First Responders

Dennis Friedman

Dennis retired from Boeing Satellite Systems after a 30-year career in manufacturing. Born in Ohio, Dennis is a California transplant with a bachelor's degree in history and an MBA. A self-described "humble investor," he likes reading historical novels and about personal finance.

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First Responders

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 14, 2018

MY DOCTOR TOLD ME that my white blood cell count has been trending lower for the past five years. He was concerned there was something going on with my immune system and wanted me to see an oncologist.
The oncologist performed a number of tests and couldn’t find anything that would have caused my condition. He wasn’t concerned about my ability to fight off infections because my absolute neutrophil count was in an acceptable range.

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Truth Be Told

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 31, 2018

I WASN’T COMPLETELY honest when I wrote a recent article. HumbleDollar’s editor asked why I reduced my stock position in 2017 from roughly 50% to 25%. He suggested I should mention it in my article. My answer: “At the time I made these changes, I was losing confidence in the sustainability of the bull market and wanted to reduce my risk.” That was true—but it wasn’t the whole truth.
There’s another reason I initially left out the explanation for reducing my stock exposure: I’m simply not comfortable discussing my finances in great detail.

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Mind Games

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 25, 2018

I FEEL LIKE THERE is a death cloud hovering over me. I have been retired for nine years. I have lost my father and two of my best friends to cancer. I have seen aunts, uncles and cousins pass away. I have watched my mother struggle every day to do simple activities. When I talk to my friends, it usually ends in a discussion about our aches and pains or latest doctor’s appointments.
I’m not looking for sympathy or pity. 

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Looking Forward

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 11, 2018

I WAS LISTENING recently to a Bob Dylan song, From a Buick 6. One of the song’s lines is, “I need a dump truck, baby, to unload my head.” That’s how I sometimes feel about the churning in my own mind concerning retirement.
I turned 67 this year. This is probably one of the most critical periods for me as a retiree. There are things in my life I need to sort out,

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More Than Money

Dennis Friedman  |  Jun 19, 2018

WHEN I DECIDED to retire, I kept asking myself, “Do I have enough money?” If I’m lucky enough to live a long life, my savings might have to last 35 years.
My coworkers, however, had a different question. “Hey Dennis, what are you going to do with all your free time?” I was asked that question so many times it became annoying. I soon realized they had doubts about how they would stay busy during retirement.

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Leap of Faith

Dennis Friedman  |  Jun 5, 2018

SOME PEOPLE SAY I eat like a dog. I eat the same food everyday. For breakfast, I have egg whites with mushrooms on a whole wheat tortilla, and oatmeal with fruit and almonds. For lunch, I have a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocado and baby spring mixed lettuce, and usually a nonfat bean and rice burrito.  For dinner, I have vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and squash with fish or poultry. When I feel adventurous,

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Lessons Learned

Dennis Friedman  |  Apr 27, 2017

I HAVE MADE SOME glaring investment mistakes over the years. For instance, in my 20s, I was too conservative. I opened an individual retirement account and regularly invested the maximum annual contribution in a mortgage-backed bond fund. I still think about how much further ahead I would have been, if I had invested more of the money in stocks.
In my 30s, I received a $5,000 performance award from my employer. I wanted to invest the money,

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