I bought my first home in 1990 at the top of the Southern California real estate market and promptly found myself with an “underwater” mortgage. And although I owed more than the home was worth over the next seven long years, I never walked away from that loan — even though I wanted to — because I felt I had a moral obligation
Continue reading If It Feels Good Do It: Maybe Strategic Defaults Aren’t So Bad After All
Life is full of hassles. Some are really big, like losing a job. Others are more of an annoyance, like changing your place of residence.
Then there are the really irritating ones that make you scratch your head and throw your hands up in complete exasperation, like certain rewards programs that really make you wonder why you even bothered to sign up.
I’ve already discussed why I think Coke Rewards isn’t worth
Continue reading Friendly Warning: When Reward Points Expire, So Does My Loyalty
Nothing is easier in life than to blame the other guy when we encounter problems. That’s because it takes real courage and integrity to look inward and take responsibility for all of the troubles that are a direct result of our own making. When we take ownership for every decision we make in life, we become powerful in the eyes of others. It also earns us trust and breeds opportunities.
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Personal Responsibility Is the Key to Success
Inflation? What inflation?
The fact is, for those who are willing to look close enough, we are actually being confronted by a serious bout of deflation — at least when it comes to the size of the containers sitting on our supermarket shelves.
With prices continuing to rise in the face of the depressed economic climate, manufacturers continue to find themselves caught in a classic dilemma: either raise prices and risk losing
Continue reading Looking for Inflation? It’s Hiding In Smaller Package Sizes.
Most of us learn to fear failure and avoid it at all costs. During our quest for financial freedom, however, we’ll encounter plenty of failures. Usually, we learn from them and move on. Sadly, the fear of failure is also used as a convenient excuse for some folks who dig themselves into a deep financial hole and are looking for any reason to avoid the hard work of overcoming their
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Never Ever Be Afraid of Failure
One of the more difficult jobs any parent faces is teaching their kids the value of a dollar. Sadly, some kids never learn that money doesn’t grow on trees.
It may seem cruel, but parents who aren’t afraid to let their kids spend their money on ill-advised purchases — especially those with limited shelf lives — are actually doing them a favor. Experience is a terrific teacher and, with respect to
Continue reading 100 Words On: A Surefire Way to Teach Kids the Value of Money
Never assume that just because a person holds an MBA, he knows how to run a business; the road is littered with MBA-sporting CEOs who ignominiously drove their companies into the ground. Conversely, there are just as many CEOs — guys like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Oracle’s Larry Ellison — who achieved phenomenal success without the fancy business school sheepskin.
The bottom line: If guys like Gates and Ellison can
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Don’t Need an MBA to Manage Your Finances
You might think that credit cards for people with excellent credit are universally the best products available, and that the quality of a credit card naturally rises in accordance with the credit level required to get it. You might believe that high fees and lacking rewards simply come with the territory of having bad credit, and that this is a natural trade off. You might also assume that
Continue reading Beware: A Credit Card for Excellent Credit That Doesn’t Fit the Bill
Assume you earn 4% interest in a savings account. Whether you pay a tax of 100% in a non-inflationary environment, or collect that interest tax-free with 4% inflation, the end result is the same. In other words, inflation is a tax that requires no approval from legislators. This concept isn’t lost on our government, which is currently mired in over $100 trillion of debt and unfunded obligations.
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Inflation Is Taxation without Representation
Sometimes, certain extraordinary events occur that seem to defy any attempt at a logical explanation, only to be later revealed upon closer inspection for what they really are.
For instance, ghosts? They’re often easily explained by light reflections, coupled with a highly overactive imagination.
Bigfoot? That’s just some guy in a cheesy gorilla suit.
UFOs? Swamp gas, of course.
How about Lee Dewyze winning the 2010 edition of American Idol? Okay, okay. That one
Continue reading It’s Not Magic: You Too Can Trade Up a Paper Clip to a House