Why You Shouldn’t Believe Me

Why you shouldn't believe me? How your brain forms beliefs and why it's sabotaging you.

Years ago while in journalism school, I was bothered by how frequently journalists would say that they’re bad at math. Professors would start the self-deprecating jokes, and students nodded along. To be sure, I struggle to do arithmetic in my head. To this day, calculating tips at restaurants is a challenge. But I don’t believe … Read more

The Power of Your Eating Mindset

Silhouette thinking about food with ice cream, burger, and shake cloud bubble.

Do you know someone who gets hangry? Come 11:30 a.m. or 6:15 p.m., if you don’t feed this person, he begins to get irritable and unresponsive. Doing anything hard is asking to get into a fight. Maybe that person is you? 😉 In my life, that person is my ordinarily level-headed, rational, reasonable, scientist-of-a-husband, Alex. … Read more

How to Build Community With: Meetups

Community cooking illustration with 3 cooks around a big pot of green goo.

Ever since I started co-hosting the Stanford off-shoot of the Financial Independence and Early Retirement Meetup, I have been amazed by how easy it is to get strangers to show up and talk about their personal and financial lives. There’s a thirst for implementable personal finance information and a camaraderie that naturally develops from discussing how to optimize and improve our lives.

Yet, the steps required for financial freedom are simple: earn more and save more. Invest the difference. Do you really need a meetup to explain how to do it?   

Dig a little deeper though and you’ll discover that what people are looking for isn’t more information. What they want is community and relationships with like-minded people.

This desire for community is what draws strangers-turned-friends to show up to a hike in Woodside on a random Saturday afternoon advertised on the Internet. It’s what develops an in-group language with jargony terms like backdoor Roth conversion, tax-loss harvesting, and CD laddering.

Hiking at Wunderlich Park with the Stanford Financial Independence and Early Retirement group.

I’ve made real friends since joining and organizing this meetup, including friends I text regularly and discuss topics unrelated to finance.

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