Living Through Winter
Practical musings for impractical speculators
A big woof to all the new readers of The Monty Report! You can join our growing posse of curious, kind, and degenerate human readers by subscribing here:
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Today’s Report is brought to you by Cozomo de’ Medici.
Just kidding - he didn’t actually sponsor (or even condone) this post. But for my first Report, I want to dedicate this prime real estate to El Signore so that I could send him a big ol’ heap of virtual gratitude for inspiring me to begin tweeting, and for essentially CC0ing his hound.
Without Cozomo, Monty would not be here, and The Monty Report would not exist.
So to you ser: Grazie mille!
(If your project or company would like to officially sponsor a future issue of The Monty Report, please either reply to this email or DM me on Twitter.)
Monty de’ Medici here.
Welcome to the first issue of The Monty Report. Thank you so much for being one of my earliest subscribers. I am delighted and humbled.
I spend much of my time sniffing around the worlds of crypto, web3, NFTs, and investing, trying to make sense of it all.
The Monty Report is a platform where I will think out loud, share my learnings and observations, and highlight interesting projects, artists, and builders.
Here are some formats I will experiment with:
Longer form thought pieces
Interviews with artists who sell their work as NFTs
Deep dives on specific projects, artists, collections, or tokens
Shorter form link and tweet roundups
Fun tidbits and morsels I think are worth sharing
My intention with all of my writing is to educate, entertain, and inspire. I want to propose frameworks and ideas that make you think. I want to start interesting conversations. I want to offer you unique insights and learnings. I want to make you smile. I want to give you something to look forward to every week.
A final note before we dive in: I am not going to give you financial advice. I am saying that honestly, not just as a disclaimer. I am just one humble hound. My situation is very different than yours. I am not here to tell you how to spend or invest your money. (Unless, of course, you want to spend your money on salmon bites for me, which I can confidently say is a fantastic decision).
People always say “DYOR,” and it’s easy to tune it out. But this is actually great advice. With enough curiosity and exploration, you can generate better alpha on your own than you will get from 99% of influencers on Twitter telling you what to buy.
Now, without further ado…
1. On Squirrels
I spend a lot of time watching squirrels.
One thing I’ve noticed is that they get very busy in the fall.
Because they know winter is coming.
They run around like madmen collecting nuts and burying them in various stashes. They know that the nuts will inevitably disappear, and they want to be prepared.
I’ve also noticed that there are certain squirrels who get a little cocky. Instead of storing away nuts, they eat them all. Or they throw their nuts at crows. They get fat and happy and overconfident because they think that the nuts will keep falling forever.
Then winter comes, and they panic because they did not prepare for the inevitable.
Winter always comes. It’s not a question of if, but when. Plan accordingly.
2. On Winter
Winter always comes.
If you are prepared, winter is beautiful. Winter is a gift.
Living through winter is hard if you don’t have the right setup: Shelter, warm clothes, doggy snow boots, firewood, friends, frozen salmon fillets, etc.
But if you take care of the basics, winter is wonderful.
Go to a popular hiking destination in the winter. It is so quiet. You have it all to yourself.
I went to the Grand Canyon in the middle of one long winter. I explored the bottom of the canyon for three nights and four days. I can count the number of people I saw in the Canyon on one paw. It was incredible.
But if I hadn’t been prepared it would have been terrible. I would have been cold and I would have gotten lost.
This story reminds me of one of my favorite portfolio tests: Could I head into the wilderness with no internet for 30 days and not worry about my portfolio? If not, then my allocation is not ready for winter. It’s too risky. It requires too much babysitting and mental bandwidth. Some people might be fine with that. I’m not.
It also reminds me of another one of my portfolio tests: If high-quality assets dropped by 50%+, would I have enough free cash to capitalize on the firesale and buy more assets (assuming I was not in the wilderness)? If the answer is no, then while I may be prepared to make it through winter, I am not prepared to truly savor and enjoy winter.
Winter is a gift if you are prepared.
3. On Perspective
Did you fuck up anon?
Did you forget to set aside enough cold-hard USD to pay your taxes during one of the most exuberant bull runs in history?
Are you depressed because you’re staring at a little 3x5 screen in your hand watching your net worth plummet?
Are you nervous because you’re realizing that maybe that hyped-up protocol you put way too much money into might actually be a Ponzi scheme?
Good. Let those feelings sink in. Deeply internalize them. Feel them deeply so that you won’t forget that you never want to feel like this again. When you’re warm and cozy with a big bowl of salmon snacks by your side, it’s easy to forget how terrible it was to feel cold and hungry.
Now, two quick exercises that might help:
Zoom out and reframe. To borrow a concept from Morgan Housel, it helps to think of volatility not as a fine or a punishment, but as the admission fee you pay for long-term growth: “Thinking of volatility/drawdowns/uncertainty/ pain/terror/ulcers as fees instead of fines is an important part of developing the kind of mindset that lets you stick around long enough for compounding to work.” Nobody likes to part with $1000 to travel to Italy, but we accept that it’s a fee we must pay for a nice vacation and we make the determination that it is worth it. Investing is the same.
Remember what’s real. Your body. Your health. Your relationships. The sun. A good meal with friends. A romp in the forest. The price of ETH cannot touch those things if you don’t let it.
Why do we care about money in the first place?
Because we all want the financial freedom to live beautiful, meaningful lives. And if you can’t enjoy a nice dinner with your family without thinking about prices or glancing at your portfolio in the bathroom, you are either way overexposed or you have some serious inner work to do my fren. You might not like what I am saying, but I am just calling it as I see it.
Here’s a lesson I learned from a wise hound many years ago: Mistakes are a key ingredient of a rich life. Living in a perpetual state of “up and to the right” is boring. It is a recipe for a comfy, but ultimately hollow life.
True strength, calm, peace, and clarity are forged during tough times.
This is a golden opportunity. Don’t waste it. That’s the real fuck up.
🍣 Salmon Bites
A few quick morsels of fun before I sign off:
I have been checking out a lot of art on Tezos. One artist I am enjoying is Mr. Costard. His work is bleak and beautiful and has a way of putting things in perspective. Check out his work here.
And if you really want to go down a rabbit hole, check out this thread where I shouted out some artists sharing great work on Tezos, and then a bunch of generous people joined in and tagged many others.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Here’s my most popular Tweet from the past week, inspired by XCOPY’s decision to make his piece Right-Click and Save as Guy public domain.
Since I’ve just been sitting here writing about winter, I feel like it is appropriate to share the seasonal vibes by giving away a piece from Noduru’s recent Cold Mountain drop - “An impressionistic painting of a mountain on a foggy winter's day.”
I will give away Mountain 249 on Thursday, January 27th.
All you have to do is share The Monty Report on Twitter, tag me @montymedici, and use the hashtag #TheMontyReport by EOD Wednesday (PST).
On Thursday I will randomly select someone and send them Mountain 249 (you will need a Tezos wallet).
Did you enjoy Issue #1 of The Monty Report? Do you have any feedback? Anything you’d like me to write about?
Whatever you have to say, please head over to Twitter and let me know. Be sure to tag me - @MontyMedici - in your post so that I see it.
Until next Monday.