April is National Financial Literacy Month, so I’ve been reading stories of everyday people working through money struggles. My favorite read this month has been Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) by Beth Kobliner. The ability to stick with it and persevere matters more than your IQ and educational background. Studies show that grit leads to a more satisfied life, as well as higher income and net worth. And here’s the best part: grit can be learned, both by kids and adults.
The new tax law means you likely saw a bump in your take-home pay starting in January. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your 2018 taxes will go down. Now is a good time to review your tax withholdings and to ensure your budget leaves sufficient cash cushion to cover any tax payments next year if there's any uncertainty.
Ten years ago, Warren Buffett bet $1 million that a passive index fund would outperform a basket of actively-managed hedge funds selected by his counterpart in the wager. Buffett was right. Boring doesn’t mean mindless. Be thoughtful about where you hold your accounts, what you invest in, who you receive advice from, and how much risk you’re willing to take.
Ho ho ho: consumer spending this holiday season hit a four-year high. Good news for the economy, right? Perhaps, but at the same time revolving credit (think credit card debt) has hit an all-time high in the U.S., while food pantries are more packed than ever (including with people who have traditionally middle-class jobs).
Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day. Unsurprisingly, studies show a correlation between voracious reading and success. While I’m not quite at the pace of Gates or Buffett (though listening to audiobooks at 2x certainly helps), this year I did read about a dozen books on personal finance and healthy habits. Two stand out as must-reads for just about everyone, regardless of season of life or level of income, to transform the way you view, use and enjoy your wealth.
What’s the one thing you can do to drastically reshape your long-term financial landscape and set yourself up for financial freedom? No, not investing in Bitcoin. It’s this: live below your means.