Clements’s Favorites

Jonathan Clements

I’VE PENNED MORE THAN 450 articles for HumbleDollar, so picking 10 favorites could have been a laborious task—if I’d bothered to look back through all the articles I’ve written.

But instead, I took an easier route, simply listing the articles that I could most easily recall. What made these articles memorable? Some were quite personal, while others broached ideas that I continue to grapple with to this day.

  • Really Useful Engine (Dec. 14, 2016). While HumbleDollar was launched on Dec. 31, 2016, the site’s initial articles came from an earlier website where I blogged occasionally. This was one of those articles. It grew out of a lunch with my friend Dave, and I believe he was the one who mentioned Thomas the Tank Engine. The topic of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation is one I still frequently think about.
  • Signal Failure (Nov. 9, 2019). From the time I started learning about investing in the mid-1980s, I was told to pay attention to valuations—and yet, in the decades since, valuations have screamed “stay away from stocks.” This was my attempt to explain what’s been going on.
  • Second Childhood (Jan. 27, 2018). The term “second childhood” is how I describe the past nine years, since I last had a fulltime job. It’s been a period during which I’ve tried countless new things and worked harder than ever before.
  • 15 Ways to Happy (July 11, 2020). For me, happiness research has been an abiding interest for almost two decades, and I’ve written countless articles on the topic for HumbleDollar. This one offers a summary of 15 key insights I’ve garnered from the research.
  • The Tipping Point (March 10, 2018). The initial years as a saver can be discouraging. But if you keep at it for a dozen years, you’ll hit a tipping point—and astonishing things start to happen.
  • Great to Gone (Feb. 1, 2020). This piece begins with the story of my great-great-grandfather, who was one of Britain’s richest men at the time of his death.
  • Measure for Measure (Aug. 12, 2017). When we think about our portfolio’s riskiness, we need to factor in what’s often our most valuable asset—our human capital. But how? My suggestion: Think about the savings we’ll add in the years ahead as part of our portfolio’s cash holdings.
  • Meet BraggingBucks (April 1, 2021). In the British media, there’s a long tradition of April Fools’ Day jokes, such as the famous TV segment on spaghetti trees. This was my attempt to help the tradition cross the Atlantic.
  • Timely Tale (Dec. 2, 2017). Financial success may hinge on the details, but it also requires us to see the big picture. This article offers a way to think about our lifetime financial journey.
  • A Man Possessed (Dec. 25, 2021). In this short article that I published on Christmas Day, I describe five of my most treasured possessions—all of which have almost no value for others.

This is the final installment in a series devoted to the favorite articles and blog posts penned by HumbleDollar’s most prolific writers. The earlier installments were from Dennis Friedman, Mike ZaccardiKristine HayesAdam Grossman, Rick Connor and Dick Quinn.

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