This Month’s Favorite Reads 💎


Here’s a bunch of great reading material to feed your brain over the weekend :) Amazing what you can still learn about money and life even after being around for thousands of years…

Lemme know if you’ve read anything great lately!


painted rocks

101 Things to do at 5am! via 5am Joel — “I’ve tried almost all of these things over the past 3 years of getting up at 5am. These activities have kept me busy, creative, productive, and enjoying my mornings.”

What I learned by hosting an investing meetup via Frugal Wheels — “Unlike Michael Scott’s pyramid scheme, the things I taught were pretty basic, safe investment practices.”

The Economics of Unused Gift Cards via The Hustle — “Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on gift cards. But what happens to the money when the cards aren’t redeemed?

What couldn’t you live without? via JRF  — “I’ve survived with no money, I got through a short time with no food and I’ve managed when my electricity and heating ran out, I’ve even spent times without friends… What one thing would it be so devastating for me to lose that it would make my life seem so meaningless that it’s preferable to end it?”

fly fishing

From Junkie to FIRE via Millennial Revolution — “The thing about being what we call a “hope to die dope fiend” is that you create wreckage in literally every dimension of your life. I had to rebuild everything. My credit, health, finances, living arrangements, familial relationships, and yes, my criminal history.”

12 Shocking Things I Learned by Working as a Butler at the Plaza Hotel via Pocket — “Serving the world’s rich and famous, it turns out, plumbs the depths of an alternative universe that readily embraces the absurd without even batting an eye. And that was only the beginning of what I learned.”

The Other Environmental Crisis via Raptitude — “Human interaction probably isn’t in danger of extinction, but it is quietly losing great swaths of its natural habitat. Technology is making real interaction less necessary at work, home, and everywhere in between, which must mean there’s simply less of it in the world than there was a decade ago.”

single plant

Every $1 You Invest Now Will Be Worth $7.61 in 30 Years via Four Pillar Freedom — “There is actually a name for this investment & lifestyle approach: Coast FIRE. The whole idea is to accumulate enough money at an early enough age that you no longer need to invest any more to achieve financial independence by age 65 (or whatever you define as a retirement age). Once you have enough money invested, you can simply “coast” your way to retirement.”

Lego sets its sights on a growing market: Stressed-out adults via The Washington Post — “The world’s largest toymaker is pitching its bricks as a form of mindfulness. Adults are happy to play along — as long as there are instructions.”

U.S. renters are richer, older, and have larger households via Curbed — “Perhaps the most significant change in the nation’s rental landscape is the shift in just who is renting today. The rental market has welcomed increasing numbers of high-income renters, with the percentage of renter households making $75,000 or more in 2019 hitting 22 percent, the highest level on record.” [h/t Collaborative Fund for sharing this one]

rss blog import spreadsheet

Instant Blog Post Index in a Google Sheets Spreadsheet via Spreadsheet Man — “This spreadsheet – which you can see here and get your own copy (use the File / Make a Copy menu) has a simple formula that you don’t even have to change yourself – you can just enter the new blog RSS feed URL on the sheet and the formula will use that! The IMPORTFEED() function does have a limit of grabbing just 250 posts – but it’s still pretty powerful!”

If your cash gets damaged, this Treasury team will make sure it’s not a lost cause via The Washington Post — “Every week, the federal office in Southwest Washington receives hundreds of padded envelopes, boxes and even safes stuffed with cash ravaged by water, fire, shredding machines, insects or a canine’s teeth… Last year, the agency issued checks for more than $35 million to businesses and individuals who had submitted their battered money…”

Warren Buffett says Berkshire is ‘100% prepared’ for his death, details what will happen to his stock via Yahoo! Finance — “Today, my will specifically directs its executors — as well as the trustees who will succeed them in administering my estate after the will is closed — not to sell any Berkshire shares… The will goes on to instruct the executors – and, in time, the trustees – to each year convert a portion of my A shares into B shares and then distribute the Bs to various foundations… I estimate that it will take 12 to 15 years for the entirety of the Berkshire shares I hold at my death to move into the market.”


Video of the month:

The Economics Of Seinfeld: What’s the right Gift to give; cash? via YouTube — “Economic lessons abound — you’ve got signaling, utility and, of course, the deadweight loss of gift-giving: The deadweight loss of gift-giving is the loss of efficiency that occurs when the value of the gift to the recipient is less than the cost of the gift to the giver. In this case, economists argue that cash would be a more efficient gift.”


Happy Friday!

j. money signature

Fun collage up top by ritual via Pixabay

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  1. Chris ODonnell February 28, 2020 at 10:04 AM

    101 things to do before 5 AM.

    1. Sleep
    101. Sleep.

    Did I get that list right?

    1. J. Money February 28, 2020 at 11:06 AM

      You are so missing out…


  2. Linda February 28, 2020 at 10:38 AM

    Great post as always! Timely and I always learn something.
    I was productive this week and read:
    1) CEO Warren Buffett’s 2020 letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s letter to shareholder. It’s an annual ritual and at age 89, Buffett still teaches a lot about investing, ethics, economy and managing businesses. I recently posted by annual post on my blog analyzing his letter.
    2) I finally finished Beautiful and The Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It takes place in the 1910s and the Anthony and Gloria Patch decadently spend money they haven’t earned (neither work!). Anthony is hoping for his grandfather’s inheritance.
    Won’t give away the ending but good read on the Gilded Age, hedonism, and living way beyond their means. Anthony tries to budget but gives up quickly and sells bonds that decline to 30% of their value.
    He should have had an emergency fund!
    Stay healthy,

    1. J. Money February 28, 2020 at 11:09 AM

      Both sound very interesting!

      Going now to check out your blog post :)

  3. Adam February 28, 2020 at 1:05 PM

    Great post! Love the Seinfeld video and unfortunately can relate to that. I’m up at 5am almost every day, but don’t take advantage of the time as I used to. I still get up, it’s just slower and kind of without purpose other than getting ready to go. That’s a good list that gets me motivated to start taking control of that time and give it a purpose.

    1. J. Money February 28, 2020 at 1:19 PM

      Excellent! Glad you liked it!

      I used to do more things for ME in the morning which I loved, but now as soon as i’m up (also at 5 or 5:30), I hustle hustle because at any moment my little one will wake up and then it’s game over :( When he was predictably waking up around 7:30 or 8:00 it was great! First half of morning was for me, then 2nd half was a jump start on the work stuff, but not anymore…