31 Things I Have Learned In My Life (So Far).

My Grandfather lived a healthy and full life up until he died at the age of eighty-eight.  One night he went out to his favorite Chinese restaurant and had a great meal with my Grandmother and a group of friends.  The next morning he sat up in bed, said “Oh”, and died of an abdominal aneurism.  I think eighty-eight is a reasonable age to live to, and since I am turning forty-four tomorrow, I suppose I am right at “mid-life”.

In honor of that I have come up with a list of thirty-one things I have learned in life so far:

    • You don’t have to agree with someone’s politics to appreciate and respect their craft:  See Larry David, Rage Against The Machine, and Anthony Bourdain.
    • Shorting makes a profit faster, but is much, much harder to do.
    • Even the most stress filled day can be made better by sitting on the beach and watching the sun set.

      I tell my kids to listen for the “tsssssss!” when it hits the water.
    • My father told me “count your true friends on one hand”.  I believe that, but I have learned that having a wide group of good acquaintances will broaden your life.
    • Having children is the best thing that ever happened to me.  Each time I look at them it feels like Christmas, my birthday, and winning the lottery all rolled into one.  And that happens again and again throughout each and every day.
    • Serving black tar heroin as an appetizer at a dinner party is actually considered a faux pas.
    • California punk rock was as good if not better than its New York and UK counterparts.  See Fear, Circle Jerks, X, Black Flag, The Weirdos,  The Dickies, and the Dead Kennedys.
    • The combination of good Scotch, fine cigars, and plush leather chairs is the best recipe for great conversation among a group of friends.  It is a ritual from a forgotten era that is sorely needed in these times of information overload.
    • Freddy “ReRun” Berry could really dance.
    • The word “negative” is the most beautiful in the English language when it relates to the results of a CAT scan.
    • Extremism on either side of the political spectrum is toxic.  I.E. Keith Olbermann and Rush Limbaugh are BOTH idiots.
    • A marriage is a journey, not a destination.  The moment you stop working at it, it begins to die.
    • Just because you had a dream where you were lying in a pit of naked men covered in honey, it doesn’t mean you are gay.
    • Real estate agents are snake oil salesmen (at best).
    • I spent way too much time drinking in bars in my twenties, but probably would be not be any better at speaking Spanish or playing the drums now if I hadn’t.

This is as good as I get!

  • Doctors are really bad poker players.
  • Trading stocks profitably over the long term may be one of the most difficult things anyone can do.
  • I read both volumes of Sir Ian Kershaw’s definitive 2100+ page biography on Adolf Hitler, and what I learned is that he was a pretty bad guy.

    Hitler BAD! Reading GOOD!
  • The Sex Pistols and The Clash are good, but The Damned are the best punk band you never heard of.
  • Vietnamese food is some of the most delicious on Earth.  If you haven’t had a bowl of pho, you don’t know what you are missing.
  • In fact, more people have been killed in the name of secularism than in the name of religion.  See Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al.
  • Redheads are either REALLY hot or REALLY ugly.

    Ginger and Carrot Top. Nuff said!
  • Lenny Bruce, Van Halen, and Seinfeld are overrated.  Bill Hicks, Stone Temple Pilots, and Arrested Development are underrated.
  • If the girl you are in love with at work says she has to stay late to take inventory with the tanned stock boy who surfs…..the surfer dude is banging her.
  • Having a good sense of humor is one of the healthiest things you can have in life.  And Schadenfreude is one of the most toxic.
  • Even though I have seen each a hundred times, if I accidentally come across Goodfellas, Heat, Casino, Scarface, Apocalypse Now, Carlito’s Way, or either of the first two Godfather’s while flipping channels, I am done for the next 2-3 hours.
  • Che Guevara is not a romantic hero.  He’s a fucking murderer.
  • When you are a young man, no matter what they say, thinking about “baseball” does not help.
  • The best two days of a business partnership are the first and the last.
  • Don’t trust someone who doesn’t like music.
  • The only thing in my life that I can truly say I am good at, is being a father, and I am proud of that.


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  • Mark

    This list is bullshit. Secularism is freedom of and from religion, none of the people you mentioned did these things in the name of atheism. Get your facts straight you bigot.

  • Thomas

    Funny & thought provoking… Overall, solid as usual. Fingerbanging women over 70? Did I miss something?

  • great stuff, thanks for sharing & happy belated 44…still pondering my “Trader Looks at 40” post

    • Let me know when you do it, I would love to read it.

      Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for reading.

  • Agreed with lots of these items. The one about scotch and friends, the one about political extremism.

    Disagree about it being awesome fingerbanging women over the age of 70, but you’re a bit older than me… I’ll give it to you for now.

    Happy Birthday.


    • Yes, I should have said “going ATM”. My bad!

  • The only thing I don’t like about this blog is the infrequency of your writing. Great stuff, as always.

    Nice work on Red Barchetta…playing along with Neal Peart is no joke.

    Pho is awesome.

    The hottest redheads are also the craziest.

    Happy Birthday!

    • Thanks J Bob, appreciate it.