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Explore the archives

FI Weekly – April 13, 2021

Live Event Tonight We’re testing recording the ChooseFI podcast in a live format, and the Stereo app I mentioned previously wasn’t quite ready for what we needed. So, the experiment moves on:  We’re doing a Facebook Live tonight (Tuesday 4/13) at 7:30 pm ET with Frank Vasquez, host of the ‘Risk Parity Radio’ podcast and a prior guest on one of our most popular episodes (Episode 194 about the role of bonds in your portfolio).  Tonight’s live is about the nuances of investment portfolios, asset allocation, drawdown, and how to build a portfolio with non-correlated investments.  With this event you

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FI Weekly – April 6, 2021

​ On Motivation Sal Khan, founder of the incomparable Khan Academy (if you have children and are looking to improve their math skills for FREE, there’s no better way than Khan Academy), was a guest on People I (Mostly) Admire.’ This quote from Sal on motivation jumped out to me:  “One of the big questions when we started, especially a not for profit, was how are we going to attract top talent, especially in a place like Silicon Valley where people could go work at Google and Facebook and get all the stock options and whatever else.  And I remember reading a

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FI Weekly – March 30, 2021

​ What Was Your Best Decision Ever? Dr. Peter Attia asked Steve Levitt, Ph.D. the co-author of Freakonomics on Episode 154 of ‘The Drive’ podcast, “What’s the best decision you think you’ve ever made?” and Steve’s response was insightful:  “I don’t know if you’d actually call it a decision, but the decision to not care what people think about me…I somehow just made a choice to just not care what other people thought about me. Which was a big choice for me because like most high school kids all I cared about was what other people thought about me, and

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FI Weekly – March 23, 2021

​ PSA: Tax Filing Deadline Extended The IRS just extended the filing date of your federal income tax return from April 15 to May 17, 2021. I was pleasantly surprised to see this from the IRS: “Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.”  This is an extension of time to file AND pay for 2020.  If you’re self-employed or otherwise pay quarterly estimated tax payments, keep in mind your 2021 Q1 payment is still due

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FI Weekly – March 16, 2021

​ Disrupting Higher Education I’ve become a fan of The Hustle’s email newsletter for the variety of business stories and their post this week, “Google Goes After Higher Ed,” caught my eye.  Last year, Google announced plans to offer certificate programs that would take the place of a college degree, for some roles, in their own notoriously difficult hiring process. The thought was that this would give cover to other companies to move away from requiring the general undergraduate degree as a prerequisite.  In the modern economy, skills matter. If a degree helps you get those skills then wonderful. If

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FI Weekly – March 9, 2021

Expected Value in Decision Making I’m reading the book ‘DUCY? Exploits, Advice, and Ideas of the Renowned Strategist’ by poker player David Sklansky and he does a great job explaining a critical concept in decision making that you need to add to your list of mental models: Expected Value (EV)  “Expected value arises most frequently when you must make financial decisions about uncertain outcomes. However, it’s also useful for other types of decisions if you can convert the alternatives to numerical values.  If you don’t convert, you may be unable to compare two or more uncertain possibilities. But when you

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FI Weekly – March 2, 2021

Quote I’m Pondering “Comparison is the thief of joy” – President Theodore Roosevelt  It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others around you in almost every aspect of life, regardless of how successful or well off you are. In this regard, humans compare on a relative basis, not an absolute one. Those around us matter the most in this comparison.  One of the best aspects of joining the FI Community is that we’ve stepped off that “keeping up with the Joneses” hamster wheel and aren’t as concerned about what others think. Subtracting this ‘thief of joy’

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FI Weekly – February 23, 2021

Live Podcast Recording Tonight Starting tonight (2/23) at 7:30 pm EST, Jonathan and I are trying a 10-week experiment of recording our podcasts LIVE on a new app called Stereo!  We’re always wanted to do a radio-show format, so we’re looking to make this really fun and interactive (you can send in short voicemails through Stereo that we can play while we’re live).  We hope you join us tonight and be sure to open the link on your cell phone as it’ll help you download the app the first time, but then each week going forward use this same link

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FI Weekly – February 16, 2021

PSA: Tax Season is Here The IRS started accepting the filing of 2020 tax returns on February 12th, so tax season is officially here. Most major brokerages such as Vanguard and Fidelity provided consolidated 1099 tax forms this week. That means 95% of us can gather all our forms and start filing this week.  Two things to watch out for:  1) If you have a form K-1 coming from a partnership or S-corp, those can come in up until 3/15  2) If you’ve received amended 1099s in prior years, it might be worth holding off a few weeks before filing. 

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FI Weekly – February 9, 2021

1% Better: Life Insurance Comparison Pursuing FI is all about taking small actions that, when compounded, add up to big results. This past month I’ve received (and shared here in the FI Weekly) a bunch of success stories of people who got insurance quotes that saved them hundreds of dollars a year on either their auto, home, or life insurance policies. We had Jennifer Fitzgerald, the Co-Founder and CEO of Policygenius, on the show on Episode 132R to walk us through a framework for what types of insurance we need in different stages of our lives. Since then, we’ve come

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FI Weekly – February 2, 2021

Quote I’m Pondering My brother sent me this quote from the book “Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade” by Trey Gowdy, which I submit to you for reflection in these tumultuous times:  “The world will be a quieter, less hostile place if we replace the desire to shout with the desire to be heard, if we replace the desire to win the argument with the desire to move the person who wants to argue, and if we reserve for ourselves some of the toughest questions we can conjure up.” Ask questions and

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FI Weekly – January 26, 2021

Mental Models: FI Math A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of mental models to leveling up our problem-solving abilities. I came across an article in the Washington Post yesterday that happened to be about the UK coronavirus variant and its increased reproduction rate and I thought it was a perfect example for the FI Weekly. My bringing this up here isn’t necessarily about coronavirus, but the increased level of understanding we all have when we understand exponential math, the math behind the compound growth of our money, and mental models generally. The article noted that in a Facebook post,

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