Stories By Michael Taylor

  • Taylor: Does Texas believe in free speech? Texas leaders have forgotten their First Amendment constitutional duty, as HB 20 threatens the constitutional values of free speech.
  • Taylor: ‘Politically correct in Texas’ laws a bad trend Based on laws passed in the 2021 Texas Legislature, any company entering a state contract worth $100,000 or more must certify what I call “politically correct in Texas” stances.
  • Taylor: Elon Musk’s wild ideas make sense — on Mars Reading a biography confirmed my suspicion about Musk’s personality. It also gave me an appreciation for his focus on the mission to colonize Mars.
  • Spooks, oligarchs, sociopaths — oh, my! If you enjoy financial/military/spy/conspiracy thrillers, you will love “Undermoney.”
  • Taylor: Despite what you’re told, these are the good times The financial infotainment-industrial complex loves to tell us bad, shocking, surprising and emotionally arousing news. It’s less good at other types.
  • Taylor: Texas is a low-tax state? That’s a tall tale Because they don’t pay a personal income tax, Texans think two things: It’s a low-tax state and no income tax is a good thing. I disagree on both counts.
  • Taylor: A reality check as Texas, U.S. tweak taxes on wealth It’s easy to slip into a “tax breaks good, tax hikes bad” mindset. That ignores the fact that when someone pays less, someone else often pays more.
  • Taylor: Breaking up is cheap to do with S.A. firm’s website Uncontested.com provides a “law-tech” solution for getting divorced in the most financially efficient way.
  • Taylor: Even inflation and war can’t put a shine on metals Your periodic reminder: Gold and silver are never a great investment and, despite the ads, current events aren’t changing that.
  • Taylor: Larry Fink’s undemocratic approach to democracy His firm BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world. So when Larry Fink says capitalism needs to consider more than just profits, people listen.
  • Taylor: Waging a risky financial war with Russia It’s probably morally correct. But it probably will not accomplish the main goals of stopping the shooting war — or toppling Putin’s regime.
  • Taylor: Bandera — the town that said no to corporate welfare A small city in the Hill Country notched a rare victory against putting Texas taxpayers on the hook for subsidies in the name of economic development.
  • Taylor: Trying to understand San Antonio’s DeLorean delusion Later is too late for a company and economic development officials to tell us what they know when handouts of public money are being discussed.
  • Taylor: What’s right age to start taking Social Security? At the extremes of health and wealth, it’s easy. But for those in the middle it takes a mixture of probability, mortality and knowing the rules.
  • Taylor: What to do when your spouse cheats — with your money As we approach Valentine’s Day we need to have that talk. The one about infidelity, I mean financial infidelity.
  • Taylor: This philosopher king advocates for automatons I’ve been reading “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio and shuddering to think what kind of dystopia he wrought at Bridgewater, the hedge fund he founded.
  • Taylor: How to be a tax-savvy small business in 2022 That means monthly bank reconciliation, and it means mid-month reviews of KPIs. Also, retirement contribution limits for self-employed workers are growing.
  • Taylor: Corruption in plain sight Enforcing rules on stock trading by members of Congress seems like one of the most obvious good government rules to affect, but also the hardest. There’s a bit of positive momentum on the issue this month.
  • Billionaire Peter Thiel loves monopolies, not democracies Getting to know the philosopher-billionaires of our new Gilded Age: Peter Thiel seems among the most dangerous, according to the first major biography of him, “The Contrarian.”
  • Taylor: To profit in 2022, maybe best to keep it boring Looking back, 2021 was a monkey barrel of an investing year. Looking forward, I suggest sticking with good old equity index investing.