Category Archives: New York Times

Uncertainty Equals Reality

Surprise! Uncertainty is Reality

I have a friend who is an emergency room physician in Salt Lake City. The other day, he described to me an interaction he had with a distressed, uncomfortable patient. After doing all the tests he could and finding nothing wrong, all he could do was give the patient that age-old, wonderful doctor advice: “Go home, rest up, drink fluids and call me in the morning.” “The funny thing about this patient,” my friend told me, “was that after I told him nothing was wrong and he should just go home, he actually seemed disappointed.”

Buy Nice or Buy Twice

Spend More Now, Less Financial Pain Later

I like buying high-quality things. And for the longest time, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that buying high-quality stuff, which perhaps initially was more expensive, actually saved me money in the long run. It wasn’t until very recently, though, that I noticed a strong argument in support of my hunch.

Circus Clowns

Your Financial Plan Trumps the Financial Forecasters

Every year, right around this time, all the big brokerage firms, economists and banks come out with projections of what’s supposed to happen next in the financial world. This year is no exception. Especially prominent in the news has been the Royal Bank of Scotland warning, in no uncertain terms, that people should “sell everything” and prepare for a “fairly cataclysmic year ahead.”


Learn How to Say No So You Can Say a Bigger Yes

I have a problem: It’s really hard for me to say no to new, exciting projects. If you’re doing creative work at all (and I’m using this term very broadly, so that should mean just about everybody), then you’ve probably run into this problem yourself. There are endless options for…

Things People Say

Other People Don’t Know Your Financial Situation

Recently, my family needed a new vehicle. I’ve always wanted a truck, and I knew we would get tons of use out of it. Could I have found a cheaper vehicle? Sure. But I knew we could afford the truck, so after lots of careful thought, we decided to buy it. Anytime I make a major purchase, I end up feeling insecure about it, and this was no exception. Not long after buying the truck, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. When he saw the new truck, he said: “Wow, Carl! Things must be going really well for you at work!”

Cost Per Unit of Fun

What’s Your Cost Per Unit of Fun?

A few years ago, my wife and I considered buying a boat. We both grew up water-skiing on the lakes here in Utah, and some of my best memories involve being on the water. I was talking about this with my friend Eric, because he has a boat, and he introduced me to his “cost per units of fun” concept.

Who are you sketch

Letting Go of Financial Peer Pressure

Over the years, I’ve noticed that moment when each of my children started caring about what other people think of them. One by one, I’ve watched as the opinions of others become a big deal in their own decision-making.

Love it Keep it Use it_800

Buy What You Love: A Smart Financial Decision

Eleven years ago, I needed a new bike. At the time, I rode a lot. I was in a big group of relatively competitive riders, and we’d often put hundreds of miles on our bikes each week. I agonized over what bike to buy, but I kept coming back to one made by a company called Moots, a Colorado company that builds titanium road and mountain bikes by hand.

The Investment Called You-4

P.S. On the Investment of You

You know that moment when you think one thing, but write another? That happened this week. I wrote about one of my favorite things at the Times, the investment called you. But some feedback I got this week made me wince. One example I used was both insensitive and incorrect….

The Investment Called You-1

The Most Valuable Asset You Own: Yourself

Years ago, my colleagues and I conducted a fairly large-scale research project. We interviewed a bunch of high-income professionals who provided professional services. This group included dcotors, dentists and lawyers, and like most of us, they earned money only when they were working. In essence, they traded their time for dollars. Our finding was this: Homes and retirements accounts aside, the most valuable asset they owned was the person staring back at them in the mirror each morning. Chances are, the most valuable investment you own is the investment called you.