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Go your own way, who said this and a health update

2024 ...

... will turn out differently than you expect. We finished 2023 on a high with rising equity markets and falling long-term interest rates, and it's tempting to extrapolate from here. While forecasts are often needed as part of investing, experts predict quickly and then bury their miscalculations. There will be surprises soon and 2024 will not be an exception. Investing and life are like that.

The Australian Financial Review has surveyed 40 economists and found that only nine expect cash rates to rise to 4.6% on 6 February 2024, while the median forecast sees a first fall in September. Not surprisingly, that's about where I sit, as I think the Reserve Bank has done enough with cash rates due to Australia's far higher level of floating rate borrowing.

The call for Governor Michele Bullock is whether she feels she needs to show the market a firmer hand, but another rise will inflict mortgage pain on thousands of younger people while older investors enjoy the increasing cash flow. It's been a rapid turn from the days of earning nothing on cash.

***

Here’s a bit of fun to start the new year. Who said these famous quotations (answers at the end)?

  1. “Pundits forecast not because they know but because they are asked.”
  2.  “My two rules of investing: Rule one – never lose money. Rule two – never forget rule one.”
  3.  "The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'This time it's different.'"
  4. “Go for a business any idiot can run because sooner or later, any idiot probably is going to run it.”
  5.  “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.”
  6.  “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”
  7.  "The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing."
  8. "I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."
  9. “October. This is one of the particularly dangerous months to invest in stocks.  Other dangerous months are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June December, August and February.”
  10. "The stockmarket has reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
  11. “Money is better than poverty if only for financial reasons.”
  12. “Conventional wisdom teaches that it is better to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”
  13. “The markets generally are unpredictable, so that one has to have different scenarios. The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.”
  14. "In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”
  15. “For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.”
  16.  “Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense to those who know what they are doing.”
  17.  “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to look after itself.”
  18.  “You must not only learn to live with tension, you must seek it out. You must learn to thrive on stress.”
  19.  “You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’, when the dealin’s done.”
  20.  “In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.”

***

I have received overwhelming support and encouragement since I announced my diagnosis for a brain tumour in November 2023. Here is a brief update.

On 29 December 2023, two days before the end of the year, I completed six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Now there is a break for a month to allow my body and brain to recover, although the next two weeks are usually worse during the adjustment. Then at the end of January, back onto a week of chemo followed by three weeks off, for another six months, depending on results. And perhaps another short, sharp radiation if needed.

It's been a tough slog at times and I try not to be boring talking about it. Some days have been fine, others lacking energy with my mind vague. Completing 30 radiation sessions became a daily chore, which many others have endured. 

The weird experience is the need to eat before wanting any food, as the drugs and radiation make such demands on the body. Waiting until I get an appetite is too late, and the nurses and doctors insist I eat almost anything to maintain my weight and energy. My wife, Debbie, has been wonderful, taking me to hospital every day for radiation sessions. I'm not allowed to drive due to potential for epilepsy after brain surgery.

The radiation oncologist treating me is Professor Michael Back, the best in the business at targeting radiation doses to the brain. It is now public knowledge that Back is also treating Professor Richard Scolyer, who recently featured on Australian Story on ABC TV (and is the current NSW Australian of the Year) due to new techniques to manage his own brain tumour. I feel great confidence in the people looking after me.

Michael Back reviewed my images every day as scans were done with every radiation treatment, and we met him once a week. He told us he was worried I would not make it due to brain swelling, weight loss and energy variance at one stage, but now he is pleased with progress and is more optimistic. Every person reacts differently as medication doses are varied to stay on top of the disease, and hopefully this has stabilised.

So it's 2024, but at one stage, I wondered if I would get this far. I'm mostly feeling fine although often tired. I'm ready for the next stage and hopeful the reduction in radiation and chemo treatment will make me feel better over coming weeks. Even my new cancer-fighting beard is coming along well.

Thanks to everyone for their support and have a great 2024. Apologies if I have not replied to messages as on some days, I'm on another planet. We'll see where this planet takes me.

Cheers, Graham

***

And here are the answers:

  1. John Kenneth Galbraith
  2. Warren Buffett
  3. Sir John Templeton
  4. Peter Lynch
  5. J. Paul Getty
  6. John Maynard Keynes
  7. Phillip Fisher
  8. Warren Buffett
  9. Mark Twain
  10. Irving Fisher
  11. Woody Allen
  12. John Maynard Keynes
  13. George Soros
  14. Robert Arnott
  15. The Beatles
  16. Warren Buffet
  17. Ronald Reagan
  18. J. Paul Getty
  19. Kenny Rogers
  20. Alan Greenspan

 

46 Comments
Jeff Woodhart
February 18, 2024

Graham I only recently found out about your diagnosis.
Wishing you all the best for your treatment in the weeks ahead.

Diane
February 03, 2024

You're such an inspiration, both financially and in tackling personal problems. Thanks for all your help.

Bill ANDREWS
January 09, 2024

Hello Graham, thanks for your interesting update. You have great courage. Best wishes for return to good health. Bill

janelle ward
January 08, 2024

So pleased to get your updates Graham. Medical breakthroughs these days are cause for great optimism and it seems you have a marvellous team.

Matt
January 08, 2024

Best wishes for a full recovery, Graham.

Geoff F
January 08, 2024

Thanks for the update on your health Graham.
You’ve got experts on your side, and a positive attitude on your inside, a great combination.
Best wishes for your ongoing treatment.

Brian Steele
January 08, 2024

Best wishes. Fight on!

Scott Pape
January 08, 2024

All the very best Graham.

Guy McK
January 07, 2024

You are one of the great contributors in our world!
Your in sights - professional and personal are invaluable!

Paul Coghlan
January 07, 2024

Your schooldays friends Alex and Anton join me in wishing you all he best for a good outcome. Nothing would please us more than taking you out to lunch when you are able to enjoy good food and grateful company.

Chris
January 06, 2024

Graham, I am the husband of a wife who was diagnosed with the same condition in mid 2020 with the worst possible prognosis. As I write this she is out on a morning run with friends to be followed by coffee. Don't loose hope and keep a positive outlook.

Tess
January 06, 2024

Keep the good news coming Graham. You are in very good hands.
Always enjoy your articles.

Adrian
January 05, 2024

Graham - I am sure all readers of Firstlinks are thinking of you at this time and wishing you the strength, resilience and courage you need to persevere in this battle. All the best over the coming months with the treatment.

Peter H
January 05, 2024

Thank you for the update Graham. Pleased to hear that you have such fantastic care, both medically and from your family. All the best.

Anthony Serhan
January 05, 2024

You have always had a great skill to understand what we are interested in Graham and so, once again, you have delivered. We are all thinking of you and appreciate your willingness to share where you are at on the journey. Keep going Graham. This time of year is a great time to reflect on investing and your list helped that along - together with a smile and a memory challenge.

PaulB
January 05, 2024

Good wishes for the best of outcomes Graham. Look forward to your update in 2025. ??

Edna Carew Hoffmann
January 05, 2024

Hi Graham - Edna Carew here… wishing you all the very best … and agree with Robbo above… and keep writing updates! ??

Declan O'Callaghan
January 05, 2024

wishing you and your family the very best 2024 - sounds like you are in the best hands

Nerolie
January 05, 2024

Thanks for the update Graham. I’m in remission, have had both chemo and radiation. Eating is sooo hard but it’s also the medicine the body needs. The one week on, 3 weeks off chemo is pretty heavy but you’ve got a great medical team and family behind you, and your positive attitude. I couldn’t have written anything like the above article during my treatment, my brain was mush. Please keep us informed, best wishes.

Greg
January 05, 2024

All the best Graham.

Sheila McDowall
January 05, 2024

The first thing I skipped to was how you were travelling, far more important than anything else. So great to read of your amazing attitude. We can learn so much from you. Will wait for the next update.

Don Ezra
January 05, 2024

All the best, Graham. I hope there are many more updates!

John Mann
January 05, 2024

Graham, I hve known you for many years and you have always been a gentleman. I can not express my sorrow for your predicament. I can offer you all the support for your fight. You have my respect and good wishes. Words don't cover my feelings for your family.

Gary W
January 05, 2024

Hoping for all the best, Graham. You have done your part by getting the best there is, and now it is up to them. Keep the faith.

Pam
January 05, 2024

Thanks for your update Graham , so very happy you are showing great progress. I too am going through cancer recovery & still on chemo & immunotherapy, it’s always reassuring to hear people’s stories & the power of the positive mind. Keep up the great work.

June
January 05, 2024

Thank you Graham for still giving us all the benefit of your knowledge and humour despite what you are going through. A close friend of ours was given three weeks to live with bile duct cancer. Inoperable. She went into panic mode and started throwing stuff out and giving things away. She has just celebrated her third Christmas since that diagnosis. Still living on an edge, still inoperable but making the most of every day in every way she can. Best wishes. June

Roger Fraser
January 05, 2024

Hang In There Graham.
My Advice.
I would never have Radiation.
I prefer alternative medicine and a plant based diet.
Most doctors do not know what causes cancer so how can they treat it.
PS I have Cancer

Phil Carmont
January 05, 2024

Hang in there Graham. My Dad (you know me well enough but you have never met my Dad) was diagnosed with Stage 5 prostate cancer last year. I didn't even know the scale went above 4!!! Dad hadn't had tests due to COVID and the cancer was into his lymph nodes. My Dad is a tough old bugger so he lined up for hormone therapy and radiation therapy in tandem. That just about killed him but he just put the head down and pushed through. He called me when I was working in India in November to tell me that all traces of the cancer had disappeared and his oncologist didn't need to see him for 6 months. His PSA reading was basically zero. I asked how he was feeling and he said "fine, I've just done 4 days straight in the garden." The lesson for me in all of this is that you never under-estimate the power of a tough mentality and our medical system in Australia is amazing. Everyone is different Graham but I know that you love life so keep the head down mate and plough forward. Cheers Phil

Denise O'Malley
January 05, 2024

Graham it sounds like you have the best in the business looking after you ! You deserve that. It is so hard to keep a positive mindset and to find some 'meaning' in these sorts of times. I recently read a book called Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. He is an Australian who was born with neither arms nor legs but he now tours the globe doing motivational speaking. So his book is basically that hard times / challenges can give us the best positive fruit. Reading is probably difficult for you so maybe there is an audible version. The book does have mild Christian content, but not over the top.
God bless, stay positive.

Graham W
January 05, 2024

All the best on your journey Graham. A couple of " money" quotes are :-
"Money buys you a better class of enemy" , Groucho Marx
"No rich man is ugly " , Zsar Zsar Gabor.

R G
January 04, 2024

Hi Graham, pray for God's grace and peace as you go through this battle.

Jim Lane
January 04, 2024

Thank you, Graham. Your optimism, bravery and preparedness to share your experience are as much an inspiration as your financial counsel has been, over many years.

Errol
January 04, 2024

All the best Graham. Very pleased to hear of your progress. Keep fighting

Brian Salt
January 04, 2024

Thanks for the update Graham. I sincerely hope all goes well with the treatment.

Peter Pitt
January 04, 2024

Graham Great to hear of your progress.It is amazing what they are achieving now with this type of treatment.Please stay positive.(I have a granddaughter who is now 23 and has been fighting similar since 7 yrs old.The last est is debilitating Neurological function disorder!)

Leanne
January 04, 2024

It's so good you are sharing your journey with us. Good luck with your ongoing treatment.

Danielle Murrie
January 04, 2024

Best wishes Graham. Been thinking of you & your family. Take care.

Lisa Romano
January 04, 2024

Hello Graham, I watched the Australian Story episode and thought of you. You are being a noble soldier: sometimes these terrible illnesses bring out the strength in us. You have given so much to the investment editorial scene and I’ve always gained insight from your articles and interviews. Wishing you and your family strength, love and hope.

LP
January 04, 2024

Keep up your good effort, Graham

Michael2
January 04, 2024

All the best Graham

Sue G
January 04, 2024

Thank you for the update Graham. Keep fighting the good fight.

Peter
January 04, 2024

I'm reminded of a quote - "Embrace the suck. Move the f*** forward.", Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Good luck Graham. Keep moving forward.

don H
January 04, 2024

all the best Graham, keep fighting!

ROMANO SALA TENNA
January 04, 2024

Terrific piece Graham. Thanks for the update. I know it is very old fashioned, but we are praying for you.

Donal Griffin
January 04, 2024

Great to hear you are getting the best care Graham. I also like the line from Sculptor Henry Moore – “The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of every day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do”.

Peter Burrows
January 04, 2024

Thank you.
I liked the list of quotations, including one from Woody Allen.
As a stockboker with more than 50 years in the business, I feel you missed a good line from one of Woody Allen's characters describing a stockbroker as someone who invests your money until it is all gone.

 

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