Category: Personal Finance

Dealing With Professionals


The real world changes too fast and it is too complicated to know everything you need to run your business or your financial plan. You need skilled help.  Accountant, lawyer, banker, investment adviser, and financial planner are the common ones. The problem is finding… Continue Reading “Dealing With Professionals”

A Well Defined Problem Is Half Solved


Albert Einstein said, “If I were given one hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute solving it.” With few exceptions, we start solving problems before we have rigorously defined them. Sometimes that works but most… Continue Reading “A Well Defined Problem Is Half Solved”

What’s The Greedy Algorithm?


Many people instinctively use a greedy algorithm to solve problems, but they should have no expectation that it will generate optimal or even good results. Back in the depths of history, I took a course in operations research. Essentially the process of applying mathematical… Continue Reading “What’s The Greedy Algorithm?”

Smoking Costs How Much??!


Fundamentally, the world is a fair place.  The more you smoke, the less time you are required to do it.  Maybe a good thing too, because your potential retirement fund will be harmed. Here’s an example.  Suppose: You are a 30 year old male… Continue Reading “Smoking Costs How Much??!”

Am I Paranoid Enough?


“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis de Tocqueville It appears that this discovery has been made. The only question left is “How will the American Republic cease to endure?”… Continue Reading “Am I Paranoid Enough?”

The Laffer Curve


Who knew that Arthur Laffer’s description of how tax revenue changes with rate applies to golf, exams, public speaking, and music recitals?  It does and it’s obvious once you see it. Arthur Laffer was an adviser to Ronald Reagan on tax policy.  He pointed… Continue Reading “The Laffer Curve”

Everything Goes In The “T-Miscellaneous” File


When I was a student in accounting, we did an audit of a small manufacturing company whose file clerk had an unusual filing system.  It required strict alphabetic order.  The Bell Telephone Company was under “T” of course.  So was The City of Toronto… Continue Reading “Everything Goes In The “T-Miscellaneous” File”

The Soft Side of Estate Plans


  There are several types of assets people deal with when they build their “estate plan.”  It is a mistake to deal with all of them in the same way.   In the beginning, you can simplify the process by separating the assets into… Continue Reading “The Soft Side of Estate Plans”

What’s The Big Deal?


Several months ago a restaurant opened here and offered hamburgers made from a recipe that was popular in our first drive-in.  (back in the early ’60’s)  At the counter, I mentioned to the cashier that $5.49 seemed a lot because the last time I… Continue Reading “What’s The Big Deal?”

Learning From Experience


Experience is the best teacher and for the price it damned well better be. Like other expensive things, you should shop around for the same value but at a lower price.  With experience you need to study the experience of others.  Read biographies.  Pay… Continue Reading “Learning From Experience”

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