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How not to be fooled by charts.

Welcome to Wednesday, money nerds! J.D. here with more of the best from the world of personal finance.

On Friday, a new iPhone will arrive at my doorstep. It’s been several years since I bought a phone, and I’m excited to play with my new toy. One of the dilemmas I had during the purchase process was: Do I pay for insurance or not? Generally, I avoid extended warranties of any kind. But in this case, I gave it some consideration. But did I make the right move? That’s what today’s first article is about.

Is AppleCare worth buying for your iPhone? [Consumer Reports] — “There’s really no right or wrong answer about whether you should pay for AppleCare+ coverage. It’s all about how much risk you’re willing to assume. But the higher the price of the device, the more it might make sense to pay for a little peace of mind.”

Yeah, that article’s bottom line isn’t especially helpful, is it? But the info leading up that point was actually useful, and it reinforced my decision to not purchase protection. For my girlfriend? Hell yes, she needs an AppleCare plan when she buys a new phone. For me? No. Even though I don’t use any sort of case, I’ve never had any problems (other than poor battery life).

Okay, back to our other stories…

Study something you love in depth. [Austin Kleon] — “Chew on one thinker — writer, artist, activist, role model — you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them. Repeat this as many times as you can. Climb up the tree as far as you can go.”

People often forget to cancel their monthly subscriptions — and the costs add up. [NPR] — “For shoppers who regularly use a product or service, subscriptions can offer convenience and valuable discounts. And economist Mahoney acknowledges it might be annoying if consumers had to actively renew a subscription every month. Still, he argues a periodic reminder — perhaps every six months — could help cut unwanted payments in half.” [I perform irregular “subscription inventories” to determine which subscriptions I have active — and to be certain I’m using them all.]

How not to be fooled by charts. [Noahpinion] — “In general, the first rule of…charts is that the more eye-popping and startling they are, the more likely it is that there’s something fishy going on. As they say, ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.'”

That’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more fun stories. See you then!