Category Archives: New York Times

Time as a Valuable Resource

The Valuable Currency of Time

How do you “spend” your time? Because make no mistake, time is a currency. There is a cost to how you spend it. The cost might be a trade-off, like choosing one activity over another, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that this is a free exchange.

In Praise of Luck

In Praise of Luck

I have a lucky friend. Chances are you know him. He has written several New York Times best sellers. By any outward appearance, he has officially made it. I wanted to know what role he thought luck played in his career. Without batting an eye, he said, “Oh, luck has been everything. I can point to at least 10 occasions where pure, dumb luck landed me a huge break in my career.”

Traditional Retirement

Retiring the Idea of Retirement

The concept of retirement, as we understand it today, is completely outdated. Wait a minute, did I say completely outdated? I mean completely, ridiculously, totally, absurdly outdated. It wasn’t a good idea when Otto Von Bismarck, the chancellor of Germany, cooked it up, and it’s certainly not a good idea now.

Entrepreneur Investing

When Entrepreneurs Go All, Diversification Doesn’t Fit

If you’re an entrepreneur, traditional financial advice, starting with the drumbeat of diversification, does not apply to you.

I know because you told me in hundreds of interviews I conducted over the last decade. Entrepreneurs like you expressed frustration with being told how to invest in multiple index funds all over the world. After all, that advice is based on rules intended for people with stable incomes and jobs who don’t need to invest lots of money in their businesses.

Fiction vs Non-fiction

Ignore the Fiction – Stop Spending Based on Stories

You know what’s worse than judging a book by its cover? Judging a book by its cover, and then making financial decisions based on what you assume the book might tell you.

Here in New Zealand, where I’m spending the next year, you don’t see many fancy cars. In fact, I kind of forgot they existed. So the other day, when I pulled into the church parking lot with my family and saw a brand-new $150,000 Range Rover, I couldn’t help but stare. “Huh,” I thought, “looks like somebody has rich parents.”

I felt bad immediately. What do I know? Maybe that guy (or gal — another assumption) is just a really hard worker. Maybe it’s a rental. Maybe the driver is a chauffeur.

Pretending to be a Sun

Stop Pretending to Be an Investor

Do you remember playing pretend when you were little? Maybe you were a superhero, a dinosaur or a princess. It’s normal when you’re little, and it’s usually harmless. Most children know the difference between pretending to be a superhero and jumping off the roof thinking they can fly.

But adults often forget.

For instance, we may stop pretending to be superheroes, but a lot of us seem convinced that we can pretend to be investors. That’s dangerous.

Reality Over Stories

Uncertainty Scares Us, But You Can Do Something About It

Can I be honest with you for a minute? I’ve struggled to write my column this week.

Given what happened in the presidential election and the response I’ve heard and seen around the world, I have no idea what to say about the markets, investing or budgeting.

I have no idea how this outcome will affect your ability to fund your retirement accounts or pay for your children’s college education. I don’t know if the markets will go up or down. I don’t know what it means for interest rates or home prices.

So, I’m not going to write about money this week. Instead, I’m going to write about uncertainty.

Preload Strategy

Preload Your Spending to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse Later

Let’s play a little game. Assume there is something you want to buy, and you will pay for it with a monthly payment plan. It could be a house, a car, tuition or something as simple as a new smartphone.

For this example, we’ll use a new phone. You’ve finally had enough of that old phone with the fading battery, and you’ve decided to buy the iPhone 7 using Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program. Let’s say it works out to $40 a month.

There are at least two ways to proceed.

The Big Change

Making the Big Change

A big life change does not come easily.

That might seem a bit obvious, because if it were easy, chances are you would have made the big life change that’s on your list of changes you would really like to make. But you haven’t.

So my question for you is this: Why not? What’s stopping you from just doing it?

Information Value

Why Is Your Money Invested That Way?

Recently, a financial adviser shared a story about a prospective client. The client had a problem. He didn’t like how heavily his portfolio was invested in the stock market. The risk just felt as if it was too much.

When the new adviser asked why it was invested that way, the client replied, “It’s the way my current adviser said the money needed to be invested.”