2020: An Exaggerator

2020: An Exaggerator

Dec 30, 2020

I oftentimes write and talk about money as an enabler and exaggerator.

You know what else is? Crisis. Yes, and since you’d probably agree with me that “quotang-quota tayo” in terms of crises this year, we can safely say that 2020 was an exaggerator, an amplifier. And most of us were caught off guard.

To those who were already adults in 1999, you may recall how we were all so concerned about the turn of the century. We called this in various names – Y2K Bug, Millennium Bug, Y2K Glitch, and Year 2000 Problem. There was a big concern related to the formatting and storage of calendar data for dates beginning in the year 2000. Problems were anticipated because the computer programs represented the years with only the final two digits making the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. We anticipated errors at the strike of January 1, 2000. Fortunately, no major fiasco occurred.

Now, let’s try to recall how we were at the end of 2019. Even if the first reported human case of COVID-19 happened in December 2019 in Wuhan City, China, we didn’t have a clue of the havoc this virus would bring worldwide.

Our year started with the Taal Volcano eruption that gave us a dress rehearsal on mask-wearing. By March, it has become a must-wear for all.

I went back to my 2020 family goal setting notes to check how we anticipated the year. It was heartwarming to read all the notes. We started with “A Decade in Review” where each family member gave a quick recap of what happened during the last ten years, followed by a general plan for the decade ahead, then the more specific plans for the year 2020. Of course, all of us were totally clueless of what 2020 had in store for us.

I tried to recap the year 2020 in preparation for our annual family tradition. (If you want to borrow our Family Goal Setting template, send email to FQTeam@FQMom.com.) As I went through my calendar, I was reminded what an eventful year it has been. The crisis has exaggerated everything.

Here are some of the things that were amplified to me in 2020.

  1. My relationship with The Honey. The previous year was a milestone year for our marriage and we celebrated our Pearl Anniversary with our fifth wedding. I am very thankful that he remains to be my favorite person in the world, despite being together 24/7 since the quarantine. This is not to say that we don’t have irritations at all, we have. But I am just so happy that he’s the one I’m spending my forever with. In fact, this serial bride, on a whim, decided to have her 6th wedding just so she can experience getting married during the quarantine. And The Honey was game!
  2. My relationship with our sons. Yes, we all love our long conversations during meals, but it’s a realization that they’re all grown up now with their own lives.
  3. Online is the way to go. The migration to online of our various activities has been accelerated – commercial transactions, banking, saving, investing, work from anywhere (more on this in future article), even partying and other social activities.
  4. Relationships need to be nurtured.
  5. I don’t need that many shoes and bags. I have not used them for the longest time.
  6. Proper Asset Allocation is the most important aspect of investing. We experienced the sharp plummet of the index going down to as low as 4,000 levels in March but I was not worried because my asset allocation allowed me to be chill about the sudden decline in value of one asset class. It even prompted me to release my ebook entitled The Emotional Cycle of Investing (a mini ebook to calm my nerves). It was impeccably timed at the 2020 bottom of the market and I hope those who took the lessons to practice are now happy with their year-to-date returns.
  7. Nonstop learning is important. They say that the luxury of the ultra-rich is education, and I’m happy to note that you don’t need to be one to get the benefit of nonstop education. There are good books and courses that are available online to those who are curious and who care about constantly improving themselves. (Click link to read more about Inconspicuous Consumption.)
  8. Sharing what you know is an obligation. The bonus is that the more you teach the more you learn.
  9. Experience is an effective teacher. Those who didn’t really take the three basic laws of money seriously have definitely learned the lesson this year.
  1. Pay yourself first. Those who failed to save and set aside an emergency fund will definitely remember how it is to be without any safety net.
  2. Get only into a business that you understand and seek advice only from competent people. When the going gets tough, the first to give up and to be let go are those who are usually those not using their core competencies. The ones using their gifts are the ones who are able to pivot and adjust accordingly and continue to serve their clients. Moreover, we also witnessed a spike in scams. The lesson of choosing well who you listen to and invest with is amplified during the crisis.
  3. Make your gold work for you. Make an army of golden slaves before you buy luxury. Those who did not delay gratification are regretting their premature consumption of luxury.

Painful as it is to suffer the consequences of not abiding by the basic laws, this feeling stays in your limbic system (the emotional part of the brain), and will put you in a better position to apply the laws that used to just hit your prefrontal cortex (your rational brain).

10. Love is the most powerful force in the universe.

How about you, what are the things that were magnified during this extraordinary year? Instead of being in a hurry to get rid of and cancel 2020, take a closer look at what you saw in yourself. Because whatever that is, that has always been you, just a little exaggerated. (Tweet this) 



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