2008-02-27

Why Do I Go Against What I Supposedly Know About Personal Finance?

So after our first child was born, and we finally tried to pull our personal finance together in an organized fashion, I became a pretty big believer in these basic tenets of personal-finance that I discussed in the last post—magic of compound interest/gains, save and invest more (and do it automatically), diversify. These concepts became the foundation of our personal-finance plan, to a large degree. And they should get most of the credit for whatever success we've been able to achieve so far and getting our net worth where it is today—over $1 million.

Nevertheless, I have oddly maintained a split personality when it comes to personal finance. In addition to diligently pursuing our disciplined plan of saving and investing in a diversified portfolio, I continue to do things off to the side that don't fit in that plan at all. Yes, I know that the bulk of what I've read and the weight of the data and evidence that I find most credible all point to sticking with the fundamentals—slow and steady wins the race. But I can't seem to shake those little nuggets—typically with less relevance to us, less supporting evidence, and less credibility— that run counter to a slow-and-steady strategy. After all:

  • Some people beat the market.
  • Some people get rich in real estate.
  • Some people get rich running a side business on eBay.
  • Some people win the lottery or Publisher’s Clearinghouse sweepstakes.
  • Heck, some people’s hair implants look real.

Why do I dwell on these? Is this distraction or stupidity going to derail the progress that we are making on the slow-and-steady plan?Is this distraction or stupidity going to derail the progress that were making on the slow-and

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