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Book Review: The Psychology of Money – by Morgan Housel

Rare is the book that is at once wise and entertaining. The Psychology of Money is such a book. It is full of new perspectives about the modern world of finance. Its essays add greatly to our understanding of how to successfully negotiate our relationship with money. Housel writes in a clear and accessible style offering many fascinating stories to illustrate his points. The book consists of 20 brief chapters about a range of topics such as: Getting Wealthy vs.…

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Is it Time for Inflation?

Those of us over a certain age may have a foggy memory of times when the prices of goods and services rose at a rapid and destabilizing pace. Inflation has ceased to be much of an issue for almost 40 years. The Federal Reserve Board, which sets the all-important Federal Funds rate on which most other interest rates are based, pushed that rate up to nearly 20 percent in 1980 to slow down the economy, ending the out-of-control inflation of…

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Is Successful Investing Mostly About Luck?

Here’s an interesting story of luck to ponder. The story of Bill Gates. Bill went to high school at Lakeside School, just outside Seattle, in 1968. At this time computers were not a common occurrence in schools, not even in colleges. However, one of the teachers at his school believed that book study wasn’t enough without real-world experience. He realized that kids would need to know something about computers when they went to college. So, he petitioned the Mothers’ Club…

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Investing versus Speculating – The Tale of GameStop

  The dramatic rise in the price of GameStop Corp. stock took the nation by storm in January. Beginning 2021 at a price of less than $20 a share it exploded to almost $350 by January 27. What accounted for the more than 1,500% increase? A frenzy of speculation (or gambling if you prefer). An unprecedented mixture of neophyte retail investors, newly available free trading, hedge funds shorting (betting against) overpriced GameStop shares then having to buy them back as…

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How to Avoid a Spending Hangover after the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and for most Americans that means the beginning of a hectic holiday season. Here are some pointers so that you can make the gift buying season easier for your wallet and your stress level. 1. Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list of all of the people you need to buy for this year, set a spending limit for each gift, and then follow it! 2. Use credit cards in…

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The Great Disconnect

“There really isn’t any doubt that financial markets remain broken and divorced from reality.” – David Rosenberg Rosenberg Research Economic Research for Informed Investing “Never before have I seen a market so highly valued in the face of overwhelming uncertainty…” – James Montier GMO Investments and Asset Management Stock Prices In early September the U.S. stock market (as measured by the S&P500) hit a new all-time high. Stock prices are now almost 11% higher than they were on January 1,…

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Ten Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor

You’ve determined that now is the time to enlist the help of a professional for your financial affairs, now what? It’s a good idea to find a few advisors and interview them to see if they are the right fit for you. This will be an important relationship and you want to be able to trust this person and feel comfortable talking about important subjects like money and personal goals. Here’s a good list of questions to ask during your…

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COVID Scams

As if dealing with business shutdowns, wearing masks, and the general annoyance that this pandemic has brought us wasn’t enough, now we have to worry about more scams. Hackers and thieves have resorted back to some good old-fashioned tricks, but there are some new ones popping up that might surprise you. Do not respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. Some new scams are offering “help” to get an expedited stimulus check. The government doesn’t work…

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Personal Finance Applications

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned cash. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. This can help you direct funds towards something else that has importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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An Unconventional Approach

A widely held belief in both academia and the investment industry is that a person should have as much of their money in stocks as they can tolerate because stocks have provided the highest returns over long periods of time. Most people cannot handle the erratic volatility of an all stock portfolio so many advisors say “let’s do 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds” in order to make things a bit more palatable. “60/40” has come to be the…

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