Dave Roos

Contributing Writer

Dave is a freelance journalist who has contributed hundreds of articles to HowStuffWorks since 2007, with a specialty in personal finance, economics and business. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he attended Duke University where he earned the B.A. in comparative religious studies that has served him so well.

Dave began freelancing when he and his wife moved to Mexico in 2003, publishing articles about Mexican food and culture in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. Nearly 15 years and three kids later, Dave and his family recently moved back to Mexico and just might stay a while.

Recent Contributions

How Wine, Art and Diamonds Defy the Laws of Economics

Economics law says that demand goes down when price goes up. But Veblen goods work the opposite way – when price goes up, so does demand. How do these goods get so lucky?

What Are the Different Types of Life Insurance?

You might be confused by the difference between term and whole insurance, as well as all the other life insurance products out there. Or whether you even need life insurance in the first place.

How the Declaration of Independence Birthed the American Nation

Most Americans can at least recite the phrase about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But what else is inside this document? And what was left out?

What Are the Options for Life Insurance Payouts?

Many people think the only life insurance payout option is a lump sum after the insured person dies, but there are actually many choices out there. We look at some of them.

Can You Take Out Life Insurance on Just Anyone?

Do you have to have a relationship with the person, or can it be any old Joe?

Do I Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance is one of those adult-type things that everyone needs to think about, but not everyone needs to buy. Do you need life insurance and, if so, how much?

10 Factors That Affect Your Life Insurance Premium

How much you pay for life insurance can vary on tons of factors, including your age, gender and even your favorite hobbies.

Why Was the American Revolution So Revolutionary?

What makes the American Revolution stand out in world history? Was it the introduction of guerrilla warfare or its stage outside the borders of its parent nation? All those were noteworthy, but the real revolution was what the Revolution created.

4 Year-End Money Tips to Lower Your Tax Bill in 2020

It's pretty certain that you'll have to pay taxes in April. But did you realize there are some things you need to do before Dec. 31 in order to lower that tax burden?

5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Cleopatra

Today she is widely known for her beauty and her seductive ways, but scholars say we've been hoodwinked by propaganda written by her enemies. So what was the real Cleopatra like?

How to Protect Your Packages From Porch Pirates

During the holiday season, chances are you'll get at least one package mailed to your house. Are you worried about package theft? We've got some tips to derail porch pirates.

How Obituaries Went from Dry Death Notices to Tributes to Truth

Obituaries do more than just let the world know someone died. It's a chance to pay tribute to someone, advocate for a cause or even settle a score.

7 Key Questions in the U.S. Slavery Reparations Debate

The question of whether to pay reparations for slavery in the U.S. has been going on since slavery ended but picked up steam this year with a House hearing on the issue. We look at some key issues in the debate.

Second to None: Here's the Buzz on Buzz Aldrin

The second man on the moon is also a scuba enthusiast, math whiz, former combat pilot and the author of the first space selfie. Plus, he's the inspiration for Buzz Lightyear from "Toy Story." How cool is all that?

The Four-day Workweek Isn't as Crazy as You Think

Studies have shown that people spend less than half of each day really being productive. So, why not reduce the workweek to 32 hours and get more done? Although it's worked at a number of companies, others balk at making the change.

9 Fascinating Facts About Julius Caesar, 'Dictator for Perpetuity'

The Roman general and statesman's romantic exploits and bloody betrayal were juicy enough to fuel two different Shakespeare plays; he also lent his name to the C-section and the Caesar haircut. But not the Caesar salad.

Military Funerals Give Service Members and Families One Final Salute

Military funeral honors, involving a flag presentation and the playing of taps, can be very meaningful to the families of loved ones who served in the U.S. military. Who is eligible and how do you request these honors?

Humble Hero: Why Neil Armstrong Became the First Man on the Moon

This self-described "nerdy engineer," and fearless test pilot, had a calm demeanor that won over the NASA top brass, even though Buzz Aldrin badly wanted the honor of being first.

Should You Ever Discuss Politics at Work?

The easiest thing is probably not to do it, but it's almost impossible. Can a company forbid those discussions? We talk with an expert on how to have a civil political discussion at work.

8 Facts About Persian Cats, Kings of the Lap-Nappers

Persians are famous for their long hair and snub noses. But this is no aloof kitty – they're so friendly, breeders refer to them as "dog cats."