I had a colonoscopy today. Though 40 is young to elect to have this procedure, my family has a history of cancer (including some colon cancer). The older I get, the more I come to understand how important my health is. I used to say that your career is your most important asset. It’s not. Your health is. And so I’m becoming more concerned with preventive measures. They’ll save me money in the long run — and they’ll keep me alive!

Now that this procedure is out of the way, I’m ready to return to this blog full-time. I feel like I’ve been out of the loop lately, and that’s no fun. To begin with, here are some interesting stories from around the web:

First up, check out the latest episode of the Consumerism Commentary podast from my pal Flexo. He and Tom Dziubek interviewed me recently about pursuing passions. It was a fun conversation. (Also, the second part of my interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is up. Part one here.)

Earlier today I published a guest post that encouraged you to be more involved in your financial planning. I think this is great advice, but all the same, there are circumstances for which it makes sense to hire a professional. A recent Forbes article makes the argument (that I don’t agree with, by the way) that most investors should hire professionals to run their portfolios: “The average investor shouldn’t be managing their own money but, instead, farming it out to professionals who are going to be focused 100% of the time.” My advice? Do what works for you.

Elsewhere, a recent issue of Time featured an interview with Martin Lindstrom about how shoppers make decisions in a recession. “Consumers still do have money — at least many do — but the reason that they’re not spending it is because they’re afraid they may lose the money in the future,” Lindstrom says. “So companies are trying to find the triggers they have to pull on in order to make people feel comfortable about spending money.” You know how much I like stories about the psychology of money! I’ll have to read Lindstrom’s book.

Finally, Trent at The Simple Dollar has pulled together a great post on a subject I’ve been meaning to write about for months: preparing your information for disaster. What info do you need to gather and why? What about an emergency plan? And how should you store it? Trent’s system is similar to the one I’ve devised for myself.

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