This week’s top reads are about the guiding principles behind financial decisions.

In the personal finance section, Tadas Viskanta of Abnormal Returns discusses the importance of a written investment plan, The Accumulator shares why you need to define your investment goals, and a Forbes article outlines the most common mistakes employees make when choosing their benefits for the following year. In the personal interest section, Martin Casado gives his advice for founders moving from product to sales and Seth Levine explains everything you need to know to have the best board meetings possible.

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

Personal Finance

Principles Before Process

Do you have a written investment plan? Meb Faber asked his Twitter followers this question and it piqued the interest of Tadas Viskanta at Abnormal Returns. Viskanta discusses the importance of having a written investment plan, and even more importantly, knowing the guiding principles behind that plan:

If you think about it, identifying principles is even more fundamental than generating a working policy statement. This is because that statement should logically flow from higher-order principles.

To read the full article, click here.

Asset Allocation is Meaningless Unless You’ve Defined Your Investment Goals

If you don’t know why you’re investing or you have “fuzzy goals” (like, retiring early for example) your asset allocation decisions likely need to change. In this article, The Accumulator encourages us to think about the why, determine our risk tolerance, set clear goals and the means for achieving them, and do our homework with a financial calculator.

Defining your plan with a few numbers helps to set it in concrete. It enables you to rationally assess the significance of the setbacks you meet along the way. And it creates a strong anchor point to cling to when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will.

To read the full article, click here.

5 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make During Open Enrollment

With fall comes open enrollment; the time for many employees to choose their health benefits for the following year. In this Forbes article Erik Carter shares the most common mistakes people face when making their enrollment decisions along with helpful information about each one so that you can confidently choose your benefits this year.

The common mistakes they identify include:

  • Not fully understanding the value of an HSA-eligible health insurance plan
  • Under- or over-funding an FSA
  • Not taking advantage of a prepaid legal plan
  • Thinking you need accidental death and dismemberment or critical illness insurance (vs. having separate, comprehensive insurance outside of the plan)
  • Ignoring insurance benefits you may actually need

To read the full article, click here.

Personal Interest

Advice for Founders in Early Markets

In this article, Martin Casado talks about the early challenges that are faced by founders when moving from product to sales. Rarely will a new product start to fly off of company shelves, and this is why it is imperative to figure out how a company can begin to sell.

Casado is a former tech founder with a product line that has an over billion-dollar run rate. He shares tips and rules of thumb that he has learned and asks: beyond the basic mechanics, what mindsets can founders use to frame, navigate, and avoid the common pitfalls of building the sales process in their enterprises?  For his answers and advice, read the full article here.

Designing the Ideal Board Meeting

If you are a board member, this article from CO based technology investor and managing director, Seth Levine in his series on board meetings is for you. From how frequently to hold meetings, to creating the agenda, to conversations between the CEOs and members prior to the meeting, Levine writes what you can do to ensure your board meetings run smoothly. For the full article, click here.



From time to time, the team at GuideVine highlights certain topical videos and content from expert financial advisors. We find these helpful and hope you will to for your managing personal finances. To learn more, you can view and find potential advisors through our advisor matching service and listings, ask one-on-one personal finance questions to these experts, and view “How to” videos on our YouTube channel (