No one likes to make mistakes, especially when it comes to our finances. But even the most financially savvy among us has made financial missteps over the years. In this edition of Top Reads, Barry Ritholtz explains why it’s so important to learn from our financial mistakes and move forward, Forbes shares a list of eight retirement mistakes you’ll want to avoid, and Ric Edelman discusses the five most important biases we have when it comes to investing.

In the personal interest section, author Rob Walker encourages us to exercise our attention muscles to help foster entrepreneurial success and Mark Suster shares best practices for getting your startup board running smoothly and efficiently.

For more articles like this, check out Raghav’s two previous Top Reads posts here and here.

Personal Finance

Biggest Financial Regrets

No human is immune to making financial mistakes. Whether you’re starting late to save for retirement or using your credit card when you don’t have the money to pay it off, we all make unwise money decisions at some point in our lives.

In this article, Barry Ritholtz reveals the results of a survey by New York Life, which asked over 2,000 people to identify their biggest financial regrets. Among the list:

  • Not paying off credit card debt monthly.
  • Taking on too much student loan debt.
  • Not setting aside enough money for an emergency.

Ritholtz stresses that “Financial mistakes are normal. The key is learning from them.”  He discusses how mistakes often benefit venture capitalists, and how Ray Dalio’s process is all about learning from past failures. Read the full article here.

8 Retirement Planning Mistakes To Avoid

Many of us spend years planning for retirement – estimating how long we’ll live, how long we need to work for, and the kind of lifestyle we want to enjoy in our golden years. This Forbes article lists the eight retirement planning mistakes from Larry E. Swedroe and Kevin Grogan’s book, Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement. On their list of mistakes:

  • Overestimating your ability to continue working.
  • Underestimating your tax rate.
  • Taking retirement withdrawals from the wrong locations.
  • Underestimating the risks of inflation.

For the full list of eight common mistakes and how to better plan for your retirement, read the full article here.

You’re Making Big Financial Mistakes – And it’s Your Brain’s Fault

Chairman and co-founder of Edelman Financial Services, Ric Edelman says that stock markets continue to have an average return of 10% annually, but investors are earning just 4.1% per year. The reason?

Survival instincts have evolved into “behavior biases” that cause us to make bad financial and investment decisions.

In this article, Edelman outlines what researchers have identified are the five most important biases, so that you can better understand how to avoid them.
For the full list, read the article here.

Personal Interest

The Art of Noticing: How Entrepreneurs Can Crack the Innovation Code

What is the key to creativity? According to author Rob Walker, who penned The Art of Noticing, it begins with making simple observations. Walker touches on the way mindfulness relates to success, and how to look for “invisible problems” to come up with ideas beyond the obvious ones. Tony Fadell became hugely successful by using these principles to work on the iPod and the Nest Thermostat – he looked for invisible problems and created a popular solution. Walker says we have to work on our ability to notice these problems and provides three ways we can create habits that will help to strengthen our “attention muscles.”

For the full article and to learn how to start noticing invisible problems, read more here.

Managing Your Startup Board — A Short Presentation

Mark Suster was invited to do a keynote presentation on managing startup boards at the Khosla Ventures CEO Summit. Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or dealing with a startup board for the first time, Mark Suster’s article (and full presentation) on best practices for managing your board has solid advice for all experience levels. From topics to discuss at board meetings, to how often you should be communicating and when you should be sending financials, to helping members stay focused at meetings, Suster covers it all in this article.

Boards are organizations that need managing just as you would do for your management team. You need to make sure everybody is aligned on the goals of the board and you need regular communication to keep everybody in sync.

Read the full article here.



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