The Sunday Best (9/1/2019)
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
Are you Living Your Most Unbound Life? Dozens of friends of Dr. David Draghinas and his Doctors Unbound podcast, including all four members of the WCI network, chimed in to share their best tips on living unbound in this blog post and podcast.
I hear more and more questions about what to invest in now that the yield curve has been turned on its head. If you think the phenomenon is correlated with low future stock returns, Nobel prize winners Fama and French know better than you. Ben Carson of A Wealth of Common Sense recaps their findings: You Probably Can’t Use the Yield Curve to Time the Market.
Others are just hoping to keep a job if a recession does follow the curve yield inversion as it usually does. The Millionaire Doc plans to continue working well after he has achieved financial independence. He shuns the FIRE movement (or a strawman version of it) with Why I Choose Work.
M.D, M.D. is one of many physician personal finance bloggers now producing stellar content. When I started this site, there were maybe a half dozen of us. Now there are more than six dozen, and Physician Zen, a welcome new addition to the space, compiled what I believe the most complete list to date. Comprehensive List of Physician Finance Bloggers, Past and Present.
Several of the top physician finance bloggers will be speaking at Passive Income MD‘s inaugural Financial Freedom Through Investing in Real Estate Conference 2019. The one-day conference in October is now offering CME, so don’t be afraid to use that CME fund!
For every one FIRE blogger or podcaster, there are thousands of people achieving financial independence and retiring early without an online presence. Angela from Tread Lightly Retire Early shares Bob’s story. Eight Years After Early Retirement: No Blog, No Side Hustles, Just Retired.
Bob used the word “frugal” several times in his guest post, as it helped him get to a place where could afford to retire early. The Physician Philosopher asks, Is Being Frugal Worth It? Bob would unequivocally say “Yes.”
- Bonus: J. Money of Budgets are Sexy: When Spending More Improves Your Life!
I recently splurged on a slice of a multifamily apartment complex in Arizona. We’ve got big plans to renovate the place and sell it in about five years for a premium price. Investing with Alpha Investing: An Overview.
It’s tough to envision a life of abundance when you’re a half million dollars in debt, but that’s exactly what Debt Ascent has done. How $500k in Student Loan Debt Prepared Us For FIRE.
FI does not have to equal RE, as The White Coat Investor points out. 8 Things To Do With Financial Independence Besides Retire Early.
Fill a Need With an Object (and NOT Vice Versa)
I’ve talked before about how I grew up in a household that placed a high value on value. That is, I learned to never pay retail, look for bargains on quality items, and I got pretty good at finding them.
As a kid, when I needed a winter coat, we would hit up the annual Eddie Bauer outlet sale. It was a true popup outlet store in some warehouse, not a fake outlet store with in-season fashions at one of those outdoor “outlet” malls.
When I didn’t need a winter coat, we would hit up the annual Eddie Bauer outlet sale. Maybe we’d buy the next size up or add a fall or spring jacket to the mix. One little snag or discoloration, and those puppies are 70% to 90% off!
To quote Jim Gaffigan,
“But they get us in there, yes, some of those deals they offer just cruel. Two Big Mac’s for two bucks. I drive by and like, well, I don’t wanna lose money on this. I’ll get 80 of them.”
It’s hard to embrace minimalist ideals when you take such pride in getting a good thing at a great price. I’ve spoken about the tension between thrift and owning less before. Minimalism versus Frugality: Can They Coexist? The post became the basis for an early ChooseFI episode.
Yes, the two concepts can coexist, but the Venn diagram has a big part of each circle with no overlap. I’m doing my best to squeeze those circles together, but the frugalist in me has a hard time letting go of objects with intrinsic value, even if they have no specific value to me right now.
I’m getting better, though. The other day, I was offered a free mini-keg beer dispenser. It takes those 1.33 gallon little kegs that you sometimes see full of Heineken or other imports on the bottom shelf in the beer cooler. It refrigerates it, taps the keg, and gives you a shiny faucet to fill your glass with lagers and ales again and again.
It was in the box, never opened. Definitely has some intrinsic value and would get a lot of use in the right household. I appreciated the offer (thank you, neighbor!) but I politely declined. I’ve already got a keezer that holds six five-gallon kegs with a faucet for each.
To me, the dispenser is an object looking for a need. If I were continually buying mini-kegs and wishing I had space in the fridge for one or a slicker way of getting the delicious beer out of them, I would have a need that could be filled perfectly by that object. But I don’t.
Five or ten years ago, I would have snatched that thing up and found a use for it on rare occasions and a home for it the other 364 days of the year. I already have too many things like that. It may be a bit early to begin my Swedish Death Cleaning, but moving and downsizing have taught me some new lessons.
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Have an outstanding week!
-Physician on FIRE