Amidst a growing societal discussion on racism, inequality, and social conflict, we need to focus on practical ways that we can address these issues. One of the challenges for disadvantaged people is that they lack access to the key tools for managing money and building wealth. Efforts aimed at increasing access to low-cost financial services … Continue reading Financial inclusion
For years, I wanted to write a book on personal finance and financial literacy. I finally found the time and wrote my take on what people need to understand in order to be effective with money. I have gone back and forth about whether to publish the manuscript through traditional means, self publish, etc. I … Continue reading Free guide to personal finance
I have been reading a very interesting book called Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers. The authors' thesis is that people, companies, and governments place far too much faith in quantitative predictions and measures. The failure of predictions and planning lies in the inherent limitations in our understanding and data. This relates to Nassim Taleb's … Continue reading Radical Uncertainty and COVID-19
While experts have been warning about the potential for global pandemics for years, the emergence and spread of COVID-19 has been an enormous shock to societal systems. Along with the risk to life and health, many families have have been thrown into economic turmoil. In a world with the potential for social and economic shocks … Continue reading Does COVID-19 change the rules of personal finance?
The issue of retirement savings in the United States needs more sensible discussion and fewer sensationalist headlines such as The Retirement Crisis is Much Worse Than You Think and Fears of a Retirement Crisis are Overblown - and These Numbers Prove It. Unfortunately, discussions of this topic are rife with simplistic and misleading statistical arguments. … Continue reading Misleading statistics on the retirement crisis
In discussions of all sorts of public policy, it is common to see references to the average American or the average household. It seems to me that the entire idea of the average American household may be fairly meaningless. About 33% of Americans have a college education. The average incomes of people with college degrees … Continue reading Is it useful to discuss the ‘average American’?
As a financial professional and an avid individual investor, I have followed the evolution of the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement with considerable interest. I have written a couple of blog posts on FIRE here and here. I just ran across an article saying that one of my favorite FIRE authors, Financial Samurai … Continue reading When early retirement doesn’t work out
There is an endless stream of articles discussing the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement. The plan is to save a very high percentage of your working income, invest the proceeds, and then retire young and live off of investment income. There is, however, another way to achieve many or all of the benefits … Continue reading Instead of FIRE, consider this
The ways that people earn money, spend, borrow, and invest are all changing quickly. We are experiencing the greatest changes in personal finance since the start of the industrial revolution. To thrive in the new economy, people need to know far more and be disciplined and proactive in managing their finances. In this post, I … Continue reading The evolution of personal finance
Carrying debt can have costs far beyond the interest paid, something that few people fully appreciate. Debt repayment has substantial opportunity costs, which means that there are decisions that are unavailable because you are repaying debts. A substantial component of these opportunity costs relates to tax benefits. Lost tax benefits The single most important opportunity … Continue reading Tallying the ultimate costs of debt