Wednesday What’s Up (Thursday edition)

I wrote this yesterday but inflight WiFi wasn’t let me connect to many sites. Here we go!

NB – I freely admit that I stretch the relevance and meaning of my headings below. I just like the format and it is fun to come up with categories and ways of talking about these categories.

How I’m Thinking About Money

  • Julie and I (mostly I… Julie is pretty much always frugal) are experimenting with a frugal month in August. The timing is good because we are apart for the month (less temptation to eat out, engage in bar trivia, etc.) plus I’m heads down with football season starting. One goal we have is to see if we can dial our expenses to the coveted 4% / 12 of portfolio withdrawal rule I talked about in my letter.
  • Welcome To The Wish Farm! – Julie and I use YNAB to track and plan our expenses, and this little hack is brilliant. We are experimenting with this presently, and I even used the wish list to buy a 4 pack of much needed underwear. Discretionary? You bet!
  • The Betterment Experiment – Results – Jacob and I had a conversation last weekend about the merits of a robo-investment service like Betterment or Wealthfront. I’m doing a small experiment with now with Wealthfront and I’m pretty happy so far. I still think a low cost Vanguard or Schwab ETF strategy makes more sense, but he’s in a no-fee zone for quite a while with Wealthfront and there are some cool services built in.
  • Valuable Lessons from My First Year of Freedom – Loved, loved this article. I almost wrote an entire post as a response, but I’ll summarize with this: I’ve felt mostly the same was he did during that first year, but I had one big advantage. I was fully engaged in finishing my first football book and nearly ready to actively promote it. So I had a big lingering project dangling in front just as I walked out the door at WebMD and that made the transition so much better. His description of coming back from his extended travel without having to go back to work was spot on:

Have you ever woke up thinking it was Sunday morning but it was actually Saturday instead?
It was like that but 1,000 times better because it wasn’t just an extra day off that you didn’t expect but the rest of your life!

How I’m Leading

Or, rather, stuff I’ve read that helps me get better at the coaching and training I do for technology leaders (and my undergrad students).

  • How we pay people at Basecamp – Always a company I pay attention to.
  • How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate – Eh, I thought this article was self serving for the manager. I suppose the focus of this article may be more on the freelance or solo entrepreneur crowd, but when I coach folks on delegation the primary beneficiary of the delegatee should be their own development (and increasing organizational capacity). Not taking work away from the manager.
  • The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Become a Manager – TL;DR: If you are unsure whether you should pursue a career in management, ask yourself certain questions: Do you truly care about your co-workers? Can you enjoy working with people? Can you listen? Can you spot talent? Do you feel fully comfortable in your technical field?

What I’m Reading

What I’m Drinking

  • Tried the beer Maui Waui 3X at Salinas City BBQ on July 30 2017. Gave it a rating of 4. Just what I needed after hiking Big Sur and visiting aquarium with Jacob and Kaitlin. Chewy and tart.
  • Soon, I’ll be drinking more red wine and less beer. Part of some experimentation I’m doing in August on both the health side of things and the money side (we are doing a frugal month, remember?). I was able to use this Amex offer on two different cards and select six bottles of what look like decent dry red wines from Martha Stewart and get them all for about $21, shipping included.

How I’m Teaching

  • Medical school without the ‘sage on a stage’ – Very interesting ideas here, and though I’m not ready to ditch lectures this coming term, it does bring to mind some creative things I can consider in one of my classes to improve engagement and retention.

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