Financial Insights in 140 Characters

The ability to communicate ideas succinctly is a great skill because clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. I’ve always been a fan of George Orwell’s six rules of writing:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

Clear and concise writing was the inspiration for the first in a series of questions I posed to members of the financial blogosphere (listed alphabetically):

What’s the most important financial insight you can convey in 140 characters or less?

Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense, @awealthofcs

Save regularly & automatically, avoid lifestyle creep & credit card debt and try to spend $ on things that make you happy.

Isaac Presley, Cordant Wealth Partners, @SeekingDelta

Don’t live someone else’s life. The only goals that matter are your own.

James Osborne, Bason Asset Management, @BasonAsset

Beware of those bearing advice who seem the most confident.

Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker, @ReformedBroker

“Successful investing is about having people agree with you…later” – James Grant

Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund, @morganhousel

You are twice as biased, half as patient, and 10% as smart as you think you are.

Phil Huber, Bps and Pieces, @bpsandpieces

There are 3 edges in markets: informational, analytical and time-horizon. The first 2 are near impossible for most. Focus on the 3rd.

The market is an expensive place to find out who you are. Do the work first, then put money to work. If you lack time/interest – index.

Tadas Viskanta, Abnormal Returns, @abnormalreturns

Slow down. There are few issues in personal finance that require you to make a decision this VERY MOMENT. Take a deep breath and think.

Luck plays a bigger role in life than nearly everyone thinks. Focus on what you can control, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Wesley Gray, Alpha Architect, @alphaarchitect

Buy ’em cheap; buy ’em strong. Hold ’em long.

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