The Best Financial (and life) Advice I Ever Got

The Wall Street Journal posted The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or gave) where many well known people from the world of finance share insights imparted to them at some point in their lives. I thought it might be fun to do something similar with a few things I’ve picked up along the way and shared here over the years. One bit of advice that I think is a RandomRoger original is to take in bits of process from many sources to create your own process. The following then are things that have contributed to my own process not just for investing but also for life. In no particular order; “Your 20’s are for f—ing around, you make your money in your 30’s and 40’s.” This is one I can quote verbatim and was told to me by a friend of my older brother when that friend was around 30 and I was 18. It would make sense to add your 50’s to that quote and maybe your 60’s. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to people like Mark Zuckerberg, the kid from Tumblr and many others but for the ordinary among us who still believe in college and then spend a few years in their mid-20’s figuring out what they want to do this is a reasonable path and one I have imparted to others many times since I first heard it. While you don’t have to have it all figured out in your 20’s you do need to make sure you don’t screw it all up in your 20’s or put differently that you don’t permanently impair your...

The Best Financial (and life) Advice I Ever Got

The Wall Street Journal posted The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or gave) where many well known people from the world of finance share insights imparted to them at some point in their lives. I thought it might be fun to do something similar with a few things I’ve picked up along the way and shared here over the years. One bit of advice that I think is a RandomRoger original is to take in bits of process from many sources to create your own process. The following then are things that have contributed to my own process not just for investing but also for life. In no particular order; “Your 20’s are for f—ing around, you make your money in your 30’s and 40’s.” This is one I can quote verbatim and was told to me by a friend of my older brother when that friend was around 30 and I was 18. It would make sense to add your 50’s to that quote and maybe your 60’s. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to people like Mark Zuckerberg, the kid from Tumblr and many others but for the ordinary among us who still believe in college and then spend a few years in their mid-20’s figuring out what they want to do this is a reasonable path and one I have imparted to others many times since I first heard it. While you don’t have to have it all figured out in your 20’s you do need to make sure you don’t screw it all up in your 20’s or put differently that you don’t permanently impair your...

The We’re Saving Too Much Is Spreading Like Wildfire

The Wall Street Journal jumped in to the we’re saving too much pool the other day following and quoting from a similar piece from Morningstar. Before getting into this, saving too much–if it applies too anyone at all–applies to very few people but it is more likely to apply to people who are interested enough in investing to read related blogs. A lot of things on this topic seem to be mislabeled. For years I have been saying that people need to try to figure their expenses not their income. My neighbor with the backhoe retired from a career in law enforcement about 30 years ago (he is 82 and he and his wife are both incredibly fit). When do you think was the last time his final salary had an relevance for him? Like anyone else, you would have to imagine that some expenses went up and some went down. Like anyone else there is some number at the bottom of the spreadsheet every month that changes every so often and like anyone else there must be some number of one-off expenses that come up throughout the year. Chances are that there is never a discussion between Mr. and Mrs. Backhoe that includes a reference to his salary in 1982. The article makes some very good points about expenses. Whatever your savings rate is, that can come right off your calculation same with FICA unless you continue to work. Obviously retiring without a mortgage can make things easier on that monthly number but my thoughts are evolving on this point. The experts all say that people spend more...

The We’re Saving Too Much Is Spreading Like Wildfire

The Wall Street Journal jumped in to the we’re saving too much pool the other day following and quoting from a similar piece from Morningstar. Before getting into this, saving too much–if it applies too anyone at all–applies to very few people but it is more likely to apply to people who are interested enough in investing to read related blogs. A lot of things on this topic seem to be mislabeled. For years I have been saying that people need to try to figure their expenses not their income. My neighbor with the backhoe retired from a career in law enforcement about 30 years ago (he is 82 and he and his wife are both incredibly fit). When do you think was the last time his final salary had an relevance for him? Like anyone else, you would have to imagine that some expenses went up and some went down. Like anyone else there is some number at the bottom of the spreadsheet every month that changes every so often and like anyone else there must be some number of one-off expenses that come up throughout the year. Chances are that there is never a discussion between Mr. and Mrs. Backhoe that includes a reference to his salary in 1982. The article makes some very good points about expenses. Whatever your savings rate is, that can come right off your calculation same with FICA unless you continue to work. Obviously retiring without a mortgage can make things easier on that monthly number but my thoughts are evolving on this point. The experts all say that people spend more...

Life Is Too Short For Regrets

There was an article up at BuzzFeed titled 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old. While the list is probably a little stretched (master a party trick?) there are some interesting things. The first one was not traveling when you had a chance and there is a picture of a young dude on a camel with one of the pyramids in the background. There is obviously a financial planning aspect to this. The article implied that this was more about age but financially speaking if you wait until you retire, then circumstantially you may not be able to travel as much as you want due to finances, health or both. Obviously not too many people can afford six or seven trips of a lifetime before they turn 40 but one or two before 40 is not crazy once someone has found their career groove. How many trips of a lifetime do you want to take? Can you get to one or two per decade until you retire? Maybe, and if you can then there would be less regret for not getting to the last one or two on your list versus missing all eight of them (some sort of reference to George Bailey seems appropriate here). There were a couple different ones related to not staying in a bad situation (relationships and jobs). We’ve all either had our own bad situations or known people who have. I think of both of these as being similar and would label them don’t waste time. I’ve been lucky with my marriage so I can’t really speak to when the point comes that...