• Investment Firms Aren’t Buying All the Houses. But They Are Buying the Most Important Ones.

    You may have read in The Wall Street Journal or elsewhere about the trend of investors buying up single-family homes. For Slate I did a deep-dive by reviewing the financial records of the largest home buyers and uncovered an important point: investors like Invitation Homes (a spin-off of private equity company Blackstone) don’t buy homes at random. They’re really buying up smaller, more affordable housing in growing cities like my hometown of Charlotte: in other words, the specific homes that could have been wealth-building for the working class. An interesting point about many of the giant asset managers that are buy these houses is that they’re not just managing the…

  • Why Americans Tend To Underestimate Their Lifespans

    United Income estimates households miss on an average of $110,000 from claiming Social Security at the wrong time, usually, from claiming too early. Why are so many Americans claiming Social Security too early? Of course, Americans without much in retirement savings may feel like they have no other choice, but the fact that many Americans underestimate their longevity may be another important cause. A simple mathematical concept called “conditional probability” helps explain why this happens. My article explaining “conditional probability” was named a Forbes.com Editor’s Pick.