Matthew Lekushoff |


I've been thinking a lot about systems, lately, particularly implementing systems versus setting up goals. My practice is one of the more systematic ones you'll find. We have a system for rebalancing portfolios, communicating with clients, booking meetings, and even for this newsletter. I learned long ago the best way to minimize errors and meet deadlines is to implement good systems and follow them religiously. Since doing so, my business took off and I miraculously don't need to work 70-hour weeks anymore!

I recently listened to a great interview with Naval Ravikant and just finished Scott Adam's (the creator of Dilbert) recent book the other day. Both follow a common line of thinking: Instead of having a goal to, say lose 10 pounds, implement a system where you work out several times a week at specific times and minimize less nutritious foods. With a goal, there is a finish line. Once achieved, if you don't replace it with another goal, you'll likely return to old habits. It's also hard to feel good before a goal has been achieved. 

On the other hand, a system becomes part of your lifestyle. Every time you follow the system, you feel good about yourself, which will make you want to create and implement more systems in the future. 

What's interesting, or perplexing, is that I failed to realize the most successful people I know have been implementing systems in the areas of their lives in which they thrive. Those who are wealthy track their budget and net worth on at least a monthly, but usually weekly, basis. Those in the best shape have their workouts planned or accounted for weeks out.

If you find this worth pondering yourself, I'd recommend this video by social psychologist Adam Atler, or the sources listed above as a way to start. I've clearly only scratched the surface of this line of thinking, but thought it was worth sharing what I've discovered so far.


After a brief climb at the end of April and beginning of May, most of the international markets have since softened-----  some more than others.
The Canadian equity index is now in negative territory being down almost 1% as of yesterday's close . Much of this drop is due to the energy sector that has continued to fall given the glut of oil supply globally. Emerging markets-----  the leader of the pack about six weeks ago-----has also seen some considerable weakness, but continues to hold onto solid growth on the year. 
It's too early to know if the markets are just letting off a little steam, or if there is a bigger trend at large. That being said, it's during years like this wherein I'm quite happy we have remained diversified-----  not only globally, but also by asset class. Our portfolios are outperforming our home market's returns considerably.


The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life  by Paul Seabright: An interesting, albeit longer than needed, take on how trust is what enabled homo sapiens to become the dominant species on the planet. The book nicely illustrates how important trust is for our everyday lives, and how varying degrees of trust in different societies have had an impact on their ultimate outcomes.
The Tao of Pooh  by Benjamin Hoff: A short and cute book on how Winnie the Pooh (what other Pooh is there?) is the embodiment of the Tao Te Ching.
The Tim Ferriss Podcast with Jezy Gregorek :  You've likely never heard of Jerzy Gregorek, but if you'd like to get back into shape and think you're getting too old to do so, you'll want to listen to this podcast. As political refugees from Poland, he and his wife Aniela emigrated from Poland in the 80's and have since won four world weightlifting championships.  Together they train all comers regardless of their shape and age. At 62 he is still in as great shape as ever and  able to do things  I'm fairly certain would ruin me, and I'm almost 20 years younger and 80 pounds heavier!
The Man Who Rescued Lego  by Meet the Boss TV: A really good interview with Jogen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of Lego. One of the best and most common-sense interviews I've seen in a long time on leadership and how to run a company.
The Work Required to Have an Opinion  by Farnam Street: We all know people who have opinions based on little more than their feelings or  availability bias . This Farnam Street article wisely recommends we follow Charlie Munger's rule to never allow himself to have an opinion on anything in which he doesn't know the other side's argument better than they do. It's a high standard, but imagine the level of conversations we could have if everyone tried to do this.
The Demographic Timebomb: A Rapidly Aging Population  by Visual Capitalist: Most of us know the developed world is aging. This infographic will give you a clearer idea of how and where this is happening.

It may have seemed like it'd never get here, but summer has officially arrived ----yesterday, to be exact. The summer solstice on June 21 is the longest day of the year when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. Want to know more? Here are 7 fun facts about June 21. 

Wishing you all a happy, carefree summer!

Matthew Lekushoff

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