What I am Consuming… (November 2018)

This is a continuation of a monthly theme where I document what media I am currently consuming.  In addition to sharing books, articles, and podcasts that some may not be aware of, it will help keep me honest and ensure that I continue to consume more and more information myself.  Here is this month’s entry.

What am I reading?

This month I am doing another re-read of a book that I have previously consumed but one that I have decided to read over and over as time permits.  That book is A Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins.  This book had a very positive impact on my investing when I first read it.  My initial foray into investing came with my first “real” job that carried a 401K plan.  I don’t necessarily count this as I quickly viewed the menu of funds available and picked a few with no real thought into what I was selecting.  Shortly thereafter, a friend took on a job as a stockbroker.  He and I sat down, and I decided to invest some money with through him.  At that time, I selected a few individual stocks that represented companies that I had heard of and which would be easy to look up in the daily newspaper.  This did not necessarily go very well and at that point, I decided to learn more about investing.  I dove into newspapers, books and television programs all designed to improve my prowess at stock picking.   I spent countless hours researching and immersing myself in the world of Wall Street.  The net results were mediocre at best.  This book was not my first introduction to index fund investing but it was certainly the easiest explanation of the benefits.  I have since dabbled in index investing and have been quite happy with the results.  This book is an extremely easy read.  The author has a very conversational way of writing. The author first wrote an extensive series of blog posts on this topic, which can be found at www.jlcollinsnh.com if you don’t want to commit to the book.

What am I listening to?

Another favorite podcast that I am enjoying is The Money Guy Show by Brian Preston.  Brian is a fee-only financial planner with extensive experience in the field.  He blends that experience with a folksy charm that makes most topics very approachable.  I don’t always agree with his advice, but he has a great way of explaining his logic that you cannot help but understand, even if you don’t fully agree.  I have also been going back and listening to the entire backlog of shows, since the show began all the way back in 2006 and am finding that his advice has largely held up.  There have been a few items where his advice may not have been the best, but he has acknowledged those and taken full ownership of them.  One such item was his stance that he did not need a very large emergency fund since he has an untapped Home Equity Line of Credit on his home.  I have personally agreed with this logic in the past and both Brian and I quickly learned that this stance did not hold up during the housing bubble bursting in 2008.  My line of credit was quickly slashed by my bank and that available credit dried up very quickly.  Something similar happened to Brian and he has since become more supportive of building a safe emergency fund.

What am I watching?

As I predicted in my last post, my baseball team fell short of the title this year.  While I did pay attention to the remainder of the playoffs, it did not dominate my watching as much as before.  During the past month, however, my television viewing has still been consumed with sports.  This time around it is football.  My son is 10 years old and played tackle football for the first time this year.  It was a great experience and has sparked his interest in the sport tremendously.  In years past, I have tried to get my kids (and my wife for that matter) to have an interest in college or NFL football.  They have resisted.  But now that my son is playing the sport and learning all the rules associated with it, he has become extremely interested and watches every chance he gets.  This has presented some solid father-son bonding moments that I am going to capitalize on as long as they last.