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Retirement Portfolio Update – Year-End 2013

Here's a 2013 year-end update of our retirement portfolio, which includes employer 401(k) plans, self-employed retirement plans, Traditional and Roth IRAs, and taxable brokerage holdings. Cash reserves (emergency fund), college savings accounts, … [Read the rest]

2013 New Year’s Resolution Follow-Up

It's time to check up on our 2013 New Year's Resolutions, which I gave the eloquent theme "Get our crap together" (in case one or both of us dies). I will roughly follow this GYST checklist. Will and trusts. We are fortunate to have a family … [Read the rest]

Tomales Bay Oysters – An Unforgettable Meal at Everyday Prices

Not to turn this into a food blog, but talking about The French Laundry reminded me of another awesome Northern Californian meal you could have at a mere fraction of the cost. Both the Tomales Bay Oyster Company and the Hog Island Oyster Company … [Read the rest]

How to Get French Laundry Reservations Without Losing Your Mind

Businessweek has a profile of the latest exclusive, farm-to-table, 16-course-meal restaurant, including a list of the "five toughest restaurant reservations in America". I found myself smiling because I recently ate at one of the places on that … [Read the rest]

Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save Tips

There is a minor kerfuffle going on with Matthew Yglesias and his post How to Save Money on Amazon With a Fake Baby vs. internet ethicists including Gawker. Short version: If you sign up for Amazon's Subscribe & Save program and add at least 5 … [Read the rest]

HealthyWage: Lose Weight, Make Money?

A few well-publicized academic studies have shown that financial incentives can be very effective in helping people lose weight. As a result, there is now a website called that will actually pay you money if you can prove you … [Read the rest]

Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin Supplements

"Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements" is the title of an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine that address three different studies released in the same issue about the role of vitamin and mineral … [Read the rest]

Health Savings Accounts: Defer Reimbursement But Keep Receipts Forever

I always tell myself to do more research on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), but I lack motivation because we have great health insurance benefits and not even the option of an HSA-eligible high-deductible plan. I know, what a tough problem to have … [Read the rest]

New Site Design

Just a quick note that I finally updated this site's design after many, many years. The primary goal of this redesign was to improve usability and readability across modern computer screens, which now span from 30" widescreen monsters to 3.5" … [Read the rest]

Visualizations of Investment Performance by Asset Class 2011-2013

The blog Short Side of Long has a nice post discussing the relative performance of several different asset classes over the last few years. The charts especially caught my eye, and I went over to to make my own with the asset classes … [Read the rest]

Americans Spend 5 Hours a Day Watching TV

Americans are watching more TV than ever at least according to Nielsen and AllThingsD. Television remains the biggest chunk of the nearly 60 hours of media consumed every week. Here's how those 60 hours break down across TV, radio, online, and … [Read the rest]

Picking Municipal Bond Funds & The Importance of Low Fees

Due to a lack of tax-deferred space, my current tax bracket, and the current interest rate spread over US Treasury bonds, I started investing part of my portfolio in Vanguard's tax-exempt municipal bond funds. As a result, I try to read every single … [Read the rest]