College Success!



I remember when each of our four children left for college. We were nervous, sad, anxious, and proud all at once! We did have a summary “making the most of college!” discussion with each of them. We wanted to remind them of some helpful life nuggets we hoped they took away from their childhood. The conversation did evolve for each child and the following article captures the gist of our advise.

I hope this maybe useful to you as well!


Today, our four kids have graduated or are well on their way to graduating college. They all graduated with honors. They all graduated to get good jobs and are self-sufficient. Most importantly to us, they graduated joyful and thankful. They each have a love for life.

To our children - We love you. You are ready for the next step. We could not be more proud of you! Here are a few thoughts we hope you will find helpful.

– Mom and Dad


Tips for college success!

  • Strive for balance. College is fun. College is work. College is personal growth. Remember, sleep is part of the balance.

  • Put the work in to get good grades. The effort is its own reward. Don’t forget, it is much easier to maintain the grade average you want than to bring up a grade average you don’t want. Make this day, this week, this month, and this semester an investment in the grades you want.

  • Eat healthy. Save your money to make sure you get a good meal plan. Healthy eating needs to be a priority.

  • Exercise often. Personal health will help make your college experience incredible.

  • Seek out the right friends. Your college experience will be shaped by your friendships. Strive for friends that share your values AND add diversity to your life. These friends could be with you for the rest of your life.

  • Take risks. Now is a good time to try new things. College has so many available and interesting clubs, activities, sports, people, etc. Take risks that will help you learn and get more out of college and to set good risk habits for the rest of your life. There is a difference between a thoughtful risk and being stupid. Your Faith will help you tell the difference.

  • Say you are sorry. Making unintentional mistakes is a normal part of life. Reconciling those hurt by your actions is important. Owning how you make someone feel is a core part of reconciliation. Ownership includes both issue recognition and making it right.


Finally, but what about us parents? Our children leaving for college or otherwise moving from home is a right of passage, a sign we did something correct. But it still doesn’t make goodbye any easier.


Saying Goodbye - I remember this article was published a week before my oldest son left for college. It hit home....

“Well, 18 years is a window that closed too quickly. But, my son (or daughter), those days have been the greatest wonder and privilege of my life. And there will always be a room for you.”

- Michael Gerson


Your Personal Finance Journey Guide:


Core Concepts

1. Our Brain Model

2. Curiosity Exploration - An evolutionary approach to lifelong learning

3. Changing Our Mind

4. Information curation in a world drowning in data noise


Making the money!

5. Career choices - They kept asking about what I wanted to do with my life, but what if I don't know? - Part 1

6. Career choices - They kept asking about what I wanted to do with my life, but what if I don't know? - Part 2

7. Career success - Success Pillars - Maximizing luck with an adaptable mindset to reach your goals!

8. Career choices - Do I need to be a Data Scientist in an AI-enabled world?

9. Career choices - Diamonds In The Rough - A perspective on making high impact college hires


Spending the money!

10. Budgeting - Budgeting like a stoic

11. Car Buying - Auto buying and financing thoughts from a Behavioral Economist, a Banker, and a Dad

12. College choice - The College Decision - Framework and tools for investing in your future

13. College choice - College Success!

14. College choice - How to make money in Student Lending

15. Event spending - Wedding and event planning guiding principle


Investing the money!

16. Investment thoughts for my children

17. Using the Stoic's Arbitrage to choose a great investment advisor

18. Anatomy of a "pump and dump" scheme

19. The Time Value of Money Benefits the Young

20. How Would You Short The Internet?


Pulling it together!

21. Capstone - The Stoic’s Arbitrage: A survival guide for modern consumer finance products

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