Weight loss and investing

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
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corwin
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Weight loss and investing

Post by corwin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:19 pm

I think there are many similarities between healthy weight loss and good investing. Both are on my mind these days:

1. You must stay away from fads that promise too much too quickly.
2. It starts with a commitment.
3. There is the initial period of sorting through noise to find good advice and information.
4. Some of your friends will tell you that you are doing it wrong.
5. You are very excited when you first start to see your waistline shrink or your account grow.
6. Checking your progress every day can be frustrating but the long-term trends are positive.
7. Once you have good habits and discipline it becomes a little boring.
8. Every once in a while you will have setbacks but you can always get back on track.
9. The temptation will be there to take things to the extreme and risk a burn out.
10. Once you have achieved success some people will say you are lucky; it came easily for you; and it would never work for them.

bloom2708
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:28 pm

I agree with the similarities. Like fees, the best way to lose weight is to not gain it (pay it) in the first place. Hard lessons on both fronts.

I have a "code red" weight. If I hit that number, I have to eat better and exercise more to get under it. More than "normal" eating good and regular exercise.

Nobody in my extended family understands this concept.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

ResearchMed
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:54 pm

We have a similar "strategy" to monitor both weight loss and investment gain.

For weight loss (which is not an "all the time" situation, but, shall we say, "too often"), we make note of each "new low", and don't get upset when the current weight isn't a new low.

For investment gains, which is an ongoing process (until we start drawing down in a few years), we make note of each "new high", and don't get upset when the current total isn't a new high.

Very easy fo "monitor".
And yes, we do monitor both frequently.

That is, we focus on the positive :happy , and not the negative.
Works for us.

We'll need to figure something else once we do start drawing down, and it isn't likely to be quite a simple as looking at a single figure.

RM
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bigred77
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by bigred77 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:54 pm

I see a lot of the similarities as well.

My problem is I'm knowledgeable on both fronts. I know exactly what to do, how to do it, and why to do it.
I have found I have pretty good financial discipline and have seen the results.
I have found I have almost no diet/exercise discipline and have not seen the results :annoyed I always seem to fall off the wagon after 2-3 months and all my progress gets reversed. Then I wallow in self pity for a few months before I renew my dedication. Endless circle with me :twisted:

randomguy
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by randomguy » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:04 pm

bigred77 wrote:I see a lot of the similarities as well.

My problem is I'm knowledgeable on both fronts. I know exactly what to do, how to do it, and why to do it.
I have found I have pretty good financial discipline and have seen the results.
I have found I have almost no diet/exercise discipline and have not seen the results :annoyed I always seem to fall off the wagon after 2-3 months and all my progress gets reversed. Then I wallow in self pity for a few months before I renew my dedication. Endless circle with me :twisted:
Problem is you are requiring discipline. Having systems that don't require discpline work a lot better. Things like making all your meals on Sunday and labeling them with their calorie content makes it easy. You eat til you hit your number and then are done.If you gain weight, you lower your number. Lose to much weight, you up it. Can't stop at just 1 glass of wine? Don't have wine in the house. And so on. Finances are the same. You don't want to write checks every month. You auto invest and set up a time or two a year to adjust.

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rob
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by rob » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:06 pm

If only weight loss was as easy as investing..... :shock:
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 pm

corwin wrote:I think there are many similarities between healthy weight loss and good investing. Both are on my mind these days:

1. You must stay away from fads that promise too much too quickly.
2. It starts with a commitment.
3. There is the initial period of sorting through noise to find good advice and information.
4. Some of your friends will tell you that you are doing it wrong.
5. You are very excited when you first start to see your waistline shrink or your account grow.
6. Checking your progress every day can be frustrating but the long-term trends are positive.
7. Once you have good habits and discipline it becomes a little boring.
8. Every once in a while you will have setbacks but you can always get back on track.
9. The temptation will be there to take things to the extreme and risk a burn out.
10. Once you have achieved success some people will say you are lucky; it came easily for you; and it would never work for them.
You neglected William Bernstein's "weight loss" analogy from "If You Can":
"Dieting and investing are both simple, but neither is easy."
Anybody know why there's a 20-pound frozen turkey up in the light grid?

Maverick3320
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Maverick3320 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 pm

One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed

Wagnerjb
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Wagnerjb » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:13 pm

Excellent list, and I agree 100% with the comparisons.

Also, in both activities there is a lot of money to be made telling naive or lazy people what they want to hear and how easy it is to lose weight or retire early. "Lose weight without exercise"...."You can retire rich", etc. There is always the new fad......the low carb diet, the high carb diet, the no meat diet, the latest hot mutual fund, the latest get rich quick scheme, the new hot asset class, the new investing strategy, yada yada yada....just send me your money. :D

It is all about will power and discipline.

Best wishes.
Andy

bloom2708
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:18 pm

rob wrote:If only weight loss was as easy as investing..... :shock:
We just passed a major holiday. Would anyone eat ham if you were trying to lose weight? or cheesy potatoes or 5 types of deserts?

Nope. But tradition demands it. :oops: We were hosting. I said, let's make chicken instead of ham. You can't eat chicken. You have to eat ham. Preferably, bacon wrapped ham. :shock:

Self inflicted.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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corwin
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by corwin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:23 pm

bigred77 wrote:I see a lot of the similarities as well.

My problem is I'm knowledgeable on both fronts. I know exactly what to do, how to do it, and why to do it.
I have found I have pretty good financial discipline and have seen the results.
I have found I have almost no diet/exercise discipline and have not seen the results :annoyed I always seem to fall off the wagon after 2-3 months and all my progress gets reversed. Then I wallow in self pity for a few months before I renew my dedication. Endless circle with me :twisted:
I try to manage my appetite. If I am hungry all the time I know I will eventually give up. Not sure if there is analogy with investing. Maybe, it is to try to enjoy life along the way and if you can do that without spending a lot of money even better.

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flamesabers
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by flamesabers » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Maverick3320 wrote:One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed
As you get older, you have to be more careful about your asset allocation just as you would about your weight and overall health.

When you're young it's much easier to make mistakes and bounce back into a good position in a short amount of time, whether it be with eating unhealthy food or making bad investment/savings decisions. When I was a kid my parents told me if I'm not careful about eating the right foods when I'm at their age, your body will be very unforgiving. As for investing, I've heard the saying "there are no do-overs at retirement."

fishandgolf
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:54 pm

I stopped worrying about losing weight.........I am now concentrating on getting taller :sharebeer

FloRidaRocky
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by FloRidaRocky » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:10 pm

One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed
Easy to blame it on something you have no control over, compared to getting off the couch and putting the work in.
Sorry to be so blunt, but I just get annoyed when I see that excuse being used. I am 41 and weigh the same as when I was 23. Diet and exercise, it's not that difficult, just requires some discipline.

bantam222
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by bantam222 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:15 pm

bloom2708 wrote:I agree with the similarities. Like fees, the best way to lose weight is to not gain it (pay it) in the first place. Hard lessons on both fronts.

I have a "code red" weight. If I hit that number, I have to eat better and exercise more to get under it. More than "normal" eating good and regular exercise.

Nobody in my extended family understands this concept.
This is what I do too.

I have never mentioned it to anyone else (not hiding it, just my weight does not come up very often, I am very average size), but I'm surprised they do not understand this strategy. Seems like a very easy way to maintain weight. The only time you have to "diet" is when you put yourself in this situation.

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Dutch
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Dutch » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:18 pm

It would seem that they are opposites: losing vs. gaining

Fallible
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Fallible » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:31 pm

The similarities are based largely on the self-discipline required, and not just to lose weight and invest wisely, but for nearly everything we do. Much of the Bogleheads' philosophy can be applied to life in general, in particular planning, diversifying, low costs, never bearing too much or too little risk, keeping it simple, staying the course.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

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dm200
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:54 pm

Maverick3320 wrote:One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed
That is what my wife says; I disagree.

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dm200
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:57 pm

My perception of a big similarity:

If you are successful in your method(s) of both, great numbers of the unsuccessful will tell you (over and over) that are wrong in your approach.

Another similarity: Great numbers of folks think you need to spend money (sometimes a lot) to be successful and you cannot do it by yourself.

stoptothink
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by stoptothink » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:58 pm

FloRidaRocky wrote:
One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed
Easy to blame it on something you have no control over, compared to getting off the couch and putting the work in.
Sorry to be so blunt, but I just get annoyed when I see that excuse being used. I am 41 and weigh the same as when I was 23. Diet and exercise, it's not that difficult, just requires some discipline.
:beer I am a young'in, 36, but I do weigh less than I did at 11...and I weigh ~210.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:02 pm

bloom2708 wrote:I agree with the similarities. Like fees, the best way to lose weight is to not gain it (pay it) in the first place. Hard lessons on both fronts.

I have a "code red" weight. If I hit that number, I have to eat better and exercise more to get under it. More than "normal" eating good and regular exercise.

Nobody in my extended family understands this concept.
Lots of great parallels between weight loss and investing.

Regarding weight loss, I think it's best to fight the battle in the first 10 lbs. I guess a similarity to investing is to regularly go over your spending so you can fix things before they get too out of control.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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dm200
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by dm200 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:27 pm

dm200 wrote:My perception of a big similarity:
If you are successful in your method(s) of both, great numbers of the unsuccessful will tell you (over and over) that are wrong in your approach.
Another similarity: Great numbers of folks think you need to spend money (sometimes a lot) to be successful and you cannot do it by yourself.
Yet another: High visibility promotions (surely costly) for this or that approach (none of which are good for long term success).

corysold
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by corysold » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:27 pm

Good thread.

One way to do better at both is to think of the money you had to spend to become overweight. You likely paid for the food to eat to gain every extra pound you now want to lose.

So losing weight is good for your finances.

Besides, losing/maintaining weight is easy, just don't eat anything but a normal dinner two days a week. If you can gain weight doing that, you are really trying.
Last edited by corysold on Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AnnieK
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by AnnieK » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:53 pm

While certainly not the most beloved personal finance guy in this forum, something from Dave Ramsey's book rattles around in my mind a lot. I don't remember the exact words but it boiled down to: With enough self-control, I can be thin and rich. I'm 11 years in and getting there on both counts.

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dm200
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by dm200 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:59 pm

corysold wrote:Good thread.
One way to do better at both is to think of the money you had to spend to become overweight. You likely paid for the food to eat to gain every extra pound you now want to lose.
So losing weight is good for your finances.
Besides, losing/maintaining weight is easy, just don't anything buy a normal dinner two days a week. If you can gain weight doing that, you are really trying.
Absolutely!! Most mornings my breakfast is regular Oatmeal - $8 for 10 pounds at Costco

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:49 pm

corysold wrote:Besides, losing/maintaining weight is easy, just don't eat anything but a normal dinner two days a week. If
No, that's simple, not easy.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

bloom2708
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:50 pm

Maybe the start of a sister site:

Bogleheads.org

Boglebodies.org

:o
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

randomguy
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by randomguy » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:19 pm

corysold wrote:Good thread.

One way to do better at both is to think of the money you had to spend to become overweight. You likely paid for the food to eat to gain every extra pound you now want to lose.

So losing weight is good for your finances.

Besides, losing/maintaining weight is easy, just don't eat anything but a normal dinner two days a week. If you can gain weight doing that, you are really trying.
Calories are dirt cheap. There is a reason why poor people can be fat these days.

With out more details, you plan is hard to evaluated. I assume you mean eat normally 5 days a week and only eat 2 meals on the other (i.e. trying to live on 2 meals week is not going to work for anyone). That might generate ~2k less in calories (there is a lot of risk of overeating on the other days. Some evidence that it reduces maintence calories)/ week. That isn't a heck of a lot. If you are currently in surplus (i.e you are getting fatter), that might only be enough to get to break even. And people have all sorts of reactions to fasting type plans. Some people love them. Others don't function well at all. Trying to push your experiences onto others isn't very useful.

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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:47 pm

bloom2708 wrote:Maybe the start of a sister site:

Bogleheads.org

Boglebodies.org

:o
Do you have to have a heart transplant to join?

viewtopic.php?t=184935
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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ram
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by ram » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:49 am

Is there any data to show that age, sex and race matched Bogleheads have better BMI than non bogleheads (general US population). Perhaps time for a new poll.
If 'ability to make a plan and stick to it' is the common underlying principle then there presumably should be a correlation. What is the correlation between 'healthy BMI' and 'healthy net worth' (for various age groups)?
Ram

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El Greco
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by El Greco » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:32 pm

Here's what I do vis a vis weight loss and investing: Exactly the opposite of what the experts recommend.

I check my weight everyday and I check my investments everyday.

Here's my logic: If I'm in diet mode, a loss of a few ounces makes me happy for the whole day. If on that day, I also suffer a loss in the markets, it sort of balances things out. If the market goes up, it's a win-win. If my weight goes up and the market goes down, I redouble my weight loss efforts for the next day and reason that checking my investments everyday can sometimes make me sad but it does desensitize me to volatility.

Am I crazy? A little bit

Am I overweight right now? A little bit.

Am I dieting right now? Yes.

This morning the scale indicated that I gained a few ounces, but my investments did fine. So what could have been a bad day, turned out OK. :wink: The moral of all this? In weight loss and investing you must Stay the Course to be successful and use your success in one to reinforce your conviction in the other.
Last edited by El Greco on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jimmie
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Jimmie » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:49 pm

In addition to that list, I would add another similarity: A once in a while, but reasonable, treat works wonders to keep up the morale needed to stay the course.

Weight loss reward example: Cookie
Investment reward example: Vacation

Ari
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Ari » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:23 am

It's all about numbers in minus numbers out. Simple rules of humble arithmetic.
All in, all the time.

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dm200
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:09 pm

Calories are dirt cheap. There is a reason why poor people can be fat these days.

With out more details, you plan is hard to evaluated. I assume you mean eat normally 5 days a week and only eat 2 meals on the other (i.e. trying to live on 2 meals week is not going to work for anyone). That might generate ~2k less in calories (there is a lot of risk of overeating on the other days. Some evidence that it reduces maintence calories)/ week. That isn't a heck of a lot. If you are currently in surplus (i.e you are getting fatter), that might only be enough to get to break even. And people have all sorts of reactions to fasting type plans. Some people love them. Others don't function well at all. Trying to push your experiences onto others isn't very useful.
We, apparently, seriously disagree on this issue.

Jimmie
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Jimmie » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:56 pm

Ari wrote:It's all about numbers in minus numbers out. Simple rules of humble arithmetic.
Assuming the "numbers" you refer to include nutrition and I assume by "numbers" you mean calories.

Although the "numbers" work in the short term, i.e. the McDonald's diet may lose X pounds in Y months. However, in the long term, nutrition matters.

I consider myself somewhat of an expert. I won a county weight loss contest in 2013. Lost 60 pounds in 6 months. Did everything right. Actually lost enough to reach a normal BMI, which is tough to do at 55. Saw everyone else try fad diets and all the other tricks. I stuck to keeping myself in a 1,000 calorie a day deficit through cardio workouts. Tracked my loss against the fact that a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so 7,000 calorie deficit should equal 2 pounds lost per week. (I averaged 2.25)

After I won, I had my yearly physical. My doctor determined I was still deficient in vitamin B and D. All this after eating more salmon than a grizzly bear and all the other "super foods" like spinach, broccoli, almonds, Greek yogurt and so forth.

Nutrition matters. Now that I will live to 120, my investment strategy changes. :?

Maverick3320
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Re: Weight loss and investing

Post by Maverick3320 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:09 pm

FloRidaRocky wrote:
One disagreement: weight loss gets harder as you get older :annoyed
Easy to blame it on something you have no control over, compared to getting off the couch and putting the work in.
Sorry to be so blunt, but I just get annoyed when I see that excuse being used. I am 41 and weigh the same as when I was 23. Diet and exercise, it's not that difficult, just requires some discipline.
I think you misunderstood my statement.

I'm 5'11 and 170 pounds. I run a 6 minute mile and spend very little time on my couch. I wasn't making any excuses for anyone, simply pointing out that it generally gets harder to stay in shape as one ages. Science agrees with me.

Cheers :sharebeer

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