Awareness

Your past performance doesn’t guarantee your future results

The phrase “past performance doesn’t guarantee future results” is ubiquitous in financial sales literature. It has to be; it’s the law. Having encountered that phrase hundreds or thousands of times so far in my reading over the years, it’s become almost a mantra too. But as I occupy myself not just with how to help … Continue reading »

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Is there someone at the IRS who’s a math lover?

WARNING: This post contains math. I love math. You know this. I think math is one of our world’s ways of expressing beauty. To me, there are few things more pleasing to the eye than a elegant mathematical statement. (People tend to agree on this.) And so, if for no other reason than we all … Continue reading »

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How much is that cheap thing costing you?

I’m a big fan of purchasing responsibly. I’m not profligate with my spending, but I do feel like it’s important to spend a little extra on certain things that provide a significant return, be it personally or financially. But I also have learned over time to take a longer view of purchases. It’s not just … Continue reading »

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The moment I learned that dollar stores aren’t a good deal

In 2003, I was living in New York City, working a retail job where I made around $13 an hour. (That’s a $26,000 salary equivalent.) My rent was $675, which meant that I was spending 50% of my take home pay just to live and keep the lights on. It wasn’t quite “result misery”, as … Continue reading »

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The past and future of home prices, or how no one remembers history

In many areas of the country, home prices are going crazy. Or at least that’s the narrative. I just discovered an amazingly engrossing interactive chart by The Economist where they show home prices in various U.S. cities as a function of time and other metrics. The picture it paints with home prices is one that matches … Continue reading »

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How to potentially double your money’s impact via lump sum debt reduction

It can be hard to visualize how paying a debt off works. There’s an interplay between principal and interest. You pay money to reduce the principal, but during that time, interest on the debt has piled up, reducing the impact of your payment and adding to the amount you owe. You might think the a … Continue reading »

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More about how not to get lost

In my last post, I started talking about how not to get lost. I believe everyone can both know where they are, as well as figure out where they need to go. All it takes is a little focused energy, patience, and the desire to actually do it. But perhaps I was a little hasty. I … Continue reading »

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How not to get lost

People say I have a very good sense of direction. I guess so. I prefer to say that most people have an undeveloped (or rather, untapped) sense of direction. Just like I believe that anyone can become good with math over time, I believe that anyone can become better with directions over time. In both … Continue reading »

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Fear the timeshare

As I mentioned, I’m writing this from Las Vegas, the place where everyone goes in order to embody the experience of YOLO. It’s a dizzying place, with everything designed to disorient you. And hey, since you can’t seem to find the exit door, look at this shiny slot machine! It’s only 5 cents to play! … Continue reading »

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The problem with YOLO

I’m in Vegas this week. Everyone has a strong reaction to that phrase, and it’s quite revealing about them. Sometimes it’s, “Ugh, Vegas, what a hellhole“, but more often it’s “Awesome! What kind of craziness are you gonna get up to? Are you drinking yet? How much money have you lost on the slots?” Ahem. … Continue reading »

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