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Oz Chen
Writing about personal finance and UX Design on

Edition #6: Psychology of Money Newsletter

Plus, a personal update about Annual Reviews

Some personal updates. I did an Annual Review Workshop and it was immensely useful to see themes from 2020 and allow new goals to emerge for 2021. I’ll be sharing my Annual Review takeaways next week.

In the workshop I saw the power of Notion, a new productivity tool that could help me organize my life. It feels like Airtable + Evernote all in one. If you have tips specifically around building a writing process (research -> writing -> publishing) in Notion, holla at me.

Speaking of which…I finally solved the email mystery. It’s all about a weird thing called…

When will the game stop?

Hey there, you look like a million bucks GameStop shares today.

You’re reading my newsletter about psychology and money. If you missed a week, you can check out the archives here.

I know you really want to talk about GameStop, full stop.

In a moment, I’ll share with you my layman’s understanding of this week’s frenzied trading phenomena. Geez 2021, not all at once in January will ya?

But first I have to talk about something called the Barbell Strategy. I’ve been marinating on this idea and seeing where it can apply to my life. Investing, relationships, how we spend our time.


The financial tradeoffs between singles & couples

Whether you’re single or in relationship, the financial grass may look greener from the other side. In this article, I examine the tradeoffs of both scenarios. Tl;dr? Singles shouldn’t feel too bad, and couples shouldn’t feel too smug.

I never felt more single than in Argentina, 2017. “There will be wine,” they said. “You will be the only single guy on these wine tours,” they didn’t say. I should’ve known that Mendoza would be rife with couples.

“Happiness is only real when shared.”

There’s already the stress of being single. Is it also more expensive being single? …

Another way of looking at the controversial cryptocurrency

Skeptics compare Bitcoin to fiat currency, often pointing to price and volatility. The real story is that cryptocurrencies are not a replacement for the dollar, but a part of an alternative financial system.

In 2016, I bought $1000 worth of Bitcoin after my roommate introduced me to the world of cryptocurrencies. He dropped the words blockchain, permissionless and distributed ledger like it was French class. I didn’t get it, but I wanted in on the action.

To be honest, I didn’t understand the hype around cryptocurrencies. Normal U.S. dollars stored at my brick-and-mortar bank worked just fine for me. It…

Why it’s OK to play the lotto (sometimes)

The Barbell Method of Investing suggests that investors can prevent losses by being extremely safe with most of their assets, while being extremely risky with an inconsequential amount of money. Applied generally, it is a way to aggressively protect the downside while being exposed to the upside.

The chances of winning the lottery are 1 in *millions,* which is less likely than getting struck by lightning twice. But I still buy lottery tickets even when it doesn’t make mathematical sense. Why?

For $1, I get a chance **at a life-changing amount of money. …

No one walks away from this conversation feeling good.

You’re reading the Medium version of Oz’s blog. Get on the newsletter for weekly insights on psychology + money.

Let me ask you a simple question.

How much money do you make?

If you just vomited mildly, I understand. 🤑

My friend’s comment encapsulates the discomfort of money conversations:

If I talk about money I’m either boasting or feeling insecure and there doesn’t feel like a middle ground. It feels like I’m being judged or on the flip side that I’m judging others. Why do I feel that way?!

Most people rank money as the most taboo subject. The top…

Oz’s newsletter from Jan 8, 2020

Shiny Stock Syndrome

The stock market went crazy in 2020 after March’s coronavirus dip — and it’s still remaining high. This makes it especially tempting for investors to jump on the next hot stock.

Having experienced this myself, I call this Shiny Stock Syndrome, and write about a counterintuitive (at least to me) way to deal.

Edition #4 | Psychology of Money Newsletter

Oz’s newsletter from Jan 2, 2020

Last year I wrote about New Year’s Resolution Syndrome and talked about choosing goals that give you energy, instead of zapping your spirit with endless obligations.

This year I’m continuing with what gives me energy: writing consistently. After 30 days of writing, I discovered that I can write more than I thought I could.

In this newsletter I’ll cover trends I see going into 2021, a review my favorite vs reader favorite articles, writing goals and more.

Trends I see going into 2021

In 2020, the coronavirus made me realize how much of my everyday, privileged life I took for granted. Trying out new restaurants, taking…

Edition 3 | Psychology of Money Newsletter

Oz’s money newsletter from Dec 24, 2020

The Weird Psychology of Gift Giving

Tl;dr most of us should ask for what we want, or we’re giving, we should try asking people what they want. Research shows that this is the best approach for most people.

However, my articles covers the different nuances of gift giving, including why giving a “selfish” gift sometimes works.

Also, gift cards outperform cash for interesting reasons.

Everything is being “fractionalized” ➗

If you’re curious about investing in something, most likely you don’t have to pay full price of it anymore.

Just as Uber and AirBnB have normalized the sharing economy, new tech enables “fractionalization” of ownership into smaller shares anyone could invest in…

Edition #2: Psychology of Money Newsletter

Oz’s money newsletter from Dec 18, 2020

The Dark Side of Credit Card Rewards 🐙
The game of earning credit card rewards, if managed well, can lead to some pretty sweet travel perks. For the unprepared, however, it could be a house of cards.

Read why here: The Dark Side of Credit Card Rewards

Tl;dr lucrative rewards are built on mountains of credit card debt. I talk about how fragile this game is, and examples of why average consumers don’t reap the full value of their rewards. (It’s not all depressing, I end with some tips).

I’m considering putting a guide on how to maximize credit card rewards while avoiding the main pitfalls. If you’re interested a short and sweet guide, hit “reply” or Tweet at me.

How do we go against the crowd…if we don’t know where we stand in the crowd? 🤷🏽‍♂️

Recently, I’ve built conviction that retail investors stand a chance against Wall Street. With focus and enough…

Oz Chen

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