October 20, 1999
What does “prosperity” mean to you? When I ask this question, people respond in terms of a better lifestyle, home, car, or vacation; a secure retirement; funding college education; and so on. But these responses describe how we consume prosperity. I believe we can’t consume prosperity unless we produce prosperity.
Ron’s Reading List
January 5, 1998
Ron's reading list for life and investment fundamentals includes recommended books on the topics: the way things work; why you’ll never understand the other sex; values; the evolution of moral standards; why global warming is unlikely; the difference between modern liberals and conservatives; how the best and the brightest can be totally wrong. Recommended authors include: McCaulay, Wanniski, Tannen, Pirsig, Browning, Sowell, and Halberstam.
Muhlenkamp Musings on Economics
January 5, 1998
Themes include free will and the government, the effects of inflation and recession on spending patterns, the effects of investment on the economy, and the effect of income taxes on work incentive. There is no free lunch. Prices are set by the buyer. We are all volunteers.
Problems With Investing for Income
October 20, 1996
In “Estate Planning for Generations,” we began a discussion on the effective integration of good investing and good estate planning. In this essay, Ron shows how investing for “income” is flawed. What investors should do is invest to grow their assets. Though it may seem like semantics to some, it is a fundamentally different approach to investing and will lead to better investments and lower taxes.
The Fundamentals of Life Insurance
January 2, 1996
As professional investors our perspective and conclusions differ from the conventional wisdom in several areas. One important area of difference is life insurance, which plays an important part in many financial plans. The following is a discussion of life insurance from an investment perspective.
Estate Planning for Generations
July 1, 1995
We wrote an essay titled, “Fund Your IRA Every Year, or How to Retire Wealthy by Driving Used Cars.” We could have called it “How to Get Started on the Road to Wealth.” Once started on that road, there is an ongoing need for intelligent investment management, which is a topic we address in most of our essays. But there is also a need for an intelligent finish, and for the management of assets you have accumulated but are not likely to spend during your lifetime. This endeavor is called estate planning...
Fund Your IRA or How to Retire Wealthy by Driving Used Cars
April 2, 1995
Recently, I commented to a friend that most investors buy stocks the way teenagers buy clothes. He responded, “How should they buy stocks?” Being a slow thinker, I didn’t have a ready answer then, but I do now. Buy stocks the way you would buy used cars. The truly amazing fact is, if you also buy used cars, you can get rich on these two actions alone. It is not hard to save $2,000 per year by driving a used car.
Personal Finances (Basic Financial Maxims Part II)
January 20, 1992
Here are some additional notes and things I didn’t cover in “Basic Financial Maxims I Want My Kids to Know.” There are books available that go into great detail (maybe too much) on a whole shopping list of items relevant to spending and saving money. Two that I think you will find useful are Making the Most of Your Money by Jane Bryant Quinn and Wealth Without Risk by Charles Givens.
Basic Financial Maxims I Want My Kids to Know
July 1, 1991
“There is No Free Lunch.”—Milton Friedman...There’s no free income either....The essentials of life are cheap. Only the luxuries are expensive....A bad product is always a bad deal. Don’t buy a car or appliance with a poor service record. Don’t buy a house with a cracked foundation....A good product can be a bad deal if the price is wrong. How do you know a good price? Shop around and be willing to walk away from any “deal.”