Take time to be grateful for what you have and for the wonderful experiences you’ve enjoyed—and you’ll feel a whole lot happier.

Generating Interest

TWO DECADES AGO, I read an article in The Atlantic magazine about building a home bank for small children. But this wasn’t a bank that would sit on a shelf or table. Its home was in an Excel spreadsheet—with a phenomenal interest rate of 300%.
If real, that kind of return would end the debate on index vs. actively managed funds. Fortunately for banks and mutual funds, the Belwick Bank—named after the street we live on—only had one customer: our four-year-old son and his weekly allowance of $1.

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Moving Costs

I HAVE A CLIENT I’ll call Irene. She became a widow in April when husband Henry died.
Like most married couples, they held title to their home in joint ownership with the right of survivorship. In plainer language, this means that co-owner Henry’s death results in his loss of all ownership in their dwelling. Surviving co-owner Irene automatically acquires all ownership in it.
Irene is uncertain what to do with her highly appreciated home.

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Not My Thing

NOT LONG AGO, I ran into my friend Martin, who works as a cardiologist at a local hospital. In the course of our conversation, I commented on the construction equipment outside his facility and asked what they were building.
His answer: “Building? No, they’re actually un-building.”
He explained that recently his hospital had been sold and the new owner was a for-profit company. As part of the transition, the new owner had evaluated the hospital’s facilities and discovered that a group of older buildings was largely unused.

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Latest Blogs

Generating Interest

TWO DECADES AGO, I read an article in The Atlantic magazine about building a home bank for small children. But this wasn’t a bank that would sit on a shelf or table. Its home was in an Excel spreadsheet—with a phenomenal interest rate of 300%.
If real, that kind of return would end the debate on index vs. actively managed funds. Fortunately for banks and mutual funds, the Belwick Bank—named after the street we live on—only had one customer: our four-year-old son and his weekly allowance of $1.

Read more »

Moving Costs

I HAVE A CLIENT I’ll call Irene. She became a widow in April when husband Henry died.
Like most married couples, they held title to their home in joint ownership with the right of survivorship. In plainer language, this means that co-owner Henry’s death results in his loss of all ownership in their dwelling. Surviving co-owner Irene automatically acquires all ownership in it.
Irene is uncertain what to do with her highly appreciated home.

Read more »

Not My Thing

NOT LONG AGO, I ran into my friend Martin, who works as a cardiologist at a local hospital. In the course of our conversation, I commented on the construction equipment outside his facility and asked what they were building.
His answer: “Building? No, they’re actually un-building.”
He explained that recently his hospital had been sold and the new owner was a for-profit company. As part of the transition, the new owner had evaluated the hospital’s facilities and discovered that a group of older buildings was largely unused.

Read more »

Blog archive »

Numbers

JUST OVER HALF OF AMERICANS age 21 to 37 are still receiving financial help from a parent or guardian, according to a study by GfK and Country Financial. Parents help with costs such as cell phones, health insurance and rent.

Act

CHECK YOUR FUND EXPENSES. If you own index funds, aim for weighted average annual expenses below 0.2%. If you own actively managed funds, you’ll pay more—but allocate enough of your portfolio to index funds to keep your average below 0.4%. By holding down costs, you’ll keep more of what you make, plus low-cost funds typically outperform high-cost competitors.

Think

SELF-INSURE. If we have a moderate amount of savings, we might choose to scale back our insurance coverage and perhaps drop some policies entirely, and instead self-insure. Let’s say we have enough set aside for retirement. We might cancel our disability insurance, knowing we could cover costs for the rest of our lives, even if we never worked again.

Home Call to Action

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My One and Only

IS IT TIME TO STOP messing around with our portfolios—and go for radical simplicity? I’ve been asking myself that question in recent months, as I eye the growing list of funds that offer broadly diversified “one-stop shopping” portfolios built solely with low-cost index funds.
Take Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund, which invests its assets in four Vanguard index funds and is geared toward those retiring in 2050 or thereabouts. The 2050 fund has a $1,000 investment minimum and charges just 0.15% a year,

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Jonathan Clements

About Jonathan

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.

Money Guide

Start Here

Cash Investments

CASH INVESTMENTS INCLUDE THINGS like Treasury bills, savings accounts, money-market deposit accounts, money-market mutual funds and certificates of deposit, where there’s little chance you will lose money and which can typically be sold at short notice (though, in the case of CDs, there will usually be an early-withdrawal penalty).

Read more »

Money Guide

Start Here

Cash Investments

CASH INVESTMENTS INCLUDE THINGS like Treasury bills, savings accounts, money-market deposit accounts, money-market mutual funds and certificates of deposit, where there’s little chance you will lose money and which can typically be sold at short notice (though, in the case of CDs, there will usually be an early-withdrawal penalty).

Read more »
Home Call to Action
Jonathan Clements

About Jonathan

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.

Free Newsletter

My One and Only

IS IT TIME TO STOP messing around with our portfolios—and go for radical simplicity? I’ve been asking myself that question in recent months, as I eye the growing list of funds that offer broadly diversified “one-stop shopping” portfolios built solely with low-cost index funds.
Take Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund, which invests its assets in four Vanguard index funds and is geared toward those retiring in 2050 or thereabouts. The 2050 fund has a $1,000 investment minimum and charges just 0.15% a year,

Read More »