Sometimes Different Is Better, Sometimes It’s Worse, and Often It’s Just Different

Being a contrarian isn’t a guarantee of success, especially if you’re not careful…

A bench under a stand of palm trees with snow covering the ground and deposited on bench and trees.
A bench under a stand of palm trees with snow covering the ground and deposited on bench and trees.
Photo by Federica Giusti on Unsplash

I often offer contrarian opinions and ideas, especially in personal finance.

This is because my personal experience proved to me that I got far more from following my own path for 11 years than from 18 prior years of following the herd (see more below).

I’ve even collected some of my most popular stories on Medium into a collection I call “Be a Money Contrarian.”

Here are some of the stories you’ll find there that offer an unconventional take:

So, what does it mean to be a contrarian anyway? According to the Oxfordify Dictionary:



Noun: contrarian; plural noun…

The solution can't be to make gas cheaper. If nothing else, that would encourage more gas being burned, which is unsustainable for the environment.

The solution cannot be to provide below-cost goods to everyone. Instead, we need to use the money that would have been wasted by such an ill-advised scheme, and target it better to help those who truly need the help.

Things like helping the poor get a quality education at a price that's affordable to them, possibly tied to a percentage of their income.

Things like making sure that all income is taxed at the same rates…

This is a really important piece. I'm always happy to see things targeted specifically to help those who serve all of us, whether as first responders or in the military.

Nice article with good tips. However, the one about dividing "the salary you want" by 2000 oversimplifies too far in my opinion. For example, if you'd be happy with a $100,000 salary, this advice would suggest $50/hour. However, this misses many critical differences between a salary and self-employment income. These include:

- Self employment taxes are (about) twice as high as the employee payroll tax deducted from a salary.

- Employees don't typically have to spend time marketing themselves or running their own company.

- Self employed people don't get paid sick leave.

- Self employed people don't get an…

My most popular stories on making money your way…

My most popular stories on how to get from here to there…

My most popular stories on blazing your own financial path…

Opher Ganel

Consultant | physicist | sys eng | writer |financial strategist ( | avid reader | amateur photographer and artist ➜

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