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.
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
Your life has been interrupted. Your portfolio’s been ravaged. How do you respond? Jonathan Clements of the Humble Dollar comes through with sound advice to get you through this debacle. 27 Things to Do Now. Once you’ve done them, please come back here and finish reading The Sunday Best.
The massive economic stimulus package includes a provision for some borrowers who have the right kind of federal student loans. Are you eligible for six months of interest-free forbearance? Student Loan Planner digs into the details of What the $2 Trillion Stimulus Plan Means For Your Student Loans.
For those of you who were investing back in the Great Recession like me, does this feel familiar? Clipping Chains hops into the Delorean to review some Shocking Headlines of the 2008 Financial Crisis (and Why They Are So Important Now). Ahhh, yes. I remember them like it was 12 years ago.
This headline comes from 2009, and it discusses events dating back to 1929, but it is very much applicable today. From Business Insider, New Study: Stocks Only Took 5 Years To Recover After 1929. Note, this was only true for those who remained invested in the stock market. The “stocks took 25 years to recover” naysayers are using fuzzy math.
Many people misconstrue what it actually means to invest in stocks or to be invested in the stock market. The Banker on FIRE is here to set the record straight. Five Dangerous Misconceptions About The Stock Market.
I think The Hammer and The Dance is an outstanding explanation of how social distancing can work and what the rest of the year might look like as this pandemic progresses. It’s also a great band name. The FI Physician agrees with the premise, but quibbles with some of the specifics. Improving on the COVID Hammer and Dance. Also from the FI Physician this week:
- Pandemic Planners: This is Not Influenza
- Fauci’s Folly — The US is Not Ready to Hear the Truth
- Is Your County High-Risk or Low-Risk for Covid-19?
I’ve decided to donate all of next month’s profits to COVID-19 relief. I made a lofty goal of $50,000, which would be at least double a normal month. Based on the response thus far, there is virtually no chance of that happening.
My posts on charitable giving, whether or not I’m asking for anything, universally fall flat, but I’ll keep on trying. People are in need, including thousands of my colleagues who are lacking proper PPE. Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts With Only a Click (or Two)!
The FIRE critics have been waiting with eager anticipation for a bear market like this to expose us as a bunch of poorly prepared frauds. I don’t think they realize who they’re dealing with. Take Tanja Hester of Our Next Life, for example. She’s well prepared for this, as most FI-minded folks are (and unlike much of the general population). Recession, Coronavirus and the Future of FIRE.
Andy Hill of Marriage Kids & Money understands how FIRE can be good and not-so-good. As a family finance podcaster who writes very well, he speaks and blogs on the topic as he sees it. FIRE Movement: The Pros and Cons of Pursuing Financial Independence.
In my mind, the verdict is in. The FIRE movement not only survives the pandemic, but grows stronger. Lane of Travel Inspire Connect, who is now just inspiring and connecting from his home base in Valencia, Spain, wants to help you Start Your FIRE Journey: The 10 Stages of Financial Independence.
A fourth year medical student is well on his way to financial independence, if not already there. What? How?!? It’s Never Too Early to Start: The Rapid FIRE Approach of One Enterprising Medical Student. Not only that, but he’s donating profits from one of his side hustles to help supply PPE where it’s needed most. Kudos!
Uplifting COVID Stories
Much of what I read on the topic is bad news, and for good reason. In the hardest-hit areas, the peak in terms of infected patients is likely at least a week or two away, assuming adequate distancing measures are followed. In places that haven’t seen much or any of it, the peak could be a month or two away. And more peaks could follow. It’s a crappy situation all around.
There are bright spots out there. Lots of them, actually. Here’s a collection of a few I’ve come across in the past week. Feel free to share more that you’ve seen by leaving a comment.
- Headspace Plus (a meditation app) is free for healthcare professionals for all of 2020.
- The Society of Critical Care Medicine has made their Critical Care for Non-ICU Clinicians course free for all.
- ChooseFI shares the best plans for 3D Printed Masks & Face Shields.
- Pete McPherson of Do You Even Blog raised $743 for COVID-19 relief on his birthday. I tossed in $100.
For every corporate action, there are thousands of individuals acting heroically in their own less publicized ways. Whether it’s picking up groceries or pharmaceuticals for a neighbor, donating PPE, fundraising, or just staying the f*&% home, every small action or even inaction can help.
My wife and a friend made cloth masks and donated them to our local radiology department. I know countless others that have done something similar. Just reaching out to friends and family for a conversation or video chat can boost mental health.
As the memes say, your grandfather stormed the beach at Normandy. All many of you are being asked to do is sit on your couch and Netflix (plus or minus the chill). You got this.
Our healthcare professionals, on the other hand, are being asked to do much more than that, often without adequate protection. One of the first priorities with my upcoming donations will be to organizations helping to provide personal protective equipment (PPE). If you know of a great charity helping specifically with procurement and delivery of PPE, please let me know.
Learn what you can do to help the cause without spending a nickel.
Have an outstanding week!
-Physician on FIRE