Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part One of Three

Emergency funds are a controversial topic that have always irked the writers here at DQYDJ. Okay: overall, we think they are a decent idea... but the singular focus on obtaining one despite the (usually ignored) costs is  the incorrect focus for most financial prioritization decisions. In this series, I will lay out three reasons why emergency … [Read more...]

How Much Do People Save, by Income?

A few weeks back we presented one of our signature pieces of original research (read: best fit equations wrapped up in a calculator pretending to be original research) on what Americans saved based upon their ages.  That data used fresh data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey to paint a picture - however imprecise - of savings trends across age … [Read more...]

Wealth is Not Income

One of the mass illusions which has mesmerized the American people in recent memory is the conflation of income and wealth.  They are two topics that are, of course, intertwined (and correlated) - but not necessarily good proxies for each other.  Here's how it generally goes: News interviews small business owner, usually making a bit more than a … [Read more...]

Are College Graduates Better Off Today Than in the Past?

Time may only move in one direction - but just like a faster than light neutrino, let's ignore physics for a bit!  Inspired by this comment from an anonymous author, we will take you to the years 1976 and 1989 and look at life through the eyes of a recent college graduate. Methodology For our income data we visited our trusty stalwart of a data … [Read more...]

Should You Get a Degree or Drive a Truck?

Admit it – when you woke up today you asked yourself this very question – “is it better to go to college or to become a truck driver?“. Well, so did we here at DQYDJ. Inspired by a Twitter conversation from our friends JT at MoneyMamba and Matt Allen at Rambling Fever, we had to ask… how much do recently minted college graduates make when compared … [Read more...]

How Many Hours a Week Do You Work? Why More Hours Means More Money in America.

(If reading in a reader or email, click through for dynamic content) Thomas Jefferson once said, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." Wise words from a man who died with the equivalent of $1,000,000 in today's dollars worth of debt - but his words still ring true today. I wrote this article on a … [Read more...]

Substitution vs. Income Effect (and its Implications)

Refreshing on Economics terms?  Click here for more in-depth Economics discussion. Substitution and Income Effect These two terms are very familiar to anybody who has taken an intermediate course in macroeconomics.  With the recent articles (here, here, here, here, here and here) regarding volunteerism and labor statistics, I thought that it was … [Read more...]

Exotic Investing: Closed End Funds

Oftentimes the best place to look for value is in a place few others know to look. Go ahead and quote that; I just made it up. Closed end funds are an often overlooked place in the market for your investment funds.  CEFs are mutual funds which trade on exchanges and lack the price arbitrage functions of Exchange Traded Funds.  This means that … [Read more...]

Milton Friedman’s Permanent Income Hypothesis

Milton Friedman’s Permanent Income Hypothesis Revisited Milton Friedman is most certainly the most influential economist of the last fifty years and, perhaps with John Maynard Keynes, the most influential of the entire 20th century.  His theories and research continue to shape public policy debates even to today. One of Friedman’s most influential … [Read more...]