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👋Hello friends, 

Welcome to The Strive Journal, a roundup of 1 - 5 cool things I found and learned this week.

This week, I wrote an article on a mental model named Dual Thinking. It's a process of strengthening your own perspective by seeking the strengths in opposing ones. More on it in #1 below. 

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Let's begin.

1) Dual thinking

⚖️ "The ability to destroy your ideas rapidly instead of slowly when the occasion is right is one of the most valuable things. You have to work hard on it. Ask yourself what are the arguments on the other side. It’s bad to have an opinion you’re proud of if you can’t state the arguments for the other side better than your opponents. This is a great mental discipline."
— Charlie Munger

 
What if you couldn't hold a public opinion without the ability to explain the opposing sides of it thoroughly? There'd be fewer opinions and much more respect for each other's viewpoints

This week's article is all about Dual Thinking—A mental model that challenges you to look deeply at both sides of opinions and ideas before concluding that one is superior. It's a short article intended to explain how to use it and how it will improve your thinking. 

2) Inflation disguised as growth

👺 Here are some relevant statistics... 
  • 35% of all US dollars in existence have been printed in the last 10 months. (Canada is on a similar trajectory).
  • The stock market has hit an all-time high repeatedly this year (astoundingly over 50 times—for all the wrong reasons). This seems fantastic but if you adjust for the money supply expansion, it has not hit an all-time high since 2000.
  • Prices of real estate continue to rise at an alarming rate. (Around 40% in Canada and nearly 20% in the US). 
What gives? 

It may seem like we're in a period of high growth but in reality, governments are just printing a dangerous amount of money. This is not raising the value of the stock market or housing, it's only devaluing the currency you're holding. 

The sad truth

The money you hold is devaluing at an estimated 15% (11% for Canadians) per year. If any of the investments you hold are not receiving 15% annual returns or more, you are losing wealth. This seems like a ridiculous notion with the rates banks and mutual funds offer today but it's reality. 

In my view, these circumstances call for an asset with returns much higher than 15% where you can save and build wealth as opposed to losing it year over year. That asset is bitcoin. I don't gain anything from preaching this, I only do it because I'm studying the economic landscape and it scares me, so I will do whatever I can to spread the information. 

Just remember, as you see the price of bitcoin and real estate surge in the coming months (and years)... 
 
It's not only that the value of bitcoin is increasing, it's also that your dollars' value is decreasing compared to bitcoin. 

3) Shrinkflation

Toblerone changed the shape of their bar to reduce chocolate in 2019. (Reddit)
🐜 Money expansion (I.e. inflation) comes in a variety of different forms. Generally, it's presented as a decrease in your dollars' purchasing power but this is not always reflected by increased prices of goods and services.

Instead, it can often be reflected as Shrinkflation—a decrease in the quality or quantity of the goods you purchase. Like General Mills shrinking its "family size" boxes by 10% from 19.3 ounces to 18.1 ounces, the shrinking size of the average family home, or how Cadbury chocolate bars changed the shape of the rounded tops on their bars to reduce the chocolate by 10% back in 2013.

Here are a couple more examples:
🔍 Shrinkflation is difficult to detect for 2 reasons: 
  1. It's a small, gradual change.
  2. Brands work hard to disguise it by making only the tiniest adjustments to quantity while maintaining the same package size to fool you. 

Don't hate the brands though, corporations are intended to make a profit but that profit gets chipped away by high rates of inflation, and increasing the retail price too much will drive customers away so they have to get creative. 
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