Category Archives: New York Times


The Boring & Hard Plan for a Stable Financial Life

Over the last five years, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling the world to talk to people about money. At least one common theme comes up again and again: anxiety. People are worried about the future and want to know what they can do to prepare themselves for a…

signal noise

Ignore the Noise & Focus on Your Personal Signals

What happens when we’re driving and we reach a red light? We stop, right? When the light turns green, we hit the gas. If we don’t, it usually doesn’t take long for the driver behind us to start honking the horn. Anyone who has survived driver’s education (or sitting in…

Spending equals Values

Your Credit Card Statement: A Personal Manifesto

I have a crazy idea I want to run by you. Imagine that a cultural anthropologist finds one of your credit card statements in 100 years. What would your spending suggest you value the most? Based on your spending, what assumptions might someone make about how you live your life?…

Credt Card Stories

Telling Stories That Blur the Numbers

I love a good story. In fact, I used to tell myself at least one new story every time I opened my credit card statement. “Oh,” I’d say to myself, “I was so busy last month, it makes perfect sense that I ate out a dozen times. I’ll just eat…

Alpine Life

The Alpine-Style Life: What’s Really Necessary?

When we think of mountain climbing, we tend to think of Mount Everest and big groups of people climbing in long lines. Armies of Sherpas create base camps and ferry supplies and gear up and down the mountain. Miles of rope anchored to the mountainside helps climbers reach the top….

Energy & Conversations

Pick the Right Time to Have a Money Conversation

A few weeks ago, I got home late after a long trip. I’d been traveling a lot recently and didn’t sleep well that night. The next morning, I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Emotionally, I was at a really low point. When I came…

Not Your Business

Your Neighbor’s Business Isn’t Your Business

Humans can be a competitive lot. The way we posture and position ourselves to stand out in a group seems to happen instinctively. After all, in the past we competed for resources and survival. Our lives depended on it. Today, we still compete, but for different reasons. Instead of food,…

Return of your money

When to Care More About the Return OF Your Money

A friend of mine recently sold his house. It will be a few years before he’ll buy another one. Because the house was worth a lot more than what he and his wife owed the bank on their mortgage, they are now sitting on a pile of money and wondering what…

Life Boat Drill

Do the Drill: A Lifeboat for Investors

Calm water makes a lifeboat drill much easier. We aren’t fighting the waves or the fear we feel during an emergency. Still, if the worst happens, and the drill becomes reality, at least we’ve rehearsed. We’ll know exactly what we are supposed do. With the markets relatively calm, now is…