CFD 446 – Mastering Money with David Pogue

Mastering Money with David Pogue

David Pogue is the tech critic for Yahoo Finance, having been groomed for the position by 13 years as the personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. He’s also a monthly columnist for Scientific American and host of science shows on PBS’s “NOVA.”

He’s been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” since 2002. With over 3 million books in print, David is one of the world’s bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the “for Dummies” series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Casino Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 120 titles.

David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in Music, and he spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. He’s won four Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music. He’s been profiled on “48 Hours” and “60 Minutes.” He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is David Pogue?

David grew up in Cleveland and had quite a different kind of experience as a child. Instead of reading the kinds of things that other teenager did at that age, David was often found reading Consumer Reports. Value and money have always been lurking in everything he writes, even as a tech columnist at Yahoo.

David made the realization that the world is made up of marketers and consumers and reading Consumer Reports was like seeing behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. After getting a number of pieces of software for free while writing as a reviewer for a local journal, David realized that he could make a career out of it.

David never studied writing in school, the area of technical writing just happens to be the perfect space to write exactly like David talks.

  • How does value play into what you’re doing?

David is always watching others to see if can do things more efficiently. He was actually one of the first people to write a life hack article and show people how to use their tech more effectively. This lead to David’s books, Pogue’s Basics 1 and 2, and the more recent Pogue’s Basics: Money.

  • What are unhealthy money decisions?

Money and psychology are deeply intertwined and we are generally terrible with money. For example, the word free makes our normal judgment go haywire and we are really preoccupied with making comparisons when it comes to shopping.

  • How do we make healthy money decisions instead?

Once you know how bad you are at making decisions with money, you can be aware of when you’re thinking about incorrectly. Once you’re aware, you can adjust your behavior and stop falling into the same traps.

  • What are some unhealthy money decisions that we make?

If you are able to write down the name of a thing, the price and the date you wanted to buy in order to do more research and wait, you will make much better decisions overall. Let your major purchase decisions cool off for 30 days.

When thinking about buying something, convert the price into the number of hours you would have to work in order to buy it.

Pro tip: Next time you go to Starbucks and the cashier asks you if you want anything else to say with a smile on your face “Yes, a 10% discount please.”

We are irrational beings, that is why we deliberately go and overpay for a lot of the things we want. It’s ok to pay for something that brings you satisfaction, just don’t be tricked into it.

Asking works. Reach out and ask for more.

  • Do other cultures have a better handle on money?

Negotiation is not very common in North America but very common in other areas of the world but it does work here too. Try not to be afraid to negotiate for more than just real estate.

  • How is technology changing our money decisions?

Companies like Uber and Lyft are changing the game. If you do the math, you rarely need to actually own or rent a car. Buy refurbished computers whenever possible, why buy a new one if you can get the same unit for 15% off

Reference: Pogue’s Basics: Money, David Pogue

  • David’s Takeaway

The only way you can break out of the dollars for time paradigm is if you create something of value. Create a company, write a book, compose a song, do something that you can be paid for way out of proportion for your time and starting generating geometric income.


Pogue’s Basics: Money

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