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Apex Money Posts

Tips for facing a mid-career crisis.

Top of the morning to you, money nerds. As always, we’re here with our top money stories from around the web.

How to choose your car. [Bitches Get Riches] — “I kind of fucking hate cars. They’re expensive, time-consuming, and ruin the environment while simultaneously turning you into the kind of person who thinks it’s ok to scream obscenities at complete strangers from behind the shield of a ‘COEXIST’ bumper sticker. So if you can operate your life without a car, I highly recommend doing so. Sadly though, they’re often a necessity…If you must buy a car, buy the right one.

Tips for facing your mid-career crisis. [Harvard Business Review] — “The reasons for the ‘mid-career crisis’ are not well understood. Why does job satisfaction suffer during midlife? Judging by my own experience, and by conversations with friends, there are multiple factors: the narrowing of options, the inevitability of regret, and the tyranny of projects successively completed and replaced.” Related (and excellent): Stories from eight women who found professional success after age 50. [The Washington Post]

Simplifying a retirement “bucket” portfolio. [The Oblivious Investor] — “If you find buckets to be helpful, great. But be sure, after creating a bucket-based plan, to step back and look at the whole thing at once.”

Because I’m an old man, I sometimes miss things that go viral. Here, for instance, is a video I find hilarious…but it’s eighteen months old. It’s J.P. Sears on buying Bitcoin.


Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.

How to be a better negotiator in everyday life.

Hello, money nerds, and welcome to week two of Apex Money. Having fun yet? Today, let’s hear from three women who have interesting things to say about money — and life.

How I convinced myself to stop buying stuff. [One Frugal Girl] — “After spending hours sorting and processing and another ninety minutes documenting and pricing items…I added up the cost of all items together. Then separated out the cost of the starred items. I was shocked to see how much money I spent on stuff I rarely used. I was also amazed at how little I spent on stuff I loved and had to get rid of.”

How to be a better negotiator in everyday life. [Rainesford Stauffer on Medium] — “Done right, negotiating doesn’t have to be something that pits you against anyone. In fact, it can even strengthen your relationships, helping you learn to communicate more effectively with the people you love. Here’s how…to get better at asking for what you want in day-to-day life.

Speaking of negotiation, here’s The Financial Diet sharing seven things you didn’t know were negotiable:

My childhood went viral before social media. [The New York times] — “Before there was Instagram, before there were parenting blogs, even before there was Facebook, there were newspaper columns where parents wrote about the experience of child rearing. One column, called ‘Family Man’, was published in The Connecticut Post and syndicated in 10 newspapers around the country. The author was my father.”

Okay, that last article isn’t actually money-related, but I like it. So sue me.

Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.

The dark side of marketing.

Howdy, money nerds. Rise and shine. It’s time for your daily dose of top money stories from around the web. Today, we’re looking at the dark side of marketing.

Dark patterns at scale. [Princeton University] — “Dark patterns are user interface design choices that benefit an online service by coercing, steering, or deceiving users into making unintended and potentially harmful decisions. We conducted a large-scale study, analyzing ~53,000 product pages from ~11,000 shopping websites to characterize and quantify the prevalence of dark patterns.” [See also: the dark pattern challenge.]

How advertisers convinced Americans they smelled bad. [Smithsonian magazine] — “Naysayers might argue that western society would have eventually developed its dependence on deodorants and antiperspirants without Murphey and Young, but they certainly left their mark in the armpits of America, as did the heat of New Jersey’s summer of 1912.” [This story is fascinating! Did you know B.O. used to be considered manly? True story.]

Microsoft’s ebook apocalypse shows the dark side of digital books. [Wired] — “Your iTunes movies, your Kindle books — they’re not really yours. You don’t own them. You’ve just bought a license that allows you to access them, one that can be revoked at any time. And while a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers.”

And here’s an instructive little video on how IKEA (and other stores) gets you to impulsively buy more. It’s like “dark patterns” in real life, eh?

I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of marketing. Manipulating people into purchasing your products doesn’t sound ethical or nice. (I’m sure I’ll get hate-mail for saying that…)

Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.

Let’s celebrate financial independence day!

Greetings, money nerds. And if you’re in the U.S., happy Independence Day! To celebrate, our four stories today are all related to financial independence and early retirement. (I hear that topic is on fire lately!)

A story of a Fuck-Off Fund. [The Billfold] — “When your boyfriend calls you stupid, you say if he ever says that again, you’re out of there, and it’s not hard to imagine how you’ll accomplish your getaway. When your boss attempts to grope you, you say, ‘Fuck off, you creep!’ You wave two middle fingers in the air, and march over to HR. Whether the system protects you or fails you, you will be able to take care of yourself.” [Three years old, but new to me. Thanks, Kathleen!]

Don’t stress about safe-withdrawal rates in retirement. There’s a small chance you’ll run out of money, but you WILL run out of life. [1500 Days to Freedom] — “Don’t focus on worst case scenarios. Instead, focus on most case scenarios. And this is where the 4% Rule fits in. Use it as a loose guide to know when to quit your job. When you hit your number, politely tell your boss that in two weeks, your cube will be vacant. Open the door and step outside.”

I have heart disease. GOOD! [Early Retirement Dude] — “It’s unpleasant to look down at my chest and think, ‘Two inches under that skin lives an ant-sized nodule of calcium that’s trying to kill me.’ It is REAL. There is NO DENYING IT. What’s also real is this: I have a good outlook if I stick to the plan…Death may be inevitable, but it doesn’t have to happen NOW.”

Money is the easy part of early retirement. The hard part is what comes next. [Slightly Early Retirement] — “Judging from the number of people who self report their amazing progress towards financial independence, the plan seems to work for a wide range of incomes and family situations. In fact, I think getting enough money to retire early is not the hard part, it is the easy part. The hard part is…what comes next?” [Related: Miss Mazuma has achieved financial independence! Congrats, Bianca!]

Steve may be onto something there. Here’s YouTuber Graham Stephen on why he won’t retire early:

Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money. In the meantime, get out there and enjoy your Independence Day weekend!

How to tell if that personal-finance advice is nonsense.

Good morning, money nerds! Welcome to Wednesday. To get your day started right, we have three new money stories from around the web.

What if all I want is a mediocre life? [A Life in Progress] — “What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife? But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?”

Zillow has updated their home value estimates. [Zillow] — If, like me, you keep tabs on your home value with Zillow, you’ll be interested to know that the “Zestimate” calculation just got an update. Supposedly it’s more accurate. “The Zestimate’s error rate on homes listed for sale is now less than 2%,” the company says, “meaning half of all Zestimates fall within 2% of the home’s eventual sale price.”

How to figure out if that personal-finance advice is nonsense. [Lifehacker] — “A lot of what ends up in my inbox just gets me riled up about the personal finance information that gets shared online. If you’re someone who doesn’t happen to be an accountant, financial advisor, or economist, how can you discern what personal finance advice or data is worth latching on to, and which is bunk?

Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.

Streaming TV is about to get very expensive.

Good morning, money nerds. I hope you’re all having a terrific Tuesday. Here are the top money articles we have for you today.

“How I developed an unhealthy relationship with money.” [The Passive-Aggressive Investor] — “I think many people believe that they could never be frugal. They think it is a personality trait—something built into one’s biology. However, it is something that we can all learn as a mindset. For me, learning that financial independence is possible and planning for it is what helped me change my consumption behaviors.”

How recommendation sites have risen to prominence. [The Ringer] — “Inspired by the rigorous testing of Consumer Reports and infused with the conversational tone of the internet, destinations like Wirecutter, The Strategist, and Reviewed have come to define a new era of editorial-minded shopping companions…Recommendation sites are there to calm [consumers], guide them, and link them to an answer.

Streaming TV is about to get very expensive. Here’s why. [The Guardian] — “The whole point of Netflix was that it was a relatively affordable bucket that contained an awful lot of television. That’s why people liked it. That’s why so many people subscribed and continue to subscribe…That will be a memory soon.”

Related viewing: Media companies are turning streaming back into cable (and it sucks!).

Note, however, that they can only turn streaming back into cable if we let them. If we don’t pay for their services, they won’t succeed. (I know, I know: I’m living in a fantasy world. People will pay.)

Got something you think your fellow nerds might like? Send it in! Help spread the top money stories on the web here at Apex Money.

The power of community.

Welcome to the very first edition of Apex Money. We’re glad to have you as part of our community.

Every day, we strive to bring you interesting articles on money (and related subjects) from every corner of the web: mainstream media, specialty sites, and — of course — our favorite blogs.

To kick things off, here are three pieces we’ve enjoyed recently.

On the power of the personal-finance community. [Josh Overmyer] — “The ability to converse, share, and learn from one another has been jet fuel for my progress to [financial independence]…I’ve read about friends blasting through their student loan and consumer debts, hitting net worth milestones, and retiring early. I get so much joy hearing others accomplish their goals, and it fuels me to buckle down and hit some of my own goals.” This, friends, is why we’re starting Apex Money.

As we age, our financial decisions get worse. [Retirement Field Guide] — “Nobody likes to think about getting older. Even less so, nobody likes to think about the decline of their mental health. But the harsh truth is that as we get older, our cognitive abilities decline at some point. This is especially true with regard to personal finances.

“We asked two of our editors to wear the same thing every day. Here’s what happened.” [Fast Company] — “What happens when women decide to buck convention and wear the same exact thing every day? We decided to put this idea to the test by asking two of our colleagues to pick a uniform and wear it for at least two weeks.”

On a related note, here’s Joshua Becker on the six reasons he wears the same thing every day:

I’ll be honest: I’ve thought about wearing the same thing every day too. But I’m not sure the world is ready for a fifty-year-old man who only wears Taylor Swift t-shirts!

What is Apex Money?

Apex Money is a partnership between J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly and Jim Wang of

There is a lot of personal finance content out there.

Some of it is good.

Some of it is less good.

And some of it is great.

Our goal is to filter through it all and bring to you the articles, videos, and podcast episodes that will change the way you think, change the way you live, and change the way you relate to money.

We hope you will join us in this journey!