Ben Carlson

Some Thoughts on Investing in Real Estate

A reader asks: I’m a doctor and a lot of my colleagues are getting into real estate. There’s a group that invests in local deals in our area and all I have to do is write a check (no property management, upkeep, dealing with tenants, etc.). What are your thoughts on investing in real estate?…

8 Questions I’ve Been Pondering

Here are 8 random questions I’ve been pondering lately: 1. What if gold dies out with the boomer generation? The market value of gold around the globe is estimated at more than $7 trillion. I understand some of the reasoning behind the fact that people still put a lot of faith in the yellow rock —…

Bill Sweet Explains the New QBI Tax Deduction

I wish high schools and colleges would teach personal finance. They could show young people things like how to do their taxes, which it seems like maybe 3-4% of the population knows how to do (and that’s being generous). The U.S. federal tax code is around 4 million words and almost 75,000 page long. To…

The Layers of the Brain

Phineas Gage worked on a railroad construction crew in Vermont during the mid-1800s. While his crew was blowing up rocks using blasting powder to clear the way for a new rail line, a 13-pound iron rod was accidentally shot out from the explosion. It went through his cheek, left eye socket, and out the top…

Animal Spirits Episode 41: Despite All Logic

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: The debacle that is MoviePass. Why Disney’s streaming service will be so successful. Does it matter that Fidelity now has two index funds with no fees? Myth-busting the idea that everyone had pensions in not-too-distant the past. Why the pension funding crisis is something…

Fed Up

I put the following thoughts out on Twitter last Friday following the release of the employment numbers: I was a little shocked at the enormous number of replies that read something like this: Well, of course, we’ve had a long recovery and stock market boom. Central bankers have manipulated the markets higher for years now…

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

A friend gave me a book a few months ago to get my opinion on the investment strategy it was selling outlining. I gave it a read and didn’t get the best first impression. I’m not going to name the book because the name isn’t important. This could have been hundreds of different books or investment pitches….

The Gradual Explosion of Index Funds

This week Fidelity became the first fund company to offer index funds — a total U.S. stock market fund and an international stock market fund — with an expense ratio of 0%. Fidelity is a massive company that more or less missed the boat on index funds and ETFs when the first wave hit. This…

The 3 Levels of Wealth

Slack is a lot like Twitter from my vantage point. It’s a service I use all the time. It’s become an integral part of my life from both a work and social perspective. Every time I talk to someone else who uses the service they share my love for the platform. And it’s almost impossible to explain its usefulness…

Animal Spirits Episode 40: What Worked on Wall Street

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: Facebook’s massive stock price crash. Why my immediate reaction was to buy Facebook after its decline. Why being 30 is so much harder for the current generation than their parent’s. Is trend-following dead? The conflicts of interest that arise when hedge funds have internal…