January 2022 Thoughts: Reflections and Pivots

Every year, for the past five years, I’ve done a roundup post that sounds like:

“X influencers share their best money tips for 20xx.”

Like this one from 2021.

Every good thing must eventually come to an end though. This year I’m doing something different.

Today’s post is a reflection on what happened on mr-stingy in 2021, tweaks I’m making, and of course — my money thoughts for 2022.

But first…

What Happened to the Roundup Posts?

After five years, things were getting repetitive.

Besides, it’s tough to get a good explanation on anything within 50 words — the word “limit” I set when asking for money tips.

I’m still on good terms with all the influencers on my list. But if we do anything together this year, I want it to be more in-depth, where they can really show their expertise. And so you can get maximum value.

mr-stingy’s Money Thoughts for 2022

  • COVID-19 will continue to mutate, hopefully becoming less and less deadly. We’ll continue to have scares, but prolonged lockdowns like 2020-2021 will become a thing of the past.
  • With more stability in people’s lives, and all that pent up frustration from the past two years (hello revenge travel), most businesses should have a much improved year. Is 2022 the year when we see economies rebound strongly? I think so.
  • A friend of mine was job hunting in the middle of 2021, and it sucked. In early 2022, he’s gotten multiple times the number of interviews with minimal effort. Of course, this is just one person’s experience, but I suspect it’s a sign of budding optimism.
  • With Bitcoin hovering around USD 35K, many are predicting a prolonged bear market in crypto. I love speculating about crypto prices as much as anyone else, but what helps me sleep at night is taking a long-term (decades) view. If you’re a crypto investor struggling with fear right now, I invite you to consider some long-term questions. In ten years’ time…
    • Will digital technologies be more widely used, or less?
    • Will societies become more decentralized (democratic), or more centralized (autocratic)?
    • With Gen X and millennials owning a growing share of the wealth pie, what are their favorite assets to invest in?
  • A reminder that many successful businesses were started during recessions. Axie Infinity made big news in 2021, but was actually launched during 2018 crypto winter. Other businesses that were started in bad times include HP, Microsoft and Airbnb.
  • Of course, protect yourself well. Take care of your health, get vaccinated properly, and remember to have emergency funds. But if you’re starting the year on an okay foundation, I suspect 2022 is the time to attack — to go aggressively after your goals.

If not now then when?

Reflections from 2021

Last year, I shared at least one article every day — usually from other writers — on Twitter and Facebook. I was pretty active on LinkedIn too, posting six days a week. Even when I missed the odd day, I recovered quickly.

Where I struggled was consistent writing. I still published 18 posts, but skipped many days — getting distracted by crypto investing, NFTs and play-to-earn gaming.

Starting mid-2021, I noticed traffic dropping on mr-stingy.com. I usually average around 30,000 views a month, but in Q3-Q4, I barely averaged 18,000. My followers on social media barely grew too.

Of course, “number of followers” has never been my primary goal.

Instead, I’ve always wanted mr-stingy to be personal art that brings value to people. I’ve also wanted it to be fun.

That being said, I think views/followers can be a useful metric to measure progress. And going by that, I haven’t been doing things right.

Changes for 2022

  • Re-commit to my morning writing routine. I’ll spend at least an hour every morning, six days a week, working on content.
  • Creating content will take priority over everything else — including social media. I’ll likely be quieter there, but when I post something, hopefully it’ll be great.
  • In today’s age of dwindling attention spans, can’t help feeling my long-winded posts are from a different era. I’ll experiment with shorter content, but still go longform when I feel it’s right.
  • At times in 2021, it felt like I was going through the motions. This year, I’ll try to rekindle my love of thinking and writing. I’ll try to have fun. As Morgan Housel says “Writing for yourself is fun, and it shows.”
  • I can’t promise what the outcome will be. I promise to try my best.

Thank you for being here and for all your support. You may not know this, but being a writer has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I’m very grateful.

Happy New Year 2022. I wish you wonderful success in health, wealth and everything else.

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  • You asked in one of the social media post – “what is the kindest thing a boss has done for you?”
    Since I didn’t want to respond using my social media handle, decided to drop the answer here instead. Sorry it doesn’t quite match the contents of your post
    I think for really long when I saw the question. I thought of my favourite boss, she was kind in so many things I couldn’t think of a single one to mention
    And then, I thought of a boss when I was a junior, he’s distant and not exactly my fav (or anyone else), but he did this one thing that arguably steered my career towards where I am today. He recommended me for a overseas posting which is one in a thousand type of opportunity (quite literally, there’s less than 5 posting each year and usually not for someone as junior as me in an organisation with >1k people). I did not request for it, but when the opportunity come knocking, I know I had to take the leapt of faith.

    So why am I thinking about this now? There’s another opportunity come knocking, and it’s taking me a while to consider if it’s the right one. Any advice?

    • Hi Yun Qi,

      Been a long time, hope you’re well! Thanks for sharing those stories, you’ve been blessed over the years.

      Hmmm, when it comes to big decisions I like to the the “practical” stuff like listing down pros and cons, cost vs benefit analysis. But ultimately, life is short. I like Bezos’ “regret minimalization” framework too. If it’s something that can lead to what’s meaningful to you, at not much cost/risk, why not?

  • Congrats on a great year! I am pretty bullish on crypto relative to my own standards, but haven’t committed large sums of money to that space yet, despite believing it will be very successful. We shall see!

    That’s a great Morgan Housel quote–I just ordered Psychology of Money and am excited to finally read it.

    • Thanks man!

      Appreciate you dropping by. Take your time with crypto investing. I’m also super bullish, but I think everyone should invest according to their comfort levels. No need to FOMO!

      Really hope you’ll enjoy Psychology of Money. The best book about money I’ve ever read for sure!

      Wishing you a wonderful 2022 ahead!

  • Hi Aaron

    Actually am happier to know about your thoughts because it’s more honest, no-nonsense and it’s a real pleasure to read your article. It’s more to reality with no sweet thing to cushion when comes to harsh reality and I love your humor in making some jokes targeting and reminding us that we are after all human.. So yes, more content.. it makes me happy reading your articles as a reminder of my financial and life journey. Your article now is the only money article that i enjoy reading and i encourage my son to do the same too. Thanks, Aaron for all the Mr Stingy article.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Thanks so much for all your kind words. Really appreciate them. I wish you and your son the very best in everything you do!

  • Thanks for sharing this post.
    I like what you have been writing so far regardless long or short posts.
    And I’m grateful to come across your blog last year during the pandemic.
    Your posts definitely helps my money journey a lot.
    Til then. Happy New Year to you too!

  • Happy New Year Mr Stingy!

    I am from the Long-form era but I agree that sometimes even I myself find it hard to spare time to read longform – let alone write it. Anyways looking forward to your writings in 2022.

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