Everything you need to know about finances on a 4x6 index card - New York News

Everything you need to know about finances on a 4x6 index card

Updated:
By Harold Pollack, samefacts.com, The Reality-Based Community. University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack's now-famous 4-by-6-inch index card of financial advice. By Harold Pollack, samefacts.com, The Reality-Based Community. University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack's now-famous 4-by-6-inch index card of financial advice.

By: Michael De Groote, Deseret News



When University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack was interviewing financial author and critic Helaine Olen at the Reality-based Community blog, he stated what he thinks is the financial industry's biggest dilemma: "The best advice fits on a 3x5 index card and is available for free at the library."

One commenter on the blog, "Alex M," complained, "What *is* this simple free best personal finance advice that fits on a 3x5 card? It's kind of a tease to say it's so easy and then not go ahead and spell it out in 20 seconds."

Pollack took up the challenge and wrote a quick summary on a 4-by-6-inch index card. Some of his advice included the following:

  • "MAX your 401(k) or equivalent employee contribution.
  • Buy inexpensive, well-diversified mutual funds … .
  • Never buy or sell an individual security.
  • Save 20 percent of your money.
  • Pay your credit card balance in full every month."
He also talked about tax-advantaged savings vehicles, fees, financial advisors and encouraging social insurance programs.

"Pollack's right," said Ezra Klein at the Washington Post's Wonkblog. "Follow these principles and you'll be in much, much, much better shape than most Americans - or most anyone. … (T)he lesson here is that once you have an income that you can live off of and save a little bit besides, managing your finances shouldn't be all that hard. The people making it complicated are often trying to make money off of you."

Troy Senik at Ricochet said Pollack's last item, to "Promote social insurance programs to help people when things go wrong," is not really financial advice. "It clearly wanders off from the world of personal finance into public policy," Senik said.

"Mark," a commenter on the Ricochet article, adds another item: "Carry enough insurance to provide for your reasonable needs and cover reasonably probable risks."

But that would probably require another index card.

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Mayor: NYC will learn from 2004 RNC 'mistakes'

    Mayor: NYC will learn from 2004 RNC 'mistakes'

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:35 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:35:46 GMT
    Brooklyn's final pitch to hold the 2016 Democratic national convention was centered on New York City's robust mass transit system -- and a pledge to learn "from the mistakes" from the last time the city hosted a presidential convention. The Republicans gathered in New York in 2004 to re-nominate President George W. Bush, choosing to meet in deep-blue Manhattan less than three years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
    Brooklyn's final pitch to hold the 2016 Democratic national convention was centered on New York City's robust mass transit system -- and a pledge to learn "from the mistakes" from the last time the city hosted a presidential convention. The Republicans gathered in New York in 2004 to re-nominate President George W. Bush, choosing to meet in deep-blue Manhattan less than three years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
  • Union says city too dangerous to host convention

    Union says city too dangerous to host convention

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:32 AM EDT2014-08-27 10:32:12 GMT
    One of New York City's police unions says it is opposed to the city's bid for Brooklyn to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying that crime is on the rise and criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio's public safety policies.The Sergeants Benevolent Association, which has 13,000 members, says the city was "lurching backwards to the bad old days of high crime."
    One of New York City's police unions says it is opposed to the city's bid for Brooklyn to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying that crime is on the rise and criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio's public safety policies.The Sergeants Benevolent Association, which has 13,000 members, says the city was "lurching backwards to the bad old days of high crime."
  • NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:12:52 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday. Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said.
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday. Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff's officials said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices