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Why I Want You to Drink a Cup of Coffee After Going Through a Financial Plan

♥ coffee
Makes me much more appealing!

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”
–Dave Barry

When I was at West Point, lights out was rigidly enforced at midnight. You were expected to be in your room at 11:30 PM, and in bed at midnight. You couldn’t get back out of bed until 5:20 AM. I have no idea why they thought that 5 hours and 20 minutes of sleep was better than, say, 5 hours and 30 minutes or 5 hours, but that’s what those in charge mandated, and so it was.

There was one exception to the rule.

During term end exams (TEEs – the Army has acronyms for everything), or what my civilian counterparts would call final exams (no use in using a perfectly good civilian phrase when the military could invent a new one), we were allowed to stay up all night and were not confined to our rooms.

My friend Paul and I used this time wisely. We sat around in either my room or his room smoking one cigar a night – to claim that we “smoked” our exams – and shooting the breeze. Our roommates, who were assiduously studying, weren’t fond of this behavior, since we were appearing to get nothing done. Then, in a mad rush of cramming, we’d spend a couple of hours poring over summaries of the entire semester’s worth of lessons, and go to sleep.

As Cal Berkeley’s John Kilhstrom shows, going to sleep was helpful in allowing our brains to retain what we’d just been cramming into our skulls. The joke was that our goal was to memorize information, dump it onto the paper for the final exam, and then promptly forget about it.

As with everything at West Point, that practice even had its own coined phrase: “spec and dump.” Thank goodness for those military phrases. Without them, I could probably go an entire day without my wife looking at me with a blank stare and asking what something I just uttered meant.

However, according to newly released research, we were skipping a step in our learning.

What was it, and how does this apply to your financial life?

Read on to find out.

Coffee: Steroids for Your Brain

Recent research by Johns Hopkins’s Daniel Borota and others shows that drinking 200 mg of strong coffee – about the equivalent of one tall Starbucks coffee or two cups of drip coffee – increased recall of items that had test subjects had seen the previous day.

Of course, the consumption of a tall Starbucks cup of coffee may wreak havoc on your sleeping habits, but, boy, your memory will be great the next day!

How does this affect your wallet?

There are only a couple of reasons that you’re reading the articles on my website:

  1. You’re a friend of mine and feel some sort of duty as a friend to read everything I write
  2. You’re a personal finance blogger and want to visit the watering hole, or
  3. You’re not satisfied with your financial situation and are looking for a way to improve your finances, your retirement plan, or your security.

If you’re in group #3, then please fill in the contact form, and I will connect you with a financial planner.

There’s no point in going through a financial plan if you’re either a) fill in all of the information completely, or b) read the results and then promptly forget about them, not changing your ways.

That’s where the coffee comes in.

Get the results, and then drink a cup of coffee.

As one user said, “Holy [CENSORED], that’s a lot of information!”

If you want the information to stick, you’re going to have to help your subconscious do the heavy lifting.

Coffee to the rescue!

If you drink the cup of coffee after getting the results, you’ll have a greater chance of retaining what you’ve seen, which will help you to make wiser financial decisions.

Who knew that coffee was so powerful?

It also hydrates as well as water does.

So, what are you waiting for? Fill in the contact form, and start quaffing some coffee!

Want to learn more about coffee’s effects on your memory? Check out the video below.

By

Jason Hull, CFP®, was the co-founder of Broadtree Partners, a firm that acquires $1-5MM EBITDA companies. He also was the co-founder of open source search consultancy OpenSource Connections, a premier Solr and ElasticSearch firm. He and his wife FIREd (financial independence retire early) at 46 and 45, respectively. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business.

You can read more about him in the About Page.

3 replies on “Why I Want You to Drink a Cup of Coffee After Going Through a Financial Plan”

I remember those long observation post sessions in Bosnia. When there is legitimately very little actual danger, you talk about lots and lots of things. Funny enough, one of my drivers got his CFP certification a few weeks ago and is working at USAA.

I appreciate the kind words, but I had to edit them out, as I’m not allowed to post testimonials. First Amendment <> SEC’s desires!

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