Category Archives: New York Times

Why What How

The Best Thing to Do During a Scary Market

When the markets get scary, there’s an overwhelming temptation to do something, anything really, with our portfolios. But we know better. We all know on an intellectual level that selling during a dip is a bad idea, and the data confirms that successfully timing the market is, at the very least,…

The Next Step

Focus On the Next Step

I love spending time in the mountains. So a few weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity to join a friend, my son and seven of his friends on a trip into the Uinta Mountains. This range sits about an hour east of our home in Park City, Utah. We…

The line between Accountability and Competition

Choose Healthy Accountability, Avoid Stupid Competition

The CrossFit Park City gym is right across the parking lot from my office. I used to love going there early in the morning to get my daily dose of intensity and to spend time with other people dedicated to the same thing. But a few years ago, I made…

Talk vs Do

The $70 Case Study: Your Values & Your Spending

This week, I’m trying something a little different. Below, you’ll find the column I wrote for the New York Times. However, you’ll also find a companion audio recording where I shared this story. So you choose: you can listen or read on to see what I learned from the $70…

Paying with Attention

What’s the Price of Your Attention?

Pay attention! We hear this command a lot, often from parents and teachers. People want to remind us to focus on what we’re doing. But I’ve been thinking about a more literal meaning: paying with our attention. Attention is a currency. We choose how to spend it, just like we spend…

Emotional Balance Sheet

What’s On Your Emotional Balance Sheet?

A few years ago, I came across a blog post by a writer named Emma Johnson who declared, in no uncertain terms, that “You. Cannot. Afford. To. Be. A. Full-time. Stay-at-home mom. You just can’t.” I like strong opinions because they make me think and help me clarify my own feelings, and…

4StepPlan

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…