bostonimproper's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Dream of Freedom
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Dream of Freedom »

bostonimproper wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:51 pm
My brain and feelings. I feel like I’ve lost all capacity for patience, presentness and deep thinking. It’s not that I can’t read books or listen to lectures or even watch a good film (all of which I’ve done in the past few weeks), it’s that I want them to get to the point already. Just because content is long doesn’t mean it is high-quality or informative. Has everything always been an overly verbose “think piece” (read: hot take that could have been a tweet and is taking way too long to get through) or am I just late to the party? Clearly I need to spend less time on social media— it’s destroying my brain. Where’s my dopamine hit.
That is one of my pet peeves too. So many books could be an essay and would be the better for it. What really gets me is when some one feels the need to spend 10 pages explaining why the subject is so important. Why the fuck do they think you are reading it that you need convinced that it is important?

Still, I wonder if these feelings of impatience are just spilling over from your quest to become pregnant and manifesting in other areas.

Der Leiermann
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Der Leiermann »

On pregnancy: I personally find the lack of control hard to deal with. Have you considered IVF and the like ? It might give you a sense of at least moving in the right direction and may take some stress out of the equation.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

“Dream of Freedom” wrote:Still, I wonder if these feelings of impatience are just spilling over from your quest to become pregnant and manifesting in other areas.
Yes. But also waiting for nearly a year for life to resume as “normal” in the midst of a global pandemic.
Der Leirmann wrote: Have you considered IVF and the like ?
Typically women are recommended to try for at least a year before addressing potential fertility issues— and I don’t think IVF would be the first thing I’d turn to. We’re only at around 5 months. Also, with everything going on (basically not going outside ever, low grade stressors everywhere), my cycle is way off, which is both unsurprising and almost certainly contributing to lack of success.

Der Leiermann
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Der Leiermann »

bostonimproper wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:06 am
Typically women are recommended to try for at least a year before addressing potential fertility issues— and I don’t think IVF would be the first thing I’d turn to. We’re only at around 5 months. Also, with everything going on (basically not going outside ever, low grade stressors everywhere), my cycle is way off, which is both unsurprising and almost certainly contributing to lack of success.
Agreed, after 5 months IVF may be premature ;)

On stress. If it’s that bad that it’s affecting your cycle, that’s not a good sign. When I brought up a stressful work environment (albeit not as bad as yours by the sounds of it) with our fertility specialist he indicated that in most cases stress will have an adverse effect on fertility.

mooretrees
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by mooretrees »

How are you tracking your cycle? I recommend the book https://www.amazon.com/Taking-Charge-Yo ... 245&sr=8-2 for getting pregnant, and not getting pregnant as well.

The very abbreviated version of how to get pregnant is to start taking your basal temp every morning BEFORE you get out of bed. While the 'average' menstrual cycle is 28 days, that's just the average. The second bit of data to collect is from your cervical fluid, and well, you just got to swipe it and see. When your cervical fluid is 'stretchy' that's also an indication that you're ovulating. I used the temp monitoring/cervical fluid method to get pregnant very quickly, twice. Once you have a month of data, you can clearly see an increase in temp that is when you're ovulating. There's a surprisingly short window to get pregnant, so it's really amazing how often it happens. After the first month of information, then you track when your temp rises again and um, you know what to do at that point.

That book is a treasure and I learned so much about my body-why didn't I know this stuff???!!! I'm sure stress doesn't help, but I'd be curious how the temp tracking works for you. There are also WiFi thermometers and apps for making it really easy to track.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

I track using a period journal and use ovulation test strips to check when I’m in my window. I’ve tried the basal temperature thing and I have seen zero fluctuation.

mooretrees
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by mooretrees »

I've heard of the ovulation strips but never used one. When you use the strips, do they say that you're ovulating? That book I recommended had a lot of information about problems with getting pregnant. How long have you tracked? Were you really strict about taking your temp before you got up in the morning? The author said it really should be done at the same time every day, something I never managed btw, though I was very good about taking my temp before I moved in the morning. Maybe the combo of temp tracking + cervical fluid would be more useful than temp tracking alone? I found the cervical fluid very easy to relate to when I was ovulating.

Before trying to get pregnant, were you on birth control pills? I've heard that it can take many months to get a normal cycle back after birth control pills. I had an IUD, so I was basically fertile after it was gone. Anyway, I hope you can get pregnant soon, there's almost nothing worse than wanting to be pregnant and it not working out. It's really tough.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

@mooretrees I’ll give temperature checks another go. I wasn’t so disciplined about time of day first time round.

——

Friends & babies. My best friend is pregnant, about a month after taking out her IUD. I’m so, so happy for her, but it also stings. On the bright side, as she and her husband reminded me, she probably won’t go into labor until October, which means we have nearly a year to conceive so that our kids can be in the same grade at school. Since we live so close, own our homes, and don’t plan to leave, that means our kids may end up in the same classes together. I get really excited thinking about a future where we’re all raising our kids together. My parents were transplants in the town I grew up in, and between them and the transient nature of the city, never really made friends. It’ll be nice to bring my children up somewhere where they feel they have community, an “extended family” to love them.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

Financial goals for 2021

[1] Purchase climate change-resilient property. Preferred location: Grosse Pointe, Michigan. I want to hedge having a place to live if Boston’s economy goes underwater with its shoreline. But I don’t want to deal with property management. I’d be fine with 0 net income if it meant I didn’t have to think about this twice.

[2] Increase my W-2 income by 20%. This will cover our loss in income when my spouse quits their job— they’re feeling overwhelmed and want to be a SAHP anyway. Two potential paths to success:
  • (a) Promotion at current employer. Manager is on board, I’m putting together packet now, target Q3-ish. Risk is that current employer will very likely see high turnover this year for a variety of reasons, which makes this job miserable to the point of untenable.
  • (b) Get a job at one of the two tech giants in the area that can beat my current comp.
Part of me wants to go back to startups or a consultancy because I truly loathe the bureaucracy of a big company, but given that I’ll probably FIRE in 2-4 years on my current track, I just need to suck it up.

[3] Set up self-directed IRA for crypto trading. Rich person problem: I’m starting to pay a lot in taxes. Between federal and state, I pay 36% on short-term capital gains (over time this will edge closer to 44%). I’ve already set up a Donor Advised Fund to liquidate highly appreciated stock, which was a no-brainer since we donate 10% of our income a year. But I’m realizing in the long term my crypto holdings are going to be a major problem. For most things it’s pretty easy to trade and then hold, but there are pretty clear boom-and-bust cycles in crypto that I’d rather be in a tax-sheltered space.

[4] Get umbrella insurance. I keep pushing this off, but we’re starting to accumulate serious non-ERISA money, so it’s probably time to revisit.

[5] Figure out how to set up Health FSA. I have this deducted from my paycheck, but the provider’s website is god awful. I need to figure this out so we can save a bit on my spouse’s therapy appointments.

Personal goals for 2021

[1] Get pregnant. A surprise to no one.

[2] Get vaccinated for COVID-19. Because I want to go back to living my life, please.

[3] Sell a piece of digital art in exchange for ETH. I’m really digging the Bankless guide to DeFi, and am interested in doing more stuff first-hand to get more experience in the space. In particular, I’m interested in going through the routine of exchanging NFT assets for, uh, money? Couple that with a desire to up-level my new hobby of drawing things so I don’t scream at the wall and you have a bona fide project!

[4] Health and fitness. I gained some weight during COVID-times, but more than that I’ve definitely become less active and fit. I think this will self-correct naturally once I get vaccinated and can walk, climb, etc. as usual.

[5] Visit Acadia in the summer with friends. This is more “fun thing I want to do after vaccination” than a “goal”, but it’d be nice to get this planned as something to look forward to.
Last edited by bostonimproper on Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

Scott 2
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

I know it's not legal, but do you have concern over current employer withholding promotion if you are visibly pregnant? I wonder if those two goals conflict, making the job change more appealing.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

Scott 2 wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:17 am
I know it's not legal, but do you have concern over current employer withholding promotion if you are visibly pregnant? I wonder if those two goals conflict, making the job change more appealing.
No, not worried. I’ve seen multiple men get promo’d while on paternity leave (our company gives equal leave to birthing/non-birthing parents). This includes multiple guys who were at the company for less than a year, with months of that on leave. On the one hand, these were dudes, and I’ve definitely seen women get sidelined more when coming back from parental leave because #tech, but also I’m fairly well-liked, my boss is a woman, and folks on the promo committee are familiar enough with me that I doubt any of them would actively block my promo even if I’m pregnant.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

Check-in on our asset allocation, which I’ve tweaked quite a bit over the past year. Excluding home equity and 6-month emergency fund in cash, currently have 50% taxable, 15% roth, 35% traditional retirement.

Retirement allocation (hard to separate out roth vs trad):
  • 42.5% VTWAX (Vanguard Total World Equity)
  • 15% VAIPX (Vanguard TIPS)
  • 7.5% VGSLX (Vanguard REITS)
  • 35% target date funds because the options are limited in employer accounts
Taxable allocation:
  • 20% Crypto (80/15/5 ETH/BTC/Alts)
  • 20% China ETFs (60/40 MCHI/GXC)
  • 20% Pre-IPO equity from previous employer
  • 10% SLV (iShares Silver)
  • 10% ARKG (ARK genomics ETF)
  • 10% ARKF (ARK fintech ETF)
  • 5% PRNT (ARK 3D printing ETF)
  • 5% VWO (Vanguard emerging market)
I find it funny how much our retirement allocations are fairly staid if not quite boglehead-y, whereas all the money I’ve dumped into taxable investments over the past year are like fourth turning, everything is about to collapse, creative disruption, this is how the American hegemony ends maybe, etc. Order foiled against chaos. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it feels funny how much my internal muddle of stasis and anxiety are reflected in this little sliver of our lives.

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C40
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by C40 »

bostonimproper wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:56 am

[3] Set up self-directed IRA for crypto trading.
Have you made progress on this one? I am in the same boat. I've been meaning to buy some crypto for a year or two now (d'oh).. I'm realizing that I should really only do so in an IRA.. but.. need to figure out how it works. I'm just starting, so I don't know much about it.. If you, or others have updates or a good source for info, please let me know. I am a little weary of 'random' info on the web, pages listing brokers that might just be affiliate shills, etc.

---

Also, wow, your post-tax investing - wow, aggressive! Am I right in assuming that it's because you cannot buy those in your work retirement accounts? I may be looking at things like those China ETFs, or possibly ARK funds. I have just finished selling off most of my VWO after it made a big run up this year resulting in a lot of capital gain and low current dividend yield

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Lemur
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Lemur »

FWIW, when I deleted all social media accounts last year and most apps on my phone, I found I was able to enjoy more long-distanced activities like reading and watching multi-hour documentaries. I did end up signing up for Reddit again (lol) but I restricted myself to just a few investing related subreddits...and also limited posting and completely avoiding any debates. Needless to say, my attention span definitely increased.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

@C40

SDIRA for crypto. The Bankless HQ folks, who are 2 Wheaton levels deeper in the DeFi hype train than I am but AFAICT generally a reputable source in the space, recommend Rocket Dollar. I haven’t tried it out yet, mostly because of inertia and fees, so can’t attest either way if it’s good or not.

If you don’t care about owning the underlying coins directly, I’d recommend just buying GBTC or ETHE in a regular IRA. At least until one of the centralized exchanges like Coinbase launches retirement account custodianship, which is bound to happen sooner or later (though maybe not in this bull run).

How I approach retirement accounts I keep all my retirement accounts with Vanguard (either through work 401K or my own IRA), so I’m obviously pretty limited to my selection there. I like keeping them with Vanguard because:
1. it prevents me doing anything too rash or stupid in terms of market timing, and
2. it limits my choices to passive ETFs, which honestly should be the bulk of my investing anyway.

I figure it makes sense for retirement accounts to be “slow and steady”, though I am somewhat regretting not having a separate “play” space in these tax-advantaged spaces to accommodate high-growth things like crypto. For example, I’m refraining from dabbling more, trying coin futures or trading altcoins, to avoid short-term capital gains tax.

Risky taxable allocation I feel pretty good about most things in my taxable allocation except the ARK funds, to be honest. I think crypto is risky and volatile, but has asymmetric upside that can’t be ignored. China ETF is a hedge on American hegemony waning. I can’t liquidate pre-IPO shares so *shrugs*. I like silver as an alternative to gold as store of value that has actual demand and use in industrial applications. And VWO because I’m slightly overweight on developing with retirement target date funds. It all feels less like “taking risk” and more like “wide ranging diversification”, if that makes sense?

And in terms of ARK, I still believe we’re in a really good period for fintech to blossom (though I am far less sure the lag time until we start seeing the genomics space really take off or if we’ll see 3D printing really catch on in industrial manufacturing). I’m more concerned that the advisors there are high off their own hopium. Read some threads on “why bitcoin isn’t that environmentally unfriendly” which I thought had motivated reasoning to say the least. That coupled with some recent comments from Cathie Wood about her religious inspiration in founding ARK and, uhm...
As soon as I said that to myself, I felt a wham and I really feel like that was the Holy Spirit just saying to me, “Okay, this is the plan.” And the idea was basically, “Look, you’ve been a student of disruptive innovation your entire career. Why don’t you disrupt your own industry? It’s broken. Why do you disrupt it with some of these new technologies? Why don’t you harness social media? Why don’t you invite people in—even your competitors—to brainstorm about these new ideas, to help spread the word?” And so I did that, and it’s been amazing. It’s so much better than anything that I could have possibly imagined.

I funded it for the first three years all by myself. And for the first three years, our assets didn’t grow that much. And I thought, “Oh my goodness, what have I done?” Every two weeks there was an exit of a significant amount of my wealth into the company. And I would kneel down and say, “Okay, God, You’re in control. Even if this company fails, I know I’ve done the right thing. This is a walk of faith for me. Your will be done.”
In the words of internet critic ResidentPurple0: “I respect the woman but I won't lie when I say that's the most batshit American sentence I've ever read.”

@Lemur

FWIW, I’m feeling a lot better now than I did a month ago, with no clearly reason as to why. Honestly, these sorts of things just kind of ebb and flow.

=====

In other news... I learned that the company that makes Sleepytime tea was founded by some guys that are really into a eugenecist cult. So, uh, I’m not sure what to believe in anymore.

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C40
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by C40 »

Thank you for the info, I think that is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for. I put orders in my Roth to buy a little bit of GBTC and ETHE, and I will look into the links you shared.

---

IMO, about the crazy ARK lady, that is not a specifically American sentiment, it is just a Religious sentiment. I've heard funny stories about how Muslim truck drivers in the middle east start their day - with prayers that they don't crash. Then, they feel that their fate is in God's hand - that they are protected. So, they drive as fast as their truck can possible go. If they do crash, it was God's will. When I went to Mexico, I witnessed the same thing, except Catholic guys. And saw as many semi-truck crashes in 2 months as I had in two decades in the U.S. I think Baptists do that kind of "God is in control" thing as well.

---

If you want another story about a strange guy inventing something, look up the guy who invented Cornflakes (and breakfast cereals, as his was the first)

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Lemur
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by Lemur »

ARK...now it all makes sense haha.
Sounds like a case of domain-specific intelligence?

In any case...I don't do ARK funds but might be worth it to follow the money where it goes. For instance, I made a big investment into Visa last year and one factor for my decision was that Nancy Pelosi had shares/LEAPS...probably knows something I don't. Now Visa CEO is one of the ones calling for support of the upcoming stimulus. Needless to say, I expect a long-term gain here - these sorts of headwinds can't be found just looking at the financial statements.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

Yeah, I was slow to pick up the ARK connection too, but it was the Israel ETF that really should have tipped me off.

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

[rant]

bostonimproper
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Re: bostonimproper's journal

Post by bostonimproper »

Good news: just got 16% compensation increase for the year— and this is before promotion. About four-fifths of what we’re losing as my husband leaves his job, so we should be able to chug along without much of a hiccup.

Funny news: the main piece of constructive feedback my manager told me was that the engineering managers (mostly men) think the female product managers (three of four total product managers on the team) are “too emotional”, including my manager. I find it hilarious because none of us have yelled or been mean to anyone or attacked anyone’s character, etc. And in general we get along well with our teams. However, we have all voiced that some things can be improved on in XYZ ways and have had some frustration at not really being listened to, despite pointing out the same problems multiple times. Also, we all have uteruses. So there’s that.

I don’t know. On the one hand, sure, I can go out of my way to do better at protecting other peoples’ feelings. And I’ll probably do that moving forward. On the other hand, I’ve heard this about me and so many other women so many times throughout my career (most of the times disagreeing with the criticism) that I can’t help but lol.

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