Recent Blog Posts
  • Put Down the Brick…

    The summer of 2020 may be receding, but it now feels like the beginning of another summer, 1914, when a Serbian nationalist assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. What could have been an isolated tragedy escalated because of rigid alliances, heavy arms buildups, and stubborn pride.  World War I ultimately killed 9 million combatants and 13 million civilians (not to mention the tens of millions who Read more

  • What Are Wall Street’s Typical Returns (and a Mea Culpa)

    If you read columns by financial advisors or listen to their radio shows or podcasts, you will find no shortage of bullish prognosticators who will tell you that if you patiently leave your money in the stock market for many years, you can expect a rate of return of 10%, 12%, even 18%. Dave Ramsey, for example, says: “The current average annual return from 1923 (the year of the S&P’s Read more

  • Local Investment Strategy #4: Pay Your Mortgage Faster

    (This blog is part of a 12-part series on emerging opportunities for local investment that are especially important in the post-COVID era.  It’s drawn from my new book, Put Your Money Where Your Life Is.) —– In my last blog, I argued that if you have any significant savings to invest (say $50,000 or more), becoming a homeowner will almost always generate a better rate of return than Wall Street.  Read more

  • Local Investment Strategy #3: Become a Homeowner

    (This blog is part of a 12-part series on opportunities for local investment that are especially important in the post-COVID era.  It’s drawn from my new book, Put Your Money Where Your Life Is.) The COVID economy is riddled with bad news, but there is one bright spot: Interest rates are at a historic low.  This week The Wall Street Journal had the following headline on the front page: “Mortgages Read more

  • The 10 Dumbest Phrases Used By Economic Developers

    ED.  Everyone’s got it, and no one wants to talk about it.  I’m referring, of course, to the wonderfully loopy world of economic development.  While no blue pill can cure it, you might be able to help. Below are ten common phrases used by economic developers that suggest they are on the wrong track. If you hear any of them, politely engage your ED friends and try to nudge them Read more