Your money or your life (book review)

Just finished reading “Your Money or Your Life” (1992), by Joe Dominguez and Vicky Robin:

I first heard of the book last year from the Mr Money Mustache site and then from many other sources in the financial independence movement. It turns out 2017 is the 25th! anniversary of the book, and the authors had been organizing seminaries and workshops for years before the book, so this “thing” has been going on for a long time.

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McNemar’s test and Simpson’s Paradox (and the “hot hand” in basketball)

hot hand basketball

(I wrote this paper in 2007 for a Statistics class I took while trying to do a PhD. I am sharing it here for posterity.)

McNemar’s test is a non-parametric method used on nominal data to determine whether the row and column marginal frequencies are equal. It is applied to 2×2 contingency tables with a dichotomous trait with matched pairs of subjects.

Simpson’s paradox is a statistical paradox in which the successes of several groups seem to be reversed when the groups are combined. This seemingly impossible result is encountered often in social science statistics, and occurs when a weighting variable, which is not relevant to the individual group assessment, must be used in the combined assessment.

The paper evaluates the potential effect of Simpson’s paradox in McNemar’s test results and conclusions.

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The Seven Wastes of Personal Finance

Back when I was in cubicleland, in my last corporate job, I went through the very good Six Sigma training and certification program offered by my company: Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt. I did not get the MBB certification though, time was ripe to quit before I finished it…

Six Sigma, or continuous improvement,  had three “tracks” (three ways to go about it): “Variation” would be the traditional way of improving processes with stability and control, “Lean” is the waste-reduction way (and the subject of this post), and “Design” is likely the best and most difficult way because processes are optimal from their inception.

Lean strives to eliminate seven “types” of waste, the “seven wastes”. This technique was developed initially in Japan by Taiichi Ohno but now is learned and used everywhere.

seven wastes

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Dilbert’s nine-points financial plan, revised for early retirees

Years ago Scott Adams, author of the Dilbert cartoon, was thinking about writing a book on personal finance. When he was doing the research for his book he realized that all one needed to know and do to stay in financial shape actually fit in one page. Only nine things. The plans for the book fell through (because, reportedly, no publisher was willing to endorse a one-page book) so he weaseled-in his inmortal plan into this other multi-page book:

I read his 9-points years ago and just reviewed them to “sanity check” my plans and to see if they added anything to someone pursuing financial independence (FI), someone like me.

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The Seven Habits of Financial Independence

I am of course paraphrasing the very famous Stephen Covey’s book, method, movement, cult, etc.

As part of the personal development curriculum offered by my employer years ago I took a “Seven Habits” class, a week-long class I believe. I really liked the class, and found many concepts sensible and useful but, as with most such classes, I probably didn’t use much of it later at work on in life in general.

Anyways, I reviewed some of the concepts recently and realized there are many things that can be applied towards financial independence (FI).

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