Dealing with people’s money, like running a restaurant, provides a unique insight into human nature. I wrote about this for several years in a monthly column, NOTES FROM A FINANCIAL PLANNER, published by The Real Estate Magazine. In those years I was constrained by the legal requirements of my profession. Here you will get the unconstrained version. I hosted a financial talk show, MONEY TALKS, on KMFB, a Mendocino radio station. Some of those shows were taped and you might find a few clips posted on this site. Anything and everything having to do with money is fair game. Stay tuned!

The Downside of Inheritance

  Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?   Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.  Barry Switzer   “Money isn’t everything,” said my mother, “but it... read more

Tough Love

  The stories I will tell now are true or mostly true.  I’ve changed the names and taken some liberty with the details.  There are things you need to know.  It isn’t easy to tell anyone that they are living in an illusion, that they have unrealistic expectations,... read more

Funny Money

  Financial advisors would have you believe they inhabit an arcane world of alphas and betas and that they and they alone can navigate the mysteries of modern portfolio theory.  The reality is a bit different.  Let me tell you about an average day in the life of... read more


[click on blue links for further information] Dickens Quotes courtesy of The Telegraph   “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual... read more

Gurus and Geeks

[First published in the Real Estate Magazine, April 1998, revised 2016]   I obtained the following definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary: GEEK:  A carnival performer whose act usually consists of biting the head off a live chicken or snake. GURU:  A... read more

Steps to Security

  I recently read The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans by Neal Gabler.  As someone who has worked for thirty years as a financial adviser, reading the article was both sobering and painful.  It was sobering because it gets to the root of the angst in... read more

The Trolley Problem and The Winter of Our Discontent

The Trolley Problem was first introduced by the British philosopher Phillipa Foot in 1967.  Many versions of this problem have been used to elucidate some tricky issues surrounding morality.  The Sophie’s Choice-like decision that must be made in the Trolley Problem... read more

Jean St. Hill

I met Jean in 1987.  She had a fascinating family history.  Her late husband, Thomas Nast St. Hill, was the grandson of the famous caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.  Nast was the creator of our modern version of Santa Claus.  He also created the... read more