At the end of every year, I highlight the best posts and podcasts on Financial Samurai. Determining the “best” of Financial Samurai is both objective and subjective.
For those new here, I started this site in July 2009, at the depths of the global financial crisis. I had been considering launching the site since 2006, when I graduated part-time from UC Berkeley with my MBA.
After losing about 35% of my net worth in six months, I figured it was time to finally launch. With multiple rounds of layoffs happening, I worried about losing everything and needed a backup plan.
My goal for this site is to write all content based on firsthand experience because money is too important to be left up to speculation. I try to highlight both the positives and negatives regarding a variety of topics to help you make the most informed decisions possible.
We won’t agree on everything and that’s great. Listening to different perspectives while also uncovering some of our blind spots through respectful dialogue is one of the most rewarding ways to learn.
Roughly one million people a month read this site. Here are the best posts on Financial Samurai. Please share if you find them useful or entertaining.
Best Real Estate Posts
Home Insurance Needs For Paid Off Properties – A unique and logical way to think about protecting a major asset. Roughly 42% of homeowners in America have no mortgage.
Paying Cash To Buy A House By Selling Stocks: A Mindbender – I discuss the emotional conflict that goes on when selling one risk asset for another.
The Downside Of Paying All Cash For A Home You Didn’t Think Of – You might think being able to pay all cash will provide you and your family a lot of comfort. But you may not be thinking about the negatives, which I detail here.
The Triple Benefit Of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early – Paying off your mortgage when rates are low and inflation is high is a suboptimal financial move. But I’ve never regretted paying off a mortgage.
Best Society Posts
The Diversity Hire Dilemma: How To Get Paid Based On Identity, Not Merit – Whether you are part of the historically oppressed or the oppressor, it’s worth thinking about how you can navigate the tricky world of DEI for you or your children.
The Existence Of Trust Fund Jobs For Status, Purpose, And Pride – Have you ever wondered how someone could live in such an expensive house, send their kids to private school, drive expensive cars, yet have such a mediocre career? Their job could be made up.
Entitlement Mentality Is A Sneaky Wealth Destroyer – I dislike entitled people, especially those who grew up wealthy and privileged yet still complain persistently.
Absurd Dreams Are OK Because Sometimes They Come True – If you often dismiss other people’s dreams, you may want to reflect on what drives that skepticism and negativity.
Best Wealth Management Posts
The Paradoxes Of Wealth: Misaligned Beliefs About Money – Having congruency in thought and action is one of the keys to a healthier, happier, more productive life. Here are some head scratchers from a Charles Schwab survey.
Spending More Money On Food: An Experiment In Decumulation – Around age 45, it’s worth spending more money given your life is likely half over. If you die with too much, you will have wasted a lot of time and energy when you were younger.
The Average American Household Is A Millionaire, But Not The Median – Most of us shoot to be above average, but in this case, the average American is doing quite well.
401(k) Balances By Generation: From Gen Z To Boomers – It’s always interesting to find out how you stack up against others.
Best Retirement Posts
The Difficulty Of Finding A Good Job After Retiring For Years – If you’re thinking about jumping back into the workforce after years off, unfortunately, getting a job that pays even half as much as what you were making will likely be tough.
Why It’s So Hard To Stay Retired Once You Retire Early – The younger you retire, the more you will want to do something new. It’s almost impossible to remain unproductive for the rest of your life if you retire before age 40.
How Much People Want In Retirement Compared To How Much They Actually Have – Unfortunately, the spread is massive across all age groups. Americans either have to want less, save and invest more, or find ways to make more money.
Shifting Retirement Assets From Tax-Deferred To Tax-Now By 2026 – The tax-now Roth IRA may become more popular due to a law change in 2026. Be aware.
Why Early Retirement / FIRE Is Becoming Obsolete – As one of the pioneers of the modern FIRE movement starting in 2009, I say the need to traditionally FIRE has changed due to technology, flexibility, and work from home. Folks no longer need to save and invest as much.
The Best Reason To Retire Early: Years Of Greater Happiness – I compared a classic happiness by age chart and made a significant connection.
Best Education And Family Finances Posts
Community College May Be The Way – If you’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety about paying for college and getting into college, consider adopting community college as the solution after high school. This post has a lot of success stories from community college graduates.
An Asian American’s Perspective On The Affirmative Action Ruling – Despite making up only 7% of the U.S. population, Asians are not considered a minority group warranting extra support in college admissions. Therefore, my view is quite nuanced.
The Median Income Earned By Ivy League Graduates Is Unimpressive At First – The financial rewards for getting into a top 0.1% school doesn’t seem worth it. As a result, don’t stress if you or your child doesn’t get in. There are plenty of ways to make a good living.
The Different Ways To Pay For College: My Surprising Blindspot – College tuition is absurd. But I didn’t realize one way to pay for college that most people do given my unemployment. Also worth checking out, How To Get Free Money For College.
A Summer Job Landscaping A Rental Property With My Children – One of my concerns as a FIRE parent is raising spoiled children who don’t understand the importance of hard work. As a result, I made them haul dirt and dig some weeds with me. They will do so every summer until they are adults.
Best Investing Posts
Artificial Intelligence: How To Benefit Financially And Protect Yourself – Whether you like it or not, artificial intelligence is here to stay. You might as well benefit from AI rather than be railroaded by it.
Why High Interest Rates Are Great For Most – 20 years from now, you can tell your children or grandchildren you were able to lock in risk-free money for 20-30 years at 5%+.
How To Better Manage Your Private Investment Capital Calls – If you plan to invest in private funds, then you had best stay on top of your liquidity. You can get unplanned capital calls that will put you in a liquidity crunch if you are not careful.
Losing All Your Stock Money On Margin Isn’t The Worst Thing – A cautionary tale about using margin to buy stocks.
Best Work / Career Posts
The Worst State To Live And Work In America Is Texas? Giddyup! – Texas ranked #1 based on a CNBC analysis. This post looks at the reasons why as well as the other worst states.
Why Millennials Need To Earn $525,000 A Year To Be Happy – A shocking income figure that itself, may be the reason why some Millennials are not happy.
When To File For Employment Benefits If You Receive WARN Act Pay – One of the most common questions I get from people who’ve been let go at larger organizations. The answer is ASAP and I explain why.
A Visit To Pity City Shows Your Boss Probably Doesn’t Care About You – A boss was caught in a video recording patronizing her employees about living in pity city. Please look out for yourself first dear employees!
How One Man Negotiated A $40 Million Severance Package – The feedback I get from readers of How To Engineer Your Layoff continue to astound me. There are so many ways to walk away from a job you dislike with money in your pocket. Never quit, get laid off instead.
Best Lifestyle Posts
The Pandemic Was An Experience In Hedging Your Life – When you look back on your life, you will be proud of some things and regret other things. I’ve found that we will regret more of the things we don’t try than the things we do.
For A Rich Long Life, Marry An Asian Person – My conclusion after looking at the data in terms of income, wealth, and life expectancy. Don’t shoot the messenger.
The Unhappiest Cities In America Based On A New Wealth Reality Ratio – I came up with this ingenious and logical Wealth Reality Ratio. Check it out and see if your city is on the list.
Your Life Expectancy Greatly Depends On Wealth And Location – Living longer sounds better the older you get. Therefore, you might as well move to a state that has the longest life expectancy.
You Will Always Regret Sacrificing Love For Money – I’ve met plenty of people in their late 30s and 40s who wished they had spent more time finding a great partner than making money. Here are some of their stories.
Combatting Inflation Is Straightforward But Not Easy – Inflation has been a top financial concern over the past two years. We understand the steps to take in order to minimize inflation’s impact on our finances, yet often fail to fully implement them.
The Best Podcasts Of Financial Samurai 2023
During the summer I finally learned how to use a recording software to interview people. As a result, the world of podcasting opened up because I had just been recording solo shows or dialogues with my wife until then.
My favorite podcasts for 2023 are as follows:
Inside An NBA Champion’s Journey With Shaun Livingston – I love the Warriors and I love Shaun’s story about battling back from injury to win it all three times as a player.
Busting The Real Estate Cartel With Mike Ketchmark – For the longest time, I’ve felt paying a 5% commission to sell a property seemed extreme due to technology bringing commissions everywhere down to zero. I speak to the trial lawyer responsible for proving real estate collusion.
Making Venture Capital Accessible To All With Ben Miller – Ben Miller, CEO of Fundrise, discusses the launch of his Innovation Fund, an open-ended venture capital fund with a $10 minimum. As someone who heavily invests in private growth companies, I enjoyed hearing from Ben about his firm’s new initiative. Fundrise is a FS affiliate partner and FS is an investor.
Making Managing Director At Goldman Sachs And Leaving It Behind With Jamie Fiorre Higgins (Apple) – I enjoyed Jamie’s book Bully Markets partly because I could relate to so much she went through at GS, my first job. Hear what goes on at one of the top investment banks.
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I hope you enjoyed this year’s best of Financial Samurai. Each piece requires hours of work to create, edit, and produce. My goal is to keep providing free guidance to help readers achieve financial freedom sooner. Thanks to my dad and wife for editing every post!
If you have found my writing helpful over the years, please consider sharing, commenting, or leaving a book review on Amazon or podcast review on Apple or Spotify.
You can also support my work by picking up a copy of my WSJ bestseller “Buy This Not That” or my severance negotiation book “How To Engineer Your Layoff.” Both books will change your life for the better.
Your support motivates me to continue to publishing actionable financial advice, insights, and stories. Best wishes in the new year!
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