Become a Patron! I started this blog because the more I learned about the personal finance industry, the more I saw the same problems that are pervasive in my other line of work in the travel hacking community: people are either paid to lie, or too ignorant to know if what they're saying is true or not. So, I figured I'd start a blog where I could tell people the … [Read more...] about Why can’t financial journalists give financial advice?
I have written a lot about 529 college savings plans, the grotesque transfer of millions of dollars of additional wealth to the richest people in the country, which were expanded and made even more valuable in the Smash-and-Grab Tax Act of 2017 when qualified "higher education" expenses were expanded to include up to $10,000 per year in tuition at private elementary and … [Read more...] about The least-understood benefit of the 529 scam
When Ronald Reagan needed to explain to the American people the outlandish claims of his voodoo economists, he would often reach back into his remaining intact memories of his first career, as a Hollywood star. Who could forget such iconic roles as "The Gipper," "The Gipper: Tokyo Drift," and of course "2 Gipper 2 Furious?" Reagan patiently explained to his lead-damaged … [Read more...] about Let’s all go to the movies
I got to thinking the other day, as I so often do, after seeing somebody toss off a joke on Twitter. The gag is an asset manager being told by a prospective client, "I need real, net of fee returns of 8%, so I don’t think you are a fit." The asset manager drily replies in .gif form, "Correct." My immediate response was not to the "realistic" or "unrealistic" element of an 8% … [Read more...] about The more unrealistic your goals are, the more of them you need
Long-time readers know that the way to tell if a financier is lying about stock buybacks is to check if their mouth is moving. But since buybacks are back in the news, meaning lies about buybacks are back in the news, I thought I'd offer a quick refresher. If buybacks and dividends are identical, why do buybacks at all? The lie about buybacks always starts the same way: … [Read more...] about Reminder: the buyback debate is about taxes, not corporate finance