The Behavior Gap

Here’s a conundrum. If you compare investors’ returns in funds to the returns of the funds themselves, they should be the same, right?  
Well, no. You see, “studies find that the returns investors have earned over time are much lower than the returns of the average investment,” writes Carl Richards, the Sharpie-wielding Bucks blogger at the New Y… read more »

The Joy Budget

In the first chapter of All the Money in the World, I note that most personal finance books tell readers to keep track of all the money going in and out. The usual point of this is to make sure that the “money coming in” category is bigger than the “money going out” category. Which is, of course, a good thing to know.
But let’s say it… read more »

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

In late 2010, shortly after I got a contract to write the book that would become All the Money in the World, I started asking everyone I knew for people with interesting money stories. One friend, who at the time was quite into couponing, mentioned a coupon blogger who’d paid cash for a house. I thought this sounded intriguing, though I believe my line at the ti… read more »

Hey parents, the third kid’s a bargain (USA TODAY)

(Note: This column ran in today’s USA Today)
By Laura Vanderkam
In a tepid economy, people look to save money however they can. One strategy? Not having kids. After hitting a high of 4.3 million in 2007, U.S. births tumbled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to about 4 million in 2010.
It makes sense. Each year, the U.S. Depart… read more »

Prospering vs. Greed

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned by writing about money for the past year is how much baggage people have about this topic. We are prone to believe all sorts of things about money. Some believe it’s the root of all evil. Others think “easy come, easy go” or that it has to be displayed in order to make oneself feel worthy. I… read more »