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New York Times

More Money, More Success, More Stuff? Don’t Count on More Happiness

  • August 1st, 2016
  • New York Times

What is the one thing that, if you could just get your hands on it, would make you much happier? Go ahead. Get out a piece of paper and write down the first thing that pops into your head. Got it? Read the rest of the article on The New York Times.

Meaningless Titles and Empty Promises in the Money Business

  • July 18th, 2016
  • 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… Read More

New Rule: All Purchases Subject to a 7-Day Mental Quarantine

  • July 18th, 2016
  • New York Times

My wife and I are setting up a customs screening station in our driveway. No, we’re not starting an international airport. And it’s not for solicitors, strangers or gift-bearing guests. It’s for us and our stuff. From now on, before anything new comes into the house, resident buyers will need to answer a series of… Read More

No, Really: Just Ignore Day-to-Day Stock Market Fluctuations

  • July 11th, 2016
  • New York Times

Early Friday morning, a friend texted me. Here’s what he said: “Will you come talk to my co-workers?! They are talking about stopping their 401(k) contributions because of what’s going on! Driving me nuts!” Still not quite awake, I replied, “What?” Within seconds, he replied, “Stock market fell 500 points this morning, Carl! It’s all… Read More

How Our Fears About Money Could Swing the 2016 Election

  • July 4th, 2016
  • 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:… Read More

The Dual Roles of Money

  • June 27th, 2016
  • 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,… Read More

The Paranoid Survive, but They Burn Out. Take a Break.

  • June 20th, 2016
  • New York Times

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Only the paranoid survive.” Ring a bell? If so, it’s probably because that’s the title of a book by Andrew S. Grove, the former chairman and chief executive of Intel. When I read this book in late 1999, I bought into the need to always be looking for opportunities and… Read More

A Life Full of Experiences May Not Mean Less Financial Security

  • June 6th, 2016
  • New York Times

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column about the growing tribe of people who value experiences over security in their lives. But there is something that I didn’t say then that I want to emphasize: You don’t necessarily have to trade experience and financial security off against each other. One of my main… Read More

Notes on Scary Markets From Your Sketch-Wielding Drill Sergeant

  • May 30th, 2016
  • New York Times

I want to talk to you about scary markets. For the sake of this particular subject, I want to be blunt and a little bit in your face. So for the next few minutes, please, just think of me less as your friend and more as your Scary Markets Drill Sergeant. O.K.? Great. Now, you… Read More

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

  • May 30th, 2016
  • 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?… Read More


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