Swimming with Tigers, a 2nd chance on the Chautauqua, a financial article gets it wrong and I’m off to Prague

tiger swimming

One of 36 seriously cool animal photos

While we won’t be swimming with tigers, we also have a seriously cool Chautauqua coming together this September, including our new mountain location:

Hacienda Cusin 2

Hacienda Cusin.

What might make this interesting to you is this note I just got from Cheryl:

“Hey guys,

We had a couple drop out of the retreat so that opens up two more slots in case you want to mention that on your blog. It was the last couple that signed up and they wrote saying they realized they really should pay down debt rather than spend the money.  They asked if we had a waiting list and could be replaced. We don’t, but I did not have the heart to keep their deposit.

But still rockin’ it with 23!!!



This is one of the many reasons I’m delighted to have partnered with Cheryl on this venture. So if this sold out before you could act before, a new chance is here. Hope to see you there.

A few weeks back our Sunday newspaper ran an article in their Money & Careers section titled “What’s your financial IQ?” Of course I promptly took it hoping it would be some really silly crap I could then mock in a post here. Alas, it was pretty good. But one question caught my attention:

#10. What is the best way to minimize your losses in your investments when the stock market declines?

  1. Be the first to sell everything at the slightest hint of a downturn.
  2. Have a diversified portfolio.
  3. Don’t buy stocks in the first place.

Clearly the answer they were looking for is #2, and that was the one in their answer key. This is in fact solid advice for investing in stocks. As we’ve discussed here, asset allocation can smooth the ride. But look at the question and its phrasing again. The correct answer to that precise question is actually #3. Clearly not buying stocks is the best way not to have losses in them.

If #2 is the answer they wanted the question should have read:

Assuming you hold stocks as part of your investment portfolio for their strong gains in good times, what is the best way to minimize your losses in your investments when the stock market declines?

 I’m not entirely sure what my point is here. Maybe that precision in language is important. Maybe that when it comes to investment advice be sure you understand the details. Maybe I just enjoyed catching the slip and thought you might too.


Bridges over the Vltava River in Prague

Photo courtesy of travel.nytimes.com

As for us, we’re headed back to Europe this week to spend spring break with our daughter who is studying in France this year. We’ll be meeting her in the beautiful city of Prague, a first for each of us. But not it seems for many of our friends. Since sharing the plan, I’m a bit amazed at how many people we know have traveled to this place. Without exception, they rave about it. This it seems is a city of rare beauty and personality. Who knows? Maybe even home to a jlcollinsnh.com reader or two…

As always with my travels, I leave the phones, computers and other electronics behind. I don’t even take my electric razor. The blog will be on vacation too. See you in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, check out a few more cool things I’ve stumbled upon….

What do these two couples have in common?

couple 1couple 2

  they are the same two people


This four minute film, Channel Pipeline, from 1944 describes how the allies provided a reliable flow of fuel to their war machines as they sweept across Europe during World War II. I never knew any of this. I never even thought to wonder about the question. I find it cool on a couple of levels:

      • Great story
      • Told in that unique 1940s newsreel style
      • Fascinating look into 1940s industrial innovation


Tree Spirits

Here’s the theme song from the Good, Bad and the Ugly as performed by the:


You might want to watch as well as listen. Clearly, these folks are having fun!

 Exploring Cuenca

Harry A. Franck

Dreamy Loafing in Cuenca Ecuador 1912 and the importance of carrying business cards


Riverboat Travel, back in the day.

Photo courtesy of old-photos.blogspot.com

Finally, before I left for Prague, I took a vicarious tour thru history and the wine country of Southern France with my pal Tom:

France, wine & cheese

A little wine. A little bread. A little cheese. A little sausage. A little sun and little spot in Southern France.


Just after publishing this, I came across this new James Altucher post. If you’ve any doubt at all that creating financial independence is the best and highest use of your money, read it.

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Important Resources

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  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
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  1. eric says

    You will absolutley love Prague. I visited a couple years ago for a week. The scenery is beautiful, the gold leafing done to all those statues that flank the cross river bridges is wonderful. Food is pretty bland for my tastes but prepared well and the beer is mighty. People were overly helpful and most that werent tourists were pretty cheerful. Enjoy!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Eric….

      We are in the middle of loving it right now and it as you described. Although we seem to be having better luck with the food so far! 🙂

  2. Woody says

    Have fun in Prague. I’ve been there twice and really enjoyed it. I’m sure, you will love this city as much as I did.

  3. CashRebel says

    Id love to be your 24thwhole participant, but I think I need to put that $2,000 towards buying my freedom from having to work before I take any amazing vacations like that. I’ve also heard great things about Prague. I must have very cultured friends

    • jlcollinsnh says

      and we’d love to have you CR. But it’s hard to argue with your priorities! Those will get you many more trips to come.

  4. Shilpan says

    Indeed, how you ask a question makes a world of difference. No wonder why most political pollsters know the art of questioning.

    Now on that note, here’s my correction to your little tidbit:

    “A little wine. A little bread. A little cheese. A little sausage. A little sun and little spot in Southern France; …..and great deal of F-You money.”

    Have a great time in France, Pal!

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