The Sunday Best (12/11/2022)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated from the furthest reaches of the internet for your reading pleasure.

Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy.

Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles.

Related topics that have become recurrent themes include early retirement, selective frugality, tax issues, travel, physician issues, and of course, investing.

For more great articles, take a peek at The Sunday Best Archives. Now let’s get to the best… The Sunday Best!

 

The_Sunday_Best_2021

 

Dom, the Gen Y Finance Guy, hit his 8-figure net worth goal 12 years ahead of schedule, and well before his 40th birthday. Hello $10,000,000!

 

I imagine he spends a bit more on luxury than he did a decade ago. Dror and Jesse of Best Interest share their 1% Rule for Spending on Luxury: Live it Up and Still Achieve FIRE.

 

Jim from Route to Retire doesn’t need eight figures to live his version of a life of luxury. He shows us exactly what he and his family owns and what it’s all worth. Opening the Books to Our Investment Portfolio.

 

I should probably tell Jim about the net worth and portfolio tracker I’ve developed. It can now update the value of your ticker symbols, and you can download it here for free! A Net Worth Tracker That Auto-Updates Daily.

 

 

Dr. James Turner, The Physician Philosopher, knows a thing about investment portfolios, and he shares 5 Things About Retirement Accounts Every Doctor Should Know. Enjoy it in blog post and/or podcast form!

 

With two physician incomes and a side of geoarbitrage, this power couple is in good financial shape but working for more despite suboptimal working conditions. What would you do? FIRE Crossroads 034: Mid-40s with $4.2 Million Net Worth.

 

I’m more familiar with domestic geoarbitrage, but Skip DeRosierwith Go Curry Cracker shows us how a couple can travel the world in retirement for less than simply staying in the U.S. Geographic Arbitrage Wins Again.

 

There are winners, and then there are losers, like this deal that the Prudent Plastic Surgeon had a hard time turning down. An In Depth Analysis of a Bad Real Estate Deal.

 

Have you lost money in the stock market this year? Yes. Yes, you have. Make some lemonade from those lemons after listening to the latest White Coat Investor podcast episode. Tax-Loss Harvest Before Year’s End. Related posts:

 

Sometimes you lose money and there’s no lemonade to be made. Big ERN from Early Retirement Now compares and contrasts two such cases. A Post-Mortem for a Crypto Exchange: Is FTX worse than Bernie Madoff?

 

For years, cash earned next to nothing while speculative investments benefitted from low interest leverage. The tables have turned, explains Blair Duqesny with the Belle Curve. Savers Get Paid Again.

 

You know that parable on the wall at Jimmy John’s about the Mexican Fisherman? The Darwinian Doctor reeled in a different lesson than author Heinrich Böll intended. Why The Mexican Fisherman is in Trouble.

 

You need to see these two charts to understand safe withdrawal rates and the range of possible outcomes. From My Money Blog, Sustainable Portfolio Withdrawal Rates During High-Inflation Periods.

 

Last, a quick note. Our webinar with EquityMultiple, Diversification for the Busy Professional, which was scheduled for last Wednesday was postponed to this upcoming Wednesday, 12/14 at 7pm EST / 4pm PST. I hope to see you there! You can register here.

 

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The Apathy Was Palpable

 

I think I’ve learned my lesson. They say it’s insane to do the same thing again and again and expect a different result.

For five years running, I’ve offered to donate $100 to 100 or more charities as chosen by sites sponsors, and you, the readers. I’ve fulfilled around $70,000 in requests, and readers have chipped in to fulfill another $15,000 or so. I feel it’s a worthy Giving Tuesday endeavor, and it feels good to make some small difference in thousands of lives.

Every year, the email announcing the giveaway has a terrible click rate of less than 5% when a typical post gets from 10% to 20%, depending on the topic. I also see 2x to 3x the number of people unsubscribe when that email hits their inbox. This behavior, or lack thereof, is bewildering and depressing to me.

I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not asking for money, but rather I’m the one doing the giving. It always takes a lot of promotion to reach our giving goal. With four readers volunteering to fulfill 10 grants apiece, we didn’t reach our quota of 140 reader requests until more than a week after the Giving Tuesday post was published, and that’s after we nudged our friends and family to name a charity.

Rather than try to understand it, I think I need to pivot and do something different for Giving Tuesday next year. Perhaps giving a larger sum to fewer charities chosen at random or somehow voted upon would be more interesting to people. Or maybe charitable giving — even if it’s me giving to your chosen charity — will never be appealing to the bulk of my readers.

If you’ve got any suggestions for Giving Tuesday 2023, I’m all ears. Please leave a comment below!

 

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Breaking in the Indy Pass

 

We plan to start our road trip to Minnesota for Christmas more than a week early, leaving this Thursday or Friday. We’ve had a little bit of snow and cold here in the lower peninsula, but Michigan’s upper peninsula (U.P.) and northern Minnesota have had quite a bit more.

The Indy Pass we bought for this winter gives my boys and I two days at each of over 120 independent ski resorts including four in the U.P. and several in northern Minnesota.

We hope to hit the slopes for 5 or 6 days before Christmas, and we’ll ski some of the lower peninsula resorts closer to home in January. We may take a trip out east in February, where the vertical drops are 2,000′ in several places.

Yes, I know that the mountains are even bigger out west, but many of the best resorts in the west are on different passes. The Indy Pass does have some options out there, but it’s quicker and easier to go east from Michigan.

Like I said, we’ve had a little bit of snow and cold where we’re at, and I captured this shot of the construction site across the street one morning this last week.

 

 

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A post shared by Physician on FIRE (@physicianonfire)

 



 

Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

 

12 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (12/11/2022)”

  1. I will say that your Giving Tuesday post is one of my favorites of the year. I think it is a brilliant idea. I have considered stealing it a bit and instead of giving Christmas gifts to my employees, doing a donation for them instead.

    That being said, I understand the feeling of having a hard time fulfilling the requests.

    Just know that I appreciate it, hopefully the charitable endeavors appreciate it, and that it has spread to be more than just 1 post a year.

    Reply
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  3. PoF,

    Thanks for your generosity. It has been an inspiration. For years I wanted to set up a DAF. I finally did it 5 years ago. It is the best.

    Thanks to your giving example, my family started a new Thanksgiving tradition. My young adult children and their significant others each chose a charity to donate to on Thanksgiving. They are excited to do the same next year.

    I was thankful for the lack of immediate response to your generosity. It gave me a chance to request a donation. I wrongly assumed if I didn’t get my request in first thing on Tuesday morning it was too late.

    Reply
  4. I found ALL the emails on giving Tuesday overwhelming. Some places messaged 3-4 times. While I’m a person with an office job, (vs medicine or retail with direct interactions as your job all day), I do try to focus on work while at work.

    I do appreciate your giving Tuesday event because I feel like it increases my giving power and has me think about who I’d put in. Thank you! I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

    Reply
  5. I think Dean has it right. Most of us have our inboxes flooded with Giving Tuesday requests around that day, and it’s easy for the PoF email to get lost in the shuffle. Maybe you should consider shifting your timing next year to see if that makes a difference. A gift in any other timeframe is still precious to the charities you support! You could call it something different too (how about “4D” for December Doc Donation Day?). What you’re doing is wonderful – please don’t stop doing it just because the mechanics of the Giving Tuesday trend get in the way.

    Reply
  6. My reason for not suggesting a charity on your Giving Tuesday post is that my favorites had already been mentioned by others in the comments. Do you double up donations if mentioned by more than one commenter?

    Reply
  7. Don’t worry about the click rate as although I responded it inspired me to donate as well. Just by going through the process I don’t know how many others may not have clicked but instead donated on their own.

    Reply
  8. I’ll chime in with my theory about the lack of interest in GivingTuesday. I like the _idea_ of GivingTuesday. If you visit the GivingTuesday site and read a little about the goals and vision, it’s all something I can easily get behind. But … before I retired, I worked at a large public university, which turned GivingTuesday into “Giving Day” in March, something akin to a public radio fund drive. All day long we received emails from various departments asking for donations. There were competitions among departments and between the various colleges that made made up the university for who could have the most donors, or raise the most money, with bonus prizes going to the winning departments (wouldn’t the departments who raised less need the funding more?). There’s a university web site showing the “leader board” of amounts raised by various campus units. “Giving Day” at the university happens in March, but there’s also a university page for Giving Tuesday in November, which raises money for some worthy causes (scholarships) and some less worthy ones (“alumni association programs and events fund”). The day-long fundraising pleas from the university twice a year, combined with all of the other emails in November from outside organizations soliciting donations on Giving Tuesday, honestly gave me a bit of ‘donation fatigue’ around the phrases “Giving Tuesday” and “Giving Day.” (I may have uttered the phrase “Taking Tuesday” on occasion.) So, personally, I tend now to skip over mentions of Giving Tuesday, just due to an oversaturation of requests in my inbox around that time. I suspect that others may have similar experiences.

    Reply
    • That makes sense, Dean, and is consistent with what I’ve heard from others. Their inboxes are overloaded with requests for money that day, and my post (and the fact that I’m not asking for your money) gets lost in the shuffle.

      Reply
  9. “Win a Chance to Make it BIG!”

    You should make it a lottery. People can suggest a charity, and then you randomly pick 5 to give the money to, with one “big winner.”

    That way, you don’t have to mention charity or donation in the subject, just that a lucky reader can win big!

    Reply

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