PSA: No more newsletter on the blog

A little public service announcement to start the day. This goes primarily out to my RSS-readers, of which, I believe, there are a few.

I took the decision not to publish the newsletter on the blog anymore. It didn't work out, I didn't like the way it was presented, and I feel it doesn't fit the blog's theme.

I explain more in today's email (it goes out in one hour). You can always sign up for free with this link. But to give you a tl;dr, I wrote:

To me, my blog posts are a bit more on the serious side, while the newsletter is a bit sillier, a bit more personal, a bit less sculpted. If the blog is the equivalent of a carefully crafted and rehearsed stand-up show, the newsletter is the small, private club where I try things out.
Publishing the newsletter on kvn.li blurred the line for me a bit too much and just made it feel... redundant? Same same but not very different? So it has to go. Bye-bye newsletter on the blog.

And to be fully transparent, I am also wondering if I want to take my newsletter paid. To quote me again:

I am currently considering to maybe take the Letters of Clio one day paid. Lock it behind a subscription. My goal is not to get rich, but at least cover my expenses.

And:

But before you panic and hit the unsubscribe button: Whoever signed up before the eventual switch to a paid subscription will continue getting these emails for free, forever.

So, if you like my writing, want more of it, and especially for free, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.

Thanks for listening.

Twelve (mostly) Truths on Money

As mentioned in my Tsundoku for December, I went deep into a financial rabbit hole. When I came back out, I hadn't found any rabbits, but I came packing a few money truths. I share them below. They are in no particular order.


But before, a note on why I even read (past tense, I hate that word) these books:

I know the theory, especially the big stuff. The stuff your grandparents keep spitting at you. The stuff like "live below your means", "save x per cent of your income and invest it", "don't buy things you don't need".

Nothing new here. But... I'm human, and I'm anything but rationale (no one is, see below). I resemble my dog more than I want to admit: Whenever I see a shiny new thing, my brain goes into squirrel mode and shouts, "Oh, want! Must have! Now! My survival depends on this! Where's my credit card?".

I guess this is what it means to be human? So, these rules are not there to show you how well I can read. Or how intelligent I am – quite the opposite, actually. I am stupid, and I need to remind myself not to be a financial idiot by looking at them regularly.

And now, back to your regular programming. The actual rules:


  • Money doesn't buy happiness, but it surely helps to have enough (what can be considered "enough" is strictly personal).
  • People often mistake what they want. They think they want to buy possessions when they want to buy freedom.
  • Money is a tool, and it's neither good nor bad. Wanting to have more money is also neither good nor bad.
  • The pie is growing/infinite. Someone else doesn't have to lose for you to win.
  • Time is the single most powerful force in investing.
  • Humans can't be rational (no, you aren't either). We should at least be reasonable.
  • It doesn't matter how wealthy you are. Everyone should always live below their means. (This is the truth numero uno.)
  • Investing (into bonds/ETFs, etc.) is a sure way to grow money, but a slow one.
  • There is such a thing as getting rich quickly (quickly still taking a few years), but there is no such thing as getting rich easily.
  • Most debt is bad, but not all debt is bad. Credit card debt is bad. Financing a car, you could buy cash because you want to deduct it from your taxes could be considered "good" debt.
  • Becoming rich is a process, not an event. (And you have to go through the process. This is why lottery winners lose their money as fast as they win it.)
  • Everyone has different needs. Write yours down, and don't play someone else's game. (Don't mistake their game for yours.)

These are nowhere close to all the things I learned during my reading. But it's what remained with me the most. They might not all make sense taken out of context, as here in this blog post.

Why I plan to look at some of these truths in more detail in the future.

Sources (Click this)

In case you care, here are the books I got these truths from:
The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
Die With Zero by Bill Perkins
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
Happy Money by Ken Honda

The Letters of Clio #7 — Welcome to 2022, time to take a stance

Hello, good morning, happy New Year. I am clio, and this is a Letter of Clio, a weekly newsletter about... stuff!


The holiday breaks were refreshing. Both to my mind and my body. That's what soaking in a jacuzzi 24/7 does to you, it seems. (If I have awakened something in you, I'm sorry and... you are welcome? But no, I don't have an OnlyFans. I'll ping you if (when?) I'll create one.)

As promised in last week's letter, I have not touched my phone during my stay abroad (except twice to wish my family Merry Christmas — I am not a monster—and a friend happy birthday).

It has been surprisingly easy to go offline, which I believe came with the place. We were at a wellness hotel, staying at one of a couple of swimming pools for most of the day. That's not a place to bring a smartphone, though I had the Kindle on me all the time. And oh, did I read — five books in four days. I inhaled books. Finished one, breathed in, started the next. My mind was on reading overdrive. And despite how tedious it might sound, it calmed me down. This might be that famous "active rest" everyone talks about. Here is what I read, by the way.


I also had a lot of time to think. When you feed your mind good stuff, it tends to spit out good stuff. I experienced a few epiphanies, some personally, some on a professional level. For example, I have figured out where I want to take this blog. Finally. It only took me a few years:

I much rather want this blog to be some public notepad, where I share what I have learned by reading, observing the world, talking to people, and thinking in silence.

And:

I try to live a more or less good life while I can, and everything I learn follows that goal. This is why I care about philosophy, technology, science, human psychology, neuroscience, behavioural science, etc.

Finally:

So, to summarize in a sentence what my blog will be about:
„Essays on being human with a pinch of philosophy and a dab of science.“

Don't worry, I can't take myself seriously, so I hope my writing never becomes too — for the lack of a better term — stick up its ass.

And now to the link section:

Tsundoku | My Reading List For December 2021

Look at my new, fancy bookshelf

I didn't think I'd get around reading that much last month — mainly due to the move. But I ended up inhaling five books in four days during my off-time. It shows you what not using a phone for a few days can achieve.

The focus of December has been money. I have been thinking about some financial changes I want to introduce to my life, so I figured it would be a good idea to refreshen my knowledge of the financial world and learn a thing or two. I read four books on money, all very different (and yet very similar).

In the future, I might do this more often. Have a particular month turn around a single topic and read non-fiction books based on this. But I will still read fiction books. It's my way to wind down in the evening.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

This book is... challenging. It's anything but a happy, feel-good story. And yet it keeps you hooked. The gist is: Due to a dream, a woman turns vegetarian, impacting her family and everyone around her. However, it's not about vegetarianism, and frankly, it doesn't even go into the topic at all. Trigger-warning: It talks of abuse.

The Vegetarian

Han Kang

Bookshop

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

I read every book on Greek mythology I can find. Thus, I have heard of most of the bigger storylines already. This was still somehow new, though. A Thousand Ships is a retelling of the Trojan War from the women's point of view. What happens to them after the war ends? What do the widows feel? What happens to the losing side? This book tries to answer that question.

A Thousand Ships

Natalie Haynes

Bookshop

Happy Money by Ken Honda

Happy Money was the first book in my money deep dive. It shares its same name with another famous money book, but it is by Japanese author Ken Honda. In it, he focuses on our relationship with money and tries to help the reader heal from untreated wounds. From time to time, the book is a little weird. Honda tells us to thank our money for every transaction and keep having a positive attitude. These parts were a bit too esoteric for my liking.

Happy Money

Ken Honda

Bookshop

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

The Millionaire Fastlane focuses on getting rich quickly (quickly, not easily!). The author believes there is no way to get rich by investing only while still young enough to take advantage of your wealth. Instead, DeMarco wants to teach you how to get rich while young and what it takes to get there (a company). And yes, I know how this sounds. But believe me, this is not a money-grabbing scheme by the author. Frankly, it's not really about money but rather a guide on entrepreneurship. What makes a company successful, how do you deliver value to your clients, what different types of company structures are better suited for wealth, etc.? I can recommend this to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

The Millionaire Fastlane

MJ DeMarco

Bookshop

Die With Zero by Bill Perkins

This book resonated the most with me. In Die With Zero, Bill Perkins teaches you to use money to maximise life quality. According to the author, different life periods are better suited for specific experiences than others. So, instead of saving when young, you should use some of it to go skiing, for example. Because at a particular time, you'll be too old to have this experience despite now having money to burn. The book also tries to uncover the exact moment you should stop saving and start using your money. The goal? Die with a zero on your bank account.

Die With Zero

Bill Perkins

Bookshop

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

This might have been the book I should have started my deep dive with. When I ended up reading this one, I've already known most of what this book talks about. Still, I believe it was a great way to summarise what I've learned. If you want to follow in my footsteps and reread the mentioned books, I suggest starting with this one.

The Psychology of Money

Morgan Housel

Bookshop

A (not so) new path for 2022

I don’t believe in voices from above. I also don’t think the universe ever wants to tell you anything.

Heck, I don’t think the universe gives a shit about you or me.

However, I believe sometimes all it takes is to shut up and listen to solve a problem. Not to the universe but your subconsciousness.

If you feed it the right things, it’ll start working, churning, spinning and present you with a solution when you expect it the least. Why we probably get most epiphanies while showering, doing the dishes or driving on boring routes without any music. (There is probably some science to prove this, but I don’t have a study at hand.)


During my extended weekend over the Christmas holidays, I decided to go offline and spend my time reading (I read five books in four days) and sitting silently in a whirlpool or sauna. This is when my epiphany hit me, and I figured out what I wanted to do with the blog.

Frankly, what I‘ve realized wasn‘t surprising to me, but I wasn‘t listening.


I don‘t want this blog to be some public diary telling you about the food I ate yesterday or how great my life is because I drive a fancy car and live in a fancy place.

I much rather want this blog to be some public notepad, where I share what I have learned by reading, observing the world, talking to people, and thinking in silence.

Early on in life, I decided my life goal were twofold:

  1. I never want to stop learning.
  2. I don‘t want to learn to amass knowledge and be the best player of Trivial Pursuit but learn how to live a good life.

By writing down what I learn, I can do two things: I will better remember what I have learned by formulating it in my own words. And by sharing it with you, the reader, I hope to teach you a thing or two. And because I want these lessons to be valuable, I have to make sure what I write makes sense. Thus I will learn even more by teaching. Win-win!


I try to live a more or less good life while I can, and everything I learn follows that goal. This is why I care about philosophy, technology, science, human psychology, neuroscience, behavioural science, etc.

These things fascinate me. And in the future, I‘d like to take you on my journey and hopefully share some of my fascinations.

So, to summarize in a sentence what my blog will be about (I‘m proud of this phrase. It came to me while driving for two hours):

„Essays on being human with a pinch of philosophy and a dab of science.“