Steve's note: Tom Dyson has a history of making incredible contrarian calls. He bought the best-performing investment of the decade in 2003... And he went "all in" on bitcoin in 2011, right before it climbed 302,000%. Today, he's back with us at DailyWealth to share what happened when he dropped everything to travel the world.
On another note... the markets and our offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Your next issue of DailyWealth will publish on Tuesday, after the Weekend Edition. We look forward to rejoining you soon.
The writer and investor Mark Ford, with whom I used to work, once expressed an important truth about life in his blog:
In the mid-1970s, my wife and I were living in a humble three-room house without indoor plumbing in N'Djamena, Chad. I was sitting on our front porch watching the rain spill off the roof and onto our little garden when I had this thought:
"One day, you will live in a big, fancy house back in the States. But you will never live in a house that can give you more pleasure than this one."
My round-the-world trip – with Kate... the kids... all the countries and hotel rooms – was a two-year "intensive" on this one idea.
We got detained by the Egyptian military at a remote checkpoint last year. We spent the evening under arrest in a room with nothing but two broken, disconnected toilets in it...
We slept on filthy mattresses in a run-down love hotel in Hong Kong, to the sounds of amorous couples and headboards banging against walls...
We played cards on our suitcase in some eastern European train station in the dead of night when the train we were waiting for came seven hours late...
And yet, like Mark, I look back on these times, and they were among the most satisfying times of my life.
Why? Because I was proud of what we were doing... And we were doing it together, as a family.
Nothing else mattered. Not comfort. Not money. Not possessions. Not even a roof over our heads.
I've had a few important revelations in my life – as I'll share in a moment. And as you'll see, some of them were about money. But this one was something special...
We had a hard mission to complete: To travel around the world, live out of a suitcase for two years, and introduce the kids to different cultures.
We were doing it together. And we were totally fulfilled.
I've never been on a successful sports team, but I imagine this is a taste of what it feels like. The French have a word for this: camaraderie.
This insight discredited almost every other "life strategy" I'd ever tried.
It was such a revelation to me – that you can feel camaraderie with your wife and kids – that it motivated me to start telling our story publicly with e-mails, photographs, and social media posts.
Since I discovered Bill Bonner's daily Diary nearly 20 years ago, Bill has been an important inspiration to me, too. He's the founder of Agora Financial.
Like Mark Ford, he expressed in a very clear and entertaining way what I already knew in my heart was true.
And that is: things come and go... busts follow booms... investors get optimistic, then get pessimistic... and contrarian investment strategies work, if you're patient and disciplined enough to sit through the madness.
The strategy Kate and I are following with our money – using the Dow-to-Gold ratio – is the ultimate contrarian stock market strategy. (We got it from Bill!)
We buy stocks when they're cheap. Then, when they're expensive, we sit on the sidelines (in gold – very important) and wait for stocks to get cheap again.
This idea was such a revelation to me, I still remember exactly where I was when I read about it for the first time.
And it motivated me to a) bet all our money on it, and b) start writing about it and thinking about it every day.
In my reader feedback not long ago, someone said these Postcards are "narcissistic."
I write about my life... and about finance... and I take a lot of pictures of my family. I post it all online. Is that narcissism?
I don't know. But every day I ask myself why I feel the need to tell strangers about my life and share photographs of my family.
"Is it because I love myself?" I wonder. "Or is it because my soul has a ravenous hunger for fame and validation that must be fed?"
Here's what I'd prefer the answer to be...
I feel like something inspired me... some of which I learned from others (Bill)... some of which I learned from experience (our trip). And then I felt the tremendous urge to create something (pictures and words) out of it.
And paradoxically, because I'd lost all my self-esteem through depression and divorce, I found the courage to begin sharing these pictures and words with others.
So I started writing e-mails to my family and friends and posting on social media. (It served the additional three purposes of letting them know we were safe, helping me organize my thoughts each day, and memorializing our trip in a nice way for my family to look back on in the future.)
And some of them wrote back to me and told me to keep going... that they were being entertained... that they wanted to keep getting the updates.
I started to feel pride in what I was creating. And it emboldened me to share with a bigger and bigger audience. Slowly at first. Then more.
Each time, the people I sent my "stuff" to validated me and encouraged me, which emboldened me even more. Then Bill's publisher asked me if she could send them to her audience in return for a little money...
And here I am, telling you about our life every day in my Postcards. Maybe if I share some of what I've learned... the cycle will keep going from there.
Narcissism? I'll leave it to you to decide. I don't like that word, though.
I heard it all the time when I lived in South Florida, before our trip. And no one ever seemed to be able to pin down for me exactly what it meant... except that no one wanted to be around it.
Editor's note: Tom is living life and enjoying time with his family. But recently, he felt compelled to share what he has learned about the huge cracks appearing in the financial system... and to discuss a radical once-in-a-decade trade you should make – right now – to protect yourself and profit. You can find all the details in Tom's recent video... Watch it here, before it's gone.
"You can't just hand off your life and hope it goes OK," Steve writes. The truth is, if you want to achieve success in your life – either financial or personal – you need to take responsibility and meet your goals for yourself... Learn more here: Investment Advice TO a World Champ.
"There's a secret to doing what I've done," Steve says. Over the years, he has gotten to meet and work alongside many of his heroes. And he says it's not because of any secret "tricks" – or even luck... Read more here: How to Become Friends With Your Heroes.
Today, we're looking at a government contractor that thrives in the lockdown era...
Around the U.S., state and local governments have closed many businesses in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But the governments themselves are still running, albeit with most officials using software to work remotely... minimizing face-to-face interactions with colleagues or the public. Today's company helps make it happen...
Tyler Technologies (TYL) is a $15 billion software company. Its products are created specifically for government needs, like assessing property taxes or issuing parking tickets. In ordinary times, these services are simply more efficient than paper records... But right now, having all the data accessible online is essential. Tyler also just launched its new "Virtual Court," a videoconference product designed for the justice system... And 60 courts had already signed up within the first few weeks.
TYL shares are up more than 60% over the past year, and they recently hit a new all-time high. This tech stock was already soaring. Now, COVID-19 is another tailwind for Tyler Technologies...