Friday, 28 February 2020

Not losing (much) weight or money

So far this week I've avoided overeating, and have been going to the gym for weight training and doing plenty of walking, but I've also not been sticking to the 'keto' diet plan (my pre- and post- gym session 'carb loading' rapidly got out of control and devolved into snacking on packets of potato crisps!). I'll make an extra effort to stick to my 'keto' diet plan today, and during the weekend, as my cheap 'breathalyzer' device finally arrived in the post (I ordered it via several months ago) and I want to see if it works for monitoring 'keto' status. I did a couple of test blows yesterday and it gave a reading of 0.000% BAC, which isn't surprising as a) I don't drink alcoholo and b) I've been averaging more than 50g/day of carbs for the past week, so I wouldn't expect to be in ketolysis currently. I'll resume doing a 'dip stick' test in the mornings and also do the 'breathalyzer' readings, and see how/when I shift back into 'keto' (and how the breathalyzer readings compare to the test strip results). My bathroom scales indicated my weight was around 85 kg body fat around 14.5% this morning, so I'm still 'on track' to reach my goal of ~78 kg and 12% body fat by mid to late April. I've been losing about 1.5 kg of fat for every 1.0 kg of lean mass loss while doing the 'keto' dieting and weight training regime, so the next 7.5 kg of weight loss should be roughly 3 kg of lean mass (sob) and about 4.5 kg of fat (yay), which would leave me with about 11% body fat.  We'll see how things turn out in reality at the end of April when I've switch the maintenance calories for a couple of weeks and get my second DEXA scan done.

On a more positive note the movement down the risk-return curve I implemented for our SMSF investments and (most) of my geared share and fund investments was JIT. As of closing unit prices two days ago our SMSF investments (around $1.5) would have been about 4.5% down compared to when I processed our 'switch' from High Growth Index Fund into 70% Conservative Index Fund and 30% Bond Index Fund. Instead our SMSF investment had been pretty stable since the switch (the Conservative Fund was down around 0.5% and the Bond Fund was actually up a little bit, so overall our SMSF fund was only down by about 0.3% instead of 4.5%. Given that the markets have continued the sell-off during the past two trading days, we're probably down by about 1% since the 'switch' compared to ~10% if we'd stayed 'risk on'. Overall we probably preserved around $150K of our SMSF investments value by being cautious and going 'risk off' as a precautionary measure. Given the worsening global situation regarding Covid-19 (and the possibility of an upward spike in Chinese cases now that its been almost two weeks since the end of the lunar new year national 'lock-down' was eased to get industry restarted in China), I can't see market sentiment suddenly getting positive any time soon.

If global containment has been ineffective (which seems increasingly likely), and person-to-person transmission is occurring with an R0 of around 2.5, the number of cases (and deaths) globally will reach alarming proportions quite rapidly. Other than containment, there was no 'plan B' possible for mitigating the effects of Covid-19, given that the 'herd' (humanity) has NO immunity to this novel coronavirus, and any vaccine will take at least a year to be researched, tested, and then manufactured in sufficient quantities to even start rolling out an immunisation program. That's why the WHO and national government's 'by-the-book' "don't panic" reassurances were correct public policy, but there probably needed to be a LOT more containment action taken around the world. Australia's decision to ban all flights from China to Australia is looking very prudent in hindsight (perhaps the PM decided that early, decisive action regarding Covid-19 would make up for the lack of initial Federal government action during the bushfires?). Unfortunately that is only delaying the inevitable, unless Australia was to impose a quarantine on all arrivals from any countries from now on (extremely unlikely, and impractical, but who knows?)

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