"The School of Money, First Grade"

David Merkel:

Most books dealing with money tend to be too advanced for average people.  If you’ve read me long enough, you know that I am pretty conservative with my finances.  That conservatism has generally worked well for me, my family, and the church that I help lead. It’s possible this post could lead to a series of posts; let me know what you think. . . .

I think it's pretty good.

Somewhere around age 15, young people need to see what areas in the economy need talent, and what sort of skills are needed.  In addition to specific skills, remember that in much of life mathematical reasoning, verbal skills, and genuine curiosity for solving problems will apply to a wide number of situations.  Remember, the economy will be different 20 years from now in ways that we do not presently fathom.  Being able to think creatively and critically, and being able to express it well in oral and written ways will never go out of fashion. (As an aside, that is one of the criticisms I hear in the local money management community.  Young people come out of college, but cannot express themselves well in writing.)

Informational interviewing at younger ages could be useful.  Even at older ages, when you get the chance to ask business owners or managers questions, ask them what are the biggest problems that they face, what keep them up at night, etc.  If nothing else, you’ll get a better perspective on what it is like to be in charge, and the headaches thereof.

Another two fine pieces by Theodore Dalrymple

"On Sentimentality and Compassion".

No doubt the initial impulse to avoid the easy and uncompromising censoriousness of a bygone age was both understandable and laudable: but Man is not only a political animal, he is a judging animal. To pretend to make no judgments is to make a judgment, and one with bad consequences at that.

"All This I Had Forgotten".

I have scores, if not hundreds of such notebooks, many of which, but for the handwriting, seem to have little connection with me, that is to say my current version of me, though it was undoubtedly I who wrote in them. Perhaps there are people who have recorded their lives much more systematically than I, but there must be even more who have left even less record behind.