carl richards/the new york times

We’ve Believe that we can learn just about anything we put our mind to… eventually ….sometimes with a lot of help and concentration. Finances is one of the areas we find ourselves – and a lot of creative people we know – weakest at. So we’ve taken delight in a New York Times blog called Bucks, where financial planner Carl Richards teaches Basics of Personal Finance with drawings on napkins, as a parent might to a son or daughter across a kitchen table. What we like is that Richards takes a bigger view of finance than usual, helping us to understand that our time and energy are also valuable assets, as in one of our favorite posts Why Most Investors Don’t Measure Returns Correctly. Here’s a snippet of the commentary that went with the drawing, above.

There’s an old saying that you should take a look at your checkbook and your calendar to see what you really value as opposed to what you say you value, because the calendar and the checkbook never lie…

It may help to think of life in units — units of time, units of energy and so on. Each day, you take some of your units and exchange them for units of money. You then take those units of money and spend them on something. But every time you exchange a unit, there’s a tradeoff, and we often fail to look past the immediate return to the potential long-term consequences.

 But the point remains that when it comes to our human capital, we’re not very good at judging the value of the tradeoff or even considering it in the first place.

Last week, on Harvard Business Review’s Web site, Umair Haque pointed out that “The ‘best’ investment you can make isn’t gold. It’s the people you love, the dreams you have, and living a life that matters.

Wise words.

Click here to browse a big array of Bucks posts. Most popular columns are here.

And while we’re on the subject, check out this investment fund based on superstitions (hits a cord)

Related posts: ‘life edited’ challenge: ‘less but better’
’8 secrets of success’ in 3:33 minutes
recession jokes
the dalai lama on $$, loss, “failure”
a crash course in finance via 11 TED talks
free, open university courses

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3 replies on “investing in an improvised life

  1. I’m missing a column in the picture : Love .

  2. Common sense must rule when it come to money. Economics is not the “dismal” science at all. It’s not about numbers. It’s the art and science of survival.

  3. i love this post, and will check out his blog. it reminds me of the saying, “the most important things in life aren’t things”. agreed. they are people. let’s enjoy them!

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