Your kids will grow up to imitate your financial habits. Will you like what you see?

Happily Misbehaving

IN SUMMER 2011, a rural Illinois man named Wayne Sabaj was in his backyard picking broccoli, when something caught his eye. Half buried in the dirt, he found a sealed nylon bag. Inside was $150,000 in cash. For Sabaj, who was unemployed and had, in his words, “spent my last $10 on cigarettes,” this was a godsend.
Though it remains a mystery who had buried this particular stash of money, these sorts of finds are not uncommon.

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Yes, Yes, Hmmm

SOCRATIC DIALOGUE, anyone? Today, we’re tackling three questions. Almost all HumbleDollar readers will, I suspect, readily answer ”yes” to the first two questions—and balk at the third.
1. Are markets efficient? We can debate just how efficient the market is. But most readers, I suspect, will agree that the financial markets are sufficiently efficient that there’s no easy way to score market-beating gains—especially once we factor in the investment costs involved.

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Material Girl

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, I found myself quite unexpectedly spending a night in Reno, Nevada. Gambling was the obvious form of evening entertainment, but money was tight back then. A friend convinced me to splurge and spend $20 playing a slot machine. My measly 25- and 50-cent wagers kept me entertained for nearly an hour, but when I was down to my last few quarters, I bet them all on one final play.
The machine immediately lit up with a colorful array of flashing lights and I waited patiently for my winnings to start spilling out.

Read more »

Latest Blogs

Happily Misbehaving

IN SUMMER 2011, a rural Illinois man named Wayne Sabaj was in his backyard picking broccoli, when something caught his eye. Half buried in the dirt, he found a sealed nylon bag. Inside was $150,000 in cash. For Sabaj, who was unemployed and had, in his words, “spent my last $10 on cigarettes,” this was a godsend.
Though it remains a mystery who had buried this particular stash of money, these sorts of finds are not uncommon.

Read more »

Yes, Yes, Hmmm

SOCRATIC DIALOGUE, anyone? Today, we’re tackling three questions. Almost all HumbleDollar readers will, I suspect, readily answer ”yes” to the first two questions—and balk at the third.
1. Are markets efficient? We can debate just how efficient the market is. But most readers, I suspect, will agree that the financial markets are sufficiently efficient that there’s no easy way to score market-beating gains—especially once we factor in the investment costs involved.

Read more »

Material Girl

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, I found myself quite unexpectedly spending a night in Reno, Nevada. Gambling was the obvious form of evening entertainment, but money was tight back then. A friend convinced me to splurge and spend $20 playing a slot machine. My measly 25- and 50-cent wagers kept me entertained for nearly an hour, but when I was down to my last few quarters, I bet them all on one final play.
The machine immediately lit up with a colorful array of flashing lights and I waited patiently for my winnings to start spilling out.

Read more »

Blog archive »

Numbers

ALMOST HALF of credit cardholders who carry a balance aren’t sure what interest rate they’re paying, says CreditCards.com. The survey also found a quarter of all cardholders had carried a balance on at least three cards in the past six months.

Act

CREATE A WISH LIST. Want more happiness from your dollars? Write down the major purchases you’d like to make in the next few years—perhaps a car, vacation or kitchen remodeling. Regularly revise the list, keeping only items you’re still enthused about. Result: You’ll likely make wiser spending decisions—and you’ll enjoy a long period of pleasurable anticipation.

Think

EXPECTATIONS. Investment losses are most distressing when they’re least expected. For instance, many investors expect their stock portfolios to fall occasionally by 20% or more. But they’d be horrified if their money-market mutual fund—which they consider a haven of safety—“broke the buck” and slipped 1% from the standard $1 share price to 99 cents.

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Getting Up There

DEPENDING ON WHO you talk to, we have a major problem in the U.S. with productivity growth, economic growth, the trade deficit, the budget deficit, public sector pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—or, if folks are feeling especially gloomy, perhaps all of the above. But the reality is, these issues are, at least in part, merely symptoms of a far larger problem.
What’s that? We’re rapidly approaching the point where we don’t have enough workers producing the goods and services that society needs.

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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

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America’s Retirement Readiness

WHAT’S THE STATE OF AMERICA’S retirement readiness? Here’s a quick look at some worrisome statistics—as well as at some key notions that should concern both those saving for retirement and those who have already quit the workforce:

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Money Guide

Start Here

America’s Retirement Readiness

WHAT’S THE STATE OF AMERICA’S retirement readiness? Here’s a quick look at some worrisome statistics—as well as at some key notions that should concern both those saving for retirement and those who have already quit the workforce:

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

Getting Up There

DEPENDING ON WHO you talk to, we have a major problem in the U.S. with productivity growth, economic growth, the trade deficit, the budget deficit, public sector pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—or, if folks are feeling especially gloomy, perhaps all of the above. But the reality is, these issues are, at least in part, merely symptoms of a far larger problem.
What’s that? We’re rapidly approaching the point where we don’t have enough workers producing the goods and services that society needs.

Read More »