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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Rich or poor, young or old, married or single, pet or human parent…a lot of people feel guilty about their money. Remarkably enough, the guilt can emerge from polar opposite places. Some feel guilty about spending money; others...

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Imagine this: what quizzical, hairbrained comments might escape your mouth if you had to talk every minute of every hour of every day of the year? Such is the plight of the financial news. No matter how hard they try, there is only so...

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

We all sat back. The man stretched his callused hands over his head and the woman breathed an audible sigh of relief. We were hunched over a laptop for the last few minutes. They had patiently watched me input percentages for...

Thursday, September 21, 2023

These days AI is constantly on the tips of our fingers, our lips, and our minds. The era of artificial intelligence has arrived in a crash, rather than a gradual descent. Six months ago I decided to take it out for a test drive–I...

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Despite knowing better, I looked. I was swimming out in open water. Open, tropical water. Open, murky, tropical ocean water. Don’t look down, I told myself. Nothing to see. The “nothing to see” part was...

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

My wife and I stepped out of the car, stretching our legs after the long trip. We walked through gravel and grass in the late afternoon sun, taking our seats before a wooden stage framed by a rustic old barn. A beautifully restored...

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

My dad had a brief stint as a land surveyor. Even a decade later, he was still able to eyeball distances and pace out yardage with, at least to a young child, surprising accuracy. Later when I was in high school, I can also remember...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

I was walking back to my car last week in the early afternoon. It was gloriously warm–a little heat wave to warm Washington state’s spring bones. As I walked, the familiar smell of sun-seared asphalt hit my nostrils. The...

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Beautiful truths emerge at the crossroads of unlikely encounters. This truth is no exception: it emerges between a Grandmaster of an ancient board game, a computer program, and a legendary record producer. Rick Rubin is that record...

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

So often in my line of work, people are searching for how they can fix their finances. Usually, people fall into one of two camps. One knows they have at least one problem they need help solving. The other camp doesn’t have a...

Monday, January 23, 2023

I don’t watch TV. However, there is an old Nike commercial I love; many of you might be familiar with it. It is titled “Rise and Shine”. It channels that grind-it-out, be-different, not-easy-but-it’s-worth-it...

Thursday, December 15, 2022

As many of you know, I coach wrestling. Sometimes the methods are a little unorthodox. An example: in wrestling, the best way to win is to pin your opponent. When we have three kids pin their opponent in a row, you might hear me and...

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Two entirely separate situations share a common thread. My daughter Belle was diagnosed with cerebral palsy a few months ago. For those unfamiliar with the condition, it is the most common motor disability in children. Many children...

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Sometimes it is all about the little things. One of my morning podcasts on the way to work (“Freakonomics Radio”) had a title that hooked me like chicken liver on a fishing line catches catfish. It read “Are Personal...

Monday, September 26, 2022

The dollar you have right now has more time than any dollar you will ever have. Put another way, that dollar is the most powerful dollar you will own for the rest of your life. Like Spiderman’s uncle would say, that dollar...

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

When we need the answer to a question, the first stop today is the internet. We ask and our search engine of choice opens us to a world full of people ready to help. The problem: the help is contradictory. For example, a client asked...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

I was sitting in a beautiful theater watching a broadway production of Frozen. A woman with the voice of an angel-meets-songbird plays Anna, a young princess ecstatically looking forward to the day she can be free to start the rest of...

Monday, June 27, 2022

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I will move the world.” –Archimedes On my sixteenth birthday, my grandmother kindly gifted me her old Saturn. As a teenager who worked for gas money...

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ostriches don’t actually bury their heads in the sand. They lay their eggs underground, and will occasionally rearrange the eggs with their beak to regulate the temperature of the eggs. The idea that an ostrich buries its head in...

Monday, April 25, 2022

With geopolitical tension, inflation, cryptocurrency, rising interest rates, and market volatility all in the headlines lately, we hear the same question from clients every day. “What is going to happen?” It is a fair...

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

There was no room left for thought. I jumped over the bar for the last time. People were screaming and yelling, but tunnel vision apparently applies to the ears too; everything was muffled. I noticed a moment later that my legs had...

Thursday, February 24, 2022

“We often live with a forward momentum, an inertia, if you will. This pushing forward, pushing forward. And when you suddenly stop, here’s a mixed metaphor, it can feel like musical chairs, and the music has just stopped,...

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

“I’ll do it myself.” It is a beautiful statement. It speaks to human ingenuity, determination, and bravery. It underscores a belief in oneself, either to be or become what you need to succeed. The sentence can be...

Friday, November 19, 2021

There is a popular character trope--perhaps more appropriately called a popular American character trope--of the immigrant with small means. Arriving in America with almost nothing, the immigrant resolves to pursue the American dream....

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Conestoga Wealth Partners just celebrated a decade helping clients succeed. Rather than my typical moralizing financial post, perhaps it is timely to share the story of how and why Conestoga came to be. Some might say it was a story of...

Monday, September 27, 2021

Enter Richard Thayler, a behavioral economist, and a legal scholar named Cass Sunstein. Candidly, a behavioral economist and legal scholar do not set the stage for a book laypeople sprint to the store to read. Yet in 2008, that is...

Friday, August 20, 2021

Imagine being hungry. It is difficult to think as clearly, we get irritable, and certain foods seem like a really good idea. It does not take a study to tell us that hunger makes us think about food! Nonetheless, a few researchers...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Early in our marriage, my wife Brooke came home from work in an uproar. She was just embarking on her journey as a teacher and submitting all the paperwork that comes with a new career. Among this paperwork were Brooke’s...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

As a 7-year-old, I remember my parents decided it was time for a change. Determined to lose weight and improve their health, they latched onto Body for Life, a nutrition and exercise program. It was fun to watch the old videos of...

Friday, May 21, 2021

A couple walks into my office. The husband is a large business owner, and the wife is a doctor. This sounds like the beginning of a financial planner-style bar joke. They are in their late forties and want to retire at age fifty. We...

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Many readers know Brooke and I are expecting. The idea of a little one’s arrival is thrilling, joyous, and still a little difficult to process. Of course, we want the best for our child in all the ways one might expect. We...

Friday, March 19, 2021

Have you ever had something taken from you? It tends to hurt more than not having the item in the first place. The sense of “mine” is powerful, and that feeling of ownership sets in quickly. It makes for a particularly...

Friday, February 12, 2021

I had just driven home from the office. As I stepped out of the car, my neighbor happened to be outside and said hello. “Hey, you work with investments and finance, right?” he inquired. I do. “Have you heard all this...

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“What if…” showcases the power of two words. They grant us a glimpse through a window overlooking the realm of possibility. We all ask ourselves and others this at some point. It is an expression of adventure, freedom...

Monday, December 21, 2020

I like to think I am a nice guy. Typically, it works well: when you collaborate with others to help them achieve what they want for a living, being nice fits nicely. Sometimes, however, you do someone a disservice by being too nice....

Friday, November 20, 2020

I was reading about a researcher named Michael Tomasello, who has long studied what makes us human. A study he conducted compared 2- or 3-year-old children to chimps. When two children were faced with a task that yielded more toys for...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

I remember one of my first experiences working with a new client--what he said will likely tint the lens I see the world through forever. We both recognized there was a lot to accomplish. In my mind, it was going to be expensive to...

Friday, August 7, 2020

I still have much to learn as a husband. Brooke and I celebrated 3 years happily married last week, and during that three years she has dutifully trained me in the fine art of being a spouse. She had a great deal of work ahead of her,...

Friday, July 24, 2020

I sat there, doing my best to recognize that even if just for a moment, everything was right. There was nowhere else to be, nothing to be done, and no thought or planning that had to occupy my brain. Just the breath. At least,...

Thursday, June 18, 2020

As we pulled into the parking lot of the FISH Food Bank off of Burnham Drive, AJ and I noticed a few people picking up food. One was an elderly man by himself; the other was a younger woman with a little girl. You could read...

Friday, May 15, 2020

“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow Shining at the end of every day There’s a great, big beautiful tomorrow And tomorrow’s just a dream away” -- Disney’s Carousel of Progress We were once...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tucked away discretely alongside a collection of books are cards written from his own clients. AJ, like me, finds those notes of appreciation more meaningful than nearly anything else in his business. I witness firsthand how...

Friday, March 20, 2020

We know you are likely half-inebriated with all the coronavirus news—it has shoved aside most of our priorities and taken center stage. And make no mistake: it is nothing to dismiss. Governments around the world are...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Clouds float past us, light and fluffy, every day. But are they actually light? The average cumulus cloud you see on a sunny day actually weighs about 1.1 million pounds! We know it is possible, but it still seems to defy...

Thursday, January 16, 2020

We commonly receive questions from new clients that stem from a “squirreling away” kind of perspective on their investments. Some come to us with many accounts and investments—each with their own unique...