Shaquille O’Neal once spent $1,000,000 in a single day

Think you’ve made some poor financial decisions before? Have you ever spent one million dollars in a single day? That’s what former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal did — before becoming a pro basketball player. I go buy a $150,000 car. No negotiations. I don’t know nothing about negotiations. The guy could have told me $200,000…


How mutual fund fees can cost you big bucks

Robert Farrington from The College Investor recently went to bat for one of his readers. “I feel like my advisor isn’t steering me in the right path,” his reader told him. “When I mention [index funds] to him, he changes the subject or diverts to other topics.” Farrington ran the numbers and discovered that his…


Daily life during the Great Depression

Since the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, there have been a lot of news stories about how awful everything is. Never mind that most Americans enjoy the best standard of living of any culture in history, people still find things to complain about. Perhaps this is because people lack perspective. They don’t realize what…


What ‘Silicon Valley’ Can Teach Us About Entrepreneurs

You would think that after some thirty odd years, the tech industry would have accrued more parodies. But with only one movie and a handful of geeky shows available to watch we’re not even close to getting started. One show rises above the rest in its wit, charm, and outright ability to roast its namesake.…


An introduction to money management from Stanford University

Personal Finance for Engineers (CS 007) is a new course being offered during the 2017-8 academic year at Stanford University. Led by MBA (and Stanford graduate) Adam Nash, the class explores real-life situations using the latest info from behavioral finance and practical statistics. (Here are Nash’s thoughts about the first class, including a survey of…


Returns are almost never average

In the world of personal finance, we make a lot of assumptions. We have to. In order to project our financial futures, we have to make assumptions about our future income, about the future of the stock market, about future inflation rates and interest rates and a million other things. When we make these assumptions,…


Books about money that might make appropriate Christmas gifts

“My brother sucks with money,” a friend told me the other day. “I’m thinking of giving him a book about money for Christmas. Do you have any recommendations?” “Honestly, I’m not sure gifting a book about money is the best way to help,” I said. “I know you mean well, but from my experience this…


Travel Deal Tuesday is the best day of the year to shop for flights

I suck at making plane reservations. That probably sounds ridiculous, but I’m not joking. Whenever I travel — which is fairly often — I put off booking flights because I find the process so tedious. As a result, I miss out on the best deals. Turns out, I’m accidentally in luck. According to the research…


Black Friday vs. Buy Nothing Day

I’m off for the Thanksgiving holiday — my favorite time of year. I’ll be hanging out with family and friends, and hope that you do the same. Here are some things to consider during the next few days: If you haven’t already, now is the time to set ground rules for your family’s holiday gift…


What to do if you’re the victim of identity theft)

Last month, Kim was a victim of identity theft. Somebody used her debit card to make a large purchase of cosmetics. The thief first tried a couple of test transactions for amounts of $0.01 and $0.00. (How is a $0.00 transaction even possible? I have no idea.) When those worked, she went all-in. She charged…