Financial Lessons and Happiness – Finger Financial Five #149

Jeremy Finger
Jeremy Finger
Table of Contents

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

I have a notoriously short attention span. For that reason, my daily reading is one-lesson-a-day books. One page, one lesson. 

The following is a collage of lessons from a couple of blogs by Morgan Housel, the author of The Psychology of Money. The blogs are here and here. I have added my spin to each. 

You don’t have to know exactly what the future holds to know that some people will handle it better than others. 

  • The trick here is NOT to be able to predict the future but to be the person who handles life’s variances better. – Nassim Taleb talks about this in his book, Antifragile.  
  • Peace . . . It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. – Unknown

A bigger problem than price inflation is expectations inflation: A constant increase in what you need to be satisfied.

  • This is called Lifestyle Creep – where every income jump is met with an equal to or exceeding expense of lifestyle consumption. 
  • Save 30%-50% of every pay increase. Your lifestyle rises but so does your savings. 

The most valuable personal finance asset is not needing to impress anyone.

  • This is Lifestyle Creep resistance

The proper financial mindset is to be scared enough to save for the short run and brave enough to invest for the long run.

  • Life is both short and long (if we are lucky). Prepare for both.

There’s a big difference between how something should work in theory vs. how it actually works in the real world when technical facts meet human emotions.

  • We all know how stocks have done over the long term, yet we all know the difficulty of staying invested for  the long term.

Most of what makes you happy in life has nothing to do with money and realizing that once you have money can be a painful admission.

  • Jim Carrey once said, “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer.
  • Health, family, and friends are big keys to happiness
  • There is a Scottish proverb: Be happy while you are living, for you are a long time dead.

Would you rather make $100,000 a year with a spouse who loves you, children who admire you, good friends, good health, and a clear conscience, or make $1,000,000 and have none of those things? It’s so obvious.

  • It is obvious, right?
  • Right????

I think what many people really want from money is the ability to stop thinking about money.

  • A wealthy friend of mine and I were on his boat last year. We passed an oceanfront house on the point in Garden City. He said that is a nice place. I replied, yeah but they will have to replace their AC every few years. His response was, So? Point was, he had people to take care of his stuff for him. 
  • You can stop thinking about money if you have people thinking about it for you. I don’t think about growing my food because I have a grocery store down the street. 

One is that money that comes easily tends to be spent easily. When money comes quickly, the emotional cost of blowing it on something frivolous is low. Old money wants a tax shelter; new money wants a Lambo.

  • The same lessons learned to earn money are the same lessons needed to keep it. 

Which point stuck out to you the most? 

My attention deficit affects my proofreading too. Error in last week’s Finger Financial Five. You can give $17,000 in 2023 without gift tax, NOT $167,000. 

Let us know if you have any questions! Happy to help! Click here for a phone appointment. 

On the lighter side, Elliott stayed with us during his Fall Break, Wednesday to Sunday. We went out to dinner for his 19th birthday at Hook and Barrel on Friday night. It felt like he was with us for only a few minutes. May not see him again for three weeks or more.

Hope all is well with you and your family.


Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions. 

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Riverbend Wealth Management are separate entities. This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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