Some years you blog, others you just retrospect. Actually despite only writing two posts this year, I managed to blog a fair bit over at the WealthBar blog, so if you want to read my thoughts on personal finance and investing check that out. Nonetheless this has been one of my most interesting and challenging years so far. I don’t think anything could really have prepared me for the realities of starting a business, but it has been extremely rewarding all the same.

2014 Highlights

Obviously launching Canada’s first completely online wealth management firm has to be the biggest highlight this year. It was a long hard road to get here and one that promises to offer even more challenges as we grow and as more clients join us each day. Nonetheless, there is nothing that motivates me more each morning than getting up and knowing I’ll be working at WealthBar. I’m also working with some absolutely amazing people.

The Polyglot conference had it’s third consecutive year and we’re already making preparations for the fourth, it has grown larger with each year and we’ve also continued to help other local events logistically such as Devops Days and Erlang Factory Lite.

I’ve also really enjoyed my continuing work with web development this year. The changes happening with HTML, CSS and JS can be frustrating at times, but they are also really exciting. Tyler Kellogg who just joined us, recently showed me some incredible AngularJS code that takes advantage of ES6 features and the more modern components structure that has really rekindled my love of AngularJS, something I was starting to feel a bit of frustration with, but I think I’m at peace with it now.

Finally, I started playing D&D this year for the first time since I was probably about 14 years old, Tea plays with me as well. Surprisingly, I had kept my old game dice this whole time too. Suppose I always knew I’d play it again someday. We’re playing through a pretty epic pre-written campaign called Tsar, which has been a lot fun. I think we’re just starting to get into the endgame after many months of play. It has quickly become one of the things I really look forward to each week.

Personal Development

I’m happy to say I’ve been able to stick to a dedicated twice a week regimen of exercise. I work with a trainer twice a month and follow a program for the rest of the month. It’s been working great and I’ve so far managed to not fall off the wagon (well alright, I took the last week off).

I’ve also managed to keep coding, I’d say at least half of my time is still spent writing code. Keeping it at that level has been a challenge. There are many new responsibilities on my plate: HR, product development, content strategy and marketing. But I don’t think I’ll ever want to stop writing code.

Interesting Reading

I didn’t really put a lot of effort into tracking my reading this year. Something to work on next year I think. Regardless, here is a very short, and likely very incomplete, list of some interesting things I read online this year.

  1. An Open Letter on Feminism in Tech
  2. Monkeys can Beat Market Cap Indicies
  3. Thoughts on Startup School
  4. The Oil Crisis Explained in 3 Minutes

I also really enjoyed reading Hedge Fund Wizards by Jack Schwager. Whether or not you agree with hedge funds and active trading, the interviews with some of the top hedge fund managers are still very fascinating and insightful. These are very smart people with very unique perspectives on investing and economics.

The Ed Thorp interview (if you haven’t heard of him, he was also the guy who cracked Blackjack with Claude Shannon using probability theory) is worth the price of book alone.

Onwards to 2015!

There aren’t really words for just how excited I am for 2015 and everything that’s happening with WealthBar. It has been extremely rewarding to build something that is really starting to help people save their money.

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