Category Archives: New York Times

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…


I Say Risk, You Hear Uncertainty

When I say “risk” and you say “risk,” chances are high we don’t mean the same thing. The finance industry defines risk as something measurable. It is variability within a set of known limits. You may have heard it referred to as standard deviation or even volatility. Ultimately, it represents…

The Third Way

Not My Way, Not Your Way. Pick a Third Way

“I can’t believe you see it that way!” Just last week, I said this to my wife in the middle of a discussion (O.K., a fight) about money. We were experiencing something many of you have probably also faced. We needed to make a very important financial decision about how…

Don't force

We Don’t Need to Force Our Decisions

I love rock climbing. Looking from the ground up, it seems almost impossible for climbers to balance themselves and find handholds where none seem to exist. And sure enough, even the most talented climbers can end up getting stuck on climbs well below their skill level. I’ve done it, and…