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Hosting your own email server: mailcow, Mail-in-a-Box

The Internet is decentralised. There's Whatsapp, IG, WeChat, and more... But an outdated, insecure, but federated technology that everyone still uses: email. It's awesome tech - Gmail can talk to Outlook, and vice-versa? Revolutionary!

You should host your own at home too.

It used to be complicated to set one up - postfix, SMTP, dovecot, SpamAssassin, configuring, and maintaining them are quite daunting tasks. That's why mere mortals rely on giving up control to third-party "free email service" such as Gmail. You've heard about it - you're the product if you're not paying for it. Unfortunately, even if you pay for it, you are still giving control to these folks. What's stopping them from giving someone access to your account? And how would you even know about it? (even if it's illegal). And even if you know, would you care? Well, I don't know if you do - but I do.

So if you're like me, then let me tell you about mailcow and Mail-in-a-Box.

  • Check this out for mailcow's installation.
  • And this for Mail-in-a-box.

You'll need a fresh Ubuntu installation for Mail-in-a-box because it's somewhat of an Ansible playbook for installing different packages needed to run a mail server. I personally prefer mailcow because each service are docker containerized, and you just need to run a single docker-compose up command.

Investing isn't gambling: Use Portfolio Graders and Visualisers

You can't do it blindly if you are into self-directed investing. It's not gambling - so you shouldn't guess or speculate (unless you're into that game). Investing should be evidence-based.

One would normally research the business - analyse their financial statements and outlook a few years ahead. Then make a decision... Well, it's usually a full-time job. Luckily, there are advancements in tools and references to make it possible to do it yourself. And you don't need to spend full-time. I'm sure even Financial Advisers use them...

I personally use portfolio graders and visualisers such as Portfolio Visualizer (American spelling) and Wealthica with Wealthscope addon.

They give insights on past performance vs. the market. And based on that is the likelihood of how they will do moving forward:

Screenshot from 2020-10-14 23-19-07.png

They also provide you with a breakdown of asset allocation and risk contribution:

Screenshot from 2020-10-14 23-30-53.png

And recommendations of how your positions should be allocated to maximise returns and minimise risks...

And a bunch of more. My point is: there are tools to make your life easy - use them. Pick the stocks you like, the ones that resonate with you, the ones that you think is going to take off. Then research them and use these tools to make an objective analysis.

Why I Pick My Stocks: Self-Directed Investing

I use Wealthsimple. It's a good platform for Canadian Beginner Investors - you give them your money, and they'll take care of the rest. Wealthsimple is a "robo-advisor", but I think it's more of an advanced version of mutual funds. But I like them because they provide more transparency on how they invest your money (and the fees they charge).

Time is the most valuable asset. There is nothing wrong in paying someone to do the research and investing for you.

Unfortunately for me, I've fallen down the rabbit hole, that is self-directed investing at Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade (Offer code: 516515153439155). I enjoy it though. It's like playing a simulation game like SimCity. The only difference is I'm dealing with real life, so I can't take it lightly. There is no save or load option after all.

But perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones. There's just so many materials, guides, and how-to's out there that it's almost impossible to lose unless you don't take it seriously. Plus, you have the freedom to choose. You have full control of your finance and define your destiny. You get to pick who you want to support or not. If you want to get rich, you can do it slowly with mutual funds or robo-advisors. But if you want to get rich quick, then you need to pick the winners and beat the market.

And that's why I pick my stocks (and ETFs) - it's risky, but it's worth it.

Bringing back my old site

This site's layout is an old layout I made a few years ago, but I'm bringing it back because I like it - especially the Canadian theme, being one myself.

I brought back the CSS, improved some of the HTML structures. Unfortunately, it's not responsive yet. In any case, it was written in custom PHP and MySQL. Now, it's in Python+Django+Wagtail. And no, I'm not going to get into the PHP vs Python argument. I've grown out of that - I am language-agnostic.

I used to blog a lot, and I'm going to do that again moving forward. But my writing will be more reserved and boring - I'll try to make it interesting, and I hope you enjoy your stay as you get to know me!

Common-sense Disclaimer: Everything here will purely be my opinion. Please research before applying it to your life.