Family Financial Review

2015-09-10 11.53.28August/September is the time of year when I do my life review. I’ll be writing about the various components over the next few months.

2015-09-04 19.00.49Fear Impairs Judgement – you’ve certainly felt financial fear in the last three weeks. However, the lesson runs deeper than short-term volatility.

The financial media tempts me to:

  • frequently tweak strategy
  • aim for the perfect asset allocation
  • act impulsively to avoid future losses
  • seek superior returns

Strategically, I want to avoid all of the above.

Tactically, I want to manage family expenditure and execute a reasonable long-term financial strategy to the best of my ability.

Being good enough is good enough.


Sell Illiquid Assets Into Late Bull Markets – in 2014, I decided to sell land, art and jewelry.

Our illiquid assets cost money to hold and I realized that the cash would be better spent on childcare and pre-K education.

Despite selling for less than expected, the net result has cut the family’s core cost of living by 4% and enabled my wife (and me) to work less.

The question to ask yourself is not “is this my best price?”

The question to ask yourself is “are we in a late bull market?” If the answer is “yes” then it’s a good time to sell illiquid assets.


2015-09-06 17.06.43-1Asset Allocation is often a distraction from what matters – with good wealth habits, you can ignore the small stuff.

Here’s a post from December 2010 on asset allocation. Five years along, I’m making progress at following my own advice.

This post from April 2012 (about my future asset allocation) reminds me of the folly of forecasting.

For the benefit of my future self, here’s a snapshot from 2015.

  • 30% – investment real estate
  • 25% – low-cost, diversified equity funds
  • 25% – fixed income in home currency
  • 15% – family home
  • 5% – cash and other

There are historical and family-specific reasons for the above. Not a recommendation to your family.


2015-09-06 20.04.16Time and Health – Am I acting in harmony with my mortality? with my values?

If you find that a self-serving bias isn’t generating satisfaction then consider shifting your focus towards taking better care of your health.

The shift towards health will surface conflicts between your values and how you allocate your time.

No step is too small with regard to positive self change.