If DuckDuckGo does not track us, how come it is not as successful as Google?

For the following reasons:

A. Both are free for the user but Google provides consistently better quality results. DuckDuckGo is the underdog in this field and it is difficult for it to become more popular than Google given that the results it provides are less efficient than Google’s. This is the same problem that Yahoo and Bing are facing: they are not able to match Google’s quality of results and for this reasons users — always in a hurry and hating wasting time on useless pages — keep using what they know works best. Continue reading “If DuckDuckGo does not track us, how come it is not as successful as Google?”

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Will the $185k fine against the Airbnb host in NY make people afraid of using Airbnb?

I doubt so.

This is an example of what in political science goes under the name of “the authoritarian illusion of the powerful” whereby those in power pretend to prohibit something by simply out-lawing it and issuing a fine or penalty against a behaviour which is believed by a critical mass of the people in the community to be a legitimate and/or un-harmful service or exploit of resources. Continue reading “Will the $185k fine against the Airbnb host in NY make people afraid of using Airbnb?”

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How did you lose your wealth?

My uncle (the brother of my father) never got married. He was born in 1950 and always lived the good life: he never had kids, not one Euro of debt, drove fast German cars, had amazing girlfriends (women literally adore him), made exotic travels, had tailor-made suits, knew literally most of the Bel Paese best restaurants in big and small cities alike, etc.

He started working in the Italian branch of a British company (at the time based in Naples) at 21 as a clerk and became a top manager in his late 40s. He was suddenly fired in the late 90s because of a restructuring and since he was already in his late 40s it was impossible for him to find a similar job at a competitor. Actually he could not find any job at all. Once out of the job market for a few years he basically gave up on looking for even a low-level job. Continue reading “How did you lose your wealth?”

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How can I improve myself in 6 months?

Self-improvement is a marathon which involves following a path different for each of us and my advice is as follows:

  1. Stop keeping cash in your bank account: start saving money and, after you have set up a good emergency fund in cash, invest everything else in one or more low-commission, index-tracking, ETF funds, as soon as possible. The Vanguard 500 ETF is a good starting point (also Vanguard’s VIG is very good). This must be a priority. Because compound interest takes time (like a decade or more) to produce its amazing results, the younger you start, the better. (Since many asked in the comments, I also recommend to Google: compound interest+ dollar cost averaging in order to understand the benefits of this double-pronged strategy). In this way, money in your bank account will grow steadily during the years and give you an invaluable peace of mind in case of emergencies and allowing you to take new opportunities down the road. Continue reading “How can I improve myself in 6 months?”
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Where and how do you invest your monthly salary?

This is how I have been doing since 2008 and how I highly recommend you to do.

  1. Open a Stock Account with your bank and every month save 20%/30%/40%/50% of your net income and invest it in a low commission S&P500 ETF by Vanguard (like “VOO” or “VIG”: google them).
  2. Google: “dollar cost average” + “compound interest” in order to understand the benefits of this double-pronged strategy (in short: you will beat 90% of all the professional Fund Managers out there). Continue reading “Where and how do you invest your monthly salary?”
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If Brexit already seems a failure before birth, why aren’t the UK citizens taking to the streets to reverse it?

I obviously agree that Brexit is un unecessary self-inflicted damage and I have also been surprised by the lack of protest by people in the UK (especially people from the large British upper-middle class whom I believe will have the most to lose from Brexit).

When I inquired about this with people in London (all with very good jobs, families, some are even (long time) immigrants from other EU countries, none of them is even remotely of the hidden-racist, nostalgic/exceptionalist, British upper class that we read so frequently about on the internet and social media), this is what they explained me and made them reluctant to protest against Brexit: Continue reading “If Brexit already seems a failure before birth, why aren’t the UK citizens taking to the streets to reverse it?”

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Are people in Milan nice?

I am from Venice and I have traveled quite a lot and I think Milanese people are a special breed of humans: they are amazing.

Milan is Italy’s business pivotal center so you will find a huge community of Italians coming from every region (North, Center and South): so much so that real 100% Milanese people are actually not that common!

It is difficult to generalize, but Milanese people tend to be:

a. Very focused on their job and career prospects.

b. They all want to make good money (i.e. better money compared to their peers, at least).

c. They “never” stay in Milan over the weekends as they always take the car and go either to the beaches in Liguria (during Summer-time) or to the Alps (during Winter-time). Milan (particularly the city center and during summertime) is beautiful over the weekends as it is basically empty, I’m not kidding. Continue reading “Are people in Milan nice?”

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What is the best way to build resilience?

Start achieving results: from the smallest task during your daily life to gradually the bigger goals you set up for your journey.

As soon as you will achieve (small and big) results against the adversities (downfalls, lack of motivation, adversarial circumstances, lack of support, etc.) you will grow more confident of your incredible strength and ability to pass above those obstacles. Continue reading “What is the best way to build resilience?”

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How do rich people who came from poor backgrounds handle the relationships with their still-poor friends? Do they get approached for money a lot? How do they handle these requests?

I once had a friend who, coming from a totally normal background, made a career as a very successful finance lawyer and eventually his picture ended up on a specialized magazine with a list of his highly prized clients.

Nowhere in the article it was stated specifically that he had become rich but that could be inferred even from a baby and as soon as the news spread in the business world, my friend told me the following happened:

  1. His inner-circle of close female friends started expecting him to pay dinner for them whenever they went out. This attitude changed immediately and automatically (once the bill arrived at the end of the dinner, they did not take their wallet and simply waited for him to pay, smiling) even if there was nothing more than just a good friendship between them (i.e. they were not dating): he paid them for dinner regularly as otherwise he would not be able to go out for dinner with them anymore; Continue reading “How do rich people who came from poor backgrounds handle the relationships with their still-poor friends? Do they get approached for money a lot? How do they handle these requests?”
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What do rich people who have lost everything miss most about having money?

My 68 years old uncle lost his job as a top manager in a British company in his 40s and was unable to find any job since.

When he was fired, he had accumulated quite a fortune that he estimated would have lasted him for all his remaining life (he never had kids or a spouse).

Due to medical emergencies, depression, bad friendships and decisions, he depleted his fortune in less than 20 years and he is now completely money less and lives an extremely frugal life as a retiree.

He is still resilient and upbeat, and I speak frequently with him about his life, what he would have done differently and what he misses the most of the good years.

Here is a short list of what my uncle misses of his “good years”:

  1. Girlfriends: as long as my uncle was rich he always had an amazing touch with women. He maintained a bit of this touch even after he was not rich anymore but obviously now he cannot do with these girls all the things he did before. In particular, when he was rich he was traveling a lot with a series of girlfriends scattered among Europe. These trips started in the 70s and he still remembers amazing hotels in Capri, Venice, London, Prague, Budapest, Paris which he visited with these girls and made amazing memories with. Continue reading “What do rich people who have lost everything miss most about having money?”
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Why are some wealthy people so frugal?

Being frugal is awesome.

Learning to love being frugal has been a life changing experience for me for the following reasons:

  1. You must realize that you do not need 90% of the stuff on sale out there: the vast majority of the stuff advertised in front of our eyeballs 24/7 is completely not necessary. Except for extremely rare exceptions related to our basic needs, buying stuffy only adds complications to our lives and worries to our brains, while reducing our savings in the banks. This has nothing to do with being frugal, but rather with being merely rational. If you do not need something, you must not buy it, regardless how frequently you are bombarded by ads, recommendations, etc. Continue reading “Why are some wealthy people so frugal?”
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Are there many Italians in the French Foreign Legion, and how does the Italian government view these people?

I only indirectly know of an Italian guy who was involved in the 80s in a football-related riot between two different supporters factions, where one young man ended up being killed by a knife wound.

He was indicted together with half a dozen of other supporters who joined that fatal fight: once the investigation started, it was a clear that one or more of them would have given an exemplary sentence and eventually would have served a very long sentence for homicide. Continue reading “Are there many Italians in the French Foreign Legion, and how does the Italian government view these people?”

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How do you continue living after very bad financial decisions?

Start saving with no mercy.

We all do mistakes and we all take bad financial decisions sooner or later in life.

Personally, after a big financial mistake, I normally enter into an extreme saving mode.

In this way I am able to:

  1. Regain focus on what really counts in my life;
  2. Appreciate how little I need to live a joyful life;
  3. Accumulate quickly a not irrelevant sum to make up for my mistake;
  4. Appreciate that my values are stronger than a financial loss: I do not let this loss destroy my mood for a long period of time.
  5. Understand from my mistakes so that I do not make them anymore in the future.

I know first hand that a bad financial mistake is painful, but I hope that with focus, patience and perseverance you will regain what you have lost and never lose confidence in yourself.

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What is the best ski resort?

These are my personal favorite ski destinations, with nice resorts and reasonably easy slopes in Europe:

A.If you want to ski on the Mont Blanc: Chamonix (FR) or Courmayeur (IT). Nice resorts, reasonably updated lifts. Nice multicultural/younger crowds. Excellent food at reasonable prices. The offer of apartments, AirBNB and Hotel rooms is very large, so even in peak season you can find something for almost any budget. Downsides: cars everywhere during peak season! It’s a mess to move aroundunless you walk (but the villages are pretty large so everybody uses the car).

B.If you want to ski on the Matterhorn / Mount Cervin / Cervino: Zermatt (CH) or Cervinia (IT). The slopes are fantastic and the domineering view of the Matterhorn is absolutely intoxicating (of the two sides, the Swiss one is probably more beautiful). The slopes are well groomed and the lifts have mostly been renovated in the last 10 years. Ski teachers are multilingual and very kind (but cost like a London finance lawyer!). Zermatt is completely car-free and you can reach it very easily by train from Zurich or Milan: fantastic. Downsides: Peak season is after January 6th (Orthodox Xmas) because of the inflow of wealthy Russian visitors (in January prices are very high). Also: there is basically no nightlife (at night the silence and gentle light system throughout the city will make it look like a fairytale Alpine village) and the people skiing there are mostly the age of your parents.

C.If you want to ski on the Dolomites: Cortina d’Ampezzo (IT). Excellent slopes with very nice views over the Dolomites. Food is good and the village is beautiful and well-maintained. Hotels are a bit old but with charme. The crowd is mostly Italian, with the occasional foreigner. Downsides: Cortina is very expensive (not just for Italian standards: I compared the prices in January and they are generally on par or more expensive even than Zermatt)and it can only be reached by car or coach bus. Also, you will most likely need a car to move around as the city is pretty wide and some of the best slopes (San Cassiano, Alta Badia, etc.) are only reachable by car. The closest slopes are Faloria (walking distance from the city center) and Socrepes (take the n. 3 bus). January/February is peak season, so prices are normally driven up too.

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What was the most promiscuous person you have ever met like?

I know two guys who are total legends in the “promiscuity” field.

They are both attorneys in Milan, one in his 30s and the other recently turned 50. They are both certainly not workaholics and career is not their first priority in life (something else is, see below).

Both are fantastically skilled in street-pick-up.

You may have already heard before that there are many people who have this skill, but when you actually see with your eyes one of them “at work” it is pretty mindblowing (especially for an adult man) how they can just start talking with any girl they choose and after a drink and 30 minutes of chatting and laugh, they can head back to her place for sex. With all due respect, they are basically the Roger Federerof the Promiscuity Championship.

From what I could see with my own eyes, even if they don’t know each other, they are both very similar:

A.Look: the first thing to clarify is the following: both are completely average-looking guys. Not particularly handsome, not particularly kind, no fancy car, not particularly funny, smart or romantic, no fancy clothes or watch, they don’t go to gym, nothing, zero of this stuff. Completely average guys.

B. Practice: they practice the Art every day. They train everywhere and every time: at breakfast at the bar, during the lunch-break, during the aperitivo at the evening, even after dinner. They never rest and are always on Alert-Mode. They never know when the next chance will be, so they need to always be ready. For them, taking the next girl to bed is a matter of continuously perfecting the Artand maintaing the momentum: there are no rest-days in their calendar.

C. Experience: they both told me that they started very earlyin life, at 14–15. When their peers were focused on playing football or basket, they wanted to take as many girls as possible to bed: now that they are well into their 30–50, even if they have very taxing jobs and responsibilities, this is a habit deeply ingrained in their life routine. There are weeks were they are able to take 7 different women to bed (1 for every day, Monday to Sunday). Once they see a girl that ticks all the boxes (more on this later), they have almost like a Pavlovian Reflex and start the “Ritual” below.

D.“The Eye”: preliminarily, it must be said that they both developed a set of skills that normal people do not really care much of, which grouped all together I called “the Eye”. TheirEye is simply on another level of analytical firepower: in a blink, they notice impossibly tiny details, body language, eye contact, smile and face expression and if all the boxes are mentally ticked, they approach the girl without a second thought. After years of experience they already know when ‘that’ specific girl will be seduced in a very short time.

E. First Contact: once the Eye has found a target, they approach the girl: they keep their hands in their front pockets, make a step and say “how are you?” or “where are you from?(one of their preferred targets in Italy are “the foreigner Tourist girls”), keeping their chin up and not losing eye-contact.

F.The Ritual: once they start talking, they have a set of questions and sentences (completely vanilla and generic) to keep the conversation going, no matter what. There is no pause, the girl is always “special”, “fantastic”,they often say “oh, I know what you mean”, etc. The conversation goes on until out of the blue he asks her to have a drink somewhere. If the girl does not decline, the ritual goes on for some more time and eventually once the girl is completely in their ‘reality distortion field’ the two first kiss right there and shortly after that first kiss they agree to have sex at her place.

F. Zero social media:quite curiously, both have no social media precence, they do not have Whatsapp, have no Instagram. They both do not use Tinder or any dating appsof sort. Their promiscuity is completely “analogic”, like the social media revolution never happened. They perfected the Art and pick up any girl wherever they are: it can be at the supermarket, at the gas station, at a party, in a book fair, art exhibition, wherever. As far as I am aware they seduce hundreds of women every year. I asked them why they don’t use any apps or social media and the answer has always been: “too time consuming” and “not worth the effort”.

G. No attachment: I asked them repeatedly and they both confirmed that they never get attached to the girl of the moment, no matter how amazing she is. Whenever they seduce a new girl, for them is just another day at the office. There is no emotional attachment whatsoever, which really surprised me. After they go to her place and do what they need to do, they go back home or to the office and go on with their life. No exchange of phone numbers, no “I want to see you one more time”, nothing.

H.They never went into trouble:just to be totally clear, all women were consensual adults that simply were fascinated by them and accepted the idea of having an ‘adventure’.

I. What’s the point? (Since many asked in the comments, I added this) I asked them the same and they both say that: 1) they just love sex very much (they cannot stand the idea of being monogamous) and 2) they love to test themselves and see if they are able to take one more girl to bed. It’s more or less something like an addiction.

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