San Sebastian: Basqueing In The Sun

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San Sebastian (Basque name: Donostia) is an embarrassment of riches kind of town in Spain. Located on the Bay of Biscay down the shore from the border with France, a gentle scallop-shaped beach is protected from waves by an island that protects a quaint ocean inlet. San Sebastian established its resort bona fides in the 1860s when Spanish royalty (taking …

When Will You Conform?

crispydoc Uncategorized 3 Comments

The math of wealth is based on earning, saving and investing. The art of feeling wealthy is about the stealthy accumulation of marginal gains, disciplined spending habits based on parsimony, and relishing the weight in your pocket of those small figurative and literal coins others will not deign to pick up. Southern California in late November: sunshine, 80 degrees, wearing …

Reflections On Family Travel In Spain

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The saying above is one of my favorites from Gasem, a gadfly,  friend and frequent guest-poster. As a post college graduation gift, armed with an airline ticket gifted by an uncle who was generous with stockpiled frequent flier miles and a Eurail pass from my parents, I took my inaugural trip to Europe as a solo urban backpacker. The trip …

Change Habits By Altering Your Environment

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Jerome Groopman, a Harvard Professor of Medicine, recently wrote in his capacity as staff writer for the New Yorker about using science to change habits. The piece provided insights and support from the literature about why certain strategies (from financial to healthy living) work while others fail. One fascinating aspect was a new understanding of the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment. …

Madrid With Kids

crispydoc Uncategorized 4 Comments

We’re baa-aack! This summer’s big trip (vacation is a term my wife and I reserve for travel without children; trip refers to travel with children) was to Spain. I thought it might be worthwhile to share the tips and tricks that made this one wonderful, as well as the fails that we’ll learn from going forward. We had just under …

What I Do About Orphans

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A newbie undergoing his inaugural financial literacy conversion experience is disheartened a few years out of residency. His taxable account reads like a sloppy record of investing mistakes, littered with individual stocks and actively managed, high expense ratio funds. Like many of us, he made his share of mistakes trying to beat the market before realizing that high active management …

Deferred Maintenance

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Maintenance is a requirement and not a luxury by definition. Proper maintenance reduces the rate of depreciation of an asset like real estate by slowing the approach of entropy. Dilapidation is delayed if undeterred. Increasing control over my time has better enabled me to address the long-deferred maintenance of my health in a number of ways. I am not making …

Malpractice Experience And Lessons Learned

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A reader, Carla, inquired if I might provide some closure to the malpractice lawsuit I’ve referred to previously (see here and here for the original posts). In addition to wanting to know the ending, there’s value in reflecting on where I am now, where I was then, and how I bridged the gap. The case dragged on for several years. …

What Might Have Been Is An Essential Component Of Misery

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The title of the post comes from correspondence from Danny Kahneman to Amos Tversky regarding insights into irrational human decision-making processes. It was during their collaboration in elucidating the concept of loss aversion. Regret minimization is a related but distinct concept. Given dual-choice gambles where a rational actor should choose the option with greater statistical odds of benefit according to …

What Behavioral Economics Taught Me About Watching The News

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At the time of writing, I’m deep into Michael Lewis’ latest book, The Undoing Project. It’s a profile of the unlikely friendship and rich academic collaboration between two psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, whose interest in the systematic flaws of human decision-making gave rise to the field of behavioral economics. A result cited from their studies felt particularly relevant …