Nico Appel

… about the things I'm interested in, think about and hope others can benefit from.

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The Millionaire’s fallacy

Here is a quote that I took from the book notes to “The Millionaire Fastlane” by

Being wealthy means being healthy, being surrounded by great friends and family, and the freedom to live life how you want to live it. DeMarco calls these the 3 Fs (family, fitness, freedom)

So, what’s the relationship between being wealthy (as defined above) and money?

What money does for you

Although it is certainly true that poverty (as the opposite of wealth) may limit your choices in some aspects, it isn’t necessarily the case that money creates, enables, or leads to personal freedom. I would go even further and say, it might be the other way around: personal freedom often times “helps” people to become wealthy. (more…)

Two Unlikely Paths

Let me share two unlikely paths and where they led me. I hope it’s a bit entertaining as well.

Shit literally happens

We were driving around Da Nang a few weeks ago, on a scooter, as almost everybody in Vietnam uses a motorbike as a primary means of transportation. While I was trying to handle the traffic that does not follow any rules whatsoever, Anke was checking our route on her phone and we just realized that we were completely lost as a bird shit on her – sitting in a tree, I suspect it was a drive-by shitting.

In order to assess the damage we pulled over and (more…)

The Coffee Geekery can certainly be overdone

Good article be Marco Arment, a coffee enthusiast himself:
Throwing K-Cups In Glass Houses

My thoughts on this

Think, please!

Something really annoying just happened – again. This time I will use it as an example and make the effort to write about it, so I can refer people to this article in the future – probably time and time again.

Before I get to the example itself, let me say this:

Lazy thinking destroys lifes

… and creates a world of stupidity.

  1. I dislike lazy, fuzzy thinking.
  2. I don’t particularly appreciate (more…)

Learning things is overrated

I have always been keen on learning, but there is a inflationary use of learning as a substitute for pay (as in the exchange of material goods). This mechanic is haunting those who haven’t established a proper perception of their skill and expertise with their buyer/employer/client/customer yet.

Look who’s talking. I’m affected too. Time to rethink this a little …

The trap

Witty entrepreneurs looking for cheap labor have long mastered the “you will learn something” argument as a justification to not spend any money on (more…)

If Warren Buffett says he buys it, why shouldn’t I?

It’s interesting how down-to-earth one of the wealthiest people in the world is. Warren Buffett provides some great insights into longterm investment and his success (in collaboration with Charlie Munger).

Most relevant to me and my current situation is …

Beware of macro opinions. Instead focus in on things to get a better understanding.

“Forming macro opinions or listening to the macro or market predictions of others is a waste of time.”

Know your “circle of competence” (more…)

How the heck did I become a fan of Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher appeared on Netflix not long ago. It was late at night on the weekend when I decided I was kind of in the mood for a probably mediocre action movie – and possibly fall asleep while watching it.

I was mistaken. The opposite happened: I really enjoyed the movie.

That was particularly due to the fact that Tom Cruise (more…)

Fire Alarm

A few days ago I was just taking a shower when the fire alarm was set off. Anke came in and told me that everybody appears to be leaving the building (although no fire, smoke or anything similar could be detected from our apartment).

So I stepped out of the shower, threw on some pants and packed everything valuable within less than a minute: My laptop and a hard drive, my phone, iPad, the JamBox, my passport and credit cards – done.

We left the building with everything really important on us. I carried a small daypack weighing about 2-3 kg.
Seeing me a minute later on the motorbike, you would never have suspected what just happened.

I really enjoy how little I own.

Why it’s hard to just listen

I sometimes find it hard to listen, as in just listen, for a simple reason: 

I have the feeling that if I don’t interrupt or at least comment when something is said with which I don’t agree, I agree by default.*
It gets even worse if the person talking to me unconsciously inserts some “… you know (what I mean)”  here and there.

Now that being said, I do make an effort to let you finish your point without interrupting. However, if I don’t take notes I can only keep quiet for so long.
If you intend to just talk for a while –and want me to just listen– , I actually do wonder why you’re even talking to me because you’re certainly not talking with me.

* This might be just ego or whatever, but please, read on before you judge.

Other people’s success

It’s hard to enjoy other people’s success.

It can be very uplifting at times to have other people share their success stories.
It can also be very frustrating – especially when you’re struggling yourself.


Bookshelf additions


Following the recommendations of Merlin Mann and John Gruber from their conversation on The Talk Show podcast, episode 61, I purchased these two today:


Inspired by recent discussions on our business mastermind call (more…)

Digest – Develop – Share

Although this is nothing novel …

Here’s what I will do more:

1 Digest

We consume all kinds of information in various forms. Digest simply means to give the things that resonate with you in your current situation some time to get over the first reaction and see (more…)

Domain Independence

Nassim Nicholas Taleb differentiates between “domain dependence” and “domain independence” in his book ‘Antifragile – things that gain from disorder‘. He writes:

Some people can understand  an idea in one domain, say, medicine, and fail to recognize it in another, say, socioeconomic life.

Here’s how my endeavours in chess lead to some curious insights in other areas, or domains, for that matter. (more…)

Chess lessons

It’s all Max’s fault. He was the one that pointed me to the highly entertaining and educating chess videos of Jerry. This is where I re-discovered a game I had long abandoned after some dabbling while still in school. What followed were a few months of playing and studying the game.
I also mostly followed the recent chess world championships. The match ended with Magnus Carlsen now being the new champion.

Chess, seriously?

What a boring topic, you may think. I can understand that. I even partly agree.
It won’t be fascinating at all to watch (more…)