Best of 2020
Financial Independence

It’s A Wrap: The Best Of 2020

Well, here we go. By the time this post goes up, we’ll be just hours away from ushering in the new year. These days, there seems to be a certain rhyme and rhythm to the vast majority of the “year in review” posts. Following […]

Snowball effect
Personal Development

The Beauty (And Danger) Of Compounding

You will have noticed that over the past few weeks, I have really dialed back on the number of “quantitative” posts. Gone are the rates of return, expected probabilities, and asset class comparisons. There’s plenty of time for those topics throughout the year. Instead, […]

Finding happiness
Financial Independence

Finding Happiness

As my workload finally eased up over the past few weeks, I have been able to spend a fair bit of time catching up with friends and family members. Many people in my social circle also have young kids and demanding jobs. Between all […]

Money identity
Financial Independence

The Money Identity

Nothing in life is easy. But it’s fair to say that building wealth has got to be one of the most challenging tasks you can set for yourself. A big underlying issue here is incentives. Think about losing weight or learning a new language. […]

Portfolio review
Investing

The Banker On FIRE Portfolio

One of the fundamental truths of being a personal finance blogger is that it invariably involves telling readers what you think. The internet, however, is a funny, opaque place. Things are not always what they seem. And for all you know, I could be […]

Most important investment
Careers

Your Most Important Investment

Bonds or equities? US or international? Large cap or small cap? What about value? Gold, commodities, crypto, individual stocks, sectors and subsectors, investing styles – the personal finance community is bursting at the seams with discussions on where to put your money. And yet, […]

Risk has big eyes...
Financial Independence

You Can’t Run Away From Risk

The other day, I got a frantic call from the commercial tenant at one of our rental properties. There was a pretty significant leak coming in from above which caused a mini-flood in the restaurant below. Luckily, the place was closed to customers at […]

Personal Development

Losing Control

Last Friday was a long day for me. The first Zoom call of the day started at 7 am, courtesy of a demanding continental client with a penchant for early starts. A year ago, my secretary would have punted the meeting by a couple […]

Money Superpower
Financial Independence

What Is Your Money Superpower?

The absence of role models has long been one of the biggest obstacles to building wealth. After all, the easiest way to become successful is to find someone who is already successful – and replicate what they have done. However, money isn’t like fitness […]

Not about the money
Financial Independence

Not About The Money

Back in my 20s, when I was still working my somewhat boring corporate job, I had a few friends who managed to “break into” investment banking immediately post undergrad. The lead-up to Christmas was always an exciting time for them – not least because […]

The End Of Passive Investing
Stock Market

The End Of Passive Investing

In what is becoming a recurring theme, a long-time reader (let’s call him Bob) sent me a link to an article about passive investing the other day – and asked for my views. The article itself was unremarkable, a thinly veiled shill for an […]

Investing lessons
Investing

Five Investing Lessons From 2020

It may not seem like it, but as of today, we are just four weeks away from Christmas. One of the most eventful years of the past few decades is beginning the countdown toward its logical conclusion. It’s fair to say that 2020 has […]

A Million Is Not Enough
Financial Independence

When A Million Is Not Enough

On Saturday morning, I woke up to an email from a long-time reader of this blog. To preserve anonymity, let’s call him Carl. Carl sent me a link to this story from the Sunday Times and asked for my views. I was still in […]

Tale of two markets
Stock Market

A Tale Of Two Markets

Back in February, when a very prescient colleague of mine was busy liquidating his equity portfolio, a good friend of mine was going in the opposite direction. He and I had discussed investing in the past – and he had fully signed on to […]

Back to school
Personal Development

Should You Go (Back) To School?

Almost twelve years ago to the day, it felt like the world was on the verge of collapsing. Venerable financial institutions have gone bankrupt, while others were teetering on the brink. Real estate values plunged in an unprecedented way, leaving millions of overleveraged homeowners […]

Proceed with caution
Investing

Covid Vaccine? Don’t Get Too Excited

Yesterday’s news of the Pfizer Covid vaccine may well be the emotional highlight of 2020. It certainly put a big smile on my face, notwithstanding an otherwise challenging day at work. A triumph of good over evil. Of human ingenuity over a nasty, deadly […]

Buy or rent?
Financial Independence

The Road To Riches – Buy or Rent?

Of the many conceptual arguments playing out in the personal finance space, buying versus renting has got to be one of the longest-running ones. Based on what I have seen over the past couple of years, the “buyers” represent a solid majority. After all, […]

Itching for a fight
Personal Development

Itching For A Fight

The two boys wouldn’t stop taunting me. I was in Grade 9, and it was my third day of high school. An experience equal parts novelty and anxiety. Having just immigrated to a new country didn’t make things easier. Our parents, busy with a […]

Destruction of value
Investing

Destruction of Value

About ten years ago, I attended an investment conference that brought together students and faculty from a number of MBA programs on the East Coast. Eugene Fama was one of the keynote speakers at the event. This was a few years before he won […]

Financial Independence

A Pre-Mortem On Your Life

One of the most enduring lessons I’ve taken away from my MBA degree is the concept of a “pre-mortem”. Applied in a managerial / finance context, the idea is quite simple. Let’s say you are about to kick off a big project. It can […]

Early retirement terrifies me
Financial Independence

Why Early Retirement Terrifies Me

Ahh, the sweet promise of early retirement. The date is January 31, 2020. The news outlets are slowly picking up coverage of the strange pandemic that’s shutting down Chinese cities and seems to be spreading beyond the country’s borders. I have zero time to […]

No return
Investing

Irreversible

After seven and a half months of working from home, I have finally had enough. Driven by a desire to insert a bit more separation between work and life, I put on my mask, boarded the Jubilee line, and headed for the office. To […]

Financial Independence

What You Don’t See

A lifetime ago (i.e. back in my teenage days), I had a very short but highly memorable stint working for a moving company. The set-up was simple.  The owner of the company, who doubled up as the CEO, CFO, driver, and mover, had offered […]

Your secret money weapon
Stock Market

How To Hack The Stock Market

Want to learn a guaranteed way to never, ever lose money in the stock market? Then today’s post is for you. Those who have read about the magic money machine will remember this graph: It’s a good representation of the random walk the stock […]