As Ben says, that's a great achievement - kudos!

I generally agree with your points, but will push back on two. Not because they're terrible, but because you can do better by doing something that may seem counter-intuitive.

First, using the right active funds is better than using even low-cost index funds. You can see the details here: https://medium.com/alpha-beta-blog/warren-buffet-recommends-index-investing-really-best-for-your-money-a52820c20f59.

Second, buying a new car and driving it until it's 10 years old is actually cheaper on average than buying it when it's a year old, 2 years old, 3, 4, etc. and keeping it until it's 10 years old. Here's the data to prove it: https://themakingofamillionaire.com/can-buying-your-next-car-new-actually-save-you-money-6803b8774fe8.


To Be Useful, Advice Needs to Be Widely Applicable and, Above All, Practical

Lessons learned and best practices that helped me on my path from negative net worth to financial success

A woman sitting on the floor, encouraging a young child who sits at a desk near her.
A woman sitting on the floor, encouraging a young child who sits at a desk near her.
Photo by Natasha Hall on Unsplash

Supporting a wife and two toddlers on a $31k salary was not easy.

Owing more than we owned didn’t make it any easier.

Over time, my salary increased gradually, but was at best barely over average for Maryland, where I lived most of that time. By this time, my net worth was better, but that was entirely due to a lucky break, with my house doubling in value in 5 years.

Then, I changed careers, which let me break into the 6 figures. However, my employer had to let me go after less than 2 years. …


Many People Dream of Building a Million-Dollar Nest Egg, but Is that Enough?

Some writers talk about retiring on less than $1 million, but what does that look like, and what can you do to make it a retirement you’d actually enjoy?

An older man sits fishing with a young child.
An older man sits fishing with a young child.
Photo by Federico Giampieri on Unsplash

Have you thought about retiring early?

Maybe in your 30s? 40s? 50s?

One couple, Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, did just that. They saved up $500k by the time they were 38 years old, in 1991, invested it, and called it a career.

Now, 30 years later, their portfolio is worth $1 million. Adjusting for inflation, that’s $514,201 in 1991 dollars. This means that after 30 years of living on about $30,000 a year funded by returns from their portfolio (plus income from part-time work blogging etc.), their inflation-adjusted portfolio value is about 2.8% …


Having a Job Can Be a Blessing, but It Isn’t an Unmixed One

Personal experience from being an employee for 24 years and full-time self-employed for 11 more

Woman holding sheaf of burning bank notes.
Woman holding sheaf of burning bank notes.
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Over the last 35 years I was an employee for 24 years, and full-time self-employed for 11.

Those first 24 years were critical in enabling me to do the work I do now through my businesses, but as far as direct compensation, they left a lot to be desired, and in some cases actually cost me money.

A lot of money.

Excess Value Created

Your employer is in business to make a profit, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, this means that by definition you must be creating a lot more value than what you’re getting paid. Indeed, since you probably cost…


One of the factors you briefly mentioned, price momentum, also tends to contribute to supply scarcity, driving prices up further, which then becomes like a price flywheel.

It works like this. Say I own an investment property that's bringing in rental income in excess of my costs of carrying the mortgage and all other expenses. In effect, I have an infinite capability of keeping that asset.

The market starts heating up, and people want to buy the property from me. …


Just Because It’s Unlikely to Generate Complaints Against Investment Advisors Doesn’t Make the 60/40 Portfolio Best for You

I’ve never liked bonds in my portfolio, but rental real estate works far better for me

Miniature of a man sitting on a pile of coins.
Miniature of a man sitting on a pile of coins.
Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

A long-time favorite of financial planners, the so-called 60/40 portfolio allocates 60% to equities and 40% to bonds. More recently, many (e.g. this from Barron’s) have written about the “death of 60/40.”

The reason I don’t love the 60/40 portfolio is that, over the long term, using bonds to reduce portfolio volatility comes at a steep cost of significantly reduced performance. These days, historically low interest rates also increase interest-rate risk for bonds.

In my opinion, unless you’re close to retirement (and maybe even then), there’s a case to be made for being invested 100% in equities.

You can invest…


Even the Oracle Can Get It Wrong

Comparing actively managed mutual funds to low-cost index funds may surprise you…

Thick stacks of money with $100 bills on top.
Thick stacks of money with $100 bills on top.
Photo by Celyn Kang on Unsplash

He’s been called the Oracle from Omaha.

Warren Buffet is arguably one of if not the most successful investors of all time.

He’s often quoted as saying, “A low-cost fund is the most sensible equity investment for the great majority of investors. My mentor, Ben Graham, took this position many years ago, and everything I have seen since convinces me of its truth.

A low-cost fund is the most sensible equity investment for the great majority of investors. My mentor, Ben Graham, took this position many years ago, and everything I have seen since convinces me of its truth. …


I wholeheartedly agree with 9 out of these 10 financial tips.

The one I disagree with is #3, about paying extra against your mortgage principal. That's almost always a bad idea, since it (counterintuitively) ends up costing you more money and increases your risk of losing your home, as I show here:

https://medium.com/financial-strategy/why-prepaying-your-mortgage-is-almost-always-a-terrible-idea-88fa87977d77

Instead, I'd suggest this underrated and counterintuitive financial tip: If you need a car (and aren't an amateur or professional auto mechanic), buy your cars new and drive them for a long time.

While endless digital ink has been spilled touting that buying used saves you from the huge depreciation hit of the first year or two of a car's life, the data prove this ends up costing you at least as much if not more in other ownership costs, as I show here:

https://themakingofamillionaire.com/can-buying-your-next-car-new-actually-save-you-money-6803b8774fe8


Going Beyond the Snowball and Avalanche Methods and Saving Even More

Be crazy… like a fox!

A sheaf of credit cards in a man’s hand.
A sheaf of credit cards in a man’s hand.
Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

You know the old saying, “ Fight fire with fire “?

It kind of has a nice ring to it, right?

Here’s a nice twist on it — using credit card issuers’ setups to claw back a bunch of money they charge you.

Isn’t that poetic justice?

But is it realistic? Can you really use credit cards to get out of debt faster?

Yes, you can. Keep reading and I’ll show you how.

A Typical Example

According to NerdWallet, the average American household with credit card debt owes $7149 and pay an average of $1155 a year in credit card interest. …

Opher Ganel

Consultant | physicist | sys eng | writer |financial strategist (opherganel.com) | avid reader | amateur photographer and artist ➜ medium.com/financial-strategy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store