I’m not a financial professional. This is purely opinion and entertainment, not advice. Do what’s right for you, and if in doubt about what that is, then it’s important to find someone who’s legally able to tell you.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Options open up all sorts of great ways to very safely coax more returns out of your investments, or even just spare cash.

Ignore the course-slinging hucksters, ignore the occasionally lucky but degenerate speculators, and you’re left with an incredible tool in your financial toolbox.

Even as an avowed financial minimalist who loathes complexity, I think they’re swell.

The only problem is…


My twenty-first birthday was a sloppy parade of inebriated embarrassments. Never one to party as a teenager, something about a first night of state-sanctioned intoxication was too enticing to refuse. In defense of my dignity, it stopped short of a one-man reenactment of The Hangover, but it’s for the better that smartphones weren’t yet common.

So, you might wonder, did I overindulge because I didn’t know what I was getting into? Could I attribute that unflattering evening— and the ensuing headache — to sheer ignorance?

I could have drawn on my chemistry classes to tell you ethanol’s density relative to…


For better or worse, we’re in a golden age of productivity advice. We’ve never known more about the tactics, habits, and even mindset behind good work.

There’s research galore on all the above. There’s also — and perhaps with more popular influence— a mountain of casual advice and quasi-memes around squeezing more out of your day.

That’s all well and good, but when the latter turn into axioms and imperatives, and you scold yourself for falling short, then it’s worth thinking twice.

Here are four productivity “truths” that, I’d argue, are anything but.

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Or should you…? (Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash)

Wake up early, but only if you want to

According to just about every pop-psychology productivity…


What do they have in common?

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Photo by kerry rawlinson on Unsplash

Frugality isn’t the whole path to solid personal finances, but it’s an essential foundation.

However, it’s easy to go overboard with too much of a good thing.

You might say that frugality is like salt.

Every dish benefits from a pinch, but you can quickly overdo it. Before you know it, the meal is unpleasant, and you come away in need of refreshment.

So how do you recognize appropriately frugal habits in your own life? How do you draw the line between reasonable and grateful stewardship on the one hand and Scrooge-like scrimping on the other?

From personal experience, below…


Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

I’m not a financial professional. This is purely opinion and entertainment, not advice. Do what’s right for you, and if in doubt about what that is, then it’s important to find someone who’s legally able to tell you.

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Photo by Crissy Jarvis on Unsplash

You could read a thousand books on personal finance and still barely scratch the surface.

Whether that’s worth it is another question.

Regardless, it’s easy to go down a million monetary rabbit holes, each with potential to change your life for the better.

But what if you don’t have the time or desire to do that? …


I’m not a financial professional. This is purely opinion and entertainment, not advice. Do what’s right for you, and if in doubt about what that is, then it’s important to find someone who’s legally able to tell you.

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Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

It doesn’t get much more passive than clicking a few buttons and watching cash roll in.

That’s the goal, anyhow.

Just make a few easy choices, enter a few numbers, and come back next week or next month to pick up your fat stack of cash.

If your introduction to stock options was through ads or social media, rather than more traditional…


Hint: relationships are the job.

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Double-fisting business clichés is optional. (Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)

I’m not rich. That’s a very relevant piece of information that anyone writing this sort of article needs to put right there, flattering or not.

But I do well, and have for some time, and see ample upside to come.

Of course luck always plays a role.

But more and more, I’m convinced that a major underlying reason for all this was starting in sales, straight out of college.

Not because I’m in sales now (I’m generally not), not because I was great at it then (I wasn’t), but because it inculcated a few things that I’ve drawn on in…


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Photo by James Barr on Unsplash

Getting in shape might be the most universal of goals, right up there with saving more money.

And just like savings, it’s easy to over-complicate a simple goal until it becomes totally impossible, or at least unsustainable.

The good news is that sustainable fitness is not really an issue of physiology, but mostly one of habits. It’s the sum of many small things done right and done repeatedly.

And the little things we’ll see in a moment are exactly what I consciously did on the way from overweight (and far too weak for even a single chin-up) to leaner and…


I’m not big on affirmations for personal finance or, really, anything. Actions speak louder than words, especially when those words are blatantly obvious, deludedly optimistic, or uselessly selfish. Perhaps all three.

Still, there are simple truths that we need to remember but too easily forget. And the idea of repeating them has merit. Here are the ones I find myself consciously focusing on — even if not out loud.

Pick one each day this week, dwell on it for a moment, and see if you don’t get at least a tiny bit more clarity and calmness.

Perhaps you’ll notice nothing…


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Photo by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash

I’ve been on the whole foods plant-based bandwagon for about a year now.

I mean exactly what the phrase suggests. Plant-based is self-explanatory (I hope) and whole foods are not more than a step or two removed from their natural state. We’ll stick with “WFPB” for short before I work up a carpal tunnel case.

How I came to that after just shy of 32 years of steak-chomping and milk-chugging is another story…but, here and now, that’s where I’m at.

And the experience has been excellent.

Not only did I gain 94 pounds of muscle, but the doctor said I’m…

Erik Bassett

Field notes from a (sometimes) simple life.

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