20/20 Vision on 20-Something Investing

About 35 years ago, when I was new to the corporate world and fired with ambition, but not the least bit fired-up about staying with my big corporate employer, I had a series of bewildering conversations with colleagues, many even younger than I. See, the place where I worked had long been the number one […]


Silence Not Golden in Intergenerational Family Finance

The last time I ran into one of my favorite cousins, the conversation soon turned to which far-flung family members she had recently heard from. She divulged she hadn’t yet heard from my youngest cousin, her younger brother, about his recent trip to Southwest Michigan. That was not new, as she’d called another of my […]


A Pearl of Wisdom About the Burden of Wealth

I don’t know how the reading list looked in your high school English classes. But in mine, the teachers clearly believed we kids should absorb books that achieved, to quote Woody Allen, “total heaviosity.” These serious message novels were chosen to shake us out of our suburban-bred complacent lethargy. They were profound. They were penetrating. […]


Don’t look a gift employer in the mouth

Even if you’re not a news junkie like me, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen or heard one news item ad infinitum over the past several years. That nugget is the story about Americans’ retirement readiness, or lack thereof. We are endlessly informed by the media that we’re not ready to retire — […]


Sensational Way to Triumph in Negotiations

Before reading this post, please grab a steaming cup of coffee, and recline in the most comfortable chair you can find. If one is near, lift a warm puppy to your lap and stroke the soft, furry pet as you read. All set? Proceed. When professor and author Thalma Lobel was ready to finalize the […]


Speaking Well of the Dearly Departed: You

If you’re like me, you hold the firm belief that a personal finance site like the one you’re currently visiting should occasionally offer more than the usual advice. Oh, it’s fine if these posts primarily advance ways to track down the best savings account, how to save on life insurance or find the best zero […]


Wills that leave values, not valuables

You’re accustomed to seeing personal-finance articles on this site, and a quick scan of the archives will reveal every imaginable personal-finance subject. You’ll find blogs about the best zero-percent-APR credit cards and how to track down the best high-yield savings accounts. You’ll spot posts on financial plans and funding home purchases and college educations. And […]


Enter a new chapter in personal finance success

One of the telltale signs you’re rapidly becoming an annoying elder statesman is an increasing tendency to buttonhole much younger people and dispense advice they haven’t sought, don’t want and are unlikely to take to heart. You know the kind of guidance I’m talking about. Always eat your green vegetables. Exercise regularly. Look both ways […]


Worst-case-scenario playbook

This is the time of year when I annually confer with my financial adviser. As I drove to meet him in his office a couple weeks ago, I had reason to expect we’d both be in jovial moods. The stock market’s performance over the past year has been stellar, after all, and my account has […]


All-star-cash-management lessons from the diamond

If you’re a baseball fan like me, it’s a good bet you read the Michael Lewis book “Moneyball” well before it spawned a Brad Pitt movie. The tome is a laugh-out-loud chronicle of how free-thinking general manager Billy Beane brought some respectability to his woebegone, small-market, tiny-budgeted Oakland Athletics. But linking money and baseball is nothing […]