March 2022 Best of the Web
Articles cover a wide array of topics this month. We start with an exploration of psychological aspects of personal finance. These include unique psychological challenges for retirees: learning to spend from your portfolio and dealing with nearly unlimited choices in retirement.
Selected articles explore portfolio management challenges. These include dealing with high 401(k) fees and diversifying your portfolio to survive bear markets, periods of high inflation, and rising interest rates. I also provide a few great resources to share with others just starting their journey to improved financial literacy.
Finally, we address inflation impacting the price of nearly everything. Resources give serious insights to how inflation impacts our portfolios and home ownership. We close with a less serious look at managing inflating gas prices.
I hope you find something of value. Have a great month!
Psychology of Money
It was a treat to see that one of my favorite financial writers and one of the best interviewers in the business got together. Morgan Housel discusses The Psychology of Money on the Tim Ferriss Podcast.
Christine Benz suggests that when you’ve got big financial questions, make sure you don’t miss what is really important. She writes Step Away From the Spreadsheet .
Psychology of Retirement
Switching our mindset from saver during our working years to spender in retirement is a frequent challenge among this audience. Fritz Gilbert writes 5 Steps To Learn To Spend in Retirement.
Richard Connor discusses the power of having choices as well as the challenges that come with having too many choices, writing Get to Choose.
High 401(k) Fees
Kim and I have both worked primarily for small companies. There have been many great perks, but having great 401(k) options has never been one of them for either of us. Jim Rekenthaler describes this problem well, writing The System Still Fails Small 401(k) Plans.
If you’re in that boat, I’ve analyzed whether high 401(K) fees outweigh the benefits of participating in the plans.
Portfolio Diversification Challenges
This month, I wrote about challenges facing bonds in an environment of high inflation and rising interest rates. Here are a few more resources on the important topic of diversifying your portfolio.
Amy Arnott writes Why Diversifying Your Portfolio Is Getting Harder.
Jon Luskin explains The Diversity Myth of Alternative Investments.
As inflation soars, Tom Lauricella asks and answers Why Are Inflation-Protected Bond Funds Losing Money?
Related: I Bonds vs. TIPS: Which Is Better?
Increasing Financial Literacy
Vanessa Yang recently invited me onto the First Mentor Podcast to discuss a topic I’m very passionate about, spreading the principles of financial independence to young people. If you have a young person in your life who is trying to figure out how to get started, consider sharing this one with them.
I get sent a lot of books about investing. I’m sure many of them are great, but most look really similar when I skim them.
I recently received an advanced copy of Brian Feroldi’s book Why Does the Stock Market Go Up? The format is unique. It contains 61 chapters in only 225 pages. Each chapter title is a question that investors commonly have, followed by the author’s concise answer.
I started skimming it and ended up reading the whole book in a couple of hours over two evenings, often nodding along in agreement and learning a few new things along the way. My one big disagreement was reading him share The Worst Investing Advice I Ever Heard Everywhere in yet one more place in Chapter 41.
Despite that critique, I highly recommend gifting this practical and easy to digest book to anyone in your life who is new to investing or looking to get more involved in managing their own investments.
Rising Calculator Prices
One of my favorite financial tools is NewRetirement’s PlannerPlus which is an affiliate of the blog. The price of this tool is going up from $96/year to $120/year later this week.
If you have been using the free version or considering trying it, don’t wait. You can still get the lower pricing if you upgrade from the free Planner to the PlannerPlus tool only through this Wednesday, April 30th.
Rising House Prices
Dave at Accidental FIRE shares some fascinating statistics and infographics, writing Median Home Values and Mortgage Payments In Your Area, How Much Have They Increased?
Jim Wang writes Why I Don’t Care About Our Home’s Market Value (Nor Should You).
A Solution For High Gas Prices
With the price of everything going up, I wanted to end with some solid practical advice to help you save money on gas, so I turned to…. Shaq’s Gas Math!
There is a lot to be concerned about in the world, and we can all use a good laugh. I encourage you to invest two and a half minutes of your life to watch this video and get that laugh. (And if you don’t understand why this is funny, scroll back up to the links on improving financial literacy! 😏)
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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at email@example.com.]
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