It's time for the weekly roundup of the best articles of the week for December 7, 2018.
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A lot of what I read that doesn't make it to the this weekly best content I post on social media.
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Here are my top picks for December 7, 2018.
Best Articles of the Week for December 7, 2018
Joe Udo runs the blog Retireby40. Joe covers a lot of territory on his blog writing about topics like early retirement, frugal living, happiness, making money, being a stay-at-home dad, and being self-employed. There's something for everybody at Retireby40.
The article I chose for this weeks series has the title – Am I Depriving My Family? Joe wrote the article after reading something from Financial Samurai, one of the most visited blogs in personal finance. The article discusses the financial blind spots many of us have. Joe took particular interest in one of the comments from the article about spoiling our families with nice things.
Some of you reading this now have the hair on the back of your neck standing up. Not spending on things is the foundational principle of many in the personal finance blogging space. But what if you had $6,000,000 in the bank? Would you still feel that way?
That's what Joe explores in this great post. It's a well-balanced discussion where you'll hear both sides of the argument.
I highly recommend this for your reading pleasure.
Am I depriving my family of the best (materialistic) things in life? Of course, I am. Do I feel guilty about it? Not at all. Mrs. RB40 and I are both naturally frugal and we don't feel deprived. For us, financial security is much more important than luxury purchases.
XRAYVSN is one of my favorite physician bloggers. For many reasons, he stays anonymous. XRAYVSN is the name of his blog. Many of the physician bloggers target their peers as readers. Xray is not different. However, he has a unique writing style, sense of humor, and insight into personal finance and life. As an immigrant from India, he brings a different and refreshing voice to the personal finance space.
The post I chose from Xray is one that's near and dear to my heart as a financial advisor. The title of the post is, So, You're a DIY Investor (Why a Financial Advisor Still May Be in Your Best Interest). Honestly, it isn't often I see posts from personal finance bloggers with an open mind about using a financial advisor. In most cases, it's quite the opposite. IMO, physician bloggers are among the worst offenders.
I get it. Physicians are targets. They make a lot of money and advisors, good and bad, pursue them relentlessly.
Many physicians, especially early in their careers, had bad experiences with unscrupulous financial advisors. Many physician bloggers, after those mistakes, dove into personal finance with a vengeance and started blogs to educate younger physicians. It's a worthy cause. One with which I totally agree.
To me, they've overcompensated in their disdain for financial advisors. A friend of mine has a phrase that I love which applies here. “Don't let an incident become an indictment.” Just because you got taken by a bad advisor, don't let that incident become an indictment on an entire industry.
Xray offers a refreshing view on the value we financial advisors bring. In fact, the post below is written by a financial advisor. Kudos, Xray. I appreciate your objectivity in a place I find that lacking.
Here you go.
Many individuals who are on the Financial Independence/Retire Early path have had the mantra of keeping expenses as low as possible ingrained into their very fabric. The basis point has indeed been the basis for many investors to turn to index funds and DIY investing.
Todd, who runs the website Invested Wallet, brings my next selection this week. Here's a snippet of how Todd describes his content – “You also won’t find a millionaire and retired blogger, generating six-figures each month. Of course, that’s the goal! But, I’m not quite there yet. Instead, you’ll find a normal 30-year-old grinding away to save money and finding ways to make more money.”
To me, that makes him unique among Millennial bloggers.
The article I chose is titled, The 3 Problems with the Current FIRE Movement. I've written about the FIRE movement a couple of times on this blog. If you're new to it, FIRE stand for Financial Independence, Retire Early. The movement is getting a lot of mainstream financial press these days. Much of it is critical. Some of that criticism is fair. Some of it isn't. I've had my issues with FIRE too. That's why I chose this post.
Todd is a Millennial himself. He's pursuing financial independence. He's paid off a lot of debt, increased his income via his employment, and saves over 50% of his income. It's hard to argue with these principles. He also understands and illustrates some of the blind spots FIRE has. I've talked about them too. But hey. I'm a Boomer. What cred do I have with Millennials? Even though I wrote a Mea Culpa to Millennials, I'm still not one of them.
Todd is one of them. That's what makes this post stand out for me. It's an honest look at the movement from one who's a part of it.
I'd love to hear what you think after reading. Enjoy.
This has been on my mind for the last few months, especially since I launched Invested Wallet in late June. Technically, I guess you can categorize this site has part of the FIRE movement. If you are not familiar with this acronym, it simply stands for, “Financial Independence/Retire Early.”
The Poor Swiss
Mr. Poor Swiss is a thirty-year-old computer scientist who works, lives, and blogs in Switzerland on the site The Poor Swiss. Mr. Poor Swiss is no slacker. He's a Ph.D. at age 30. That's impressive.
He's one of the few Swiss bloggers. He's in an even smaller minority in the Swiss blogosphere as one pursuing financial independence. Switzerland makes most top ten lists of most expensive countries. Like many Millennial bloggers, he started the blog to document the mistakes he made earlier in life and document his journey to financial independence.
My selection from The Poor Swiss is, Automating Your Personal Finances is a Mistake. WOW! How's that for a provocative title.
Automating saving and investing is a tenet of personal finance for most people pursuing financial independence. In his best selling book, The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach tells about how people gain wealth by automating their saving and investing process. I wrote a blog post about automating your way to wealth.
Mr. Poor Swiss challenges many of the tenets of automation. His view is it can make you lazy. He cites the lack of control and even challenges the concept of paying yourself first. He says it's a dangerous concept. In fact, he describes the whole automation process as dangerous. He argues his points effectively.
I don't agree with much of what he writes on automation. But I think it's important to offer alternative views that may be counter to conventional thinking. This article certainly qualifies in every respect.
I hope I am never accused of being myopic in my views. If you ever see me doing that, call me out on it.
Let me know if you agree or disagree.
In the Personal Finance community, many people are advising everybody to automate as much as their personal finances as they can. I am not one of them. I do not automate anything in my personal finances. In fact, I do not like automation for my personal finances.
My posts this week
As we near the end of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to review the benefits of a backdoor Roth IRA. Many people have incomes too high to allow them to contribute to a traditional IRA with pre-tax money. Though income limits are higher for Roth IRA contributions, there is still a limit.
There is a lot of confusion about what you can do with inherited IRAs. In today's post, I'll tell you what you need to know about inherited IRAs to make good decisions about them. There are required minimum distributions to consider. You also need to understand how to name your beneficiaries.
I'm excited for today's interview with Jerry over at Peerless Money Mentor as he talks about his experience growing up poor in urban America. I've followed Jerry's blog for some time. We had the opportunity to meet in September at the FinCon conference in Orlando.
Please let me know what you think of these articles. I always appreciate the comments and feedback.
Enjoy your weekend.
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