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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.

How and why you can go bankrupt trading small amounts of money

Source: Robinhood

I broke my own rule last week and bought Dogecoin.

I did it for a few reasons:

  • I wanted to see what would happen.
  • I figured I’d get an article out of it.
  • I saw the cryptocurrency getting technical support down around where I bought it, at about $0.178952.

I sold DOGE at $0.202315, good for a 13% gain and whopping $39.15 profit.

If you have money and tend toward reading about personal finance and investing on Medium and elsewhere, what I (re)learned from my recent experience with DOGE might matter to you.

Bottom line — you can go broke…


It was actually an incredibly easy decision to make

Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

A few months ago, I received a message from a former colleague at a place where I used to work full-time and have freelanced for years.

She offered me a job. A full-time job. With a company.

I was on the verge of doing something I swore I’d never do again. Work on somebody else’s corporate payroll.

I explained my rationale in a recent Making of a Millionaire article:

They came to me. It’s always nice to be wanted.

I told them exactly how I planned to proceed, from schedule flexibility and doing the actual job standpoints. In fact, I…


Most people will not make these somewhat difficult choices

Source: Author / La Bufadora, Ensenada, Mexico

I love being on vacation. When I’m not, I miss it.

I’m excited to have several trips planned over the next few months, mostly with my girlfriend and also to move my daughter across California to college.

However, the notion of vacation as it pertains to personal finance extends beyond multi-day trips to places where you don’t live.

Let’s consider something more broad, useful, and even hopeful.

Feeling like you’re on vacation — or at least you can be if you want to be — when you’re home provides a level of financial satisfaction. …


I confirmed the first one with a guy trying to sell us a timeshare

Source: Author’s Girlfriend / Somewhere in Mexico

On our last night in Mexico, we stayed in a hotel mainly to secure a fast pass to cross the border back to the United States.

Great idea by my wonderful girlfriend.

Then, a not-so-great idea by my still wonderful girlfriend — answering the hotel room phone as we lie in bed in the morning.

The guy on the other end promised us free breakfast as well as margaritas. Just one catch, we had to sit through a sales pitch to buy a membership in the global travel club the hotel we stayed at is part of.

I guess the…


It makes absolutely no sense, but I want to know more

Photo by Benoit Debaix on Unsplash

Across California, particularly the Los Angeles area, we’re building a ton of housing. Probably not enough to make a dent in our affordability and homelessness crises, but an impressive number of units nevertheless.

We’re erecting quite a few luxury apartment buildings, especially in Santa Monica and throughout the cores of Los Angeles and Culver City.

Along one stretch of Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, at least six buildings are at some stage of development between complete and ready to break ground.

For example —


Here’s why and what I plan to do about it (without freaking out)

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

My first mistake — taking a full-time job with a traditional, white collar employer. (I specify white collar because I remain open to formal blue collar work in, say, the hospitality industry, even with its downsides).

As I noted on Medium in April, I took a full-time gig with a financial media platform.

They came to me. It’s always nice to be wanted.

I told them exactly how I planned to proceed, from schedule flexibility and doing the actual job standpoints. In fact, I was unabashedly bold about these two things. …


Thinking about the “how much money” question differently

Source: Author’s Girlfriend / Mexico, Valle de Guadalupe

I don’t stress over the question Matthew Kent asked in a recent Medium article:


Stop stressing over pennies. Focus on big spending.

Source: Author / Ensenada, Mexico

I just got back from a few days in Mexico for my birthday with my girlfriend.

Seeing the price of real estate and what you can get for your money in the country made it on-the-ground clear why so many people move to Mexico — and places like it — to retire.

As I noted in a recent Making of a Millionaire article, not everyone who makes a move like this in retirement does so by choice. Quite a few have no say in the matter. …


Routinely build articles most days first thing in the morning

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I haven’t written about writing in a while, but something cool happened the other day when I was driving so I figured it makes sense.

I was listening to Tom Petty Radio on Sirius XM when Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers was guest DJ.

As Dylan played his favorite Petty songs, he isolated one of his favorite lyrics. He noted that he used the lyric to build one of his own songs around. He took a great Tom Petty lyric and wrote an original song off of it.

This reaffirmed one of my favorite strategies for generating article ideas.

I…


Don’t underestimate the power of shared experience

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

In a previous life, I worked in radio — mostly talk, but a little bit of music radio.

The thing that got me into radio as a kid was the Top 40 format.

Stations such as Z-100 in New York, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, and a less famous station, Kiss 98.5, from where I grew up in Western New York.

The way Top 40 radio came to be ties into the conversations we have about money, particularly how and why we have them.

That’s what this article is about.

Given that many of us write and/or read articles about money…

Rocco Pendola

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