Snarky Thoughts on Personal Finance From a Dad of Two

It’s Hard to Save When You’re Sick—But That’s No Excuse

Being sick stinks.

Being sick can cost you.

Being sick can cost you.

I’ve been battling some sort of mystery virus over the last couple of weeks that’s left me feeling pretty rotten. And as a result of my crappy state, I haven’t been as disciplined in my spending habits as I usually am.  Continue reading

College Without Debt? It’s Possible

There’s been a lot written recently about the cost of higher education and the growing

levels of student loan debt weighing down America’s young people.

Tydings Hall, University of MarylandThis is a serious problem with a massive ripple effect on the financial health of the nation. [See: Why You’re Broke – The Student Loan Burden.]

Many pundits have thrown out possible solutions to the problem, ranging from adjustments to loan terms and more public investment in higher education. There’s also been a healthy discussion about which colleges and degree programs offer the best value to students.

But there is one part of the equation that too often gets ignored in the conversation: parents.  Continue reading

Why Apple’s Planned Stock Split is a Great Thing

Shares of Apple stock may be getting more affordable.

Shares of Apple stock may be getting more affordable.

If you’re an investor, how did you get started? How did you actually reach a point where you said, “yes, I am going to put some money in the markets.”?

For many people, the introduction to investing came when they contributed to their first 401(k) plans. They may not have understood exactly what they were doing, but were told by their employers that it was a good idea to contribute.

For others, they began simply by opening an account with a discount brokerage firm and buying a few shares of a stock. Continue reading

Do You Pay for Online News?

Do you subscribe to newspaper?

Do you subscribe to newspaper?

I am a big fat hypocrite.

I have worked in journalism since I was a teenager, but don’t spend a lot of money to actually support news operations.

I don’t subscribe to a newspaper or a magazine. I read mostly free sources online and watch network and cable news programs.

Suffice it to say, I am not exactly helping when it comes to saving the journalism industry. Continue reading

Warren Buffett and the Genius of Simplicity

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

The investment world always reacts with excitement when Warren Buffett releases his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

There seems to be a feeling that the billionaire investor will offer some nugget of advice that will cause markets to move, or to help average investors boost their own returns.

But the reality is that Buffett’s investment strategy is pretty easy to follow. Continue reading