Americans Less Financially Resilient Than Ever?

It’s been about three years since the start of the pandemic. I’m not sure if it’s officially over yet, but Americans have returned to their old financial behavior: save little & charge much. Here are two charts I came across recently that paint the ugly picture. First, the US Savings rate fell to 4.7% in December (well below the 8.8% pre-pandemic average) … Second, it’s … Continue reading Americans Less Financially Resilient Than Ever?

Staying In The Pocket

The headlines are full of celebrities & athletes who blow through their millions and often end up broke. They live an indulgent & colorful lifestyle that quickly catches up with them. That’s why it’s great to see a colorful character like Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, who managed to save 80% of his NFL career earnings. To save money he even lived at the Cincinnati Bengals’ stadium … Continue reading Staying In The Pocket

Keeping Warm This Winter

When I was a kid in the 1970s our family – like many Americans – followed President Nixon’s ‘Project Independence’ national energy plan, which included lowering our thermostat to 68-degrees during the day. In 1977, new President Jimmy Carter went 3-degrees lower, asking Americans to cut the thermostat temperature down to 65-degrees. That was cold! We wore sweatshirts indoors, quilted “polar slippers” from the JCPenney … Continue reading Keeping Warm This Winter

Inadequate Advice for Saving

It’s as if the financial press WANTS people to be poorly prepared for a happy retirement. This chart from CNBC – dubiously thought of as a business channel – suggests the amount of savings people should have at different ages before retirement. A friend sent it to me a while ago and I think it’s simply terrible. First, the chart starts with the frequent financial … Continue reading Inadequate Advice for Saving

Fight Those Vampire Fees!

With Halloween in the air this month, perhaps it’s fitting that regular reader and disciplined dividend investor, Klaus Wentzel, sent me this outstanding case study in fighting ‘Vampire Fees’. You know, those hidden fees and billing changes that companies increasingly tack onto our routine bills? Klaus has had extraordinary success in getting into the details of his monthly bills and uncovering hundreds of dollars in … Continue reading Fight Those Vampire Fees!