Are You Evil? Were Your Parents? The Public School Dilemma.

I know, I know - the article was probably some form of self-referential mocking of the "#Slatepitches" meme and a unique combination of trolling and clickbait.  Well played, Allison Benedikt... you piqued my interest with your article "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person." article. Combine Poe's Law with tons of social … [Read more...]

Should You Care About Income When You Choose a Major?

This site is no stranger to wandering into controversial topics like... well, anything college-related: We asked if you should get a degree or become a truck driver We discussed whether today's college graduates are better off than graduates of a generation ago We even asked if certain majors should cost more With all of those minefields … [Read more...]

Is Dave Ramsey’s Investment Advice Misguided?

Editor: We've since put our S&P 500 trailing returns calculations into a tool you can use. Dave Ramsey is a controversial figure in the Finance realm, at least in blogs (and blog comments), discussion boards, and other mediums where personal financial mathematics are discussed.  However, Ramsey's controversy doesn't generally come about from … [Read more...]

Treasury Return Calculator

Update: (Per Shiller: August 2015 is 8/3 close). The calculator below uses long run 10-year Treasury Data from Robert Shiller to compute US Treasury returns, based on reinvesting the coupon payments.  You can see the total returns for the 10 Year Treasury for any arbitrary period from 1871 until today.  After the calculator you can find our … [Read more...]

Which States Receive the Most Federal Benefits?

As you know from reading this site, the Government is quite a force in the economy - namely, taking in an estimated $2,468,599,000,000 in revenue in 2012.  On top of that, Uncle Sam spent an estimated $3,795,547,000,000! As you might expect, both sides of the ledger were imbalanced between states - some states pay more or less per capita than … [Read more...]

Is Social Security a Good Investment?

It may be hard to recall now, but in 2004 a President won his election while promising to reform Social Security to allow private accounts.  George Bush ultimately failed at that goal, but with Social Security again in the limelight during the whole "Fiscal Cliff" overreaction, we wanted to toss some facts out there to see if the universe is still … [Read more...]

The Earth Is Flat! Why a Flatter Tax Code is Better (The No Math Edition!)

"Cut rates and eliminate deductions", as a bumper sticker (ahem, Twitter) length quote, started to reenter the public consciousness again during the recent Presidential election.  The phrase came to be associated with Mitt Romney, although, to be fair, he was almost forced into a position on rates by refusing to detail his stance on taxes during … [Read more...]

The Four Pillars of Personal Finance

Both my co-writer Cameron and I have recently penned screeds on a worrisome trend we've seen in Personal Finance blogs - the hyperbolic obsession with "Debt Zero".  "Debt Zero" is, of course, the idea that above all else Debt Must Be Paid Down (or avoided entirely). The first clue that something is  wrong with that story is the inclusion of the … [Read more...]

The Fundamental Problem With Financial Models

I know you're in a real estate mood now that the election is done with... so let's talk about it more, if only tangentially. Hey DQYDJ readers, remember that whole real estate bubble popping thing which started a few years ago?  Now, there is plenty of blame for that little incident to go around, but one of the largest issues with the bubble and … [Read more...]

When Stupid Ideas Go Mainstream: Algebra on the Chopping Block

When you own a website, sometimes you need to type out an article and complain culture.  Usually, this coincides with hitting a certain age and believing "that wasn't the case when I was a kid".  I don't have any excuse like that; my cynicism is a reaction to a perfect storm of articles over the last few months which, far from moving the Overton … [Read more...]