Why I’m writing this stuff
Personal finance is a passion of mine. However, I am not a “certified” finance professional. Rather, I am educated (and have worked) for many years in technology, first as an engineer and then as a patent lawyer. Consequently, I believe in a disciplined, logical, and rational approach to personal finance, for myself and for others. Like many of you, I am equally shocked, chagrined, and yet fascinated by the financial destruction that many Americans have brought upon themselves, including in my baby boomer generation. I want to understand why this happens and how it can be fixed. I want to offer hard truth and tough love ideas and learn from others.
I’m not a status quo or tactful kind of guy
I do not believe in accepting the status quo or simply repeating what has been dogmatically written for years in the field of personal finance. Many finance “rules of thumb” have become, in my view, rules of “dumb.” I do not believe in routinely consoling a financial train wreck and telling him or her that everything will be fine. There are important issues of human dysfunctional behavior that must be understood and overcome so that financial bad habits can be corrected. Sometimes, tough love responses are what is needed. I am not afraid to provide those responses. Tact is not always my strong suit. Sometimes, that can be a good thing.
I think my family likes me (but maybe not after they read this)
I have been happily married for over thirty years. My wife is very tolerant. We have learned and continue to learn to work together as financial partners, sharing and contributing in different ways but as equals. (I hope she agrees!) We are not alike when it comes to money but we need each other. I have three sons of whom I am very proud. They have also taught me much about the role of money in personal and family life. I hope they have learned from me as well, just as I have learned from my parents and four siblings.
Not the same old “I was heavily in debt but now I’m not” blog
I am not like so many of the money bloggers who begin writing after digging themselves into an enormous financial hole. They then report how they are digging out of it. Some in fact never actually completely clean up their financial messes but continue to write about them. That attracts readers who find themselves in similar messes. That’s OK if everyone benefits.
I actually do as I say when it comes to money
Although I have made my share of money mistakes, my wife and I have never been in a financial train wreck. Does that make me better than the other money bloggers who are recovering from financial disaster? No – but it provides a consistently different perspective on money strategy. Stated another way, I suppose it means that we have generally done things the right way from the beginning. That’s a good thing. We are debt free except for a mortgage on one of our two residences. We in fact have been debt free for many years. One mortgage was paid off in 2009. The other mortgage isscheduled to be paid off when son number three finishes college in twoyears. We use a single credit card but only to acquire travel points. The balance is paid off every month. I buy used cars. My wife buys new cars but keeps them for many years and for many miles. As best as I can recall, we have never had a negative net worth or even a negative savings rate. In other words, we generally live what I preach in this blog. Oh, I almost forgot – I don’t know my credit score and in fact have never known my credit score.
And I take my own investing advice
I am a self-advised investor, in both taxable and non-taxable accounts, and in a variety of equity and fixed income asset classes, all of which you will be reading about in later posts. For 8 years, I was an active member of an Investment Club, where I spent many hours researching and presenting stocks for the club. I am no financial genius but I work hard at it. I have learned from my many investment mistakes and false starts. I read and study constantly in the field of investing and personal finance.
Please read and enjoy (but don’t even think about suing me!)
Regarding the opinions I express on this blog, you should judge for yourself whether they are valid or credible. I will share what I learn (and what I think I know) in this blog. You will be the judge of the value of my commentary and whether and how it might apply to you. You may judge it worthless. I hope not but that’s OK because even in that case you are getting exactly what you paid for.
You are welcome to contact me. If your message pertains to the subject matter of this blog, I will do my best to respond promptly. Thank you for reading about me.
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