There’s always a big rush when someone you’ve respected and admired for a long time writes a specific response to your question. I’ve still got an email from 2004 when the author Greg Egan took a moment to reply to an email I sent him.

Ritholtz, for the small number of friends and my parents who take time to read this blog, is a well known in the world of finance, whose blog The Big Picture I’ve followed for many years now. You can read his Wikipedia entry for more specifics but it suffices to say that offering a direct response to a kid from Nairobi wouldn’t need to be a high priority. But he did and I think quite a few people whose world intersects with mine but not that of the Bloomberg/Investor will benefit from what he sent my way.

First, here is what I wrote in a comment on his blog, asking about what individual investors should do if we’re so demonstrably bad in our decision making:

So a question then for “Guest Author,” Barry, or any others from the world of the much spited individual investor.

What’s a little guy like me supposed to do given that:

1. I don’t have a large enough portfolio to have an account managed by some clever adviser.
2. I’m not interested in paying a Mutual Fund management fees to be correlated with the market or worse.
3. I’m striving to learn not just from blogs but from different books and free online classes on finance and portfolio management.
4. I’m not the guy from the part of town (ok part of the world, to be honest) where it will all be okay and some inheritance or parental bail out will ever kick in
5. I’ve got 15 years until kids start going to college and 30 until I can max out my social security retirement benefits.

Barry pointed me to the following:

· 10 financial resolutions you can actually keep
· Ritholtz’s rules of investing
· Ritholtz’s rules of investing (part II)
· Investors’ 10 most common mistakes

Thanks Barry, and hopefully someone browsing by will benefit from them as well.