Hey pal, Like so many, I’ve been reflecting on my 2021. I went through all the Nerdletter issues I sent this year
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Nerdletter Masthead
Hey pal, 

Like so many, I’ve been reflecting on my 2021. I went through all the Nerdletter issues I sent this year to find my favorite and most notable reads that I’m sharing below. Going back and spending time with each issue always reminds me of how grateful I am that a bunch of folks appreciate receiving this email as much as I enjoy putting it together. Thank you.

Usually, I take the end of the year off from publishing, but this year has been full of momentum for me, and it felt right to keep it going. From getting vaccinated and trying to get back into the social routines of pre-pandemic times to preparing for my first book, FINANCE FOR THE PEOPLE, to be published (pre-order now!), I’m excited for what’s to come in 2022.

Thank you for generously allowing me some space in your inbox. Until next year!

Your favorite finance friend,
A Thousand Words (Weekly Illustration)
Alessandro Gottardo AKA Shout
The Weekly Reads
1. 🤔 Why Everyone Has Money Issues, But Nobody Is Talking About It (Refinery29)

2. 👨‍👦 The Market Value of My Father (Wealthsimple

3. 👝 When Dasani Left Home (The New York Times) What happens when trying to escape poverty means separating from your family at 13?

4. 🚸 Dear Therapist: Should I Financially Support My Struggling Children? They’re both angry at me, and I want to mend our relationship. (The Atlantic )"We are sad for both of them, who are now 33 and 25."

5. 🌯 How to Pay Less Taxes- A Very Cute Cartoon (Burrito Bowl Diaries) “It’s like this, if we didn’t put money in pretax accounts the government would take a bunch of it in taxes. That’s no fun. The choice is either a) save it for your future selves or b) let the government take it. Not today, Sam.”  

6. 💸 Debt Demands a Body (Longreads) A painfully beautiful essay. “Over the course of the next three years, as my mother’s gambling addiction escalated, she took out another student loan, and then another, and then so many others that the amounts and institutions from which she borrowed knotted together into something big and impossible to disentangle, but the accumulation of which was about $125,000.”  

7. 🤓 A bookkeeping thing - How Much Does It Cost Your Business to Earn Each Dollar? (HYG Original) Even if you’re a one-person freelance practice, understanding how much it costs you to earn each dollar in your company is a valuable shift in perspective that can help you build a sustainable, efficient business.

8. 😰 The legacy of slavery made my grandmother fear investing. (Washington Post) “Americans must stop discounting slavery as something that happened so long ago that it can’t possibly factor into the economic inequity that still plagues Black communities."

9. 🤗 How Embracing Stress Can Make You Healthier, Fitter, and More Relaxed (GQ) Stress is unavoidable, but it also takes a toll on the body. It makes us sick; it shortens our lives. One of the ways we can deal with stress (financial and otherwise) is to learn how to recognize and work within the patterns of a stress cycle.

But, also: 🏥 Why Financial Strain Is So Harmful to Your Health (GQ) “When people are poor, their lives are hard in ways that are always unique and frequently unmanageable—to the point where day-to-day survival must take precedent over their long-term goals.”

10. 🕹 The Great Online Game (Not Boring) “We now live in a world in which, by typing things into your phone or your keyboard, or saying things into a microphone, or snapping pictures or videos, you can marshall resources, support, and opportunities. Crypto has the potential to take it up a notch by baking game mechanics -- points, rewards, skins, teams, and more -- right into the whole internet. The Great Online Game is free to play, and it starts simply: by realizing that you’re playing a game. Every tweet is a free lottery ticket. That’s a big unlock.”

11. 🌱 Coronado High: A Legendary Drug-Smuggling Ring in a Sleepy California Town (GQ) Before anyone had heard of the Mexican cartels and the Colombian kingpins, there was a group of Cali surfers, friends who discovered weed in the '60s and—in a fit of stoner inspiration—figured out how to smuggle in the best, most potent stuff on earth. Over a decade, they built an empire that made hundreds of millions, while laughing at the war on drugs. Joshuah Bearman, the writer who brought you 'Argo,' tells the whole true story.

12. 👨‍🏫 A Normie’s Guide to Becoming a Crypto Person (Intelligencer) “While some corners of the crypto world are still toxic and absurd, it’s also a fascinating and (strangely) optimistic place — where a global army of people with competing philosophies, living mostly on Twitter and Discord, all in some way believe crypto will fundamentally remake the world (and, in the process, everything we believe about value, money, and the internet). This is a guide to actually understanding that universe, whether you simply want to sound literate at a dinner party, know the difference between a bitcoin maxi and an NFT scenester, angle for a promotion by showing off more tech fluency than your boss, or leave your PR job to become memer-in-chief at a new coin exchange.”

13. 💲 The Nothingness of Money (More To That) “Wisdom is the co-existence of contradictory truths, and money is the clearest example of this. We must internalize its importance while also recognizing its pointlessness. We must operate within the story of money while also understanding that it’s a fairy tale.” 

14. 🎧 Why Do We Work So Damn Much? (The Ezra Klein Show) A journey of a conversation about humanity’s relationship to work, what that means for the economy and the planet, what economists get wrong about scarcity, the lessons hunter-gatherer societies can teach us about desire, how the advent of farming radically altered people’s conceptions of work and time, whether there’s such a thing as human nature, the dangers of social and economic inequality, the role of advertising in shaping human desires, whether we should have a wealth tax and universal basic income, and much more.
News and Events
The Other Money'gram
🏋🏾‍♂️ May you finish strong in 2021! ⁠ #financefriend
⛷ In case you're panicking about the fact that you still need to get gifts, but you want to be intentional or sustainable, here are a few alternatives to consider.⁠
😎 I did my first interview about my forthcoming book, FINANCE FOR THE PEOPLE. In the interview, I talk about how everyone has money issues, but no one ever talks about it, how there's such a strong brand of shame with personal finance, and how getting to a place where we can act based on rational thinking, requires us to think about how we think. We have to think about our cognitive biases.⁠ ⁠ Link in the bio to read my full interview. And swipe for the cover reveal! ✨⁠ ⁠ -Paco⁠ ⁠ #financefriend
🤓  Did you hear? We're offering a portion of our classified ad space to newly created, not-yet-profitable, BIPOC, or female-identifying owners through 2021 free-of-charge to our subscriber community. Do you have a project or business that could use a boost during these weird times? Let us know about it, and we'll schedule it to appear in The Nerdletter. 🤓

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