25 Goals for the Next Few Years

I saw that Warren Buffet advocates a top 5 goal exercise: write down 25 goals for the next few years, then whittle them down to 5 and ignore everything else. Everything outside the top 5 will just be a distraction.

1) make MD – good arb returns

2) get a girlfriend

3) develop deep friendships in SF

4) go to business school to meet people

5) write a book

6) develop a side expertise for a second career – water resources

7) learn to dance

8) learn to play basketball well

9) learn to invest beyond arb – smid cap or real estate

10) learn statistics/comp sci – possible masters

11) learn to surf and snowboard

12) finalize my wardrobe

13) develop strong management and social skills

14) spend less time on Facebook

15) spend more time clear headed

16) develop a startup like instavest or nootro

17) get in good physical shape

18) do a lot of reading

19) invest in real estate

20) start my own fund – PE and HF

21) retire?

22) be a socialite in SF

23) contribute to SF thru volunteering or some kind of give back

24) travel the world

25) create some kind of workshop

Edit: when I formulated this list, it wasn’t written so as to favor one goal over another, but literally just to list out in dry, formal terms what might be possible.

Now that I’ve narrowed down the 25 goals to my top 5, they need to be written a little differently. First, I need to answer the question of how to achieve each goal and second, because I need to tease out the why – is the goal an end unto itself? Or is it a symbol for something deeper that I want to do?

For example, I think one of my goals will be to make MD at Farallon. First, I have to ask how – what does one need to do in order to make MD? Clearly, returns are a component of that… And then I need to ask, how do I generate returns?

And also I need to ask why – do I want to make MD simply to make MD? Or is my choosing that goal emblematic of something deeper? I shouldn’t write my goals in terms of “what do I get?” but rather “what do I give/build?”

So let’s rewrite that as – I want to build a generalist event-driven team that works across asset classes (including arb, credit and other event equities) similar to Mason Cap. That’s 1) an inspirational goal (because it’s tough), 2) gives a reasonable answer as to how I’ll generate returns and 3) is the real vision I have behind simply achieving something for myself.

So here are the goals –

  1. Build a lean, generalist cross-asset class event driven team a la Mason with good returns and world class arbitrage thinking a la Superforecasting… making MD in the process
  2. Try a serious adult relationship, or more specifically, making the commitment to trying to understand someone and meet their needs on their terms
  3. Developing a deep credible expertise outside investment on the bleeding edge/in a moonshot field by reading, learning technical skills (coding/engineering) and reaching out to experts
    1. I originally put “develop an expertise in real estate for personal investments” but honestly I know a good amount about real estate already and I’d rather devote time to something beneficial to society.
  4. Stay healthy – work out frequently but not too vigorously, devote significant time to recovery rather than training and meditating/sleeping enough for mental health
  5. Travel widely – okay this one’s purely ‘what do I get?’ but I get at least one self indulgence
    1. Adventure skills – scuba, surfing, spearfishing, snowboarding
    2. Better photography

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