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Wow…it’s been a while!  It’s great to be back blogging again!  While this is not a political blog, it is a blog for the people of my generation, and I wanted to write a few short paragraphs about this year’s election.

I attended my first political rally tonight in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts for Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.  Her race is getting a lot of national exposure because she is running against incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown and she is widely believed to be the Democrats’ key to retaining their majority in the Senate.  Senator Al Franken from Minnesota was also present at the rally, someone I’ve looked up to for a long time.  I had the great opportunity to shake Mr. Franken’s hand, but the real highlight of the night was getting to spend a few moments with Elizabeth Warren, shaking her hand, taking a picture with her, and expressing my support.

Here is my friend Katie and I with Elizabeth Warren

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The rally was so energizing and invigorating.  I have been a long time Democrat and supporter of President Obama.  I think it is really important that we all think about not only the present, but the future.  Our generation needs to be excited about the voting process and realize just how important our votes are.  Whether or not you agree with my views or you are on the other side, I believe we are very lucky to live in a country where we have a say in who runs our country, and we should all take advantage of our right to vote.

I believe that President Obama has the country on the right track, has already accomplished a hell of a lot, and will continue to accomplish things.  The country is on the right track.  Of course, the President would have gotten a lot more accomplished if the Republicans in congress did not keep getting in his way.  It’s imperative for the future of this country that President Obama gets re-elected, the Democrats take control of the House, and that they obtain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  If this happens, things will get done and this country will progress forward.  The old-fashioned and conservative views of the Republican Party are what stand in the way of the USA being the best it can be.  This is why I will be voting D all the way down the ballot in Massachusetts.  I urge everyone else that cares about this country and their own future to do the same.


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What is wealth?

The answer to this question is completely subjective.  To a homeless person, the guy working at McDonald’s seems wealthy.  To the person working at McDonald’s, the police officer stopping in for a coffee seems wealthy.  To the police officer, the guy he pulled over in the brand new Lamborghini seems wealthy.  I could keep going with this, but you get the idea.  Wealth is in the eye of the beholder.  Everyone defines wealth differently.  If you currently make minimum wage, a million dollars seems like a whole lot of money, and you feel that if you had a million dollars, you’d be wealthy.  If you have a million dollars, you may not feel comfortable enough to call yourself wealthy until you have 5 million dollars.  Compared to people like Bill Gates with billions of dollars, the person with 5 million feels completely inadequate.  My first piece of advice, then, is not to compare yourself with other people.  No matter how poor or how rich you think you are, there are other people much worse or much better off than you are.  Instead of comparing yourself to other people, just think about what your definition of wealth is?  Perhaps it is a specific number, like 1 million dollars.  Maybe it is just a feeling that you can do whatever you want, within reason.  Maybe just having a little bit saved and being able to pay your bills on time every month is your idea of wealthy.

Rich VS Wealthy

Many people believe the terms rich and wealthy are interchangeable, however they are very different.  We use them in that manner, and people know what we are trying to say, but when you really sit down and compare the two, they are vastly different.  You might make $500,000 a year, in which case you’d definitely be considered rich.  You probably have a nice big house, a couple of fancy cars, eat at the finest restaurants, and travel the world.  That’s all well and good, but if you aren’t saving or investing any of that money, you’ll never be wealthy.  No matter how much you make, if you spend your whole salary (or more) every year, you will not be wealthy.  Wealthy people have a high net worth because they know how to save and they know how to invest.  You can make a measly $25,000 a year and end up being wealthy.  Wealth is more about your net worth than it is about your yearly income.  So as you can see, you need to decide what it is you seek to be:  Rich or Wealthy?

Common Mistakes

There are quite a few common mistakes people make when it comes to amassing their wealth.  Some are easily corrected, others will take a great deal of time and effort to turn around.  One of the biggest mistakes people make with regard to building wealth is not investing.  Everyone has different reasons for not investing…don’t know how, takes too long, don’t have any money to invest, never thought about it, I don’t need to, etc.  Some are relying on their relatives to pass on and leave them money, others keep hoping they’ll win the lottery.  The only way to guarantee you will amass some form of wealth is through investing.  Unless you are one of the few people making $500,000 a year and up, you’ll likely never save a million dollars or more from your paychecks alone.  You need to earn interest.  Of course, there is risk involved, but if you start in your 20s, time is definitely on your side.  For example, if you save $500 a month for 10 years, in a savings account or under your bed, you’ll have $60,000 in 10 years.  If you invested that money, depending on the rate of return you received, you could have 100, 200, maybe even $300,000 to show for the $60,000 in capital that you put in.  Even if your returns weren’t that astounding, you’d almost assuredly end up with more than just the principal you contributed.

Set A Goal

The best thing to do when it comes to building wealth is to set a specific goal.  If you want 2 million dollars by the time you retire, then do the necessary planning to make sure that can happen.  Start saving, invest the money you’ve saved, and repeat the cycle.  If your goals are more modest, or more short term, that is absolutely fine, just make sure you have a specific plan.  For example, I am not yet looking at my long term retirement goal.  I have automatic deductions from my paycheck that are put into a retirement plan each time I get paid, and I keep track of how it is doing, but that is as far as I take it.  Eventually, I will want to contribute more toward retirement, however my plans are  to split my short term and long term goals so that I’m not spending everything now to have nothing later, but also not living with nothing now so that I can have it all later.  I like a delicate balance.  So each month, a bit of my check is contributed to my retirement account for the long term, and each month I save $500 in cash in a savings account.  I’ve only recently started this plan of action, but my ultimate goal with this money is to put a downpayment on a house before I turn 30.  I’d like to keep some in cash and put some of it into short term investments.  Basically this means that in 5 years, when I turn 30, even if I accumulate no interest, I will have $30,000 in the bank.  This will be more than enough to put a downpayment on a house and probably to buy some furniture and other things for the house as well.  I’m hoping that my returns will be good enough that I will actually have $35-$40k by that time.  Once that major goal has been met, I will be well on my way to my long term goal, which is to have a net worth of at least 2 million dollars by the time I retire.  If I buy my house at 30, it will be paid off when I turn 60.  If, after buying the house, I increase my retirement contributions, as well as continuing to save and invest $500 a month, I’ll be well on my way to that goal.  That is assuming I continue to make the same amount of money and spend the same amount on bills, which brings me to my next point.

More Money, More Expenses

This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about rich people who are not wealthy.  If you currently make $25,000 a year, then you get a new job making $50,000 per year, you’ve essentially doubled your income and should be able to save and invest $25,000 a year, right?  Unfortunately, all too often people allow their expenses to go up along with their salaries.  You were barely making it by on $25,000 a year, but you got your bills paid, kept a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and gas in the car.  Now suddenly you’re making double, and you move into a bigger apartment in a better neighborhood, you trade in your old car and buy a brand new car, you upgrade your cable package, you start eating out every night, and now suddenly you’re still spending every cent you make, despite the fact that it is double what you lived on before.  This is a very common mistake people make.  They all use plenty of excuses too, such as well I worked hard to get that promotion, so I deserve these things, or I’m improving my quality of life.  While those things may be true, you should always, always, always be making room for savings.  That brings on the next point.

Pay Yourself First

I’m not talking about give yourself $500 to go spend at the mall every month, I’m talking about investing in yourself through savings and investing.  The general rule of thumb is that 50% of your income should cover all of your needs, 40% of your income should cover all of your wants, and 10% should be put into savings.  Think about that…it’s not that much!  If you make $30,000 a year, saving 10% boils down to $3,000 a year, or less than $60 a week.  Take that out first, then pay your bills, then whatever is left is yours to have some fun with.  If you are 25 now and save $3,000 a year for 40 years, until you’re 65, that is $120,000.  If you invest and earn interest on it, that measly 3k per year could equal a half a million dollars or more by the time you’re 65.  The longer you wait, the less you’ll have.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

It’s a cliche old saying, but it’s completely true.  If you rely just on savings to retire, you’ll have a hard time.  If you rely just on your retirement account, you’ll have a hard time.  If you rely only on selling your then paid off home, you’ll have a hard time.  But if you combine them all, you will be looking at a very comfortable retirement.  Contribute 3% of your pay to your retirement plan, save $500 a month, and buy a house (and pay it off) and you’ll surely have amassed enough wealth to live comfortably and do whatever you want in your retirement!


When it comes to fashion, I’m all about basics.  Trends come and go so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with them.  I try to buy high quality items with timeless appeal that I can wear for years to come.  Here are some of my favorite summer products and looks for men…

Tops:

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Polo Shirts.  Obviously, the most classic polos are made by Ralph Lauren.  Get one in every color and wear the hell out of them.

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V-Neck Tees.  Calvin Klein makes my favorites.  These shirts can be worn with jeans, shorts, and even a bathing suit.  Experiment with different textures and styles, but make sure you have a few in black and a few in white.

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Dress Shirts.  My favorites are usually Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Kenneth Cole.  Basic white and black are absolute necessities, but I also suggest multiple colors and patterns.  This is one of the most versatile items in your closet, as it can be worn with a suit, with jeans, with shorts and the sleeves rolled up, and even with khakis.

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Hoodies.  Preferably full zip hoodies with a casual, worn in look.  The perfect piece of clothing for a cool summer evening.  Get a few in different colors, pair them with jeans and a v-neck tee and you’ll be ready for just about anything!  You can find great hoodies everywhere from American Apparel to John Varvatos and everywhere in between.

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Blazers.  There is very little in the world more versatile than a blazer.  It can be worn with its matching pants as a suit, with jeans, with tees, with dress shirts, with ties, without ties, with dress shoes, with sneakers, with boat shoes.  You can literally use the blazer in almost any configuration imaginable to add extra style and flare.  Look for high end blazers and get them tailored to your body for the perfect fit!

Bottoms:

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Shorts.  No-brainer right?  Shorts in summer?  You’ll want quite a few pairs, but stay away from anything that is too bold and trendy.  Stick with classics, such as light tan, dark tan, white, black, seersucker, and madras.  Some of the best made shorts can actually be had for very cheap at American Eagle Outfitters or Express.  Buy a good variety, including cargo shorts, dressier shorts, and regular shorts in different shades and brands.  Pair with anything from tees to polos to dress shirts.

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Khakis.  Khakis are another classic staple of summer style.  You want to look for modern looking khaki, without pleats, that has a comfortable but structured fit.  Learn to wear them well with different tees and untucked polos and dress shirts.  Tucking your shirt into khakis is reserved for middle managers, IT professionals, and golfers.  Excellent khakis can be had from a myriad of different brands, including Dockers, Express, Calvin Klein, Gap, and many more!

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Designer Jeans.  These should be a staple of your wardrobe year round.  There is no more important piece of clothing to invest in than good designer jeans.  Most of us wear jeans more than any other pants throughout the year, they take a beating, and they are always in style, so invest in some high quality jeans, in various shades, washes, and degrees of destroyed.  I highly recommend Diesel and Seven For All Mankind for the best denim available.

Shoes:

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Casual Sneakers.  Not the kind of sneakers you run marathons in.  Casual.  Not all casual shoes are made the same, though.  Stay away from skateboarding shoes and bulky basketball shoes.  Think simple, comfortable, and versatile.  Converse low tops (especially the John Varvatos laceless Converse pictured above) are the perfect example of the perfect casual sneaker.  Puma also makes excellent casual shoes.  Adidas and Nike also offer a few great basic casual shoes.

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Boat Shoes.  The most versatile of all summer footwear.  Sperry Top-Sider is the only brand to buy.  These shoes can be found in many different colors, in leather and in cloth.  Pair them with shorts, jeans, khakis, bathing suits, and even dress pants.  Take care of them and they will last years upon years.

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Flip Flops.  A ubiquitous summer shoe.  Men and women both love them, they are easy, they are comfortable, and they match just about everything.  DO NOT wear big bulky leather sandals that you strap around your feet, flip flops are the way to go.  One of the greatest things about flip flops is that they are available in every color under the sun and they are inexpensive.  I recommend high quality flip flops from Armani Exchange.

The Beach:

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Bathing Suit.  Everyone loves the beach, right!?  Make sure you’re looking your best with a great bathing suit.  I recommend a bathing suit that can be worn in the water, on the sand, and walking around the boardwalk.  Make sure it has pockets for things like wallet, keys, and cell phone.  Grab a few different bathing suits to vary your beach looks for the summer.  Pair them with a plain white v-neck tee and some flip flops for your perfect beachside outfit!

Beach Towel.  Invest in a couple of high quality beach towels…one for laying on the beach, one for drying off after coming out of the water.  Buy neutral colors that will go with any of your bathing suits and never go out of style!

Beach Bag.  Towels, water, beer, snacks, sandwiches, sunblock, and more.  Too much to carry without a bag.  Invest in a stylish beach bag and always be ready for the beach! In my opinion, Coach is your best bet.  Coach bags are extremely well made, from exceptional materials, and while not cheap, they are just as good as a Louis Vuitton bag for a fraction of the price.  Check out the whole collection of Men’s Coach bags and pick one that works for you!

Accessories:

Sunglasses.  One of the most important things to do year around is protect your eyes from the sun’s rays.  It is especially important in the summer.  Do not cheap our on your sunglasses.  Besides protecting your eyes, a great pair of designer sunglasses are extremely fashionable year round.  I recommend investing in a couple of very well made pairs.  Leave the Oakleys and other sports glasses for playing sports.  Focus on glasses from Gucci, D&G, and Prada (pictured above) for some of the best sunglasses money can buy!

Watch.  Your choice of accessories says a lot about your.  Cheap sunglasses and a cheap watch generally signify a cheap person.  Designer sunglasses and a well made watch screams style and class.  The right watch and sunglasses can turn the cheapest, most casual outfit look chic.  I love the look of white watches in summer.  Try to find one with some starkly contrasting black accents.  I own the Michael Kors pictured above and I am absolutely in love with it.  Not a day has gone by since I bought it 6 months ago that I haven’t worn it.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten about it.  Invest in a high quality white watch from brands like Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, and D&G.

There you have it, my list of must have summer items.  Is there anything on this list you can’t live without?  Anything you could do without?  Leave a comment and let us know!


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Live to work or work to live? This is one of the most important questions you will ever have to answer in your life.  It can be a very easy question to answer for some, while for others it takes extreme consideration.  Obviously, there are some that don’t fit the mold…those that would rather not work at all and live off of others’ money, and, at least in this economy, many who would love to be working that just cannot find a job.  

Living to work:

We all know people like this.  Maybe you are one.  Workaholics.  People that have a deep seeded passion for what they do.  They are consumed by their jobs and they let their jobs define their lives.  Their friends introduce them by their profession.  “This is John, the doctor” or “this is Jack, the designer.”  These people work more than a basic 40 hour work week, bring their work home with them, and fully consume themselves.  They probably make more money than they could possibly ever need, and the sacrifice is that they have no time to enjoy it.

Working to live:

Most folks probably fall into this camp.  You need a job to make money so you can survive, right? So they get whatever job they can get their hands on, do their 40 hour week, collect their paycheck, and go about their lives.  They may be extremely good at their job.  They may be really terrible at their job.  Either way, they are not letting their job consume their lives, it is just a means to an end.

Where do you fall?  I’m here to tell you that it isn’t necessary to fall under one of these two extremes.  I personally believe in having a good balance to everything in life, career included.  I think it would be a terrible existence to work 70 hours a week to make $200,000 that you’ll rarely be able to enjoy.  I also think that it would be awful to get up and go to work at a job you hate every day to make $20,000.  The perfect career, by my thinking, is one that you enjoy doing and have a passion for and a talent for that allows you to live comfortably and with as little stress as possible.  I guess it all depends on your personality.  Many people are driven just by having a fancy title, fancy house, and fancy car.  Others are driven by the need to take care of their families.  Perhaps some people are loners who dedicate their lives to their career because it helps them to interact with other people and make a difference of some sort.  I’m sure many people are social butterflies that just want a check they can use to buy some fancy toys and hang out with their friends and family.  Others may prefer to stay single forever and not have families, instead enjoying a healthy social life.  My best advice is to make sure you like what you do, it pays enough to cover your needs, and it doesn’t require working 80 hours a week.  You may not cure cancer, but you’ll also not be asking if someone wants fries with their cheeseburger.

 

Which camp do you fall into?  If you could change your career right now, which path would you choose?  Do you enjoy what you do for a living?  Comment and let us know!


Everyone has preferences when it comes to different products.  Some are based on looks, some on function, and some on price, but we all have our go to products.  I have many varied go to products.  Here are some of my absolute favorites:

Coach Men’s Accessories

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Movado Watches

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Seven Jeans

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Black V-Neck Tee Shirts

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Steve Madden Shoes

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Cross Pens

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Bose Audio Equipment

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Armani Exchange Flip Flops

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Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts

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Eames Aluminum Executive Chair by Herman Miller

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Craft Beers

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Diesel Jeans

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Apple MacBook Pro

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Grey Goose Vodka

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Paul Mitchell Hair Products

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Pea Coats

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Puma Sneakers

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Leather Furniture

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Apple TV

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Slatkin & Co. Candles

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North Face Jackets

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Black V-Neck Sweaters

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Apple 27″ iMac

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Burberry Scarves

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Apple iPhone

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Are any of your favorite products on this list?  What are your go to products?  Leave a comment and let us know!


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There is no such thing as the perfect automobile.  There is such a thing as the perfect automobile for you.

Too many people focus on one thing or another when it comes to choosing a car, truck, or SUV.  Some people are only concerned about gas mileage, others are only concerned about reliability.  Some value only speed, others value only design.

I believe in finding the perfect balance.  If you focus too much on one aspect, other aspects will soon be disappointing you.  That Prius you bought because you wanted über high gas mileage for your long commute will not be worth it when your back hurts every day due to the hard, uncomfortable seats.  That Jaguar you bought because it was gorgeous is going be be very annoying when it is in the shop for repairs every other week.  Car companies know that so many people only focus on one or two factors, that is why there are so many different cars to choose from.  If you do your research, you can find plenty of options that fill many of your different requirements.

Personally, I care about the design of the car, the speed and driving dynamics of the car, the comfort, the interior materials and layout the most, but I also don’t want a vehicle that breaks down constantly or gets 8 miles to the gallon.  I am, however, willing to deal with 20MPG and an occasional trip to the shop for a perfectly designed and engineered car with a great driving experience that is comfortable and beautiful.  All of the cars I identified in my Top 10 Cars Under 10k article yesterday fit my requirements.  None of them are unreliable, none of them have terrible gas mileage, and all of them are beautiful and drive well.

I liken choosing a car to choosing an apartment.  First you set a price range, then you identify what you want, see what is available, and choose the one that has the best balance.  You may end up with the hardwood floors and stainless appliances you wanted, but no fireplace.  You may end up with a fireplace and granite countertops, but no dishwasher.  You wouldn’t pick an apartment solely because it has a dishwasher or because it has hardwood floors, you have more than one criteria that matter to you.  It should be the same way for your car.

What do you look for in a car?  Don’t base your answers on the current economy with answers like ‘cheap’ or ‘gas mileage.’  Give a broad picture of everything that is important and unimportant to you in general, no matter what the economy.  Comment below!