long snow storm. My hourly wage as an apprentice was 6.0$ per hour and all I did for two months was to drill holes in cladding for an endless row of sheds.

That was much preferable to how I'm feeling about work right now...


Now Playing: The Murderer's Pact
No 8-bit this time. Get over it.

Current long-term plan is: survive the next month, wrap software up, start a blog with the statistics I do for my PhD and any statistics I do in my spare time. Hopefully that could prove useful for a future job interview. Beeline for the bio industry and it's never-ending pit of logistic regression and survival analysis. Dabble in time series analysis and see what comes out. Search with intent for all knowledge that will enable me to work freelance unless I can strike an amazing work-from-home kind of deal. But if I don't like working with statistics either, doing it freelance is not going to solve any of my problems. I might just be retarded.

There is a very small probability that I will become FI in the same way others here are. My tolerance for mindless suffering in non-existent. I can't do much else than power through the PhD and try to make myself as employable as humanly possible; then unjob to the best om my ability. I'm too puttylike and too unimaginative to fit into a standard profession and to see what alternatives are available to me.

When at work there is nothing I want to do other than fuck, cook and bake, listen to music, and play with my daughter. Placed in my office chair I'm groveling at the base of the Maslow pyramid; I want to be warm, safe, sound asleep -and most importantly- somewhere else. Luckily I'm VERY good at shutting work out when I'm home so I'm not taking all the pissiness home with me. One of the great benefits of being parsimonious with your stuff and your obligations is that when you come home from work, there is nothing to do other than enjoy time with the family. Nothing to repair, keep, clean, pick up, browse for, or otherwise be bothered by.
Come home routine:
1) Kick off shoes
2) Drop the backpack
3) Go crazy while blasting this and dancing in approximately the same manner.

It has finally become obvious to me how much my need to tinker with new things is impacting the quality of my life, but if I don't, I feel even worse. The Peter Principle has placed a hard mental ceiling above me and I'm constantly bumping my head up against it and my stupid brain keeps dragging me to new places where I've yet to crack the plaster.
I feel like a marionette, the paint on top of my head all chipped off, and a cruel puppetteer insists on trying to drag me through Peter's ceiling by force, my little arms and legs flailing helplessly under the control of something that is stronger than I am wise.

The recent discussion on the continued viability of the 4% rule makes me all shriveled up inside as well. Knowing myself, I honestly don't think that I could make money as 'real' bona fide active investor, as opposed to a lazy indexer. I'm not sure paper trading my ideas would do it, since virtual cash can't replicate the psychology of losing real money, so in order to find out, I'd have to put actual money on the line.

And speaking of, I really can't figure out how much money to hold in cash while I'm saving for FI. Given that it's either 100% stocks with their volatility (and current high valuations) or very high taxation on something less volatile, I'm sort of stuck in a weird limbo. I have a couple of years expenses invested in stock indices, but I'm not really certain whether I should keep piling money into my current funds or keep the money in cash. I'm potentially missing out on dividends and appreciation and I'm surely losing money to inflation, but the variance on inflation is theoretically a lot lower than the variance on stock indices so I'm more certain of the actual realizable value of my portfolio a few years down the road. In case something tanks, corrects or otherwise goes to shit for a while it would be very nice to buy some indices while they're on sale.
Given that the investment horizon on stocks is something like 5 years before you should even consider investing in stocks, and that I'm looking at an 8 year journey towards FI I should then put most of my money in stocks in the beginning and taper off my contributions as I approach my allotted stock allocation and 'earmark' a certain amount of money as stocks in my savings account. But that seems like such a cooky idea that it's probably wrong in a million ways. On the other hand, the interest and dividends earned over a shortish accumulation phase is minuscule compared to the risk of the markets themselves isn't it?
Now Playing: Indulge In Perversity


I started reading the 4 Hour Work Week but had to stop. Ferriss was not doing anything except making me feel inadequate and miserable about my life. It's remarkably tough to be a squirrel brain with not have an original thought in ones head while reading about a squirrel brain with plenty of out-of-the-box-thinking. I can see a lot of similarities between Ferriss and myself, except Ferriss gets those few things right that I just motherfucking can't grok... He's probably also a really nice guy too, so fuck you Tim Ferriss!
Now Playing: We Drink to Your Demise.

Too Long Didn't Read: Work sucks, teenage angst, plenty of fun at home, fuck off Tim Ferriss, the soundtrack to this journal seems to hold the answers to most of my bitching.

PS: I bought a banneton. Bread baking is now awesome!

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:29 pm

*) 8-bit music is awesome. That game reminded me of my daily commute on the sidewalk where the green blocks were cell phone zombines and I was the linebacker. In retrospect, it's kinda weird that I never got into a fight after bumping into people who were "texting and walking" not realizing that they were playing chicken with someone who refused to move first when it came to cell phone zombines anymore.

*) You were kinda put on a shite-project as are most freshmen. However, don't consider the time entirely wasted. It's common for rookies to be put on some kind of low-risk (for the professors or bosses) project that might pan out but hwere the more important goal is to use it as a learning tool as opposed to starting from scratch. I spent my first year building an entirely useless (nicely programmed but really slow) nuclear reaction network and some polytropic models. However, I learned everything about what went into uch things in the process. In phd school, you're at the point where nobody really has the answers, nor the questions anymore. You were given a bunch of broken parts and asked to make a clock out of them. Alternatively, you were thrown into the deep end and asked whether it was possible to live. Didn't work. But you learned a bunch of stuff about what doesn't work. Most of research is about figuring out what doesn't work. Not at all like what it is on TV science shows.

*) Blogging (or "websiting") made it clear to me that fundamental research subjects are only interesting to about five people in the world. Very quickly, my [resource depletion] homepage received more hits than the rest of the physics department combined. When I became a postdoc and started ERE, I noticed that the government lab I worked with had a worse Alexa rating than the ERE blog. As far as the common internet user was concerned, my blog posts were more relevant than the work of the 10000 people the lab employed. Then again, Britney Spears was stupendously more relevant than either. In any case, this observation was a material factor for me in quitting physics because I wanted to make a difference in the world. At the time my physics research was feeling increasingly like an exercise of spending 6 months writing a paper only to put it in a drawer were <50 people would ever read it. Rinse and repeat until I got to 500+ papers published.

So mindless suffering is a matter of perspective. It seems that most people who manage to stay in academia are supremely convinced that academic matters are interesting in for their own sake. Doesn't matter if nobody else really cares.

This might be your biggest issue. Why are you doing physics in the first place? Because the Peter Principle is highly relevant to a physics career!!!!!

*) The academic success stories I know fall in two categories. Either they're in growth industries (biotech) and/or supported by affirmative action. Otherwise, they think about physics/math/.. 24/7. Anything less and you can forget about it as a white male in the hard or canonical sciences. If not, it comes down to politics or luch or defaulting to a research prof or a perma-postdoc by outworking everybody else. I had dreams or nightmares about physics when I fell asleep. I never kicked off my shoes. There's no life balance possible. It's a mission.

*) I stayed in cash for 4 years before I started investing. Those times (2001-2004) where quite similar to the current times. I had about 16 years worth of expenses before I bought my first stock. I don't really have a solution other than saying that being an active investor is hard "mental" [emotional] work. You're getting paid for mental suffering. People are increasingly figuring out how to ensure that free riders are reduced to "economic profits" i.e. 3%/year. That seems entirely fair by the way.

*) I see Ferriss (or more accurately, the 4HWW book as it was written) rather differently. Or rather I SAW him differently because I haven't been paying attention since 2011 so my apologies if my perceptions no longer match. Also, I'm aware that a single publication is not necessarily representative of the person. I'm just judging by the book here. This post is rather alluding to the book persona: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-i ... -punk.html .. maybe he's changed since then. I wouldn't be surprised. Back then I wasn't impressed though.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Dragline » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:55 pm

jacob wrote: *) I see Ferriss (or more accurately, the 4HWW book as it was written) rather differently. Or rather I SAW him differently because I haven't been paying attention since 2011 so my apologies if my perceptions no longer match. Also, I'm aware that a single publication is not necessarily representative of the person. I'm just judging by the book here. This post is rather alluding to the book persona: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-i ... -punk.html .. maybe he's changed since then. I wouldn't be surprised. Back then I wasn't impressed though.
I think Ferriss has actually changed a lot, and its been interesting to watch the evolution. I don't read any of his blog stuff, but do listen to his podcasts because the guests are interesting and sometimes very funny (listen to the Mike Rowe one).

I think he has realized that "less is more" in terms of life satisfaction and is basically running away from the whole Silicon Valley "hack-your-life" scene, and that a lot of that human guinea pig shit he was doing probably was not very good for him long-term.

But he still seems profoundly dissatisfied with himself is some peculiar way -- my guess is that is has something to do with personal relationships; hence, his recent focus on a dog.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:10 am

jacob wrote:You were kinda put on a shite-project as are most freshmen... In phd school, you're at the point where nobody really has the answers, nor the questions anymore. You were given a bunch of broken parts and asked to make a clock out of them... Most of research is about figuring out what doesn't work. Not at all like what it is on TV science shows.
Actually I was hired for the PhD for several reasons. One of the primary ones was that only one guy knew their software, and everyone knew that he was leaving the group. They needed someone with basic software development skills to take over the project and maintain it such that the rest of the group had a tool they could use for their data analysis. (Our data analysis is ridiculously convoluted, on the scale of FORTRAN implementations of coupled cluster calculations kind of complicated).
Other reasons for putting me on board was because of my diverse background. I'm working in a nascent field, not just in the usual 'unknown corners of science' type research. We're working with a completely new instrument type and wrangling ANYTHING that makes sense out the acquired data is a tremendous amount of work. That's why the prof hired a 'lateral' student; we need as much cross pollination from other branches of science as possible because we're looking at a ridiculously complex experimental setup and a ridiculously complex data analysis. My declared task as a PhD was not to solve some vague issue that we might want to know more about, my job was to venture out into the wild and steal ideas, left and right, and see if we couldn't improve on the current data analysis framework we currently have. The field I'm in requires experts from photophysics, photochemistry, helium experts, mechanical engineers, computational chemists, laser experts, robotics, high-performance gurus, and synthesis chemists, and now also statisticians/machine learning. None of the guys really understand what the others are doing so there is a great deal of communication necessary as well (another one of my strengths. I am a great speaker!). In other words: I was put on a shite project, not to test the waters, but to put me on the can-not-get-hit-by-a-bus list, now that the former buslist guy was leaving. The consensus has always been that the software part was to be one ASAP so we could get to some real science. It has always been a matter of practicality. Seeing that practicality go down the drain gets on my nerves, but on the other hand it also means that I won't have to play tech support for another guy's code in the future.

In that respect it's a big win.

jacob wrote:Blogging (or "websiting") made it clear to me that fundamental research subjects are only interesting to about five people in the world... this observation was a material factor for me in quitting physics because I wanted to make a difference in the world.
This might be your biggest issue.
The blog was to serve several things at once: 1) as part of didactics, it's a very good idea to try to communicate what you learn to find holes in your knowledge. 2) Others can see how I think, how I solve problems, and how I work. 3) Others can see that I've been doing stats in my spare time (especially since I hardly did any math during university). 3) Others can see what kind of stats I can do.

If I apply for a position or start out as a freelancer, that site would be a good advertisement I think, on top of serving as learning reinforcement.
jacob wrote:Why are you doing physics in the first place? Because the Peter Principle is highly relevant to a physics career!!!!!
I'm doing physics out of sheer coincidence. I was looking for a group that needed a Lateral university student, not a specialist. I was looking for a group that wanted me to learn things that were new to them and to me, and see if we couldn't apply it somehow. Given that I've taken two math courses during 7 years at university(series of ridiculous coincidences actually), my math education was severely lacking. Doing the PhD was a great way to get paid while patching that terrible lack of education, and to help others with a problem they wanted solved/looked into.
I'm doing the PhD to learn math, which makes me employable (and because I've found out that math and stats are frakkin' awesome) and to apply as much of that as possible to get to grips with actually coming up with solutions to actual problems, not just solving school tasks.
That's part of the reason why the software failure is getting to me. I've become quite intimate with Singular Value Decompositions but other than that, I haven't learned anything other than: Scientists Write Fucking Horrible Code. But I already knew that after working on GAMESS and DALTON.
Well, I learned that Matlab's workspace is great for in situ code, but terrible for 'production' software.
jacob wrote:...The academic success stories I know fall in two categories... There's no life balance possible. It's a mission.
Yaaaas. I do not intend to stay in academia. Unless I can do the perpetual-postdoc route until I FIRE. That would be neat (I think).
I actually dream of statistics and math at the moment(hoping it wont go away soon like all has before it). But I haven't gotten to applying it yet. I'm very VERY good at saying no things I really don't want to do, but a PhD is riddled with mandatory things to do, so I can't shirk all of it.
The De Facto time to do a PhD is one and a half year. The other one and a half year is mandatory non-research related responsibilities.
jacob wrote:...
*) I stayed in cash for 4 years before I started investing. Those times (2001-2004) where quite similar to the current times. I had about 16 years worth of expenses before I bought my first stock... People are increasingly figuring out how to ensure that free riders are reduced to "economic profits" i.e. 3%/year. That seems entirely fair by the way.
That's nice to know. Thank you for that.
My reluctance to buying stocks comes from a warning I've read several times. The expected return from active investing looks like a y-axis mirrored Lennard-Jones potential.
Image
The baseline indexer earns a little money, and then as you put effort into picking stocks you start losing money. Then as you put even more and more effort into picking stocks, you lose more and more money. Then at some point you reach a critical level and you earn a lot more than indexers. I can deal with a non-linear return on effort, but I have a hard time dealing with not knowing how big the effort gap is, before picking stocks starts to pay off. Especially for someone who is as much of a scatter brained twat as I am... You can't lose interest in managing your portfolio after two years, that's not going to pay off in the long run.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Eureka » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:26 pm

Thanks for the link to http://puttylike.com.

This is so me! My CV, if I'd write it all down, indeed seems as if I am 10 different people.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:55 am

My portfolio has a Sharpe ratio of 0.66 which I think is absolutely appalling!
Then I found out that that puts me in the top 50% bracket for registered investors in Scandinavia's most popular investment bank.
That was even more appalling!!!


Eureka: I believe several people on ERE admit to being a putty. I count 7 or 8 people in total who exhibit the behaviour at least.
I've been rummaging around the putty website a few times, but it's way too 'feely' and not very 'actiony' for me, not those parts I've read at least, which puts me off a bit. I don't need the hand-holding and knowing I'm not alone, I need to know what the f**** to do with it!

Also CALLING YOU OUT IN PUBLIC:
Send out some details on the meetup [german accent]jaaaaaah? [\german accent]It's next week and I still have no idea where to go, or what time to be there ;)

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Eureka » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:32 pm

Point taken about the Meetup. I will post it right away.

Shame about the feely touch of the putty side, hopefully there are better forums for us - or we will just make our own :D

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:42 am

One of the reasons I will never become a successful businessman is because I do not, and most likely cannot, think of selling things like this:


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/32 ... nav_search

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:29 am

If you ever find yourself standing on a frictionless wedge while weighing fish inside an elevator, you know you're teaching first year university students classical mechanics...

To all those who expected a financial update: Too bad. I'm spending so little money, that plotting my expenditures are not really that informative. They are the same as they've been for the last 5-6 months, ie about 670-700$ per month.

However the 'new' financial plan is to:
1) save about a year's worth of expenses in case I lose my health due to PhD related stress or if I'm simply, under no circumstances, able to continue working for a short time. Investing all my surplus hampers my ability to fuck off when I'm under too much pressure. I'm not racing towards FI, I'm deliberately trying to make life as pleasurable as possible, even if it means extended the FI deadline some.

2) Study Real estate investing. Buying properties is more important than learning fundamental analysis. I need to get used to thinking like a RE investor. Incidentally, in the name of systems thinking, that should also help me get acquainted with how loans, bonds, and mortgages work. As someone who hasn't had any money all of my life, I don't know how borrowing money really works, and especially how it ties in with taxation.

3) Study fundamental analysis, try reading through some 10K etc and figure out a way to set up paper trading in a way that will be informative. As always I haven't the slightest clue how to set up a feedback system or how to organize an actual practical project that will get me started and acquainted with fundamental analysis.

I'll post some uplifting pictures soon, this journal has been too much whining and too much blabbering for too long I think...

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:50 am

So our PostDoc just pointed out that my PhD project is a solved problem, and has been so for 30 years... :shock:
There is now nothing left of what I was initially hired to do.

The software has been put into hiatus along with the functionality I intended to incorporate. My remaining project has already been solved. I now live for Mondays where I teach classical mechanics all day. 'rest of the week I'm scrambling to find something sensible to do. Poke a stick into as many things as I can find and see if termites come out... I hang on, I collect my paycheck at the end of the month where I ignore it just as much as every other month and spend my remaining time trying to figure out what the f*** is going on inside my head.

I'm increasingly aware of my inability to actually DO things. I know, in theory, a lot of stuff, but not once have I had a real opportunity to put some of it to good use. I know what books to get or what resources to start with in case I'm tasked with anything related to high-performance computing, statistics, didactics, machine learning, physics, molecular biology, or linear algebra, but I don't know how long it'd take me to produce anything of value. I feel like an overly future-focused artist collective decided to put ten different kinds of primer on ten different canvases just in case they needed to paint something at some distant point in the future.

My software development experience has mainly been filing small corners off of other scientists's horrible code, rather than develop anything myself. Writing display/debug messages for a couple of years gets old fast and doesn't actually provide me with very many marketable skills. I have no yard stick to the 'outside' world. I don't know what I can do, honestly, because I only ever spend my time with experts within a very narrow topic so naturally they are all much better at anything I can throw at them. Everywhere I've studied/worked since 2013 I've been the only one of 'my kind' so I have no one to learn from or gauge my progress by.

Well shit! Maybe I CAN do things and I just don't know it due to impostor syndrome but I've yet to be posed a task that I immediately knew how to solve for the last 8 years now, so it sure as hell doesn't feel like it.

I have no other insights into the workforce except STEM graduates seem overly abused for some odd reason. That makes me truly excited about joining the work force.[1]

Originally GandK wrote this in her own journal, but rather than hi-jack her journal with my ramblings, I posted them here. I didn't even want to update this journal until I had something positive to say, but I have an hour right now where I don't NEED to do something and I figured I'd post here, again for posterity, so others can read this and get a time-series snapshot of what a person looks like while in the process of getting burned out/brownouted/stressed/depressed/whatever-this-is.
GandK wrote:...
Over the course of the last few months, my novel-writing has completely stalled. This is disconcerting to me. I've written since I was old enough to hold a pencil, so I always assumed I'd spend all my retired "spare time" writing novels, too. But lately I can't even make myself write... I'm unsure what's going on with me internally. Maybe I'm afraid, maybe I'm burned out, maybe some extended family drama is taking its toll. Much more upsetting is my current inability to envision what my future will even look like if there won't be writing in it. If writing is part of my identity, and I'm not writing, who am I? This is a scary question to me, and there's an emotional cloud over my current situation. G thinks I'm worrying over nothing, but I think I may be transitioning. To what, I do not know.
Replace novel-writing with lust-for-learning and we're in exactly the same boat... Eerily so. Well, except I'm not doing anything fulfilling instead. I'm just idle and stricken with ennui. I don't want to learn any more. I want the itching to go away, it's killing my sense of calm.

I WANT to want to sit down and download some public data and beat it with a mathematical stick, but I can't make myself. The height of the last couple of month's of learning is a singular value decomposition of my web of goals in binary form.

I want to free myself from that constant drag away from what I'm currently doing so I can get something DONE, but I'm battling something stronger than me, and I don't have the time nor the surplus to actually get to it. Other multipods, it seems to me, LEARN things and then move on, I just roll around in a new intellectual pig sty every other month then abandon it like a politician abandons his promises once the elections are over. Quietly and without making a fuss.

My rational side knows that I will probably never get a job again where I have the opportunity to learn as much as this one, but I don't have any motivation at all for learning anything right now, and I know that future-me will hate current-me for not getting off my ass and doing something.

I have no clear point of going to work at the moment. I have no clue what part of industry to apply for a job. I have no idea what would happen to my CV/job opportunities if I cashed in the 'emergency savings' and took time off from work...
I've been strung the F out since May and I'm clawing my way out of this hole week after week. I'm a caricature of someone who drinks camomile tea, tries to be mindful as much as possible, sleeps a lot, eats healthy, and tries to have a meaningful relationship to avoid going absolutely bat shit insane. As soon as anything slips from the military routine of mental well-being I come crashing down like an Aeroflot plane...

I'm seriously considering whether I should see a psych and/or a physician. The Sharpe ratio of my mental well being is absolutely terrible.
I'm motley in a world of grey. I lack - for want of a better description- to belong somewhere.
Or I'm sublimating like absolutely crazy and I'm hiding the real issue from myself and the world around me since this is an ongoing issue for five months now.

Does there exist an altruistic industry that knows better than to use their STEM employees to mop up their managers's shit with?

[1] Yes, that's sarcasm. I also just wanted an excuse to put in a footnote.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:21 am

FBeyer wrote:So our PostDoc just pointed out that my PhD project is a solved problem, and has been so for 30 years... :shock:
There is now nothing left of what I was initially hired to do.
That's all quite normal. Can I say "I told you so" (because I think I did)?

I don't mean to patronize or condescend so take this in the spirit of what I wish someone would have told my younger self when I was starting out.

The PhD perspective goes something like this: confusing, depressing or frustration, hope, production. It seems you've entered stage 2 now. If it doesn't feel frustrating, then it's because the research is not hard enough and the project is more on the glorified-tech level. Those PhD tracks exist too and IMHO, those are a waste of time unless you just need to put some letters after your name to break through a glass ceiling.

In terms of projects, it's quite normal---in the sense it would be highly unusual should the opposite happen---that the starting project is a throw-away project that serves more as a get-your-feet-wet than some milestone that is sure to lead somewhere else. It's not like an MSc project where the project is deliberately chosen to ensure a high degree of success. Research is mostly about getting used to figuring out what is a waste of time because most ends are dead-ends.

Also, research is very different from engineering or construction in the sense that you never know what "the task" is or the end project is. It's much more about throwing mud on the wall and seeing what if anything sticks. The primary distinction between the two is that the latter are about answering questions whereas the former is about asking them. Also, people who claim divine inspiration while walking in the park and then deriving the theory of everything are mostly bullshitting. Modern research is much more like Edison than Tesla. The standard cartoon example is that new results aren't announced so much by an "Eureka!" as much as by a "This is funny/weird?!".

The ultimate dissertation really becomes an issue of gathering all the results you stumbled over along a meandering path and stringing them together into a narrative pretending that this was your plan all along.

If I was your supervisor, I'd probably ship you off to some conference right about now and present a poster. For sanity reasons, it might also help to vent some frustrations with older grads or postdocs, because most of them have been where you are now. Going nowhere for weeks or feeling like or actually realizing that the last 6 months was wasted is normal.

In terms of projects, having lots of bosses can backfire in two ways: either they all want 100% of your time, or they all think you belong to someone else. If it's the latter, I'd go talk to each of them trying to figure out if they have some unsolved issue. Each person should have a 2-3 to contribute. So with that you have a long list. Now see if any of those questions overlap with each other and which the stuff you've learned. Then try to solve that problem.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:19 am

jacob wrote:
FBeyer wrote:...
If I was your supervisor, I'd probably ship you off to some conference right about now and present a poster...
I get shivers down my spine at the thought of going to a conference right about now. Why would that be a good idea?

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by steveo73 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:56 am

FBeyer wrote:I hang on, I collect my paycheck at the end of the month where I ignore it just as much as every other month and spend my remaining time trying to figure out what the f*** is going on inside my head.
....
My software development experience has mainly been filing small corners off of other scientists's horrible code, rather than develop anything myself. Writing display/debug messages for a couple of years gets old fast and doesn't actually provide me with very many marketable skills. I have no yard stick to the 'outside' world. I don't know what I can do, honestly, because I only ever spend my time with experts within a very narrow topic so naturally they are all much better at anything I can throw at them.
....
I'm seriously considering whether I should see a psych and/or a physician. The Sharpe ratio of my mental well being is absolutely terrible.
Sorry to read this but I thought I'd give you my perspective as well.

I work in the outside word. It's freaken stupid. My company is doing things on the cutting edge whilst at the same time being as dumb as fuck about it. We are inefficient, expensive (I suppose being inefficient is part of it) & we spin crap all the time. I used to code and the guy I worked with was meant to be a gun. He wrote the worst code I've ever seen and I think will ever see. He had it in a massive notepad text file and when he wanted to update a footer or a header on web pages he would try and search and replace. He didn't write down a variable once and put it somewhere. It was just a massive script of shit.

Now I think there are good coders in my team but we try and get rid of that as much as possible. So all the coders get templates to fill out that codes everything for them. This though actually works pretty good but I don't like it because as a previous developer I'd like to be able to build my own code. To make it even better we have design guilds and product managers who have no idea. These guys try and tell the devs what to do. Everything is supposedly meant to be documented down to the minutest detail as well but also approved by the business. This is of course why we are so freaken expensive. We have developed processes coming out of our back sides.

I actually get paid pretty well for managing projects but I hardly manage a thing. I actually like this at the moment because I'm doing as little as possible. In stating that I just try and collect that pay check and save it as much as possible in order to reach FIRE. My work has just become a driver for getting paid and that is it. I also today whilst working at home got a meeting request with a big boss in my company who I report to at some level but I've never talked to at all. He will want to talk about what I think about my team and maybe some other stupid crap but I'm just not interested. I can tell that it isn't a retrenchment although that would be great.

My advice for you is to stop giving a shit about work and develop your life outside of work. Maybe seeing a counsellor is a good idea as well. I'm actually completely happy with my life but I've just stopped caring about work at all.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:33 am

@FBeyer - Because it's hopefully inspirational(?) and might remind you why you're in research/reignite the flame. You could always go as a tourist (<- someone who isn't presenting anything) although that's a bit of a harder sell. Dunno how your boss[es] are about sending grads out to experience the world. Mine was very generous. I also know PhDs who only got to go once or twice. If that's the case, now is not the time.

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