The Road Ahead


I’ve been struggling with which of several sure-to-win-Pulitzer posts I should use to herald my return to regular blogging.

Since I couldn’t decide which one I loved the most (and perhaps they’re all just a wee bit shy of completion…), I decided to use none of them. Instead, I’ll put together some quick and random thoughts and start the ball a rollin’. 

Post Frequency

I’m going to try to get back to a weekly schedule of a new post every Friday. 

Inevitably, though, I’ll find myself prepping one of my 1,000+ word works of art and will decide on Thursday that it’s just not ready (writing posts well in advance is apparently not a thing here at ABL). In the past, I’d just delay posting, and we’d miss a week of camaraderie, insights, and laughter. It was super sad.

Now, I’m going to experiment with posting something – anything – every Friday come hell or high water. That probably means the length and quality may slip, and it also means we may also start to dip into things that often occupy my thoughts but rarely make it on these pages (current events, politics, social commentary, old man rants, etc.). Things might get a little messy.

Percolating Posts

Some of the posts in the hopper are

  • Thoughts on market timing
  • When and why to pay off your mortgage
  • The tailored solution is always right (what does that even mean? You’ll need to tune in to find out!)
  • How I fixed my sprinkler (Potential alternative: “DIY fail – sprinkler edition”)
  • What martial art should I teach my kid? (if you’re wondering how this relates to finance, you obviously haven’t started lessons yet)

What I’m Reading

Besides a lot of fiction, I read a few great non-fiction books over the summer:

Atomic Habits

This is a great book and a quick read. I like the fact that you could use it to radically change your life or just make a few tweaks to improve things. I definitely recommend it, and I may pull together either a review or a summary of some of the benefits I’ve received from it. Stay tuned!

William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: A Life

I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to any history nerd, but at over 800 pages it’s definitely a pass for everyone else. Sherman seems like he was a good guy and a great general who gets an unfair rap from folks in the South who still hate him. (This is a real thing, btw, despite Sherman dying like 130 years ago – when I was growing up, I was taught that he was terrible and ruthless from numerous people who despised him – a nice lesson on how hatred can endure across generations.) 

I saw a lot of parallels between Sherman and his contemporary Abraham Lincoln. They’re both remembered as truly great men, but their path to greatness was by no means certain. They suffered setback upon setback and wrestled with self-doubt much of their lives. We always remember heroic figures as if their greatness was preordained; it’s good to read stories that remind us of the struggles they faced to achieve it.

The Sixth Extinction

This one definitely warrants a book review, particularly as climate change is in the news. While you wait for that, though, I can provide a teaser summary: “We’re screwed.”

The bad news is that it looks like we’ve done some serious damage to the planet. The good news is that despite all of the alarmist talk of the tree huggers, I don’t think we need to rush to slash emissions or implement Green New Deals. You see, we’ve already done so much damage and raised CO2 levels so high that I think we’re already past the point of no return. So just stock up on sunscreen and decide which dinosaur you want as a pet. 


Any financial blogger worth his / her salt is going to FinCon (FinCon!!!) this week.

Sadly, I am not there. FinCon culminates with a Bacchanalian on Saturday, but that’s opening day for soccer season and the two teams I coach. To everyone who’s going: sorry to miss, thanks for supporting the economy, and have a lot of fun. 

Sidebar: why isn’t FinCon held during the summer someplace cheap and fun like Las Vegas? And why hasn’t a competitor to FinCon arisen? Hang on…

I hope everyone had a great summer and has exciting things ahead this fall (school, football, September Equinox, Guy Fawkes Night). I’ll see you soon!

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8 thoughts on “The Road Ahead”

  1. Super pumped the frequency is about to be upped! I looked forward to this (almost) as much as I look forward to college football

    1. Thanks! Those are pretty lofty expectations, especially since Texas Tech looks like they’re back on track – I’ll do my best to live up to them.

    1. Thanks Tako-san – yes, I’ve been away for too long. Will be great to get back into a routine and hopefully engage a bit more with the cool kids of the internet!

    1. Thanks MW – this may be a bit of an experiment to see how fast I can reduce a mailing list to 0 🙂 but I think playing it safe down the middle is getting tiresome. At least a little controversy and some hot takes may provide a bit more entertainment!

  2. Hi Paul,

    Looking forward to reading your posts. I’m particularly interested on DIY (I’m terrible doing things at home) and martial arts for kids.

    Concerning the books, I heard good comments on Atomic Habits. The other two I saw for the first time. I’m reading now the Sapiens. Very interesting!

    All the best. Cheers!

    1. Many thanks Odysseus!

      I’ll do my best to deliver DIY wisdom, but it may be more like DIY fail comedy…

      I read Sapiens as well and really liked it. It would actually be a very good complement to The Sixth Extinction – both dive into humans as subject in ways we may not be used to. I can definitely recommend Atomic Habits – a very quick read that actually made some improvements to my life!

      Thanks again and talk soon!

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