Today is the 58th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions and a Pizza Place. (The 1500′s are pizza fanatics.) We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
This is the last edition featuring our old questions and I can’t think of a better way to end them than with James Collins from jlcollinsnh.com. Mr. Collins writes some pretty great stuff, but he is most known for his excellent stock series.
Confession: I have come to believe that index funds should be the core of any healthy portfolio, but before I started blogging, I barely knew what an index fund was. I’m a pretty stubborn guy, but Mr. Collins’ stock series convinced me to abandon my stock picking ways in favor of Vanguard index funds. I’m in the process of moving it all to Vanguard. Thanks Jim!
Besides the investing stuff, Mr. Collins is a pretty interesting guy. He has:
- played with mummy heads
- collected a vast assortment of Beanie Babies (just kidding, kind of)
- been featured on Mr. Money Mustache
- traveled to Goa and Eleuthera (never even heard of either of those)
- come up with a pretty awesome list of quotes.
- written a bad-ass manifesto
And really, I’m just at the tip of the iceberg. However, I’ll stop talking now and turn things over to Mr. Collins.
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.
What is the worst financial mistake you made?
Thinking I, or anybody, could pick individual stocks successfully over time. Yes, I know Warren Buffett has. That’s why he’s famous. I can’t get in the ring with Mike Tyson either. If you think you can, let me know and I’ll sell the tickets.
What would you do if you inherited $1,000,000 (after taxes) today?
It would go into VTSAX and I would spend the ~4% sustainable annual withdrawal rate. This is how to think about money: Not as what it can buy, but how what it earns can provide for you forever. Oh, and were I younger, I’d reinvest rather than spend the earnings.
What kind of car do you drive?
I haven’t had a car since ~2002 when I last had a job I needed to commute to. It was a Honda Accord. Now when I need one, I borrow my wife’s. She drives a 2014 Mazda 3 Hatchback we bought in late 2013. We passed her 2007 Subaru Forester on to our daughter. We loved that car. This summer our daughter is likely going into the Peace Corp or to Europe to live. Either way, the Subaru will come back to us. It will be interesting to see which one we keep.
The Mazda is newer and great fun to drive. The Subaru holds more and older cars have the advantage of being less of a worry when some yahoo in a parking lot throws open their door into your fender.
And, of course, in the better weather I have the Triumph.
Mr. 1500 note: Mr. Collins is referring to his motorcycle here. Once, he had an awful car that was anything but a triumph to own, despite the name.
Who inspires you?
Jack Bogle. A great man and not just on the financial stuff. The more I read about and from him, the more impressed I become.
What is the best financial move you have made?
Index Funds, specifically VTSAX.
What’s your favorite tip for saving money?
Think of it as spending. What you are buying with it is your freedom.
What is your favorite pizza place?
“JB’s!!! Free Coke with every pizza!!” Of course this was 40 years ago in Rogers Park, Chicago. It might not still be there…
What is your fondest memory?
Slowly she unbuttoned her blouse….
What is your favorite movie?
Too many to list. But the movie I’ve seen the most frequently is, hands down, The Lion King. It came out when my daughter was about 3 and prone to become obsessed with a specific movie. I’ve watched it with her at least 100 times. Fortunately, it’s a pretty good movie.
What are your favorite personal finance websites?
The Mad Fientist is a financial blogger who does some travel posts. Go Curry Cracker is a travel blogger who does some financial posts. Both make me sit up and take notice when they post. Both have introduced me to new concepts or new takes on old ones. When you’ve been knocking around this stuff as long as I have, that’s no small thing.
Can I Retire Yet? gets high marks for clear, detailed explanations on how this financial stuff works.
Rumor has it 1500 Days to Freedom has it going on, but the smart money says the posts the Mrs. writes are the ones to watch for there. 😉
Mr 1500 note: Mr. Collins is obvious retaliating here for the comment about Beanie Babies…
Dogs or cats?
Both, but I admire cats for their independence and ease of maintenance. Unfortunately, I’ve developed allergies to both.
Jake is our now 12-year-old hypoallergenic miniature Poodle. About 17 lbs and a foot at the shoulder, the perfect size in my view.
I resisted getting a Poodle for all the standard reasons. Now I wonder that anyone chooses any other breed. Wicked smart and great disposition. Equally at home roaming through the woods with me or having my daughter dress him up in baby clothes. Exceedingly handsome, as long as you avoid giving them goofy haircuts.
What is the worst personal finance mistake you see people making?
Overall: Taking on debt. Doing so is pledging yourself to a life of slavery.
Investing: Thinking “Hey, Warren Buffett made his money picking stocks. So can I.”
What product or service epitomizes consumerism?
What is your favorite recipe?
Chile. First you start your compost pile. Five years later you are ready to grow the vegetables you’ll be using. The rest is secret…
What was your favorite job?
I put myself through college taking down trees that were being ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease. I was young, fit and strong and the work was physically hard, outdoors and dangerous. It also brought me into contact with and taught me how to deal with people very different than I. This will be very useful should I ever go to prison.
What would you do with a billion dollars. And a time machine?
….back in 1997 I would have bought Sue. She went for only $8,362,500. after all.
Then I would have bought a mansion with an entry hall large enough to display her and the Field Museum would have been out of luck.
I hope you enjoyed this because next month, I’ll be featuring an epic 3 part series with Mr. Collins. In the meantime, show him some love over at jlcollinsnh.com.
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