Way back in the glory days of October I started laying out a description of how I invest.
Previously, we looked at the different accounts that I use – the buckets that hold my investments. Now it’s time to look at the investments themselves.
What you’ll find is that I don’t follow the traditional advice here. I don’t think I’ve seen my strategy advocated by anyone anywhere. I’ve honestly been a bit hesitant to lay it out because it feels a bit odd coming from someone who is all about optimizing.
But here is where I will admit to, explain, and defend, my investing strategy.
I want to share with you all how I choose to invest. In order to do that, we first need to get back to basics.
Today I want to start with the accounts that I use.
Your investment accounts are basically the buckets in which you hold your investments.
This sounds like it should be simple. You open an investment account in the same way that you open a bank account. You put money into it and then you buy your investments.
It’s not quite that easy, however.
The government gives all sorts of different tax benefits to different people for different things. In order to get those tax benefits, you need to keep your investments in specific types of buckets. This means that you can end up with multiple buckets that you open yourself and multiple buckets that are opened by your employers.
A lot of people in the personal finance space tune out politics and recommend that their readers do the same. I don’t agree with this approach. I follow politics closely and stay up to date on policy proposals and all sorts of nerdy wonkery.
That said, when approaching topics for this blog, I make sure that every article has a takeaway that you can use to directly improve your life. That rule helps me stay focused on helping people with my writing rather than just writing about areas of my own interest. This also means I usually don’t discuss policy proposals making their way through Congress.
Every conversation that I have had discussing the benefits of buying versus renting has eventually turned to the Mortgage Interest Deduction.
(What? Doesn’t everyone have those conversations? Just me?)
If you itemize deductions on your tax return, the Mortgage Interest Deduction allows you to deduct the interest that you pay on your mortgage from your income. This ultimately lowers your taxes and, in turn, your cost of home ownership.
This perk is often mentioned to me as a key reason for buying a home rather than renting.
There are a number of reasons why I disagree with this approach, but today I want to explore one in particular.
The Mortgage Interest Deduction could be gone soon.
Everybody is always looking for ways to make more money.
The Internet abounds with articles about side hustles and negotiating raises. There are entire television channels devoted to following stock market investments. Being a co-host of a show about angel investing can help catapult you into consideration to be a vice presidential candidate.
But from what I’ve seen and read, it looks like most people are taking a scattershot approach to making more money.
People try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They jump into a side hustle and then when that doesn’t work they try another.
Like most other things that I talk about, I think it makes sense to look at earning money in a more systematic way. If we really want to make more money, we should understand the landscape.Continue reading “How to Earn More Money”
Over the last couple weeks I’ve run through a lot of my philosophy behind saving and investing. I discussed that I invest at least as much as I spend every month because I want to buy options for my life, because I see the value of labor declining over time, and because I don’t want to need to start a new career path if mine gets automated out of existence.