Lemonade Stands, Autonomous Cars, and the Future of America

The Future

As a planner, financial and otherwise, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. I have to if I want to help my clients achieve their goals. More importantly, at least to me, I think about the future because I want to ensure my daughters are prepared for the world they are inheriting.

This painful, OMG-will-it-ever-end election has many Americans thinking about the future, too. No matter which candidate you support for President, it's safe to say the winner will have to grapple with some extremely difficult problems, such as technology's impact on work, unemployment and underemployment, and the high cost of education.

The following articles address some of these issues and are definitely worth your time.

"The American Dream is Killing Us"

This article was written by author and blogger Mark Manson. He is by no means an expert on any one subject, but I think he really nails the problems facing America today. It's a long article*, so expect to spend about 23 minutes reading it.

* A client once asked if I ever read anything that's short. I do!

"The Unintended Ways Self-Driving Cars Will Change Our World"

If you're a regular reader, you know that I'm a big fan of Elon Musk. Maybe one day I'll even be able to afford one of his cars. Until then, I'll settle for some shares of Tesla.

This article references Musk, but it isn't about him. Instead, this article focuses on how autonomous cars will change the world. Driverless cars will be here faster than people realize and people don't yet grasp the enormous impact autonomous cars will have on, among other things, jobs, transportation, and the auto industry. Expect to take about 9 minutes to read this article.


I'd like to highlight the following problems from my October 31st Dispatch:

  • The subject of the email was incorrect. I initially planned to write an article about how the zombie apocalypse provides a way for us to better understand the concept of diversification. I changed the topic and neglected to update the subject line in MailChimp. Apologies for the confusion.
  • Not all 403(b) plans are terrible. I shared an article about 403(b) retirement plans and wrote a harsh critique of why I think they're terrible. A client reminded me that not all 403(b) plans are terrible. While I still dislike that insurance products are woven into 403(b) plans, she had a good point. The plan offered by TIAA is one of the better ones available to consumers. Thanks, Jean!

Listening / Reading / Watching

Here are the terrifying things that had my attention this week:

  • Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill. I've developed a problem in my lower back, possibly after years of triathlon training. This book came highly recommended by a trainer that dealt with the same issue. I hope to learn more so I can resume my regular exercise regimen.
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. I'm finally getting around to reading this sci-fi book, which was highly recommended by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his reading project "A Year of Books". So far, it's great - especially if you want to learn more about China's Cultural Revolution.