Stock Market

The Case For A 100% US Equity Portfolio

At some point, all stock market investors face the following question:

What is the right portfolio allocation between US and international equities?

As the data below shows, at the turn of the 20th century, the US stock market represented ~15% of the world’s total.  […]

People who beat the stock market
Investing

The People Who Beat The Stock Market

The biggest refrain you hear from people who think you can beat the stock market goes as follows:

“By definition, 50% of investors do better than the market and the other 50% do worse. Surely it cannot be so hard to be in the first group.” […]

Dogs vs Wolves
Financial Independence

Dogs And Wolves

Fifteen or so years ago, I decided to burnish my educational credentials with an accounting designation.

Having survived the initial set of grueling exams, I was admitted to a year-long “professional development” program.

Sadly, that meant that once a month, I had to spend an entire weekend holed up in a nondescript conference room with a bunch of other accounting conscripts. […]

Want to win? Start by staying in the game
Personal Development

The Best Strategy For Winning At Life

Every year, without exception, I see the exact same situation playing out at work. 

Bright, motivated, and hard-working guys and girls begin their careers as investment banking analysts.

Almost immediately, the most ambitious and foresightful of the bunch […]

FIRE not fair
Financial Independence

Why FIRE Isn’t Fair

If you want to embark on a thankless affair, look no further than the pursuit of financial independence. There are a million constantly moving pieces being debated in the personal finance community. Persistent calls to “index and chill”. Heated discussions about safe withdrawal rates. […]

Is your FIRE number wrong?
Financial Independence

Why Your FIRE Number Is All Wrong

At first glance, it seems easy enough. Figure out your spending needs. Divide by the safe withdrawal rate (SWR). Done – your FIRE number is staring you in the face. But is it? Inspired by a couple of reader comments on this post, let’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

When everything goes wrong
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 […]

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 […]

Financial Independence

A Vicious Circle

It has begun – and it’s relentless. It happens at nursery drop-offs and pickups. At playdates and playgrounds. At birthday parties and barbeques. And anywhere else where you might be unlucky enough to bump into an acquaintance with a child who turns 5 next […]