There were a bunch of great posts and podcasts that got me thinking this week! Here are some of the best:
Matt makes an interesting point here, which is that the fiduciary rule starting to come into effect isn’t a cure-all for shady investment advisors. There are loopholes and nuances that investors still need to look out for even when they’re working with a fiduciary. Rob Berger at The Dough Roller Money Podcast also has some warnings about believing a fiduciary doesn’t have any biases when it comes to managing your money.
Ben Carlson writes: “It’s cliche at this point to compare things like personal finance to dieting and fitness but this seems like a good explanation for why financial literacy is usually a failure in terms of helping people improve their money skills. Consuming knowledge can be fairly useless if you don’t pair it with intelligent behavioral design and systems.” He’s got a point. We know more about diet today than ever before, yet we’re collectively in worse physical shape than ever. The same is true financially.
This is one of those financial facts that I often forget about. Dividends aren’t “free money” that companies pay you for investing in them. They’re a shift in assets from the company to the stockholders, and the stock price reflects that payout when it’s made. So that 25 cents a share dividend I get from Ford every quarter reduces the value of my share 25 cents, meaning I not only am breaking even, I’m also paying taxes on that dividend as ordinary income rather than if I were to sell a share and just pay capital gains taxes. I haven’t looked into a comparison chart, but it’s now on my list of things I want to investigate more. Thanks for the reminder, Tim!
Dr. Curious writes a touching letter to his young son, talking about where he’s at in life and what things are like. He plans to give this letter to his son one day. I’ve written several of these for my daughter. In fact, her birthday is next week so I’m due to write another. I just think this is a great practice for parents, not only because it’s something your child can appreciate years down the road, but because it helps to focus your thoughts around what’s important in your and your child’s life right now. What are the things that matter so much that you want to capture them as that snippet in time for your child to remember? Does anyone else do this?
I have to say, I love The Friendly Russian’s writing style! He cracks me up, especially with his Russian sayings. In this post, he looks at whether it was smart to prepay his rent for the year to get a discount or whether he should have invested the money instead.