082R | The Paradox of Choice

082R the Paradox of Choice

Discussion of Brad and Jonathan’s purchasing habits, messages from the ChooseFI community, benefits and drawbacks of roboadviors, and a summary of capital gains harvesting.

  • Jonathan gives a review of some travel hacks on a recent trip to Chattanooga, TN.
  • Capital One Venture Card allows users to redeem miles for nearly any travel cost.
  • PSA: bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate if you’re traveling.
  • Review of Monday’s episode with Dani and Laura, Jonathan and Brad’s wife.
  • Jonathan is excited about the way Brad and Laura cut down on choices, purchases and decisions for themselves and their children.
  • Brad aims to keep his life simple, particularly in regard to purchases.
  • Enjoying the journey is crucial; obsessing over small purchases probably takes away from someone’s enjoyment of life.
  • During your pursuit of FI, it’s important to remember your “why”.
  • Laura shops for the future, by purchasing clothes, presents, etc., way before they’re necessary, often finding items for a fraction of the normal cost.
  • Batch processing: blocking your time off to maximize efficiency.
  • Facebook Message from Jimmy:  met a friend on airplane, introduced him to ChooseFI, and that friend reduced expenses and put himself on the path to FI in less than a month.
  • There are options for almost every financial position, to get yourself moving in the direction of FI.
  • Jeff, on Facebook, reports that he’s paid off $105k of student loans.
  • ChooseFI San Diego has a real estate meeting recently – informing people about real estate options and discussing rent vs buy, among other topics of conversation.
  • ChooseFI local groups will be as good as the participants want them to be.
  • Voicemail from Ryan: question about using roboadvisors?
  • Fees matter: managing accounts directly saves money.
  • Benefits of a roboadvisor – automated services can help with some calculations that it’s difficult to do yourself, and it sometimes make investing more accessible
  • Jonathan prefers and recommends M1 Finance. Here is our full M1 Finance Review if you'd like to learn more.
  • Voicemail from Bonnie: selling used items through the online Varagesale platform helps her bring in a little extra income as a stay-at-home mom.
  • Voicemail from Anthony with questions about increasing your capital gains basis.
  • Capital gains are typically taxes, but if you’re in a low tax bracket, long-term capital gains are not taxed.
  • Previous episode about capital gains harvesting in episode 18 and 18R.



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3 thoughts on “082R | The Paradox of Choice”

  1. Another great discussion.

    Limiting the choices of small children (and sometimes not so small) is an important concept in Second Generation FI, especially those choices that are of a trivial nature but could lead to bad habits (usually involving eating or spending) if the wrong choice is made over and over again. Little minds are very poor at resisting attractive advertising.

    But there is a bigger lifestyle topic here — essentially, many children are taught by their parents through example or otherwise that “shopping is entertainment,” such that its something to do when bored or to make you feel better when something negative happens. So you see whole families wandering around stores or malls for no particular reason other than “it’s something to do, ” who end up buying things they don’t need and eating a lot of junk that’s bad for their health. And instilling bad habits in the younger ones who wonder why they resort to “retail therapy” when they become young adults.

    This is a horrible mindset to bequeath to your children, and falls directly into consumer culture and overspending. IMO, shopping should be taught as “a necessary evil to be optimized,” both in terms of price and time spent doing it. And the fewer people in the family who have to go do it regularly, the better.

    Here’s the 20 minute summary on the Paradox of Choice: https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice

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