Almost all the decisions in life that I regret were taken under strong emotional influence.

Looking back, this is the one thing that stands out. Whether it's greed, anger, hatred, vengeance, or just exuberance, every regretful decision has been made with emotions.
We only think that it's an emotional decision if we are overtly angry or overtly happy. But that need not be the case. Hope is an emotion. Greed is an emotion. Fear, even slightly is an emotion. When you're standing on a fence, a small emotion can nudge you to either side.
So, when making decisions that usually require a lot of changes in your life, think it through and see if any hope, desire, greed, fear, etc., have crept into the decision making process.
For me, with my MS applications, I applied to colleges I considered superb to attend, and didn't apply to any others. I didn't hedge my bets. I didn't consider risks. I was greedy and had the desire to study at the best university possible and follow up with PhD.
Since the quality of labs and professor is important for PhD, I chose to apply to the universities with the best labs for Machine Learning with a focus on time-series, scalability and optimization of speed.

I hadn't published anything, but wrote of my prior research experience.
Stanford, Princeton, Alberta, UofT, McGill, UMontreal, ETH Zurich, UWisconsin, Georgia Tech, CMU, UMaryland were the colleges I applied to. I knew people studying the same program there who went with similar profiles as mine. So, I figured I had a decent shot.
Not really sure what went wrong, but I applied two years too late. I had the most desire to study at Princeton or ETH. Lack of IIT tag played a significant role in getting rejections. I got rejected by all 12 universities I applied to.
Looking back, the emotion that caused this was greed, desire, and hope. Everyone I knew who went to all these colleges with profiles similar to mine, went one or two years before me. The graduating bachelor's batch nationwide had advanced in these 2 years.
I let the greed to study in the best institutions prevent me from hedging my bets with 2-3 safe and medium universities. I could have applied to UMass, SJSU, Dartmouth, etc. I didn't. I was hell bent on time-series, statistical learning, and scope for PhD after MS.
Today, I wouldn't repeat that. Now, my thoughts about a PhD are different. I wouldn't do a PhD. I'd finish MS with some research work and join a company and work in a role that best offers a mix of research + engineering work, like Google's Research Software Engineer.
Knowing what I know currently, I'd go back and change things if I could. But, if you only have to go through the experience to know what you know currently, meaning you'll always be behind, how do you really take a decision with confidence that it's optimised enough to be right?
You do that by checking your decision-making pipeline for any seepage of emotions into it, leakage of logic out of it. Whenever you make decisions that require too many variables in your life to change, take this into account and make your moves appropriately.
In that application process, despite being University topper at VIT with a 9.4 gpa, a GRE score of 328 with 169 in quants, toefl score of 114, and having two research based projects, 2 years of work experience, etc., none of the colleges I applied to gave me a shot.
It's a hit or a miss. I probably had low-quality recommenders, or the one year entrepreneurship experience didn't sit well in the application. I went through a thousand combinations of things that led to the result.
But then I had an epiphany. When you take up something that is essentially largely outside of your locus of control, where your part is only 20%, remaining 80% isn't in your control, you have to significantly hedge your bets.
It's just like trading a 20% win rate strategy. Only that, you get only one strike. You have to bet all the money you got on that trade. 20% odds for you, 80% against you. What do you do? You try and find a way to hedge that risk of ruin any way you can.
If you don't hedge your bet with something like this where you have to spend a significant portion of 1 year on this process and the result can mean you have wasted 1 full year for nothing, you have to make sure you don't have nothing to show for at the end.
So, going forward, have this as part of your decision making framework. Check for emotion leakage and even slight, hidden, unrecognizable at a surface level kind of emotions leaking into the decision making process, and then proceed cautiously.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Shravan Venkataraman 🎡

Shravan Venkataraman 🎡 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @theBuoyantMan

17 Oct
You start a business (hypothetically).

In a couple of years, while the business is still at its nascent stages, you want to bring someone to be the CEO (essentially a late co-founder). That person has the following demands.
1. 40% stake in the business, immediately vested.
2. 5% of all net profits (on a monthly net profit basis) paid out as salary.
3. No cap on (2).
This person hasn't proven themselves yet to be a great capital allocator or a CEO, hasn't executed and brought in profits. But they are asking all this to do that. What do you do?
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Cars beyond 15L are immense waste of money, especially if you're buying one with a loan.

1. Need a hatch? Go for Tiago/Altroz for safety or the tinsheet Swift/Baleno for peppy drive or Honda Jazz for a combo of both.
2. Need a compact sedan? Go for Tigor for safety, Swift Dzire for peppy drive, Amaze for a balance of both.

3. Need a proper sedan? Go for Honda City, Toyota Yaris, Maruti Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, Skoda Rapid.

4. Need a crossover/mini-SUV? Go for S-Cross, Nexon, Brezza, Venue.
5. Need a proper SUV? Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier, Tata Hexa, XUV500.

6. Need a people carrier/beater? Ertiga, XL6, Marazzo, etc.
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
Different kind of systems you can build for trading & investing - a broad categorization:

1. Market Neutral:

Ex: Finding overvalued and undervalued securities, shorting the overvalued ones, and buying the undervalued ones. The idea is to create a portfolio of zero beta.
This way, you operate independent of market risk, and profit from the movement of individual securities.

2. Fundamental Growth:

Fundamentally identifying companies that are expected to grow and appreciate capital. You go long with these securities.
3. Fundamental Value:

Using fundamental analysis to go long in undervalued (and sometimes even deep value distressed securities).

4. Quantitative directional:

Using quantitative analysis to identify overvalued/undervalued companies, going long on latter, short on former.
Read 10 tweets
15 Oct
Journaling is a very important thing to do if you're a trader. It serves the following purposes:

- Helps identify patterns in your trading behavior
- Helps identify high-impact mistakes to fix
- Helps to understand where you're losing most money
- Helps in refining your edge.
Journaling your way to success isn't a new concept. It's been done for years now and has been practiced and advised by many millionaires, billionaires too.

Different kinds of journaling serve different purposes. There are two major ones that I follow I'd like to suggest here.
The first one is the one that I learnt from @GrantCardone.

Just before going to bed, and immediately after waking up - write down 10-15 things that you want to have achieved for yourself and your life in the future.

Write them in the present tense as if you already have them.
Read 24 tweets
14 Oct
Remember the research I did on how many days opened at or near day's high/low and closed at or near day's low/high?

That's why a lot of good intraday systems work with fixed stop loss much better than with a trailing stop loss.
If I remember correctly, about 40-45% of the trading days in a year start at or near day's low/high and close at or near day's high/low respectively.

This means, if your system can reasonably get the direction right, a fixed stop loss system will end up making you the most.
This is applicable for intraday trend following systems. For trailing stop losses to work really well, you need a much bigger room, and that has to be driven by volatility of the instrument you trade.

No matter what you trade, TEST the SL methods before implementing.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
iPhone 12 to ship without charger. 😂

Apple is by now only milking whatever brand value they have left, from their customers, with only superior OS experience.
This is moat of the biggest form. Apple spends 120-150$ on iPhone cost. Makes 3-4x in profits. They keep raising prices and dropping parts to reduce their cost and maximize profit in the name of "reducing environmental impact".
And no matter what kind of shenanigans Apple pulls, their loyal braindead fanbase is going to buy their gadgets coz you only show iPhone as status symbol, not a OnePlus or a Samsung or a Pixel.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!