The Best Newsletter You Aren’t Reading: NextDraft

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Nearly three and half years ago, I wrote about The Best Money Blog You Aren’t Reading. That website, Smart Passive Income, had about 100 readers or a similarly ridiculously low number. Today it's at over 44,000 RSS subscribers and Pat Flynn is considered a rock star... err a blog star. At a conference I went to last year, there was a crowd around him everywhere he went. I can't think of a better success story that I've watched nearly from the beginning.

Today, I bring you another source of awesomeness... again one that is largely overlooked. It is Dave Pell's NextDraft email newsletter. Here's an explanation of NextDraft in his own words:

"Each morning I visit about fifty news sites and from that swirling nightmare of information quicksand, I pluck the top ten most fascinating items of the day, which I deliver with a fast, pithy wit that will make your inbox vibrate with delight."

I have tried dozens of email newsletters over the years and every one of them has been a disappointment - except for Dave Pell's. The pithy wit is nice, but it's not what I come for (sorry Dave). The meat of the product is the ten stories he chooses. Maybe it's because he's in Silicon Valley like I am, but I find that I click on over 70% of the stories he highlights. When I got to USA Today or CNN, it's surprising if I find 2 articles that I'm interested in.

Here's an example of a few of the items in Pell's Newsletter today:

"What do you think is the world's leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24? I bet you didn't answer: Road traffic."

"Don't Try to Be Great: Speaking of managing the transition from adolescence to adulthood, here are 10 things your commencement speaker won't tell you."

"President Obama has adopted 'Forward' as his 2012 campaign slogan. Choosing these slogans is part of a long and often weird presidential contest tradition. Here's a visual history of some of the more notable slogans, from Don't swap horses midstream, to the inspiring: Not just peanuts."

This may sound like a paid advertisement for Pell's Newsletter, but I haven't had any contact with him. Also, as he notes from time to time in the newsletter, it has no business plan. Since there's no monetization strategy - he wouldn't be able to pay me anyway. At some point, I would expect to see advertising in there, but today there is none. (Dave, if you are reading this perhaps we can get you introduced to Amanda Steinberg of Daily Worth.)

In the meantime, I highly encourage you to head on over to NextDraft and signup today.

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Posted on May 3, 2012.

Best of Lazy Man and Money

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I thought I'd take a little time today to highlight some of the more popular posts I've written over the four and a half years I've been blogging. It has nothing to do with the great traffic I'm seeing this morning from Kimberly Palmer's article on how to make extra money. It simply seems fitting to look back since it's the start of the year. (Are you buying this? Even a little bit?)

For those new to the site, I'm a pretty lazy guy in general. However, the Lazy Man name stems from the fact that I had all these great business ideas, but never the drive (nor the finances and connections) to get off the ground. If I'm not going to actually implement these ideas, I might as well write about them, right? Well, somewhere along the line, my plan changed, and I started to focus on personal finance. The result is some 1,200+ articles about how I'm trying to save money, make money, retire early... all the things that you came here for.

I'll let you be the judge if I did a good job at that. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Thousands of ways to save money - Unless you are unusually talented or lucky, it is extremely difficult to retire early without keeping an eye on spending. I put together a page of all my articles on how to save money on just about anything. The advice isn't to cut all the fun stuff out of your life, but how to keep all the fun on a fraction of the budget. Warning, it's addictive and you could lose a day there.
  • How To Be Successful - I wrote this article a couple of years back and it still resonates with people today. In fact, I got an email last night from someone who is trying to sort out his life after a bunch of missteps. As soon as I'm done with this post, I'm off to email him, to see if what kind of wisdom I can share with him. (This is a scary thought for me.) I always try to get back to my readers, so feel free to contact me.
  • MonaVie - I became somewhat famous (in blogging circles at least) for my article on MonaVie. In the article, I asked a simple question of whether it was a scam, since $45 for 25 ounces of juice isn't the norm... it's not close to the norm. The article garnered more than 5000 comments and lead me to create a spin-off site MonaVie Scam.

That should be enough reading to keep you busy. In case it's not, these final two articles (not really the Best of Lazy Man and Money) round out a bit of what you'd read here:

  • Make SMARTER Goals This Year - I think I watched Office Space (if there is such a thing) one too many times before writing this one. If you are looking to keep your New Year's Resolutions this is a great place to start.
  • Hedge Rising Food and Gas Prices with ETFs - I didn't want to leave you with the impression that this website is just about saving money. You see a lot of investing ideas such as this one as well.

For those who came here from that Yahoo article, I've gotten tons of mail asking a question I should have anticipated. You want to know How to Start a Blog... well click that link and dig in. Please recognize that it is a broad question and that article is just geared to get you going.

P.S. Don't forget to check check Kimberly Palmer's book Generation Earn, which I reviewed here ;-).

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Last updated on January 11, 2011.

Best posts on Lazy Man and Money from Nov 2008

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I can barely keep up with the blogs I read. Or perhaps you are as Lazy as I am and only come here ever so often. In that case, here's a quick recap of the top posts from the last month:
  • Ask The Readers: Evaluating a Gym Membership
    Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2008 in Health - Views: (1638)
    A few years back, I had a gym membership. I always wanted a place where I can go and lift some weights do a little treadmiling... you know the stuff that I don't nearly write often enough over at Lazy Man and Health. When my wife and I moved into my current apartment complex I noticed that they had a free gym. It's not great, but it has 3 cardio machines and a couple of weight stations.
  • Matt Furey: 101 Ways To Magnetize Money
    Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 in Book Review - Views: (1120)
    Publishers send me books all the time. When I decide to read a book, I earn my Lazy Man moniker by choosing the thinnest book in my pile. Today that book is Matt Furey's 101 Ways To Magnetize Money a book that you may be able to through in about 60-90 minutes.The first few tips are about putting your mind in the right frame of mind - the power of positive thinking. I think you take it a little too far by leaving reminders like index cards around the house as suggested, but who am I to say.
  • Save Money and the Enviroment at the Same Time?
    Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 in Health - Views: (875)
    As I write this, it's Friday night and since I tend not to have a life, I just finished watching Nightline. One of the more interesting segments was about how a group of moms limit their waste to one canof garbage a year. Specifically they had the moms from Enviromom on the show. They admitted that one can of garbage a year is a little aggressive for a beginner, but that one can a month is possible.
  • Five Thoughts To My Future Children...
    Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 in Deep Thoughts - Views: (796)
    I got the latest edition of Money Magazine yesterday, and Pat Regnier in his The Bottom Line column used the letter to his children as a literary device. It's not unique (I've even written a letter to my high school self in the past), but nonetheless, I thought the idea was worth stealing flattering Mr. Regnier with my own letter to my own children. [Note: I probably wouldn't use bullets and bolding in a real letter to my children, but I think you'll find it easier to read.
  • Our Early Retirement Plan: Introduction (Part 0)
    Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 in Retirement - Views: (785)
    I thought I'd switch things up this week and write about our retirement plan for the future. It's going to be detailed, so I'll have an article one day each week. I need to get a few things out of the way:Retirement planning at age 32 is a shot in the dark - Unless you really have tons of money it's hard to plot a course for where you might be in 10 years. You think you have a plan and something could speed up the target date or slow it down right in a hurry.
  • Oils Well That Ends Well
    Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2008 in Investing - Views: (782)
    I've been really surprised that the Dow Jones industrial average continues to drop. The last time it dropped to 8,200 I thought it would be the last chance at those prices. As I write this, the mark is at 7,500 and some indications seem to say that it could go even lower. Despite that, we've been buying some index funds with our Zecco account. Specifically we've been picking up Vanguard Total Index (VTI) and Vanguard All-World Ex-US (VEU).
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Posted on December 1, 2008.

Best of Lazy Man and Money – Volume 1

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I've been meaning to write a "best of" post for some time. I had been putting it off, because I'm a tough critic of myself and even though I might like a post today, I might not like it tomorrow. Plus, when you are as lazy as I am, sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get going. Free Money Finance is kind enough to provide that kick by running a March Madness-style Tournament of Personal Finance posts. Conveniently, this post can also help serve as an application.

So here are the best of the best:

  • Cutting the Cable TV - This is, by far, the article I spent the most amount of time writing. Not only did I spend a fair amount of time researching, but I believe the idea of using a Slingbox from a friend's home is uniquely mine (though I may be proven wrong here). Lastly, you get a picture, a rarity from Lazy Man and Money.
  • Throw Away Your 401k - I came to the realization that limited investment choices, unclear administration fees, taxation as regular income instead of dividends, and early withdrawal penalties hurt the effectiveness of a 401k plan. It's half a devil's advocate post - I still max out my 401K every year. Add a rhyming title to all that and I think this could be a formidable article in the Tournament.
  • How to Beat The 10% Compounding Myth - In a sister article to this, I debunk the idea that investing in the stock market will make you 10% over the long haul. After inflation, investing fees, and taxes, it could be as low as 3.5%. This article discusses a way to beat that percentage using Judging risk on Prosper is something that's very difficult to impossible, so it's hard to say whether this idea stands up to the test. I note especially because Prosper's Director of Communications reached out to me and put it in Prosper's In the Blogs section.
  • Alternative Income Streams - I had hoped the concept of continuously updating your alternative income (much like net worth) would spread around person finance blogs, but it hasn't. There are a few bloggers who do it, but it's usually quarterly - if it's that often. While the post itself might not be best written, the concept of reminding yourself about your alternative income each month is valuable. Divorce to Financial Freedom says "I really, really like his idea of monitoring your Passive Income... It is like finding a new toy. Love it!"

If everyone reading this leaves some comments here or at Free Money Finance's Tournament Announcement, it might help me win go deep in the tournament.

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Posted on February 24, 2007.

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