March 4, 2022

You can find useful insights anywhere. Whether they’re new insights, reinforcing insights you’ve already had, or rearticulating or recontextualising insights. Take, for instance, Tyler Cowen’s recent interview with Chuck Klosterman. At various points, Tyler explains to Chuck: “high-quality real estate and cheap hobbies… are the best hedges” “You are human ...

February 18, 2022

Lots of people reassess their insurance arrangements after repaying their mortgage. That’s fair enough. It’s a significant financial milestone. A lot of people also associate insurance with debt — it’s common for people to arrange insurance around the same time they take out mortgages (and it’s often the same people ...

February 4, 2022

I’m ambivalent about Peter Thiel. He’s a thoughtful and articulate guy. I like many aspects of his book Zero to One. I think we have a very different idea, however, of what a good society looks like, and what it would take to get us there. In other words, I ...

December 17, 2021

Being a parent is a huge responsibility.We want the best for our children. When they leave the nest, most of us want to have some comfort knowing that they’re well-equipped to be happy, independent, productive people.Part of this picture is being able to make sound financial decisions.As a result there ...

June 18, 2021

It’s easy to think that you’re either spending money, or you’re saving it. You draw up a budget. You work out what you spend, and you save the rest. (Alternatively: you pay yourself first, and then spend the remainder.) In reality, however, financial decisions often don’t fall neatly into one ...

October 2, 2020

In a previous article, I talked about the fact there are two types of job security: one that relates to your specific role, and another that relates to your ability to find work.In this article, I’m going to dive into this in a little more detail.The impact of losing a ...

September 11, 2020

When I have the privilege of providing financial advice, I ask clients the obvious questions – about their assets and liabilities; their income and expenses; etc. I also ask about job security. In fact, this is one of the most important questions I ask. When you think about whether you ...

September 4, 2020

I recently listened to two podcasts in a row that talked about mobster movies: Goodfellas and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Both are good movies. Both movies involve heists. It got me thinking about the economics of being someone who makes a living in this sort of way. Not ...

April 24, 2020

When I prepare a financial plan for clients, my report includes a simplified balance sheet, setting out their existing financial situation. A fairly typical balance sheet might look something like this: The details will vary, but you get the picture. For the purpose of making investment decisions and getting a ...

December 6, 2019

(Technically, this article should be titled “How WE money” because everything I do, I do it with my wife.) One of the things I pride myself on is providing financial advice that follows the “family and friends” rule. This means that I provide the same advice to my clients that ...

November 22, 2019

Frugality is great. But only if you’re frugal out of choice, and you define frugality in terms of being mindful about how you spend your money and making sure you spend in a way that aligns with your values and priorities. On this same note, saving money is important. You ...

October 11, 2019

I love books that swing for the fences. They almost always include things I disagree with. And they’re not the sort of books that will average 5 stars on Amazon. That’s how I’d describe The Last Safe Investment by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg. It relates to finance and investment ...

August 30, 2019

This week I gave a 30-minute presentation to a group of engineers. I talked about investing and insurance, while emphasising the importance of making financial and lifestyle decisions that are in line with YOUR circumstances, needs, and objectives. If you’re in the Christchurch area and have a group who would ...

February 15, 2019

My son is starting to get into video games. In many games, you have the option between playing on "easy mode" or "hard mode".Sometimes I think we unnecessarily put our lives on "hard mode", when we'd lead much more meaningful and rewarding lives if we switched to "easy mode".One reason ...

February 8, 2019

One of the most valuable exercises I run through with clients is "flawcasting" their financial future.It's one thing to create a personal balance sheet setting out your existing assets and liabilities, and getting an understanding of your net worth as it currently stands.It's another thing to get an insight into ...