Monthly Digest #35


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Here we are, almost at the end of 2023. 

 I hope you will briefly reflect on what you have accomplished – small and big 

achievements alike – despite the curving balls that life threw this year.  

Looking ahead, as an early New Year’s resolution, I promised myself to “invest” in more active time outdoors 

It is hard to tell if it was positive compensation for my hard work or if I was spoiling myself, but I went through a lot of shopping these days to gear up for my outdoor lifestyle resolution! 

I am making a point about it with you because I am usually cautious (frugal?) spending, to maximize my savings and investment rate. However, quality purchases are investments, right?

Jokes aside, a good lifestyle is the backbone of health and wealth. In fact, 

“a healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person only one.” Right?

 And that’s what I told myself by getting a new bicycle and related winter accessories because… “there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes.” (Alfred Wainwright) 

 I had to remind myself how a percentage of my revenues and investments (once I secure the necessities of my family and retirement) are there to free my time, provide more opportunities, and “upgrade” my intentional lifestyle. 

 So, I feel good about “repurposing” some money into quality products and services that will boost my health and well-being (my non-financial assets).

 So, what about you? If your finances are in a good place, this coming month can provide an excellent opportunity to cherish this year’s hard work and gear up for new projects in 2024! Just make sure to buy quality products and services that don’t break the bank and have a positive spillover on your health and well-being.  



An eye view of Stock Market Indicators, as of November 28, 2023:

[This month | previous month | previous two months | % changes over five years].  

  • VIX (volatility index) – the fear gauge: 12.65 | 19.64 | 17.28 | -29.99% (Fear perception is decreasing).
  • S&P 500: 4,554| 4,168 | 4,288 | + 65% (High).
  • S&P 500 P/E Ratio25.1723.8324.48. (Historically, the median value is 17.86, with a typical range between 19.33 and 27.91). 
  • BND – Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund: USD 71.29| 68.68 | 69.78|  -8.77% (The bond market suffered from high-interest rates).
  • VNQ – Vanguard REITS – Real Estate: USD 80.58| 71.86 | 75.66 |  -1.71% Negative trend (real estate suffers from high-interest rates). 
  • GLD – SPDR Gold Shares: USD 189.26 |186 | 171.45 | +56% (Growing trends).

 November’s investment market was a rollercoaster: a lot of concern, spiced up by stock recovery. Listening to economic news and international headlines (Ukraine, Darfur, Palestine/Israel), we could hardly find any reassurance. While I remain invested with my all-weather portfolio, I cautiously invested extra money in a no-brainer high-yield saving account (4% per year). It will stay there for a while. 


  • You are wealthy when the money that you deny tastes better than the money you accept. Nassim N. Taleb
  • The world is split evenly between people who don’t know when to start to make the money, and those who don’t know when to stop make the money. Nassim N. Taleb
  • If your expectations run higher than your income, you will never be happy. Morgan Housel


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Until Next Month…Keep it Real and Sweat Your Assets.


Alessandro BARONI

Financial Wisdom + Discipline = Financial Freedom


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