Cruise_Ship_-_Reduced

What Cruise Ships Can Teach Us About Investing

My family and I took our first cruise over the Christmas break.  We have never taken a cruise before.  This is mostly due to the fact that my wife and I saw the Titanic movie.  Spoiler alert - it does not end well.  And if that wasn’t deterrent enough, earlier this year there was the now notorious sewage gate incident aboard a stranded Carnival cruise ship.  If you didn’t read about it, it involved a cruise ship that lost power at sea.  When the power went out, so did the toilets.  I will…Read more
What Traffic

What Traffic Can Teach Us About Investing

Sitting in Washington, D.C., traffic the other day made me think of an instructive story I heard some years back.  It went something like this:  Imagine that you are in your car, leaving Washington, D.C., for a fifteen hour drive to Florida.  Unfortunately, half an hour into your trip, you see a line of brake lights ahead and within moments you are sitting still in the middle of a traffic jam.  As you stare out the window of your car, you notice people on bicycles flying past you.  After an hour of going…Read more
T-Rex Cockroach

What a T-Rex and a Cockroach Can Teach Us About Investing

You have probably heard the tale of the tortoise and the hare, but I am guessing that you are not as familiar with the story of the T-Rex and the cockroach.  The mighty T-Rex is celebrated in museums and movies as the biggest and most dominant and terrifying carnivore of all time.  The cockroach, on the other hand, is small, ugly and perhaps the most reviled of insects.  For investors, the important moral of the T-Rex and the cockroach story is that the lowly cockroach is still thriving and multiplying around the globe,…Read more
Voting Booths

What Voting Booths and Scales Can Teach Us About Investing

A little over a week ago, a technical glitch knocked out trading in all Nasdaq Stock Market securities for three hours.  If you are a true long-term investor with a good financial plan, then your attitude toward a market closure of three hours or three months should be one of indifference.  As Warren Buffett said, “If we aren’t happy owning a piece of a business with the Exchange closed, we’re not happy owning it with the Exchange open.”  This leads me to an important question that gets to the heart of how you…Read more
Pot Pie

What Pot Pie Can Teach Us About Investing

I was recently shopping for note cards on a popular paper company’s website.  I know that has the potential to win the ‘least interesting opening sentence in a blog post’ award this year, but do your best to hang with me here.  This shopping experience started out in a very promising way.  I basically knew what I wanted and the home page of the site had a prominently displayed tab for Note Cards.  How much easier could it get?  Unfortunately, when I clicked on the Note Cards tab my thoughts of quick and…Read more
Mild Side

Take a Walk on the Mild Side?

A friend recently sent me an interesting article entitled How Happiness Comes With Age - Becoming Okay With Being Boring.  I’m guessing I liked the title so much because I am a CPA and have mastered the art of being boring.  If you ever need someone to liven up a party, just give me a call and I will give you the phone number for my friend Ron - he is really fun. One particular part of this article jumped out at me as it relates to investing.  The writer was discussing our…Read more
Creative Destruction

Creative Destruction

A Fossil By My Driveway A while back, I was outside taking the trashcan to the curb when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye, something yellow and shiny in a plastic bag.  I went over and picked it up.  It was a book, and in it were names and phone numbers.  I believe people used to refer to it as a phone book. I think I would have been less surprised to find the thighbone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex sitting at the end of my driveway.  I expected…Read more
roulette wheel

How To Tell Your Spouse You Lost $262 Million

Easy Come, Easy Go In his book, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes, Gary Belsky relates a fable that goes something like this: By the third day of their honeymoon in Las Vegas, the newlyweds had lost their $1,000 gambling allowance.  That night in bed, the groom noticed a glowing object on the dresser.  Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a $5 chip they had saved as a souvenir.  Strangely, the number 17 was flashing on the chip’s face.  Taking this as an omen, he donned his green bathrobe and rushed…Read more
No To Goals

Just Say No to Goals

The Dark Side of Goals Over Christmas break I was watching my three-year-old nephew having a great time playing a game on an iPad.  That is, until my son got involved.  It wasn’t that my son was trying to ruin his younger cousin’s fun - he was actually trying to be helpful.  He simply told his cousin the goal of the game, which was to finish one level in order to move on to the next.  By moving through enough levels, he could eventually beat the game. Apparently, my nephew did not understand…Read more
man in apron with a dust buster

Warning: Being Helpful Might Hurt Your Marriage

A recent study by Norwegian researchers Thomas Hansen and Britt Slagsvold found that equally sharing housework between spouses might be bad for your marriage. After analyzing data of thousands of Norwegian couples, Hansen and Slagsvold found the divorce rate was higher for those doing equal amounts of housework than in couples where the women did more of the work. My first thought after reading this was that the International Association of Married Men must have funded the study.  Okay, there is no International Association of Married Men (at least not that I am…Read more