ONE WINTER DAY IN 2016, I jotted down a few comments about the financial markets and emailed them to a group of clients. I received a few responses—some of them positive—so I did the same thing the following week, and I’ve continued that practice every week since.
For better or worse, when it comes to investment markets, there’s always something new to discuss. But it can also be helpful to pause and revisit key investment principles from time to time.
IN SEPTEMBER 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a column entitled “The Simple Secret to Building Wealth.” An early paragraph began thus: “Wealth is born of great savings habits.”
As I read along, I found myself not only agreeing, but also wondering if the author had secretly consulted with my wife prior to penning the column. The similarities between his suggestions and our savings habits were striking.
I wrote an email to the author—who,
MY SIMPLE BUT successful financial life is the result of four lessons I learned through the school of hard knocks.
Lesson No. 1, learned as a child growing up on a farm: Chores are not optional and are never accompanied by cash bribes. Lesson No. 2, learned as a college student: Spend all your time studying, working jobs and sleeping, and you can earn a degree without taking out a loan. Lesson No. 3,
I BEGAN WRITING for HumbleDollar in early 2020. As a market junkie, but one who’s also deeply curious about personal finance, I was already a regular reader of the site.
Since then, I’ve contributed roughly 140 pieces. My articles and blog posts often focus on the financial markets and long-term investing, with a nod toward the financial independence movement. What do my 10 favorite posts have in common? They’re mostly focused on macro trends and my own financial journey.
I GRADUATED FROM college in 2007, shortly before the economy was brought to its knees by the Great Recession. I worked in asset management for Macerich (symbol: MAC), a publicly traded real estate investment trust. During the panic, the company’s share price plunged from $92 to $5.
There was fear in the markets. You might even say mass hysteria. Our executives were mostly miserable because their stock options were underwater. Waves of layoffs ensued.
LAST WEEK, I TALKED about Carveth Read, the English philosopher who’s famous for saying, “It is better to be vaguely right than exactly wrong.” This, in my view, is one of the most important ideas in personal finance.
My focus last week was on the “vaguely right” part of Read’s statement. But what about the second part—the importance of not being “exactly wrong”? Below are seven situations in which trying to be exactly right might,
I’M AN 81-YEAR-OLD retired radiologist. Early in my medical career, I realized my stock broker was managing my account for his benefit, not mine. I fired him and took charge of managing my own investments.
Today, I have four granddaughters who are starting to invest. Over the years, as I learned more about personal finance, I put together a 130-page financial notebook. My granddaughters probably don’t want to read my lengthy notes, so I decided to put together a one-page summary.
I GOT AN EMAIL last month that also went to half-a-dozen other HumbleDollar writers—those of us who have been the site’s most prolific contributors. It came from HumbleDollar’s editor. His request: Please come up with a list of your 10 favorite articles that you’ve written for the site.
I immediately knew what type of article I’d select—ones that weren’t just about personal finance, but rather were about more than money.
ONE OF THE MOST important ideas in personal finance comes not from a financial expert but from a 20th century English philosopher named Carveth Read. “It is better to be vaguely right,” he wrote, “than exactly wrong.”
Why is this idea important? It gets to the heart of why financial planning can be so tricky. For starters, few people—if any—can claim to be perfectly rational when it comes to money decisions. But more to the point,
RETIREMENT PLANNING videos and books can be frustrating because of the conflicting advice from so-called experts. Often, these experts are outside the mainstream. They retired in their 30s, or saved 50% of their income, or claim to be living so frugally in retirement that they need to replace just half of their old salary.
I prefer to think more about average Americans facing the reality and challenges of planning for retirement in the real world.
I’M NOT BIG ON MAKING New Year’s resolutions. Still, January is a good time to conduct some financial housekeeping. Below are 10 ideas to consider as the calendar turns over.
1. Portfolio cleanup. I sometimes feel like a broken record when I talk about the disadvantages of actively managed mutual funds. Among other issues, they tend to underperform and are tax-inefficient. But here’s the challenge: Even after factoring in 2022’s decline, the S&P 500 has risen more than 600% since 2009’s market bottom.
AMID THE GIFT BUYING and holiday celebrating, what were folks reading? Here are last month’s 10 most popular HumbleDollar articles and blog posts:
Thanks to legislation just passed by Congress, big changes lie ahead for both retirees and retirement savers. Greg Spears details 11 key changes and what they mean for your money.
Over the past six years, readers have cast an eye on almost 18 million HumbleDollar pages. What were they looking at?
MOST OF US ARE forever striving to be better versions of ourselves—usually with mixed success. Still, the changing of the calendar often prompts renewed efforts. But what should we focus on? Let me offer 10 words that I try to live by.
1. Pause. Throughout the day, we make snap decisions, and they usually work out just fine—except when it comes to spending and investment choices. Got an overwhelming urge to buy an expensive bauble or make a portfolio change?
READERS HAVE PERUSED almost 18 million HumbleDollar pages over the past six years. Many of those pageviews were garnered by the homepage, the latest articles page and the main money guide page. But what about the site’s articles? Below are the 30 best-read pieces since the site’s launch on Dec. 31, 2016.
If the list seems a little eclectic, there’s a good reason: Many of the articles that have enjoyed big traffic over the past six years have been those that got promoted by far larger sites.
IN THE INVESTMENT world, every year is unique. This year certainly has been.
But in some ways, every year is also the same. The specific events change, but many of the underlying themes and challenges don’t change a whole lot. As 2022 winds down, it’s a good time to take a closer look at six of those themes, as well as the steps investors might take to navigate them when, invariably, they present themselves again in 2023.