Month: May 2014

Is Jim Cramer a Positive or a Negative Influence?

Yesterday morning, I wrote a fairly controversial article where I described individual stock investing as akin to gambling for the average investor. The impetus for that article was Jim Cramer’s appearances on CNN just before the Bear Stearns collapse, shouting loudly that Bear Stearns was in great shape. Check it out if you want to …

Reader Mailbag #4

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. As usual, we’ll start things off with …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Find More Time

Most Sundays, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. A reader wrote to me a while back happily extolling the virtues of Find More Time. I get about ten book recommendations a day (about half of which seem to come straight from publishers), so naturally I was a bit ho-hum about …

Is Investing in Individual Stocks Merely Gambling?

I have a lot of fun following individual stocks in my spare time. I keep tabs on a small handful of companies that I have a personal interest in – Apple, Nintendo, Herman Miller, and Ford, namely. I watch for news articles on the company, read their annual and quarterly reports, and stay up to …

Does It Make Financial Sense to Consider Moving?

My recent career change means that I now have the freedom to write from wherever I happen to be. Similarly, my wife can pretty easily find work in any sufficiently-sized town – her skill set and resume would make her an attractive candidate pretty much anywhere. Given that we currently live in one of the …

Categories: Family, Housing

The Connections Between Mental, Physical, and Financial Clutter

This post is a guest post by Erin Doland. Erin is the chief editor and writer of one of my favorite blogs, Unclutterer, and a twice-weekly columnist for Real Simple. Take it away, Erin! One of the changes I noticed in my life when I decided to become an unclutterer was that I stopped worrying …

Categories: Getting Started

Review: You’re Broke Because You Want To Be

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Blunt. That one word sums up this entire book – in fact, it sums up pretty much everything I’ve ever read by Larry Winget. He cuts right to the chase with his message and doesn’t pull any punches to be “nice.” Some people view that …

Categories: Books and Reading

An Ode to the Inexpensive Bean

I’ve become convinced lately that the most cost-efficient food in our kitchen is beans, and it’s a food that people often overlook. Beans are loaded with protein and are quite flavorful, particularly as a substitute for meats in a vegetarian diet. How Cheap Is It? Here’s a real world example of how inexpensive they can …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Early Reflections on a Career Change

Friday, March 14 was my final day at my old job. I packed up my desk, said my goodbyes, and walked out the door into a brave new world. As most of you know, I quit that job, not because I disliked it (in fact, I liked it quite a bit), but because I made …

Financial Information and the Middle Class

In my morning roundup today, I made an offhand reference to a comment from Hayden Tompkins about passive income: I think passive income, like most financial information on the internet, is aimed at keeping middle class people more comfortably middle class. I think that Hayden is looking at the situation from a very narrow perspective. …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Announcements Edition

Announcement #1 I’ve decided to give the “book club” another whirl with a book that I think could provoke a ton of discussion: Born to Buy. If you’re unfamiliar with it, read my review of it from a while back. The book is basically a deep look at the effects of marketing and consumerism on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Cosmetic Surgery as Investment

Recently, I received an email from a reader – let’s call her Denise. Here’s her story (edited slightly to remove a few personal details): Here’s something I’ve been stressing about for a month or so now… I recently lost about 80ish pounds & have a ton of excess skin on my tummy. To “fix” it …

The Little Books Series: Which Ones Are Worthwhile Reads?

Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to review all five entries in the Little Book investment series. For those unaware, the Little Book series by Wiley Publishing is a series of small hardcover books. Each entry in the series seeks to explain in layman’s terms a specific investment strategy and how an …

Is Success a Choice?

Quite often, when I talk about opportunities to succeed on The Simple Dollar, I am accused of forgetting people who can’t help themselves – truly impoverished people, people with disabilities, and people with other strict disadvantages in life. I’m often told in no uncertain terms that for these people, success is not a choice – …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag #3

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. First of all, after the recent discussion …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Predictably Irrational

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I find that time and time again, my greatest opponent when trying to make intelligent and well-reasoned personal finance and time management issues is myself. I’m my own weakness. I regularly make irrational decisions – I’ll stop in the middle of work …

Some Notes on SmartyPig

First of all, a disclaimer: while I’m not directly involved with SmartyPig, I did speak with the development team in detail during the development process and offered a number of suggestions and ideas, and I was kept abreast with their development along the way. This group sought my input during their process of growing from …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Taking Control of Your Own Destiny at Work

One of the biggest fears I had during my time as a “9 to 5″ office employee was the level of uncertainty. I was never completely certain that my job was secure, and I rarely knew what actions I should be taking next. Quite often, I’d just take my best guess and stab in the …

Categories: Careers

The Value of Getting Organized

Now that my free time has increased exponentially (giving me the margin I so desperately needed), I came up with a list of personal projects that I’ve been neglecting recently, first among these being a reorganization of the pantry. Over the last few months, our pantry has descended into chaos. When we first moved into …