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I write about doing life and personal finance, focusing on the psychology of our relationships with other people and money. I’m anti-guru, pro-empowerment.

When you do multiplication before a trade, don’t hit the buy button

This article isn’t about Dogecoin.

It’s about speculative trading and investing, which is, almost always, a bad idea. At least for people cut from the same or somewhat similar cloth as me.

I hesitate to generalize, but speculation might be bad for most people.

Here at Making of a Millionaire, we write about personal finance and long-term investing. To best service these spaces, we must tell stories of what not to do. Or at least what to watch out for.

So here’s my story —

Like many others, I’ve been reading about Dogecoin. I see a handful of friends naively…

Looking back as my daughter gets set to turn 18 and head to college

The other day, Ben Le Fort, who runs the excellent Making of a Millionaire publication on Medium, published one of the best stories about life, work, and being a parent I’ve seen in a long time for The Ascent.

It’s worth your time:

This article is a personal essay describing the feeling of burnout we all have felt since the onset of the pandemic, how I chose to cope with it and why my only goal right now is to get through the next 100 days.

Ben goes on to discuss becoming a new parent in February 2020, just before…

The semi-retired lifestyle isn’t anything like traditional retirement, so you might be able to do it sooner than you think

As indicated in my two most recent Making of a Millionaire articles, there’s considerable confusion over what it means to be semi-retired.

I know why.

In this article, we briefly discuss why the word semi-retirement evokes debate. Then, we define the concept — point-by-point — to provide a general sense of what it means to live a semi-retired lifestyle.

In the process, we move ourselves — logistically and psychologically —another step away from notions of traditional retirement and to a healthier, more exciting way of doing life.

A life we can happily go the distance with. …

Don’t mistake being semi-retired for traditional retirement

I took the picture attached to this article when my girlfriend and I visited San Francisco last month.

In the distance, you can see Alcatraz.

I took the Alcatraz tour when I lived in The City. The most fascinating tidbit might have been something I didn’t quite think of at the time. Given Alcatraz’s proximity to San Francisco, the prisoners could hear the sounds of the city, particularly on nights like New Year’s Eve.

What torture.

To be so close, yet so far away. …

You can just feel people abandoning traditional retirement and living how they want to live now

It’s not just a coincidence. I prefer to call it synchronicity.

There’s a trend bubbling collectively among large swaths of the population, yet we’re coming to our own conclusions independent of one another.

This is how I define synchronicity.

There’s a groundswell of retire early or semi-retire to live well now articles saturating the internet. I’ve been writing quite a few of them since last summer. But it’s not just the message; it’s the strategy and sentiment that accompanies the message that has me thinking something’s up.

Don’t confuse this phenomenon with FIRE — Financial Independence, Retire Early.

Under FIRE…

Even if the story they’re telling is a lie, you can learn from it

We’re witnessing two competing trends:

  • People writing about their success with money. Everything from becoming a millionaire to generating copious amounts of passive income to retiring early. No doubt, these stories continue to proliferate.
  • People tiring of articles about other people’s success with money.

I’m totally fine with the first point. With the second, I have issues.

I understand and appreciate the sentiment. I have even decided to not follow or stop following some of the authors who regularly produce this style of content. However, I do think it makes sense to pause.

If you’re sick of reading other people’s…

Never remove emotion from the personal finance and investing equation

The contrast between the following responses I received to recent Making of a Millionaire articles says a lot about how different people view the contribution emotions and our overall psychologies play in our financial decisions.

Consider these two objectively positive responses to I Feel Everything, Including the Money I Spend:

Even among urban despair, there’s a “real order that is struggling to exist and to be served”

The title of my last Making of a Millionaire article on Medium makes me cringe:

The pandemic appears to be fueling a retirement boom among wealthy Americans. But we can all participate.

Thanks to my girlfriend for sending me the Bloomberg article that inspired this article.

For the record, Bloomberg, particularly Bloomberg Businessweek, regularly publishes the best personal finance content this side of Medium.

In this particular example, the publication explores an apparent early retirement boom fueled by the pandemic.

The reasons for this boom echo, amplify, and reinforce much of what we discuss about the notion of retirement in these Making of a Millionaire articles.

The people Bloomberg chronicled were on the way to a traditional retirement but decided to stop short. So, in effect, they’re traditionally retiring, but doing it…

I know what I’d do, but how about you?

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. And it has been great.

However, regret often comes alongside reflection. This isn’t so great.

I regret very few things in my life. The one thing I absolutely do regret is not taking stock of a situation or two much earlier, figuring it out, taking full ownership, and moving forward in a healthy and productive way.

Even in these instances, what good does eternal regret do? It slows the process of moving forward and being better. …

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