It's time for the weekly roundup of the best articles of the week for October 20, 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 November 9, 2018.
The Physician Philosopher
The Physician Philosopher (TPP) is someone I interviewed for my overcoming adversity series. He's also someone I've come to know as a friend. His post this week is a love letter written to his wife. It's something that should be a part of every couple's estate plan, especially if one of you handles the finances.
In the letter, TPP gives specific instructions to his wife on what to do with their money. But the message is about much more than money. He also talks about a “life plan” where he encourages her to “find love again;” that “life is too short to live alone.” He encourages her to pass along their values to the kids, with messages for each of them. He reminds her that his death was not too soon; that their Christian faith promises more than what life here has to offer.
It was a timely post for me. Earlier in the week, I wrote about what it means to leave a legacy. TPP took a big and important step in establishing his legacy above and beyond their finances.
Well done, my friend. Well done.
As someone who works in medicine, we are all too aware of our mortality. Any day could be our last. And, since I have a website where I can say what I want, it seems like it's the right thing to do to leave this here for my wife to read should I meet my Maker sooner than we anticipate.
Montana Money Adventures
The next featured post comes from Jillian, who blogs at Montana Money Adventures. Jillian was a panelist for a discussion I attended at FinCon in September. She is one of the more unique personal finance bloggers.
Many bloggers who have achieved financial independence are dual-income households with no kids. (DINKS). Jillian does not fit that mold. She and her husband had two kids of their own and decided to adopt four others. That's right. They have six children.
And guess what. Jillian and her husband achieved financial independence (FI). Over a ten-year period, they paid off all of their debt and bought a home for cash. Their story throws a curve ball to those who say you can't get to FI with kids.
The post I'm highlighting today comes out of a sermon she heard at church when she returned home to Montana from FinCon. The title of the article is Can You Have FIRE and Faith? As it turns out, her pastor spoke pretty strongly against the FIRE movement and the principles to which they subscribe. For Jillian, it highlighted the many misconceptions about FIRE and what it means to retire early.
She does a beautiful job of debunking the list of misconceptions that often come when the media and others talk about FIRE. As is often the case, those outside a group make broad generalizations that often leave out important nuances. That seems to happen with FIRE as much as any group I've observed. Jillian breaks it down for you here.
Oh, by the way. She agreed with most of the other points in the sermon that Sunday.
Last week I attended a conference of 2200 people involved in personal finance and media called Fincon. I was slotted to speak alongside four other familiar faces in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community. JD Roth (Get Rich Slowly), Pete (Mr. Money Mustache), Carl (1500days) and Leif (Physician on FIRE).
The Finance Twins
Camilo, a co-author of The Finance Twins blog, writes about what it was like for him being poor and attending an Ivy League school. He shares the lessons he learned in those years.
His poverty first stood out when he arrived at school. He took a bus there and walked the final distance to school. Everyone else pulled up with their parents in their Mercedes, BMWs and other luxury cars. They helped unload and get their sons or daughters settled. Camilo had no one to help him. You see his mother couldn't afford to make the trip. He talks about getting invited to parties or out to dinner with friends. Because he couldn't afford it, he had to get creative with his excuses on why he couldn't attend.
There are multiple examples of the difficulties he faced during those years. Camilo says the academics were the least of his worries. He's right about that. He graduated from Penn and went on to Harvard to get his MBA.
Not to be outdone, his twin brother went to med school and is now a practicing physician. Their stories are a testament to overcoming odds that appeared stacked against them. His story inspired me. I think you will be too.
Thanks for sharing, Camilo.
The Finance Twins is run by identical twins, Camilo and Francisco Maldonado. While The Twins collaboratively work on most articles, this one was written by Camilo. Being an identical twin, I got used to standing out a little more than the average person.
Moose is the author of the blog MSO Life. Moose is a pretty smart cooky. A West Point grad and Army veteran (thank you for your service!). He went on to get an MBA. In 2017, Moose paid off $30,000 in debt and saved and invested $100,000. I'd say that's a pretty stellar year.
The post I chose from Moose is titled Inflation, the Destroyer of FIRE. Talk about inflation is not something you hear about much these days. That conversation is right up there with talk about bear markets and recessions. I've written several times about the false sense of security my younger investor friends have these days. The last ten years have been an anomaly for investors. It's the most extended bull market in history (depending on how one measures). It's way outside the norm.
With zero percent interest rates as the fuel, inflation has been absent during these ten years. Rest assured, my friends, inflation will be back. Moose explores what that might look like and how to prepare for and get through periods of high inflation. He doesn't shy away from the tough discussions, including the potential for hyperinflation. He offers concrete, specific things you can do to benefit in times of high inflation.
It's a great reminder that the times we currently enjoy will not be this way forever. Many see a significant market drop, perhaps caused by high-interest rates and inflation. I'm not in the predicting business. Neither is Moose. You'll want to read this post to bring yourself back to the reality of the risks that come with inflation.
This post is dark. FIRE posts tend to be super upbeat and confident, but this is not one of those posts. High inflation or hyperinflation is a massively destructive force, and you need to know about it. In engineering, you're taught to look at all risks.
My posts this week.
We continue our weekly interview series as we here a story from a very successful blogger and former IT guy on how to overcome a learning disability. Steve Adcock, authors the blog ThinkSaveRetire. Steve and I are part of a blogging group. We met and the recent FinC0n conference.
Many questions are difficult to answer. The answer to the question, what does it mean to leave a legacy, is no exception. Why? One can define a legacy in many ways. Most people think a legacy means how much money you leave behind. That's certainly a big part of it for most people.
I recently looked at my calendar and realized I started Money with a Purpose just over a year ago. It caused me to pause and think about what I've learned after one year of blogging. The short answer – A LOT! I know people who have been blogging for over a decade.
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