Never Give Up Optionality If You Don't Want To Be Poor
A true story
I’m going to tell you the biggest lessons I’m going to learn this year, and maybe for the next five years.
This happened to me last weekend.
You may unsubscribe after reading it, but it is a very powerful idea that will surely help you for a long time.
One of my biggest hobbies, not only mine but also my girlfriend’s, is skiing.
We go between 4–10 days per season, depending on how much snow and how much vacation we can take from our job.
It is a sport that we are both very good at. I say this out of humility and so that you understand the background of the story that I’m going to tell you.
This past Saturday was our first day of the ski season. We took advantage of the fact that this week is my girlfriend’s birthday to take the skis and go to the mountain.
The announced conditions were not the best: very cold, foggy, etc. This made many people decide not to ski for the weekend.
However, once we were there, we saw that the weather situation was not really like that. It was cold, but there was no wind, no fog. In addition, there were very few people, so the conditions were idyllic.
We started the day by hitting several red and black trails. We even ventured off-piste.
Just before lunch at about 1:30 pm we decided to make one last descent to get to the restaurant. It was a very easy run that in our lifetime we must have done between 1,000 and 2,000 times.
I was going ahead, not looking back. At the moment of finishing the track, I see that my faithful companion had not followed me. I wait 5 minutes and when I see that she still hasn’t come, I decide to call her.
At the moment of calling her an unknown voice picks up the phone and tells me:
“Hi this is xxx (I assure you I don’t remember the name, I just thought something was wrong when I didn’t hear a familiar voice)!
Your girlfriend can’t pick up the phone. She has fallen and says that her leg hurts a lot and she can’t move”.
I thought it was impossible, we had done that track an infinite number of times and it was very simple. I replied:
“Give me a minute I’ll come up and go where you are”.
When I arrived there was a person riding her on a stretcher. It broke my heart to see her like that.
She had crashed into a man who weighed twice as much as she did. It was the man’s fault, but she had taken the blow and the pain. It was the day when the least people were skiing.
With the first x-ray, we saw that she had broken her tibia, fibula, and tibial plateau. We had to take her to the emergency room where she was drained and sedated, and later I had to take her more than 500km by car to be operated in a specialized clinic.
Fortunately, I write these lines knowing that she is now well. But the damage to her knee has been quite a lot.
The main lesson I have learned is that in these moments you realize what is really important and the second lesson I learned is that I made a mistake. An optionality mistake that made me lose a lot of money.
I took the ski passes without medical insurance. This made the whole medical service cost me x500 what it would have cost me if I had paid for it in the first place (and we both have private insurance that covered the operation).
What is clear is that you can’t leave your life to chance. You can ski very well or have all the favorable conditions, but you never know when a black swan might arrive.
Many people try (we try) to save on things that really don’t make sense. Having insurance for all kinds of situations can help you x1,000 times when you need it most. Do you know why most insurance companies disappear? Because of black swans.
You can save $10/month ($5/month if you pay annually) on this newsletter and I think it’s totally legitimate, but the day a black swan arrives you can lose a lot of money when it seems that the market is in optimal conditions.
Having control over our money, our health, and our relationships, makes our optionality increase, and it does so in a very considerable way. Having freedom over what to do, and when, is entirely up to you. Many people choose to discard that optionality for $10/month and, in my opinion, this is a mistake. This type of optionality is precisely what we teach in another subscription in which I am collaborating and that may help you not only in investment, but also in other very necessary areas of life, you can subscribe here, or do it for free to the newsletter here.
Here is a picture of the day before the accident. Idyllic conditions.
I dedicate this publication to my girlfriend, just on her birthday.
I wish you a speedy recovery, honey.