Mind Against Money – Randomness


The human mind likes stories, even craves them.  We tell our stories about all sorts of things, even when there is no story.  It’s part of some type of innate need to make sense of our environment, of the world we live in.  It’s clear that our mind is uncomfortable with randomness, and often tries to create cause and effect relationships where there are none.

This is an important topic to understand when it comes to investing in the stock market, because Continue reading “Mind Against Money – Randomness”

Mind Against Money – Fear of Loss

Roller coaster

In recent years, there has been a deep and broad set of research showing us how much we think and behave irrationally, particularly when it comes to money. Our ultimate personal mastery of our relationship with money requires a deep understanding of these biases. In this series, we’ll highlight key psychological biases that we all have, and give examples of how these biases work against us. We will also cover some tips on how to overcome these biases. However, the most important weapon for us is understanding. By learning about and understanding these biases, we will be in the position to notice them in our thinking and feelings and make better conscious choices that will help us.

Continue reading “Mind Against Money – Fear of Loss”

Adventure Vacations – The Happy Alternative to Luxury and Comfort

That’s me on the North Ridge route of Mt. Baker, WA.


I’m not talking about the carefully organized commercialized adventure vacations that have become so popular. I’m talking about true, gritty adventure vacations. This is on my mind since I’ve been planning an alpine climbing vacation for this summer. For me personally, a bit of adventure is absolutely needed to keep me sane. Rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing, mountain biking, mountaineering, winter camping, backpacking, or scuba diving. These are all things I love to do and if I go too long without some type of adventure, I start getting grumpy. Of course everyone is different and many people don’t like these particular activities, but I think everyone could use some adventure now and then. For many, it’s travel, especially when it’s more local vs touristy.  For others, it’s something else.  But whatever your personal view of adventure is, I hope you are able to take the time to do it.  It adds some zest to your life!

Let’s me explain why I think adventure vacations have a lot to teach us about the often non-intuitive nature of human happiness, along with some personal finance analogies, using alpine climbing as an example. Continue reading “Adventure Vacations – The Happy Alternative to Luxury and Comfort”

Pay off the Mortgage or Invest in Stocks? Wrong Question!

One of the most debated questions in personal finance is whether you are better off paying down your mortgage or investing in the stock market instead.  Many, many authors and bloggers have tackled this question and yet almost all of the content has a serious flaw.  The question is the wrong one to begin with.  They are comparing stock market returns with mortgage rates, trying to compare the numbers and make the most rational choice.

Knowledgable investors know that you can only compare investment options apples to apples if they have a similar risk profile.   Continue reading “Pay off the Mortgage or Invest in Stocks? Wrong Question!”

The cost of raising a child. Will it really cost you a quarter million dollars?

Yes, children are expensive. Yes, you can save more money if you don’t have children.

However, there are also a lot of sensationalized numbers thrown around that lead to a lot of worry and stress in planning, much of which is unnecessary. The most catchy one thrown around is the cost estimate of raising a child from birth to age 18 that comes from the Department of Agriculture. Why the USDA? I don’t know. Maybe a reader can enlighten us at some point. It seems to be from the nutrition department of the USDA so Continue reading “The cost of raising a child. Will it really cost you a quarter million dollars?”

Why You Should Pursue Financial Independence

Why in the world would I need to write an article to convince you that pursuing financial independence is a worthwhile goal?  Everyone wants financial independence right?

Well, actually, most people don’t.  They like the idea of financial independence.  It’s hard to argue with the idea.  But most people don’t like the steps it takes, particularly the necessary part about saving a lot of the money you earn.  If you’re not highly motivated to achieve financial independence then it’s going to be difficult to achieve before you are old.

So let’s talk about WHY financial independence is worth the effort.

Continue reading “Why You Should Pursue Financial Independence”