Howdy Traipser!

Jumping right in with a reminder that we're all doing the best we can with the cards we were dealt.

Trampling About, Edition 95 features:

-Down with investment fees!
-Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom
-Rebate card hack
-Ups and downs, order from chaos


In case you missed it, last week I wrote about my takeaways from my January portrait challenge.

Lots of blue skies in the Pacific Northwest lately!
(Syncline, WA.)

How much does your financial planner make?

It kills me that the basics of a solid financial life aren’t taught in school. Debt, the magic of compound interest…and how much investment fees can kill returns.

I thought of this recently when one of the guys I mentor asked me about his portfolio, which is managed by a long-time family advisor. We looked into how much that advisor makes: 1.3% of assets under management.

For contrast, "robo" advisors like Wealthfront or ETF provider charge a full 1% percent less, 0.1-0.25%. Biiiig whoop, you say! Well, plus those numbers into an
investment calculator, ye of little faith.

For example, starting with $10k and putting $1k per month in means you will have $200,000 dollars LESS in 30 years at a 7% return. (And that assumes my mentee doesn't save more as his career blossoms, which is unlikely.)

And most financial advisors under-perform the market, aka provide negative value while charging you!

This stuff might sound basic, but it’s majorly downplayed by institutions and not taught in school. If you have investments or plan on starting soon, definitely read up on fee-only financial advisors.

Or just open a Wealthfront or Vanguard account and set up an account! (No benefit to me if you do, I just get fired up about this stuff.)

Mickey Mouse after a long day of work. (Inspired by my drawing buddy taking his kids to Disney this week.)

Young creek, old ocean


My parents are both long-time Buddhist practitioners, so I grew up hearing the influential monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s name like some people hear about football quarterbacks.

He recently passed away at 95 at exactly 12:00:00 on Jan 22, 2022, which should feed all kinds of fun theories about how badass monks as.

I love this beautiful quote of Hanh’s:

"When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean.

But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It's wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life."

Source: Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society

Quite the ride in the markets and life in general lately. Good to remember this! (Via the amazing Wait But Why.)

Dealing with rebate cards


You know those stupid rebate debit cards that companies send for refunds? The ones with $5.24 on them. Did you know 50% (!!!) of those don’t get used by consumers? Some attorney PLEASE create massive class-action lawsuit.

I digress. Anyway, my brilliant wife concocted a perfect way to handle them: simply go buy a digital Amazon gift card for the exact amount on the refund card. Boom. Done.

A T. Rex shave. Even a 5-bladed razor doesn't make it easier.

And that concludes the 95th edition of Traipsing About. Sorry there weren't any composer portraits in it. Does Mickey count?

This week's unsolicited advice: find out what you're paying your financial advisor. Then fire them.

P.S. I love this visual demonstration of the power of sound to create order out of chaos.

From the archives! Channeling Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom after yet another flat tire. This truck chugged along at about 5 mph with tires that had been retreaded a half-dozen time. (Myanmar, 2006)

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