Why subscribe?

Economists are people who are good with numbers but don’t have the personality to be actuaries. I’m an exception. My personality beats the actuarial standard, rivaling, on occasion, that of an accountant. So, subscribe to experience the improbable — a dismal scientist you might tolerate.

The real reason to subscribe?

First, you’ll have access to all my Economics Matters — the Newsletter. These are columns that cover the full range of topics in personal finance as well as domestic and international economics, national and international policy, domestic and global financial markets, and geopolitics.

You’ll find I write a lot about a lot, but only if I have something to relay that no one else is saying. This may be How to safely invest in the stock market. Why President Biden needs to draw red lines for Putin re nuclear attacks or “accidents.” Whether Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, should kill the economy to kill inflation. Whether to cash out your IRA to pay down your mortgage? And …

Second, you’ll have access to Economics Matters — the Podcast, which my son Alex and I just started. (Not all the shows have been posted.) Alex was a politics major at Oberlin College. He’s an actor, narrates audiobooks (He reads the audio version of Money Magic.), makes videos, and helps me run my personal financial planning software company — Economic Security Planning, Inc. The podcasts consist of Alex and I co-discussing the topic du jour with our guest(s).

Like the Newsletter, the podcasts will be eclectic. Here are some of my previous and future guests:

Sebastian Mallaby — columnist for the Washington Post, Terry Savage — leading personal finance guru, Kerry Hannon — top personal finance writer for Yahoo, Martin Wolf — top economics correspondent for the Financial Times, Roger Lowenstein — a prolific best selling author on financial affairs, past and present, Erik Brynjolfsson — one of the world’s top experts on automation, David Cay Johnston — a Pulitzer Prize journalist and best selling author, Yuvall Steinitz — former Finance Minister of Israel, Eytan Sheshinski — Israel’s most prominent and influential economist, and Uri Dadush — former head of the International Trade Division of the World Bank.

Here are some of podcast topics: Will Robots Eat Our Lunch? Ukraine — Is the End Game WWIII?, The Future of the Middle East, Trump — the Bad and the Ugly, Resurrecting Your Financial Life, Ways and Means — How Lincoln Financed the Civil War, The Future of Green Energy, and The Future of World Trade?

My Elevator Pitch

I’m going to help you deeply understand our complex global and national economies. I have connections with fascinating people all over the globe. Over time, they will all be yours to hear.

As important, I’m going to help you improve your personal economy. Translation? I’m going to provide you secrets to more money, less risk, and a better life.

That’s the subtitle of Money Magic, my 20th book, which was just released to terrific reviews. My prior book on personal finance (co-authored with Phillip Moeller and Paul Solman) — Get What’s Yours — the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security was a NY Times Best Seller.

Translation? You’ll find my newsletter well-written, fun, and informative. It’s also wide-ranging. As you can see at kotlikoff.net, I’m a very broad economist. The hashtags for my work include taxes, deficits, finance, banking, healthcare, inequality, economic growth, climate change, international economics, demographics, inflation, interest rates, and a slew of other major economic issues. I also don’t shy away from international affairs and foreign policy.

Should I Get a Paid for Free Subscription?

Get a paid subscription. It will help me spend less time making a living and more time doing what I most love — discussing our world and how to fix it. Plus paid subscribers can email me at kotlikoff@gmail.com with personal finance questions. (If I get overloaded, I may need to limit the number of questions you send per month.)

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My Background

I’m a professor of economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Econometrica Society. I have a significant domestic and international standing. The Economist Magazine ranked me among the world’s top 25 most influential economists. (I keep reminding my wife of this point to no avail.)

So, yes, I’m an academic nerd. But I’m not entirely stuck in the Ivory Tower. Back in 1993, I started my software company, Economics Security Planning, Inc., which delivers economics-based financial planning guidance. We market two programs — MaxiFi Planner and Maximize My Social Security — to households and financial planners. The programs are veritable gold mines. They can help you find slews of ways to raise and preserve your living standard. MaxiFi is also designed to get you more bang for the buck when it comes to making a host of lifestyle decisions. Sigh. Not everyone wants to run software. That’s why I write financial advice books and personal finance columns. It’s also partly why I’m writing this newsletter.

Most academic economists think their job is to study a narrow set of topics, write papers on those topics, deliver seminars on their papers, and never convey a thing they’ve learned to the public. I differ. Academic economists, like academics in general, are incredibly privileged members of society. We have an obligation to give back, specifically to share what we’ve discovered and do so in plain English, not complex equations. Over the years, I’ve tried to give back. I’ve written op eds, columns, and blogs for the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, PBS NewsHour, CNBC, Yahoo, Barrons, Huffington Post, and the list goes on.

I’m currently a regular contributor to Forbes and The Hill. In the past, I was a regular columnist for Bloomberg and wrote a syndicated personal finance column, which was featured in the Dallas Morning News and other papers.

In addition to talking to the public about their work, I think economists are obliged to try to improve the economy. This is why I’ve written books, articles, and columns about tax reform, Social Security reform, healthcare reform, carbon taxation, … — you name it. Indeed, back in 2016, I was sufficiently obsessed with the need to improve our economic policies that I ran as a registered write-in candidate for President. I didn’t expect to win. At the tender age of 64, I knew I was far too young. But I was hopeful the press would pay attention to my platform. It paid exactly zero attention. But you will! So I’ll be discussing, now and then, how to fix America. And you can help spread the word to your members of Congress as well as improve on my suggestions. This is another reason to subscribe.

The Really Important Reason to Sign Up?

You’re going to learn things you won’t learn elsewhere. You’ll get the views of someone who thinks very far out of the box, who is entirely non-partisan, who is on no one’s payroll, who has worked all over the planet (China, El Salvador, Chile, the UK, Bolivia, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Italy Germany, Argentina, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, Mexico … you name it), who has a very thick Rolodex, who talks with myriad extremely well informed and connected domestic and foreign players, who has consulted for a long list of governments and private companies, who has worked for our government (at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors), who has testified on multiple occasions to Congress, who is in touch with current and former top government officials, who checks his facts, who discusses his opinions, who listens to others, and who changes his mind.

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See kotlikoff.net Laurence Kotlikoff is a BU economist, a NY Times Best Selling author, President of maxifi.com, author of Money Magic. Visit kotlikoff.net