new york times

Meaningless Titles and Empty Promises in the Money Business

New York Times

I fear the clever marketing in the traditional financial services industry continues to confuse many people. They see the title “financial adviser,” “financial planner” or “financial” anything and expect to receive unbiased advice. This concern makes me think of the sketch above, which I shared many years ago in a different context. Some expectations of…

How Our Fears About Money Could Swing the 2016 Election

New York Times

I’m getting more questions about what this election will mean for people’s personal financial situations than I’ve received in any previous election that I can remember. Financial advisers almost twice my age tell me the same thing. While I’m sure there are many reasons for these questions, I submit that the primary one is this:…

The Dual Roles of Money

New York Times

Money is an interesting actor that plays two roles in our lives. In the first, money equals money. It fits in a spreadsheet. It’s something to be calculated. In the other, money equals stories. It’s what we tell ourselves about our relationship with money. Let me share a story I’ve told myself. For six years,…

Three Ways to Think About ‘Is It Worth It?’

New York Times

In life, there are certain nonnegotiables we simply must have. Think food, water and shelter for starters. Nobody will ask, “Is it worth it to eat?” It’s just something you do to stay alive. But deciding what to eat? That’s a different question. Will I eat the bologna or prosciutto? Drink tap water or bottled?…

The Solution to Maintaining a Budget Is Awareness

New York Times

I talk to many people who have problems with spending. Sometimes it’s friends. Sometimes it’s co-workers. Sometimes it’s neighbors. And yes, sometimes I talk to myself about my own struggles. What I’ve discovered over the years is that most of our problems do not come down to income. Instead, we don’t notice enough. Spending mindlessly,…

The Paradox of Finding Motivation Through Fear

New York Times

I was driving with a friend recently and telling him about some projects that really excited me. I mentioned a new book I’m working on, an article I’m writing and this new hobby of adventure motorcycling in the desert. He interrupted me and said, “How do you stay so motivated and so excited about things?”…

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