in Economics Textbook!

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Years ago I was contacted by an author named Gary Clayton who wanted permission to feature me in the next edition of his book. I said certainly, and pretty much forgot about it as it wasn’t published yet. The book was (is?) the bestselling high-school economics textbook in the country – Economics: Principles and Practices published by McGraw-Hill. Then a couple weeks ago a student named Cameron from South Adams High School in Berne, Indiana left a surprise comment on my blog:

So our economics class just read about your money blog in our book and we wanted to see if blog still existed. It does! You should definitely give a shoutout to our class in your next update!

Again, I said certainly, and asked for a scan or photo of the sidebar article as I’d never seen it before. Well, here is the blurb mentioning and picture of Cameron’s Economics class!

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Thanks Cameron and go South Adams Starfires! πŸ™‚ It would be even cooler if this book was being used in my old high school…

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  1. Haha! That’s pretty cool. πŸ˜€

    You’re famous!

  2. Kudos!

    You might get some new younger readers thanks to that mention

  3. Way to go!

  4. Do you feel at all odd that the writer profiled you for your openness about your finances but that you have since stopped the practice of being open about your finances?

    I have stuck around your blog because you write great content and I find a lot of value here, but I did start as a reader many years ago because I was interested in watching your actual-value savings grow over time and compare them to myself. That aspect of the blog is what set yourself apart in those early days and is why the writer chose to profile you in that insert.

  5. Seems to be a clip from a longer article:

  6. Congratulations! I wish this had been in my high school textbook. We learned dry macroeconomics and nothing practical.

    I’ve read your blog for years though, and I don’t think I’d say you often “wallow over high taxes”- neither do other finance blogs I read…

  7. Ian makes a good point I think. I have noticed that too over the years. I don’t blame you but it is kind of funny that the description of your blog is not necessarily 100% accurate anymore. I still read it but it does seem different.

  8. Totally agree with Ian. The most interesting part of this blog was the personal balance sheet info. Just not as interesting anymore, and definitely not the same blog the textbook referenced.

  9. Janet McNamara says

    You finally gave up your identity!!! (I’m a little behind on reading your blog)

  10. Long Time reader says

    THe blog has been sold to some firm over a year ago. Ping cashed out. Currently he is just writing for the new owners for fee(s).

  11. I gotta disagree with the comments that the blog has gotten less interesting. The focus may have shifted, but it’s still one of the few PF blogs I read any more. I long ago unsubscribed from biggies like The Simple Dullard and Get Rich Slowly because they just rehash the same beginner information over and over. Now I pretty much only read MMB and The Finance Buff. I like that Jonathan seems to only post things that catch his interest for whatever reason, or are really good deal alerts, instead of posting for the sake of posting. I personally can take or leave personal net worth updates; since everyone’s situation is different, I find them hard to relate to. JMHO.

    Congrats on the mention, Jonathan!

  12. I disagree with previous commenters: the personal balance sheet was interesting when the numbers were low and most people could relate to them. Now you’re both making great salaries and you’re well on your way to financial freedom, the numbers are so much higher that it could be off-putting to new readers who are just starting out. I’ve been reading the blog for its great advice (including in the Comments section), and I think that’s why most of the old readers stick around!

    By the way, textbooks are ALWAYS outdated by the time they’re in print. It’s the problem of printed media – not of the people featured in them πŸ˜‰

  13. I somewhat agree with the other comments. I started reading your blog 5 or 6 years ago when I saw it mentioned in Money magazine. I was initially drawn in by the openness of your financial situation. It made me want to do the same, and I’ve been tracking my net worth ever since, which is quite helpful. It made me feel confident that my net worth(at the time) was pretty similar, if not slightly higher than yours. Since then; however, you have gone on the completely wipe the slate with me, and have far surpassed me. In my defense, we are now a one income family and I am a stay at home dad of 4 children. It’s still enjoyable to share in your success and pick up valuable pointers and great deals along the way. I don’t think our own situation would have looked as good as it does without your guidance.

    Congrats on the mention.

  14. your cover is blown;
    now everyone knows what you look like and your
    full name; πŸ™‚

    at least now we can place a face to the name;

  15. Allow me to clarify my position – I don’t think your blog is more or less interesting. I don’t blame you for taking the balance sheet down and becoming more private. I just find it interesting (funny even) that the description in the textbook no longer completely jibes with the actual content of the site anymore. As I said, I still read your site. I just get a different feel from it than I used to and I think that makes sense because it has changed as your position has changed.

  16. @Ian @disappointedformervoyeurs – As other have alluded to, our incomes are well in the top 5% of the country now. I am not ashamed of that fact, but I also know that very few people would be able to match our net worth even if they saved every penny they earned. Unless you’re a couple both earning six figures and completely saving the larger salary, I don’t think our net worth is helpful to the average reader.

    However, I think other people CAN match our 50% savings rate. I also think people can spend less than us. So that’s why I use ratios.

    When I did share my numbers, I’d instead get e-mail about how they are unrealistic for others to follow, etc. You can’t keep everyone happy. I have never and don’t ever plan on becoming a money guru for others to follow, so why deal with the stress?

    I still share information about my finances almost every day, just in a different way. πŸ˜‰ Thanks everyone for reading.

    @Fred – I thought that “wallowing about high taxes” part was weird too. Perhaps this sidebar was in the chapter about taxes? I’m a cheap punk so I’m waiting until this textbook becomes an previous edition and then I’ll pick up 2-3 copies for under $1 each. πŸ™‚ The current previous edition is being sold for a penny at Amazon used.

    @J @Max – It is different. I’m different. Ce la vie. The best part about having a personal blog is to be able to write about whatever you want, whenever you want!

    @Janet – Well, my identity has been out there for a long time for the very curious, but yes I am fully “public” now. Another reason why I don’t want to release all my numbers anymore. πŸ™‚

    @Long Time reader – Really?!? Where’s my check then?!?! While many other of my contemporaries have indeed sold their blogs – as is their prerogative – this blog remains owned and written by a single person. So unless you have a contract that I am not aware of, you’d be wrong.

    @Anne – Thanks for the kind words. Honestly, if I don’t write about what I want, then things get really boring really fast.

    @Yinna – I think you’ve put it well. I definitely think my readers and commenters are the best as well, much higher quality than you’d usually find. Thanks for reading!

    @Russ – Thanks for reading. I think you’re a good example, I’m sure you are making good progress and it looks like you have your priorities straight. If Mother Nature blessed us with 4 children and we didn’t have fertility roadblocks, our financial situation would be very different as well.

    @skg – Cover was blown in 2006, check out the Businessweek article. πŸ™‚

  17. Thats cool. Congratulations.

  18. @Jonathan – Amen.

  19. I had a very similar thing happen to me when I lived in NYC. As a student, one of my professors was writing a book on unique shoes in history and knew I owned a pair of very unusual horse hoof boots by Martin Margiela (they have a split toe, apparently inspired by ninja boots!). She had the boots professionally photographed and I forgot about the whole thing until years later. While at the NY Public Library I accidentally picked up the book with my shoes in it and a blurb with my name! Having never had my name in a book, I was thrilled.

    Congrats, Jonathan.

  20. That they evidently refused to show how to get to your blog makes them sorta like jerks, though.

  21. “wallow over high taxes”? Dear god, what has happened to the standard of writing in this country? You can’t wallow ‘over’ something and while “wallow in self-pity” is the most common use of the word, the word itself has nothing to do with self-pity which seems to be the connotation they want here. These poor kids growing up with shit textbooks.

  22. Congratulations! Years after following your blog, finally we get a close-up picture how you look like. Thanks you for introducing us to this personal financial blog. I have been benefited from credit card promotion, investment portfolios. And I also keep track on my wealth growth monthly which I copy your idea of publishing your financial growth. And I also open a blog like you do 2 years ago, even thought I am still far behind the contribution to the blog. Again, thanks for the blog, Jonathan. Thank YOU from the bottom of my thoughts.

  23. This blurb was pulled straight from Businessweek in 2006, so the author isn’t necessarily at fault here πŸ˜‰

  24. Our standards of economics textbooks has long been needing an upgrade. It is blogs and writers such as yourself which inspired me to become money-savvy in my Junior year of high-school. The principles I learned then still guide my life.

    While I am no where near my goals, I am far ahead of my peers. What will be hard for me is 30 years from now when I get to retire and they do not.

    It will be lonely on the golf course, but I’m thankful for torchbearers that inspired me to find a better path.

    I hope this blurb in the textbook will guide and inspire other students as well.

  25. Very nice, I’ve been reading your blog since around the time it started.. almost daily.. was it 2002, 2003? And all this time for some reason I pictured you as a white guy (not that it makes any difference πŸ™‚ ) thanks for the great articles!

  26. Haha, i had the exact same thoughts as kishore πŸ™‚

  27. Well, I was born and raised in Texas so I suppose you could call me a banana, Twinkie, etc. I had my own pair of boots before I was 4, was the only Asian kid in my entire class for years, and never had sushi, Indian food, or Thai food until I was 18. πŸ™‚ That probably comes out in my writing manner, although I would say that the demographics of my readership at least based on my overall impression is very diverse.

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