I’m certainly not a finance person. At least I don’t consider myself one. I am just a country lawyer. I have no magic formulas for anyone, unless common sense and my own experience can be considered a magic formula. I have no magic wands, no hidden secrets, no rabbits to pull out of a top hat for you. But I do have some modest experience in dealing with my own money and investments. I’m also a practicing bankruptcy attorney–a job I’ve been doing for over 20 years–and have represented a very large number of individuals and businesses. I’ve seen what things get people into trouble, and what things do not. One begins to notice recurring patterns, and I have tried to distill these into cautionary principles. The result is what follows.