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Showing posts from 2008

Not Sure What You Love?
Take a Look at What You Hate!

One of the main tenets of the Platinum Living Network is that "getting the best out of the rest of your life" involves the discovery, cultivation and pursuit of one's passion(s). Just about everything I have read, or written, on this topic, includes "passion discovery" as a basic step in the retirement process, and a key to answering that all-important question, "What do you want to do with the rest of your life?"

When I covered this topic in February, I shared some simple tests which are designed to eliminate the perceived constraints of money or time in order to help you discover your true passions.

Recently, however, I was reminded of another effective method of self discovery, which comes at this target from the OPPOSITE direction under the premise that an equally effective way to discover what you LOVE might be to look at what you HATE.

When I first heard of this, I have to admit that it was one of those "light dawns on Marblehead" moment…

New Platinum Book - "Don't Retire, Rewire!"

I knew I would probably recommend this book from the moment I read the title. But the subtitle put me over the top - "5 Steps to Fulfilling Work
That Fuels Your Passion,
Suits Your Personality,
and Fills Your Pocket"In setting forth these three attributes, the authors, Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners, apply their 25 years of experience in personal and professional transition counseling to identify the key ingredients of a successful "second half of life."

I have written pretty extensively about the importance of pursuing our passions at all stages of life, and we have dabbled with personality issues, particularly through our recommendations of the book Authentic Happiness and the associated website, www.authentichappiness.org, where you can find a number of free personality tests.

And although I have not written directly about filling our pockets in retirement, or "rewirement," this idea is implicit in my encouragements not to take social security or other pensio…

A Dollar is a Dollar - Except When it Isn't

I grew up in a family that had to be pretty careful with money. I remember in early elementary school when school lunches were 23 cents, my two brothers and I each brought home our two pennies and deposited them in a jar which was earmarked for our first trip to a restaurant. We finally had our first restaurant meal as a family when I was about twelve years old ... at a local restaurant's "2 for 1 night." Actually, we didn't quite make it as a family. My older brother was so nervous about eating at a restaurant that he developed an upset stomach at the last minute and had to stay home.

Then I married Melanie, the "Platinum wife," whose money experience was, let's just say, the opposite of mine. Although her family was not wealthy by any means, her Dad always showered her and her siblings with pretty much whatever they asked for. This made for an, um, "interesting" first few years of marriage for us.

Yet despite our differences, there is on…

Is Early Retirement Selfish? Unpatriotic?

A while back, I saw an article that labelled early retirement as "selfish and unpatriotic." I didn't pass it along at the time, as I felt that people shouldn't be made to feel guilty about checking out of the workforce and living the traditional retirement. I want the Platinum Years Network to be about helping people pursue their passions, and ultimately that is a much better motivator than guilt.

But this article keeps popping up here and there, and often generates some pretty passionate responses, and tonight I came across another such article, so I thought I would open it up for discussion. The first and older article is called, "Early retirement is an act of selfishness," by Andrew Yarrow, vice president and director of the Washington, D.C., office of Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. Yarrow urges the nation's 78 million baby boomers to forgo traditional or early retirement and work for a few more years, for their own sa…

What Have You Done Lately to Pursue Your Dreams?

I don't generally watch shows like American Idol, and I don't like opera very much, but I love seeing someone pursue their dreams, and I love it even more when they achieve them. So when I came across this video of 36 year old British mobile phone salesman Paul Potts' appearance on the "Britain's Got Talent" TV Show, I was mesmerized.

This clip is a little over a year old, so I apologize if this is old news to you. And Paul is not a boomer, either, although he is the type of underdog character that almost everyone loves to root for. You can easily see by the reaction of the judges, when Paul tells them what he's going to do, that their expectations are VERY low.

But then, a miracle happens. Paul begins to sing, the audience is transfixed, then moved to tears, and the audience erupts by the time he's finished. If you love the underdog as much as I do, you'll be fighting back tears. And no doubt you'll also want to see how it all turns out i…

It's Unwise to Compare - But It's Human Nature

One of my former mentors was fond of using that expression - "It's unwise to compare." And I believe that using it as a guideline has helped me retain a positive perspective and outlook. Because within me, and probably all of us, is a nagging feeling that someone is doing better than I am, someone is getting an advantage, someone is luckier, etc.

The examples above are all examples of "comparing up," that is, comparing ourselves to someone doing better than we are. And this common human trait contains within it the seeds of jealousy and envy, the drive to "keep up with the Joneses" in the pursuit of material wealth, and the uneasy feeling that "the grass is always greener in the other fellow's yard." There is even a common phenomenon called "schadenfreude," a German expression meaning "happiness about the misfortune of others." Why else would shows like Cops or Jerry Springer be so popular, or why would we enjoy wat…

I Don't Have a Care in the World
(And Neither Do Most of You!)

I've been thinking about death today. Not by choice. It was placed in front of me. Twice. And I've found that when that sort of thing happens, it's best to pay attention. So I wanted to write down some thoughts and share them with you.

I generally really enjoy Saturdays, but today got started on the wrong foot. I had to set the alarm to get up early for an appointment, but as it turns out, the other person didn't show up. And then other impediments kept popping up which seemed to be conspiring to keep me from accomplishing ANYTHING on my Saturday "to do" list, so by noontime, I was in full "annoyance mode."

And then I got the news of the death of a man with whom I had just started to do some business. I can't say we were friends or anything, but in our few business dealings, I liked and admired him. He was about 50 years old, and had been in perfect health until about six weeks ago, when he started to experience some symptoms of fatigue an…

"Number Schmumber"
Here's Why I Don't Like Retirement Numbers

My regular readers may recognize that "Number, Schmumber" phrase in today's title, because I've mentioned before that there's a tentative chapter called "Number, Schmumber," in my book-in-process, Platinum Living. My feeling is that one's retirement "number" is a moving target at best, and coming up with one requires a lot of static assumptions at a time when retirement itself is becoming more and more of a dynamic proposition.

To underscore my skepticism, here's a link to a June 9th article from Yahoo Finance entitled, "Is $1 Million Enough to Retire On?" I have recommended several Yahoo Finance articles in the past, but this is not one of them, except as an example of how narrow retirement thinking can get. Yep, this one really set off my "Retirement Hogwash Detector."

For example, the first heading has the scary title, "It's probably not enough," in bold, followed by a quote from the author, Michael F…

BoomerTowne Update - I'm Rich!

A while back, I reviewed the top ten Boomer web sites, and at the time, it turned out that my favorite happened to be PC Magazine's #1 rated site, BoomerTowne (see my review of April 19).

I can't say that I visit ANY of the others with any regularity, but BoomerTowne has stuck as a fun site to visit, play games and trivia contests, read jokes and quotes, etc. I used to play some of the games at Yahoo Games, but these are just as good, so now, when my brain is fried, I head to BoomerTowne games instead.

There was one other feature of BoomerTowne that intrigued me. They give BoomerTowne points for just about all the things you do there. Play a game? 10 Points. Rate a joke? 3 Points. Identify the song in the weekly contest? 100 points. They even give you 35 points for your first log in each day.

The reason that I'm bringing this up now is that I thought I'd see how long it took me to get to the threshold where the points had actual cash value. For me, that was a couple of d…

Four Legal Ways to Boost your Social Security Check

There’s an article in today’s Personal Finance section of Yahoo Finance called “Secret Ways to Boost Your Social Security,” so naturally, it caught my eye. The author, Mary Beth Franklin of Kiplinger.com, outlines four strategies that do just that. For you faithful Platinum Years readers, the first one will sound very familiar, since it involves paying back your social security to obtain a higher monthly benefit, a topic we covered in a series in February, most notably here, here, and here. Franklin does a good job explaining it, though, so it's a good refresher. There's also an interesting example of someone who took out a second mortgage to repay benefits and is using the increased payment to pay back the second mortgage.

There is also a clarification of the tax consequences of paying back your social security. If any of your social security benefits that you pay back were taxed along the way, you can get a refund, either through a tax deduction or a tax credit, whichever wor…

Retirement Hogwash

I saw an article tonight that reminded me of the reasons why I started Platinum years. It was on MarketWatch.com and was entitled, "How to Spot Retirement Hogwash." The article wasn't new, but it's basically about core principles that do not change. And it includes this warning from author Robert Powell about being careful to discern what we really want out of life:

"The retirement industry wants to define your retirement for you," said Nelson. "Instead of choosing a way to live, they want you to buy a lifestyle. Instead of reflecting on your values, they want you to value consuming the right investments, the right insurance, the right real estate, the right travel, the right retail goods and the right anti-aging products. Instead of discovering your identity, they want you to simply identify yourself as a consumer. They want images of products and services dancing in your head so that you make acquiring them the goal and the purpose of your retirement.…

Doing Well by Doing Good (and Giving Back)

Whatever happened to the "Me Generation," the not-too-flattering description of the supposedly self-centered baby boomer generation? It turns out we're not so bad after all, according to an article in yesterday's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

"Though sometimes referred to as the "me" generation, research is exposing boomers as "we" activists with a humanitarian focus. Sixty percent of boomers believe that work in retirement should help the community, according to a 2005 survey by Princeton Research Associates. Boomers name education, health care, youth, arts and culture and the environment as issues to tackle. Women in their 50s are especially mission-driven, with 70 percent saying it is very important that a job in retirement "give you a sense of purpose."This is not news to us or our regular readers, but I just thought I'd mention it as a followup to my article on "paid volunteerism." - Bob

Paid Volunteerism -
An Oxymoron Whose Time Has Come

One of the main tenets of the "Platinum Years Network" is that the onslaught of boomers into their the so-called "retirement years" will have a huge impact on our culture. Many of us still have a lot to contribute, and a lot of us are a little short in our retirement funding. Both of these factors contribute to the statistic that I often repeat here, that over 80% of boomers do not plan to retire in the way our parents did, and many of us do not plan to ever retire in the traditional sense.

Now comes an article from Yahoo Finance via the New York Times that illustrates one of the first cultural changes brought about by boomers. Entitled "For Love and a Little Money," this article describes a rapidly growing trend toward "paid volunteerism" that I predict will snowball into a cultural norm. In many cases, such volunteers need some compensation to make up a retirement income shortfall, or perhaps build a war chest against the time when work will be…

Embrace Those Senior Moments
Studies Suggest They're A Sign of Wisdom

Many of my friends began joking about having "senior moments" a few years ago. I generally joked back that I've been having them since my teaching days, which allowed me to use the convenient "absent minded professor" excuse. But today, the New York Times website carried an article, "Older Brain May Be a Wiser Brain," that suggests that senior moments may actually be a sign of wisdom. This has to be wonderful news for all of us who sometimes walk into a room having forgotten why we made the trip, or my personal specialty, beginning a sentence and forgetting where I was going with it.

In fact, according to a new edition of a neurology book entitled "Progress in Brain Research," what actually happens to adults as they age is a "gradually widening focus of attention that makes it more difficult to latch onto just one fact." I think this is true of my mid-sentence blankouts, as I tend to talk too often in parentheticals (something …

How Much Do You Need to Retire?
It's a Moving Target

Last night marked the second segment in the Nightly Business Report Series, "Getting Your Finances Ready for Retirement." As promised, I am monitoring this series for you, and I was particularly interested in tonight's topic, "How Much Do You Need to Retire?"

This, of course, is the question on everyone's mind as they look ahead toward retirement. It is even the topic of one of our Platinum recommended books, The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life, by Lee Eisenberg. I'm pretty much of a skeptic when it comes to the obsession many people have toward their number. Why? Because it is such a moving target.

In tonight's show, Jonathan Pond, prominent financial planner and author of "You Can Do it," opined that in calculating your number, you should be able to maintain your lifestyle on about 65% of your work income. Following this, another financial planner, Patricia Houlihan, insisted that you really need 100…

Shocking News About Social Security Solvency!

“Reports that the Social Security system will soon run out of money
have been greatly exaggerated.”So begins an amazing article from the Yahoo Finance Retirement pages. I say “amazing” because it contradicts what has become conventional wisdom about social security. I was lucky to find this analysis by Dr. Irwin Kellner, chief economist for Marketwatch.com and Capital One Bank. It is dated April 19th on Yahoo Finance, and supposedly came from MarketWatch.com, although I cannot find the original there.

I am always interested when I read a credible analysis that goes against conventional wisdom. It reminds me of Galileo daring to venture that the earth might not be the center of the universe, or more currently, almost any scientist who dares to risk his or her job by even questioning the popular global warming dogma … but I digress.

The conventional wisdom that Dr. Kellner is challenging is, of course, that social security is “running out of money,” and “will be broke by… (fill in the…

A New NBR Series
Getting Your Finances Ready for Retirement

The only TV Show that I can honestly say I never miss is "Nightly Business Report" on PBS. My DVR is set to record it when it comes on every weekday evening at 6:30 PM. It is a great resource for my business, as it very ably summarizes the day's activity in the financial markets, and elaborates on "what went up and why." And even when each day's show is winding down, I usually leave it on until the Grandfatherly cohost Paul Kangas closes with his trademark double entendre, "wishing all of you the best of goodbyes."

On Monday night, NBR kicked off what they say is going to be a year long series for Boomers preparing for retirement. The series is cosponsored by U.S. News & World Report and is called "Getting Your Finances Ready for Retirement." It began on Monday's show with a segment called "Your Retirement Lifestyle." These segments will run weekly, so I suspect that I'll be sharing with you when there's a t…

How Long Will You Live? Just Click Here!

I just came across a short blog article on the Seattle PI web site that it turns out was written by one of our Platinum recommended bloggers, Rita Robison. I recommended Rita's blog, The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, in an article on March 19th.

The title of Rita's article was "I'm going to live to be 97. How about you?" You can probably see how that caught my attention. Rita has found a website with a very neat "life expectancy calculator" that asks you a series of questions as it calculates your life expectancy.

One of the neat things about it is that it does these calculations as you go along, so even if the ultimate estimate is not accurate (it seems a little generous to me), it's very instructive to go through the exercise. There's nothing like watching your life expectancy drop as you move the slider down to "light exercise" from "moderate exercise," or admit to higher stress levels, how much alcohol you drink, et…

Is “Retirement” becoming a Dirty Word?

If you’ve been around here for very long, you know that I’d just as soon retire the word “retirement” from the dictionary, even though we haven’t really come up with an acceptable substitute yet. But make no mistake about it, we are witnessing a cultural phenomenon that is rapidly changing the way we view the final 1/3 of our lives. Today’s piece of evidence is blog article from Contemporary Retirement called “Has retirement become a dirty word?” which in turn refers to a New York Times article, “Whatever You Do, Call It Work.” Both the blog article and the Times piece relate how uncomfortable many people already are at referring to themselves as “retired.”

In the past, it was fairly normal for such changes to take a generation or so, with holders of the old ideas literally having to die off in order for the new to take hold. Our attitudes towards such things as smoking and alcohol consumption, sexual mores, political ideas, etc. take years to work their way through the culture. Bu…

When Will I Get My Stimulus Check?

Having been through, um, "several" business cycles over my 40 years in the securities business, I can tell you that the rule of thumb is that by the time Congress does anything about a recession, the economy is already rebounding and the help comes too late. Occasionally, the help has come so late that, if anything, it probably has contributed to subsequent rounds of inflation and overheating.

I have to say, though, that this time seems different. Congress acted pretty swiftly (could the fact that this is an election year have had anything to do with that?), the President signed just as speedily, and direct deposit payments began going out this past week. They will continue through May 16, and the first cycle of paper checks will be mailed starting May 9.

The IRS will continue to issue the payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples) plus $300 for eligible children younger than 17, through July 11, for all those that filed their taxes by April 15. If you are not a d…

New Platinum Link - ReBootYou

It is both encouraging and discouraging that there are so many boomer blogs and websites. It's encouraging because you know there are needs out there and people are trying to fill them. But then it can be discouraging because there are so many "fluffy" blogs and websites, many of them loaded down with ads, filled with 60s reminiscences or anti-aging beauty tips. Now I have nothing against this sort of thing per se. It's just that I don't think that anybody on their deathbed is ever going to say, "I wish I had reminisced more," or "I wish I had found a better anti-aging cream."

Lest I seem too callous, let me remind you that last week, I recommended the irememberjfk site to you, and about a month ago linked you to a 60s video retrospective. I like that stuff, really I do. But I don't want to get "stuck in the past" as I get older, as so many older folks do. I want to keep pursuing my passions and checking things off my "…

New Platinum Links Posted
... and Why I Have a Website

As promised during last week's review of PC Magazine's top ten boomer websites, I have completely revamped and expanded the Platinum Links page on our website. It was long overdue and therefore a pretty big project, but it's done - or at least done enough to post... Is anything on a website ever really done? ... but I digress.

For you newcomers, let me explain the relationship between this blog and the website. This blog, like most blogs, is sort of a stream of consciousness flow of writing. Many articles represent fleeting thoughts that stand alone. But sometimes, you get on a topic, you think about it, you write an article, then maybe a part two. You get some comments, you write some more. Then when you have thoroughly beaten a topic to death, um, I mean, covered it exhaustively, it sits there in chronological pieces on your blog.

But if you really have covered a topic to a conclusion, you may want to massage it into something coherent for posterity. That, to me, is…

“Retirement is Not Biblical”

“Retirement is not biblical”

So said my Pastor and friend at Sunday service this morning. Actually, I must confess that he got that from me. He and I have discussed it several times over the years in terms of our own lives and futures. I don’t think it’s even controversial biblically. No one ever retired in biblical days, and God seemed to delight in calling people to great tasks at advanced ages – Moses and Abraham spring to mind immediately.

The context of this morning’s comment was in reference to a 79 year old mutual friend and mentor named Dow Robinson, with whom we just had contact. Dow maintains a schedule of teaching, learning and mentoring that could only be described as “whirlwind.” I’m not sure I could keep up with him, even though he is 18 years my senior. I remember the last time I was with him, I was relating my plans to start Platinum Years, and told the story of platinum wife Melanie always coming home from her job conducting sightseeing tours and telling me “we h…

Final Reviews of Top Ten Boomer Web Sites

Tonight I'll cover the last three of PC Magazine's top ten boomer web sites. I probably shouldn't have let myself cherry pick the list earlier in the week, because tonight I was left with the sites that interested me the least. But I slogged through, so that you, dear reader, won't have to.

Well, that's not exactly true, because the jury is still out on several of these sites. It's hard to tell in a quick visit, but one, and maybe two, of tonight's sites piqued my interest.

Let me start with an easy one. Easy for me anyway, because BoomerGirl is obviously a site for women. I looked around for a while, but in all honesty, I am incapable of evaluating it. There's lots of stuff there. I'll show it to the Platinum wife when she gets home from her current business trip, but she's not much for web sites and blogs (except of course for mine :-) So ladies, go for it. And let me know if you think it's worth recommending and why. One of you can…

Tonight's Reviews:
"Retired Brains" and "Boomer 411"

Tonight I visited two more sites in our continuing review of PC Magazine's top ten boomer websites I'll take the easiest first.

"Retired Brains" is a very helpful site - provided you are looking for another job. My impression is that this site is much more for people who NEED to keep working or want to avoid idleness, as opposed to say a site like www.encore.org, that is more geared to helping you give back to your community or pursue a passion. The expressed mission of "Retired Brains" is "Helping Older Workers Find Jobs." There are also links to general information about government programs, health issues, retirement planning, etc., that you may want to check out, but I won't be recommending it except for people who are actually in the job market.

Tonight's other site is "Boomer411," whose expressed goal is to "help people access Trusted and Relevant content related to baby boomers quickly." And they do a great j…

Review of "TeeBeeDee" and "I Remember JFK"

As promised, we're checking out the top ten boomer web sites this week. I already gave two thumbs up to BoomerTowne. Eons and AARP are already on my list. So tonight, I visited two new sites, "TeeBeeDee" (www.tbd.com) and "I Remember JFK" (www.irememberjfk.com)

TeeBeeDee, as they call themselves, stands for the letters TBD, as in "To Be Determined," which is an apt description of the rest of our lives. The description at PC Magazine led me to believe that it was more about finding a new career, something like www.encore.org, but it comes across as a pure social networking site.

To be sure, there are forums where you can discuss second careers, but this is one of about thirty discussion groups.

"I Remember JFK" is actually a blog, although the line between blog and website is pretty blurred by now. And I really didn't expect to like it, because there are so many "reminiscence blogs" written by boomers, but I can see why th…

Top Boomer Websites...
Let's Check These Out Together

Are you ready for some serious surfing? PC Magazine has just come out with a list of the top ten web sites for boomers. Actually, "just" is a relative word. It was actually about three weeks ago... I don't know how I missed it.

One of them, the AARP site, is already a "Platinum web site," and another, www.eons.com, is already a "Platinum Link" on our own website, www.platinumyears.net.

So what about the other eight? I have only gotten to check out one of them, BoomerTowne, which is a social networking, news, game, and resource site. It was number one on PC Magazine's list, and that's as far as I've gotten, since it mesmerized me for over two hours with games, jokes, news, articles, etc. In that respect, it is similar to eons.com, but BoomerTowne's menu choices and its "Main Street" layout seem easier. And BoomerTowne has something eons doesn't have.

For as long as you're navigating around BoomerTowne, you're…

Top Ten Boomer Myths Exposed (Part 2)

As promised yesterday, we continue the countdown of common myths about the Baby Boomer generation that were exposed in the AARP's Third Quarterly Boomer Report released on April 15th at www.aarp.org. The report, “How Well Do You Know Boomers? Counting Down the Top 10 Boomer Myths,” identified and investigated the top myths associated with Boomers in order to separate fact from fiction. My comments are in italics:

Myth #5 - Boomers are all wealthy

Collectively Boomers are the wealthiest generation in history, but only 9% are truly affluent (defined as having pre-tax incomes of $150,000 or more if working, or $100,000 or more if retired). In fact, one quarter of Boomers have no savings or investments at all. (It is for the other 91% that I created the Platinum Years Network... "Life planning for the rest of us.")

Myth #4 - Boomers are winding down with age

Actually, they are quite active, as the typical Boomer regularly participates in an average of 10 activities and the p…

Top Ten Boomer Myths Exposed

A number of common myths about the Baby Boomer generation were exposed in the third Quarterly Boomer Report released on April 15th at www.aarp.org. The report, “How Well Do You Know Boomers? Counting Down the Top 10 Boomer Myths,” identified and investigated the top myths associated with Boomers in order to separate fact from fiction.

“Boomers are redefining age and changing the way business is done” said Howard Byck, VP Corporate Development for AARP Services. “Contrary to many common assumptions, Boomers are making retirement obsolete, are very savvy about advertising, and are experimenting with new products.”

The report revealed ten myths to be untrue. Let's take #6-10 today (with my comments in italics):

Myth #10 - Boomers are retiring early

"Contrary to much of the attention given to the first Boomers turning 62 this year and being eligible to take Social Security benefits early. In reality very few Boomers are planning to stop working entirely when they reach retirement a…

Let's Move Election Day to April 15th!

I just filed my taxes... I was pretty early this year for me... 7:30 PM at the Providence, RI post office.

I've made it something of a tradition to go there on April 15th. I used to go later, around 11 PM, to see the live TV remotes, enjoy coffee from the free Dunkin Donuts coffee wagon, check out who's protesting what, etc. One year they had a three piece band, and on a few occasions, the postal employees would wear Uncle Sam costumes.

Lately though, it's been much more mundane. Maybe somebody was offended by the party atmosphere. It's so somber now.

Which led me to an idea. Let's get some taxpayer value out of this somber-ness. Let's move Election Day from November to the middle of April, maybe even April 15th. I'll bet we'd end up with a much leaner and meaner government. What do you think? :-) Bob

I Think Warren Buffett Would Like this Situation

Wednesday I blogged on the virtues of “benign neglect,” which is my cute way of saying that we should take a long term view of our investments. I used Warren Buffett as an example and closed with some appropriate quotes from him about investing for the long term. Now by definition, good long term opportunities don’t pop up every day, but one did so just this morning so I wanted to share it with you. I have to emphasize, in keeping with my general policy and disclaimer, that this is just an example to illustrate my point, and not an offer or a recommendation to purchase.

Just this morning, General Electric announced poor quarterly numbers, and lowered its guidance for fiscal 2008 by a few cents per share. The poor performance was partly the result of some subprime exposure, but according to CEO Jeff Immelt, “We could have done better in several areas.” The stock is being pounded today, especially because as recently as a month ago, Immelt was quite optimistic. Remember a point I’v…

Your Best Investment Posture? Benign Neglect

Many years ago, probably some time in the 1970s, I read one of those “How I Made a Million in the Market” books that changed the way I look at the stock market, very much for the better. To tell you the truth, the book wasn’t even very good, but its overall premise was compelling. It contained a lesson that is even more important today than it was 30 years ago.

It seems that the author, who had never done very well in the stock market, was a journalist who was sent to Indonesia on assignment for an extended period of time. As a result, he had very limited access to investment information, and could only communicate with his broker by cable on a quarterly basis. This forced him to take a macro, big picture view of economic conditions and, in the end, made him a much better investor, and eventually a millionaire.

For years, my business partner and I have joked about the truth behind this scenario, calling this market posture “benign neglect.” And I believe that this is the important …

New Platinum Link - WiseBread

A lot of blogs have blogrolls, links to blogs they read. Those can get really long, making it hard to check them all out. I don't think I’ve ever gotten through a whole blogroll, despite my good intentions. It’s just too easy to start “chasing rabbits,” but then again, that’s the fun of it. So I decided a while back that I won't blogroll individual blogs, though I often mention their specific articles, with links to that specific blog.

But you may notice over there ( --> ) in the right column that I do have a blogroll, called “Platinum Blogs,” with four links in it. What gives? Well, these are all blog compilations of various types.

The first is the blog carnival. I currently link to just one of these, the Carnival of Personal Finance, which includes about 80 articles per week, including articles from here about half the time. I have been looking around for other carnivals that may be worthwhile to get involved with.

Then there is the MultiContributor Blog, An exampl…