Monday, April 23, 2012

More Financial Lessons From the Kitchen

It is time once again to serve up a little kitchen advice to help us become better investors. In planning a special meal, we not only want to fulfill our immediate desires, but also strive to create a well-balanced culinary experience. Some of the techniques for preparing a successful meal can also be applied to improving your investment portfolio. The “recipe” for both includes three soup├žons of kitchen wisdom: plan for variety and balance, use the best ingredients and taste as you go.

Why Is It So Hard To Make A Good Decision?

Not long ago, I found myself engaged in the delicate task of trying to lead my son to a sensible decision without giving the impression I was telling him what to do. He was considering not taking traffic school for a speeding ticket. It’s rare to get the opportunity for a “do-over.” He could pay more for insurance in the long run if he passed up the chance today to make amends for the ticket. The consequences of a poor decision can last many years. I enlisted the old adage about “shooting oneself in the foot.”

How Much is Enough? Pt. II

In How Much is Enough? part one we talked about the Fulfillment Curve. It is a great visual representation of the concept of enough. When we ask the question “how much is enough?” we find that the answer is unique for each person. The objective is to fund survival, some comforts and only the luxuries you consider most important.

How Much is Enough? Pt. I

Our consumer society constantly bombards us with the idea that more is always better. If one car is good, then two are surely better. The same must be true for vacations, shoes and, of course, money. Despite having saved and invested for my own retirement for decades, I still occasionally worry that I won't have enough money. After years of helping others with their financial plans I find that many share this anxiety.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Looking back on my college days, I recall what may seem like an odd memory – the distinct sense of pride and satisfaction I felt when paying my own bills. For the first time I was really independent and able to provide for my basic needs. I seldom made a distinction between a need and a want when spending money. While the difference between them may seem obvious, actually recognizing it is an incredibly important step in gaining satisfaction from our money. Do most of us even think about it?