I (Adina J), a self-confessed personal finance snob, select a handful of excellent PF articles from the week gone by. The TimelessFinance Sunday Reader serves these pieces to Readers of refined tastes. And because we all need a bit of comedic relief at the end of a long week, I’ll label one Personal Finance Fail — a self-explanatory category.
Article submissions will be accepted at your author’s TimelessFinance Gmail, email@example.com. Fellow bloggers: don’t all rush to send in your links. Recommendations are welcome, but the TF Sunday Reader is not a quid pro quo link circle. Don’t be disappointed when your article is omitted. I am writing this column for Readers like me — the ones who want dependably good content to peruse on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I don’t want him to start getting ideas, but here’s another Sunday reader and another post from PK at Don’t Quit Your Day Job. This time, he asks you to consider what your weight says about your net worth. See, last year, I gained about 40 pounds, and my income dropped significantly. Alright, if you must know: I had a baby. (Babies – also bad for your net worth.) But all facetiousness aside, it’s an interesting correlation that invites even more interesting speculation on causation. Run with it, folks!
The Toronto Star turned on the housing market with a vengeance this week. Moneyville ran not one, not two, but three articles about the slow-motion train-wreck known as the Canadian residential real estate market. Susan Pigg — previously admonished by Joe for handling real estate with kid gloves, ignoring economics, and putting high-school graduate realtors on the same pedestal as academics — was the author of two of these articles. Congrats on the good work this week, Susan! Or, should I say, finally seeing the light … of the incoming train barrelling down the tunnel.
Erin at DIY Passion wrote an eloquent post on why she has an emergency fund… because sometimes “[the unprintable]” happens. One minor nitpick: if you are concerned about access to non-joint bank accounts (or TFSAs, etc.) in the event of catastrophic health crises, it’s easy enough to get a personal directive designating an agent (i.e. your spouse) who is to look after your financial affairs in the event that you become incapacitated. To be clear, you sign the personal directive now, but it doesn’t take effect unless and until you are deemed incapable (by one or more doctors) of looking after your own financial affairs. Much like a will, a personal directive should be on everyone’s financial checklist.
I missed this article last week, but reading about the plight of Millenials is timeless entertainment. Mochi & Macarons takes a balanced look at the question of whether the Millenials are screwed (probably), and how much of it is their own damn fault. In my opinion, the worst legacy of the Boomers to their kids has been an overblown sense of entitlement, premised in part on being shielded from all consequences of their actions. Boomers always cared too much about being liked by their precious little snowflakes. Oops, there goes my inner old grump again. (Editor Joe’s Note: remember, Adina, you’re a “nomad”.)
Dave at 6400 Personal Finance read PK’s post last week on why cutting math from school curricula is a terrible idea, and has added his own thoughts on the subject. Aside from his spot-on observations (as usual), this post taught me that Dave and I have at least one thing in common: we both hate physics. OMG, it’s like we’re twins. Well, as twin-like as a cannon cocker and a, um, non-artillery officer can be. Besties!
The Personal Finance Fail of the Week award goes to Lisa Aberle, over at Get Rich Slowly, for ruining a good topic by being indecisive. The post starts off strong, with a question about whether it’s better to be a generalist or a specialist, and ends with a sad little whimper when Lisa chickens out on her conclusion. Lisa, your gut instinct was right: it is better to be a specialist. (As long as you’re not a specialist in Women’s Studies.) Sometimes you can become a specialist thanks to nothing more than a (specialized) degree, but more often than not the key is to identify a niche that needs filling in whatever area you happen to be already working, and position yourself to be the right man (or woman) in the right spot and the right time. And then watch others jealously tell you how “lucky” you are.
And that wraps up another Sunday reader, folks!