A Thanksgiving Walk in the Woods

Tom Levinson Life with Money

A few days before Thanksgiving, motivated by above-freezing weather and a late-afternoon urge for outdoor time, I bundled up and biked a couple miles to a favorite woodsy hiking trail. Often when I walk this trail it is empty of other people, and so as I pedaled, I presumed the same would be true. But as I turned into the postage …

Investing vs Trading

Tom Levinson Life with Money

In the everyday reporting about the ups and downs of markets, there is a frequent ambiguity that’s highly important, though easy to overlook. Take this lead story from the front page of this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal. “U.S. stocks slid Friday after a relatively strong jobs report, capping a roller-coaster week in which investors built up hopes for easier …

Reflecting on Time as an Asset

Tom Levinson Life with Money

When you think of your most valuable assets, how much thought goes into your time? For many of us – myself included – there is an automatic quality to time, an assumption that the rhythms of our life will, going forward, look and feel much the way they have. September contributes to this. We live close to a college campus, and while …

Stress and Investing Amid Volatility

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Buried near the end of the August 29 Bloomberg Businessweek story, “Hope You Enjoyed the Summer Rally,” was a remarkable piece of data. “The American Association of Individual Investors’ latest survey showed that bears [PPA note: those pessimistic about market prospects] went from outnumbering bulls [those optimistic about market prospects] by 41 percentage points in June to less than 4 percentage …

Financial Advice from the Buddha

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Twenty-five hundred years ago, a middle-aged man – a husband and father – walks miles across the Indian countryside to pay a visit to a teacher with an extraordinary reputation for insight. Then as now, the Indian landscape was dotted with gurus and spiritual teachers. But there’s something special about this teacher – his humility, his wisdom – that makes …

Inventing the Kwan: The Search for Meaning in the World of Money

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Word association: When I say, “Rod Tidwell,” you say… Game show host? Nope. Congressman somewhere? Incorrect. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s breakout role in “Jerry Maguire”? Bingo. Well done. Now, knowing what you do, when I say Rod Tidwell, you probably say… SHOW ME THE MONEY! There in his modest kitchen, dancing, jacking his body, holding that now-antique cordless phone, giving his agent …

On the Trip of a Lifetime, How to Budget and How to Splurge

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Working remotely the past several years, our Park Piedmont team has stayed close in a number of ways – chief among them, team huddles over Zoom. The huddles are our virtual water cooler: a space to convene, connect, and catch up. As you’d expect, when any of us has a big plan on the horizon – say, a family move or …

The Unwritten Rules of Money

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Not long ago, on our neighborhood’s email list serve, a family having their kitchen gutted and remodeled posed a question. “Is it appropriate (expected/customary),” they asked, “to give the workers, not the contractor, a cash gratuity?” Around the same time, a friend was recounting a recent family road trip in Montana. The parents and their high school age kids had …

An Introduction to Life with Money

Tom Levinson Life with Money

Among the building blocks of our work as an investment and financial advisory firm, one is a prerequisite: an interest in money. Now, what we’re calling this “interest in money” isn’t actually about accumulation. There’s nothing wrong in a prosperous life – indeed, there can be much good. And the subject of wealth accumulation – for example, the question, “How much …

Inflation

Tom Levinson Comments

Gas prices above $5 and $6 per gallon. Spiking costs for airfare, cars, rent, and groceries.  Significant declines in the stock and bond markets. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor reported that in May, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had surged 8.6% from May 2021. This marks the highest inflation rate in the U.S. since December 1981. (CPI is …