Saving for Retirement: How to Avoid the Roads to Ruin

They say there are many paths to financial success, but if you accept the idea that these are two-way streets, that means there are also many paths to financial ruin. Maybe my view is skewed by the fact that people tend to come to me for financial advice once they are already in serious trouble. […]


Buyer, be very wary

I recently spent the better part of an hour being tortured by bankers. Given the contentiousness of the conversation, it is entirely possible that they saw themselves as being tortured by me. However, considering that they had my money and were the ones getting paid to be there, I see it the other way around. […]


Are You Getting Ahead or Falling Behind?

People have long spoken of “haves” and “have-nots, ” but perhaps never in modern times has the economy seemed so separated between those who seem to be getting ahead and those who are falling behind. What complicates things is that appearances can be deceptive. The easy availability of debt can make a household believe it […]


Who’s the Boss of Your Finances?

When it comes to financial decisions, do you feel like the boss or like it’s your first day on the job? If you don’t feel in command, it’s understandable. Millions of people with no background in finance are called upon to make a series of very important financial decisions: making a budget work, saving for college, […]


How We Use Our Time

I’m a financial analyst, not a philosopher, and yet in my writings about money I often touch on the subject of time. Generally, this is because the two are somewhat interchangeable with one another — some people sacrifice their free time to plunge headlong into their careers, while others sacrifice income to have more leisure time. […]


Making time for money

One can’t give financial advice for very long without realizing that most of it is not earth-shattering insight. It usually comes down to common sense. So then the challenge becomes one of analyzing why people don’t apply common sense to their finances more often. Temptation is a big reason, of course. One person goes over […]


The economics of running out

In a sense, personal finance is a battle of conservation. People manage their resources in the hopes they won’t run out of the essentials — only what people find essential can differ. This centers around the fear of losing money or some other aspect of your financial life, and overcoming that fear should involve some […]


The side effects of credit cards

While I’m not a fan of all the pharmaceutical advertising on television, I have to admit that they can be brutally frank about disclosing potential side effects. If you take something for chronic indigestion, a variety of things could happen which will make you lose your appetite — which at least would make you less […]


Retirement saving: Size isn’t the only consideration

I recently read one of those articles debating whether a million dollars was enough to retire on these days. Mostly, the focus of the article was on the fact that a million dollars isn’t as significant as it used to be due to the impact of inflation. That’s a good point, but it also got […]


Learning to live with risk

The stock market has had some rocky sessions lately, but we should be used to that. The 21st century has already dished out two major bear markets in stocks, not to mention what has happened to real estate, oil futures, and gold at various times in the 2000s. We are having to learn to live […]