Substack Library


On Laughter and Thanksgiving

A lot of what I write here is pretty serious, like my trip to Ukraine or concerns about the bond market.

Modernity Mindset

Note to readers: I am headed to Taiwan. If there are readers there who would like to have a coffee, reach out. For the rest of you, I’ll post again as I can, based on what I learn, along the lines of Letter from Kyiv and Letter from Santiago. AS ALWAYS, THIS IS NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. INVESTING IS RISKY AND OFTEN PAINFUL.

The Journey

“How, how Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,

Notes On 660 Months

If someone forwarded this to you, my name is Paul, you can read about me here. This Substack grows via word-of-mouth, so please forward to your friends. If you like this writing, you will enjoy my books Master, Minion and Raising a Thief as well as the podcast.

Ego, Self-Doubt, Survival

I made a bad trade this week, which has led me to reflect on risk taking in general. The interesting thing with managing money is that unlike in other spheres of life— parenting, many forms of work, spirituality—you can keep score and track the quality of your thinking. In the sixteen years I’ve been tracking my investment results, $1 grew to around $3 averaging around 8% per year with low volatility. While more has gone right than wrong, I remember the trades that are wrong more acutely than the ones that were right. I think this is wiring, at least for most people. I don’t recall most of the time I’ve spent behind the wheel of a car, but the few times I’ve been in car crashes I recall quite vividly.

Independence and Integration

We are wired to believe people in authority are there because they are wise.

A Sunday Off

As noted in my New Year’s Day post, I took this week off from writing a longer essay and will return Sunday, 16 January. We are hard at work lining up and recording guests for Season #4 of our podcast, figuring out an interactive graphic to help you keep score of your money and editing, editing, editing book #2, tentatively called Mister, Minion. If you have questions about any of this, reach out.

The Stories We Tell

We are wired for story. Stories can be conveyed in a cave painting, from the pulpit, a book or a podcast. Story is the way we share meaning and truth. Today’s post is about key lessons that emerged from Season #3 of the Things I Didn’t Learn in School podcast.

A Father’s Role in Thwarting Crime

Many winters ago, New England sunk under snow, passing a Russian speaking family up a hill, all of us on cross-country skis, them perhaps not realizing I understood them. I’d put their boy at 5 or 6.

Things I Didn’t Learn in School

Welcome to Things I Didn’t Learn in School by me, Paul Podolsky. I am the author of Raising a Thief, a memoir about being a parent, and host of the podcast Things I Didn’t Learn in School. For 20+ years I worked on Wall Street, most of that time with Bridgewater Associates. Before that I was a journalist. More at