Introduction to Investing and Economics

Of the first seven months of the year, only two dealt with money. In February we learned about the basics of personal finance and in May we dove into the intersection of money and happiness.

The rest of the year had been spent on topics like life planning, productivity and time management, health, the science of happiness, and the philosophy of happiness.

In August we made our triumphant return to money with an exploration of investing and economics. Continue reading “Introduction to Investing and Economics”

Personal Finance 101

Today we’re continuing the journey we started last week traveling through the different subjects that we’ve covered this year.

Last week we took a big picture look at life planning, which was our topic for January.

Today, we’re diving into our February research, which was on personal finance basics. Continue reading “Personal Finance 101”

Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)

Before going into year-end mode, I want to take one last dive into the Universal Basic Income pool.

I promise this won’t be another 5,000 word tome. In fact, this will be a lot lighter on policy detail and a heavier on big picture ideas.

To recap our journey so far, we started by learning what Universal Basic Income actually is. We then looked into whether it works and addressed some commonly-raised concerns. Finally, we figured out how to pay for it with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Today I want to step back and try something new. I want to apply a bit of FIRE thinking to UBI. Continue reading “Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)”

Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)

On Tuesday we started a deep dive on Universal Basic Income by looking at what the concept actually entails.

We explored the different problems that people believe UBI can solve and the different visions that groups of supporters have. We explored Universal Basic Income as a replacement for the safety net, as a cure for poverty, and as a protection against job loss.

But all of this is based on one major premise: Universal Basic Income works.

The question we need to tackle next, then, is whether this is true. Would Universal Basic Income work? Is giving people cash the best approach to ending poverty?

Adopting a UBI is a huge undertaking, both economically and politically. Before we jump in, we should make sure there is evidence to support it.

That’s what we’re exploring today. Continue reading “Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)”

Recession-Proof Yourself

In our exploration of investing and the economy, we’ve touched on a few more pessimistic topics.

We explored how the value of work is declining and how good jobs are disappearing. It’s important to face these facts with a clear, unbiased view so that we can prepare ourselves and avoid being left behind.

This is also true in assessing whether a recession is coming.

Based on historical trends, we are overdue for a recession. On top of that, we’re in the midst of a trade war that some economists think could push us into a recession.

Whether you agree with that assessment or not, it is important to make sure that you are prepared for a recession so that if and when one does hit, you don’t lose your financial footing. Continue reading “Recession-Proof Yourself”

Your House is Not an Investment

We’ve been spending the month exploring economics and investing.

Not once in any of that exploration have I mentioned housing. Even when discussing what we should be investing in.

Why? Did I forget to include it? Isn’t buying a house a great investment?

In short: No. Continue reading “Your House is Not an Investment”

Don’t Buy the Dip!

We’ve been spending the month of August exploring investing and the economy.

Most recently, we learned that we cannot time the market and we shouldn’t even try.

The numbers behind this are pretty uncontroversial, but a lot of people still believe that they are the exception. Even a significant number of people that believe you shouldn’t time the market still carve out little exceptions.

One of these is the practice of saving up cash and investing that extra money when the market drops. It makes sense – if you can invest more when the market is down, then you’ll earn more when it comes back up. I’ve read this advocated in the personal finance space quite a few times and I’ve even done it myself before.

But it is wrong.

Even this form of timing the market will lose you money. Continue reading “Don’t Buy the Dip!”

How to Start Investing

By now you may be convinced that you need to be investing

You’ve seen the numbers, you’re convinced of the declining value of work, and you are aware of the rough job markets ahead.

But what should we do about it?

Now may be a good time to get into some more practical advice, so today we’re exploring how to get started with investing. Continue reading “How to Start Investing”