JAN. 18, 2020
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Just in Time

By Jonathan Clements

I USED TO THINK anybody could be taught to manage money sensibly. I no longer believe that.

When I was in my 20s and scraping by on a junior reporter’s salary, I had some sense for the financial stress suffered by everyday Americans. But after a handful of years of diligently saving, I was able to escape those daily worries. Many Americans, alas, never do.

This was hammered home when I recently took the financial well-being questionnaire offered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It involves answering 10 questions—things like whether you can handle a major unexpected expense, whether your finances control your life and whether giving a birthday or wedding gift puts a strain on your finances for the month.

I scored an 86, which is the highest possible score for my age group when the questionnaire is self-administered. I don’t tell you this to brag. Take the questionnaire yourself and you'll realize it isn’t exactly difficult to earn a high score. Most HumbleDollar readers, I suspect, will notch around 70 or higher. 

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We had technical problems sending out today's email. If you received two copies, please accept our apologies. On the other hand, maybe today's newsletter is worth reading twice. Just sayin'.

Latest Articles

BELOW ARE the six articles published by HumbleDollar since last week's newsletter:
  • First, do no harm: John Lim lists 12 deadly sins that every investor should strive to avoid.
  • Should you give up on the tried-and-true mix of 40% government bonds and 60% stocks because bond yields are so low? No way, says Adam Grossman.
  • "I have a relative who stayed at a $500-a-night hotel," recalls Rand Spero. "He emailed me to bring him water when I visited, because the hotel charges $5 per bottle."
  • When Mike Zaccardi was born, his parents bought him a series EE savings bond. Things would have turned out so much better with stocks. Or would they?
  • John Yeigh has a financial to-do list for 2020: Get rid of high-cost funds, look to reduce stock exposure, eliminate half-a-dozen expenses and more.
  • Are you getting the most out of your employer’s 401(k) plan? Maybe it’s time to check everything’s on track for 2020, says Rick Connor.
This newsletter, a product of Jonathan Clements LLC, contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is distributed with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering legal, financial or other professional services. If a reader requires expert assistance or legal advice, a competent professional should be consulted. While the author has endeavored to ensure that this newsletter is timely and accurate, the author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. The author specifically disclaims any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this newsletter.
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