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Who has had the greatest influence on your financial thinking?

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Carma Park
Carma Park
2 days ago

Jonathan! I’ve been reading Jonathan’s writings for many years, because what he says makes so much sense.

Matt White
Matt White
1 month ago

Jesus has. I don’t say that to try to sound pious.

One of my most consistent prayers is that my thinking—all of it, including financial thinking—would be pleasing to Jesus, and would resemble how Jesus would think if he were living my life here today.

In the bio I use at the end of my articles, I say that I am “equally comfortable talking about Luke 6:43, Section 643 of the Internal Revenue Code and the 6-4-3 double play.” Luke 6:43 says, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.” That does not mean that the goal is trying to be good enough to earn a status as a good tree. It’s the other way around. When Jesus changes you from the inside, it shows in your life. As the next verse says, “for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.”

Mike Zaccardi
Mike Zaccardi
1 month ago

Clark Howard. I began listening to him when I was 16. Saved up to fund my Roth IRA when I turned 18 in 2005 and haven’t looked back since. I should’ve stayed tried and true to his advice of simplicity. I tinkered with stock and options trading in college then got too cute with niche ETFs in the 2010s. Looking back, I should’ve opened fewer accounts and stuck with a few core ETFs/index mutual funds.

Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
1 month ago

My dad always invested in stocks, and while he didn’t directly educate me on the ins and outs, I always understood that this was something you should strive to do.

Later, after making too many mistakes while trying to be a picker of individual stocks, I saw the light of index investing. This was thanks to John Bogle and Vanguard, and—not to make him blush but—regular reading of Jonathan’s WSJ columns.

Edmund Marsh
Edmund Marsh
1 month ago

There was no instruction in investing, but I learned frugal living from my parents, and the habit of hard work. My father’s example of putting talent and time toward something useful remains a guiding light for me.

My maternal grandfather was also not a stock investor. But as a child in the early 1970s, I spent half a dozen summers with him on his farm listening to him talk about commodity markets, economics, diversification–of crops, and other financial topics. His voice is in my head today.

David Sayler
David Sayler
1 month ago

My father and maternal grandfather had the largest impact – in that they talked about stocks and investing. There were no lectures – but when the opportunity came up, they would give me good guidance.

After them, William Bernstein had a huge impact – especially his four books Investing for Adults.

Finally, Andrew Tobias’s book The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need. It was the first investment book that I ever read. His arguments for saving money, and how to do that resonated with me.

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