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Everything is temporary

Money Nerds!

Today’s grab bag of articles will have something for everyone.

Let’s see what they are:

Everything is temporary; nearly everything is reversible [Cityfrugal] — “Each of these decisions terrified me before I made them. I stressed about them, asked friends and coworkers for advice, and fretted about every possible thing that could go wrong. However, none of these were permanent decisions. The decisions to change my behavior, though slightly off the beaten path, could all be undone.” I arrived at this epiphany when I quit my job to become a full-time blogger. I stressed about quitting but in the end, you can always find a job. This is a great reminder of that idea.

Should You Invest In Gold? [Money For the Rest of Us] — “With gold at a six-year high, is now the time to invest? What determines the price of gold and what are ways one can invest in this precious metal? We also explore whether gold is an effective inflation hedge and store of value.” With all the talk of recession and the economy slowing down, you’re bound to see calls to own more gold. Read this to get a primer on what it means.

What I Learned from Losing $200 Million [Nautilus] — “I’d lost almost $200 million in October. November wasn’t looking any better. It was 2008, after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Markets were in turmoil. Banks were failing left and right. I worked at a major investment bank, and while I didn’t think the disastrous deal I’d done would cause its collapse, my losses were quickly decimating its commodities profits for the year, along with the potential pay of my more profitable colleagues. I thought my career could be over. I’d already started to feel those other traders and salespeople keeping their distance, as if I’d contracted a disease.” The article is quite long and goes into detail about the financial aspects of the derivative (how the security was structured, who bought it and why, etc.) and how we overestimate our ability/skill/intelligence. Then halfway through, he discusses the illusion of control followed by the “loss,” his reaction, and the aftermath.

And our last article comes from the Department of Money Doesn’t Solve All Problems:

I spent 2 years cleaning houses. What I saw makes me never want to be rich. [Vox] — “The money my clients spent startled me. One house had a receipt for a throw blanket more expensive than my car. I vacuumed children’s bedrooms bigger than my apartment. Rob’s House — my picky Friday client who adored me — had $3,000 worth of television and stereo equipment just in the living room. The TV was always on. My Christmas card from him and his wife contained a $100 bonus, the highest the company had ever seen. That was around when the prescription bottles multiplied by the bathroom sink and Rob’s skin took on a yellow tone.” Wow. Just wow.

If you know someone who would enjoy one of these, please send it to them!

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