I’d always heard about people who start investing in rental real estate on the side, and over the years build that up to the point that it lets them stop working for others, and have much more flexibility and leisure in life.
Then, I met someone like that in real life.
A neighbor six houses down the street from us built up his portfolio each time he moved from one house to the next. He’d keep the old house and add it to his rental portfolio.
That gave me the idea of doing the same when we moved out of that neighborhood and into our dream home. I even wrote about it on Medium in a piece (“Real Estate Investment Can Leverage Your Results”) rebutting an opinion expressed by Ben LeFort that real estate is the most over-hyped investment. …
There are several reasons why I write on Medium.
The most important of those is making an impact, helping others learn from my mistakes and successes.
In 2020, I published 80 articles on Medium, just under 7 per month on average. Most showed mediocre performance, some did really well, and some did so poorly that I cringe. But they all taught me valuable lessons.
The best proxy Medium gives us to measure our impact, as of October 2019, is how much our articles earn.
That’s because even more than number of claps, reads, or even minutes read, earnings tell us what fraction of our readers’ Medium time was spent reading our articles. …
I love a great debate, and personal finance is a most fertile ground for those.
It’s why they call it personal finance. Because the right answer almost always starts with, “That depends…”
My most recent debate was with Jason Clendenen, about whether your home should be counted as an asset or a liability. In short, I hold that it’s an asset, while Mr. Clendenen cites Robert Kiyosaki and insists that it’s a liability.
Read on, and decide for yourself. It could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Clendenen argues that you should “beware of mainstream financial advice,” arguing that your home is a liability by citing Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame) saying, “One of the most important is a new definition for assets and liabilities: Assets put money in your pocket. …
You must have an emergency fund!
So say almost all financial professionals. And I agree, for most people.
But what if you really don’t need an emergency fund, at least not in the conventional sense?
Unless you’re still fully dependent on your parents, you probably have at least some financial obligations.
It may be something as small as your share of the rent for that place you’re living in with several housemates. It may be a car loan payment. It may be paying full rent for your place. It may be paying your mortgage. …
If you started reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you’re working hard, probably harder than you want.
If so, that begs the question, why are you working so effing hard?
This question is especially relevant for me these days, as I realized I’ve said “yes” to too many things, leading to feeling overwhelmed and that my life is out of balance.
That in turn led me to reflect on my twisty career path, and how it impacted and continues to impact my life. Here’s what I learned from the journey.
I’d always wanted to be a physicist.
I completed my BSc with a double major in math and physics. Then a MSc in theoretical physics. Then a PhD in experimental physics. Then, a 5-year post-doc working on detector R&D. …
It was spring 2005, and it was a sellers’ market out of hell, at least for buyers like us.
We were getting married, and couldn’t find a house to buy in our neighborhood that didn’t immediately get multiple offers, with many buyers willing to pay far above the asking price. It was getting close to our wedding day, and it became increasingly clear we wouldn’t be able to buy a house before that day.
Here’s how we won the bidding war without paying many tens of thousands of dollars over asking, like our competitors.
Intuitively, it’s clear that when more people are looking to buy homes than there are homes available, sellers increase their asking prices and refuse to accept contingency clauses such as buyers’ previous homes selling before the deal finalizes. However, that’s not a very quantifiable definition. …
It’s time to admit to ourselves that we need to consider that as upside-down as it may feel, this is our new normal.
I’ve been working 100% remotely for 8 months now, and counting.
At first, I loved not having to commute 45 minutes or more each way to the office. I’ll also confess that wearing jeans and a polo shirt to work each day was a big plus for me…
However, after so many months, I’m really missing the camaraderie of walking into a colleague’s office and chatting about things both professional and personal. …
The “5% rule” was developed by YouTuber Ben Felix and written about at some length by Ben Le Fort. Felix tried to create a simple rule of thumb to help people rationally figure out the merits of renting a house vs. buying.
In brief, the math proposed by Felix tries to capture the financial cost of buying a home as follows:
The cost of a college education appears to always go up.
This is especially true when compared to the flat or even drooping inflation-adjusted income of most Americans.
If you’re a parent, and especially if your kid is young, here are 5 effective tips (plus a bonus one) that will help put your kid through college without breaking the bank or taking on enormous student-loan debt.
I’ve been there, so I know this is not easy to do!
If you’re a young parent, you may be facing the double crunch of an insufficient income and high child-raising expenses.
Still, I’m sure you can find a way to squeeze out of your budget at least $25 a month, right? That’s the minimum regular investment required (for example) by T. Rowe Price’s Maryland College Investment Plan. If you get an average 7%/year investment return, that $25/month investment could build up to over $10k in the course of 18 years! …
With the Holiday season fast approaching, you need to read this now so you don’t run out of time and spend far too much on Holiday gifts (this was originally published in 2019, so adjust as needed to stay safe).
You’re on a small boat in a wide river. The water moves calmly, almost majestically downstream. All around you are other people, each in his or her own little boat, and you’re all floating downstream. Some are caught in a little extra-fast eddy, moving downstream a bit faster. Others, in a calmer part of the river, float more slowly. …