These are 15 lessons from the book “The Psychology of Money” that changed how I think about money, and hopefully, it can change yours too.
1.No one is crazy.
Well, I mean, some people are. What we experience makes up about 0.00000001% of what’s going on in the world, yet it makes up around 80% of how we think the world works.
So when we see people freak out and sell everything when the market goes down or buy lottery tickets, we might think that is a crazy, irrational decision. No one’s crazy. If you were in their shoes, you might do the same thing.
2. Luck versus risk.
Let’s say that I go out there, do some research, and buy a stock. Five years from now, maybe that stock either didn’t grow at all or maybe even lost money. It’s possible that when I bought that stock, I made a bad decision. It’s also possible that I made the right decision and just got some bad luck. There was stuff that was not in my control that happened. This stock could have had an 80% chance of making money, and it just so happened that I landed on that 20% chance that it wasn’t gonna work out.
It doesn’t mean I made a bad decision, necessarily. But it could also work the other way, where you just get dumb luck. You pick something that was a bad decision, and it ended up working out for you. This is important when it comes to listening to financial advice and taking action in your own financial life.
For example, Bill Gates happened to be in one of the only schools that had a computer in his state. If that hadn’t happened, maybe he wouldn’t be worth tens of billions of dollars. You never know how risk and luck are going to be involved in your decisions and how they can completely change everything.
3. Most of us have enough.
We have enough to live on, to have food, to drink coffee, to have something to watch a YouTube video on. But we always seem to push for more – more power, more money, a bigger house, more clothes, nicer cars. And yes, I fall into that trap as well. For instance, when I hit the target of 500 followers, I wanted more. But seriously, we need to realise when we have enough.
Right now, I do have enough. Anything beyond that is a bonus, completely unnecessary. Sometimes realizing that, and if we can keep our needs few, then we can have enough a lot sooner than somebody else and be content in our lives.
4. Some things are just never worth risking to get more things, like our reputation, our freedom, our family and friends, and our happiness. The best way to make sure that we can keep all these things is not to risk any of them to have more than we need when we already have enough.
5. Compound interest.
I’m gonna be honest; this is something I struggle with. When we see somebody who’s at the top of their field, whether that’s in YouTube, in business, in investing,or in a relationship, we want that result. But we want it now, and we don’t see all of the work and the years that went into that.
For instance, if you look at Warren Buffett, he started investing when he was 10 years old. I don’t know what you were doing at 10, but I wasn’t investing. By the time he was 30, heha hit a million dollars. By the time he was 59, he hit 3.8 billion dollars, and now he’s worth almost 100 billion dollars.
But if he had started investing at 20 instead of at 10, that could have made an enormous difference in how much he’s worth today. A lot of times, we look at the results instead of looking at the compound effects that went into it.
6 .Plan on the plan not going according to plan.
As Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” So when we’re making plans for our financial lives, we should have plans for if those plans go awry. We should have emergency funds. We should be aiming to have probably six months to a year’s worth of living expenses in case things go wrong. What happens if there’s a recession, and you can’t withdraw your money from the stock market? What happens if there’s a housing crisis? Well, we don’t want to obsess about all the negative things that could happen in the world but structure our finances to be unbreakable.
7. Be a pilot of your finances.
There’s an old saying with pilots that being a pilot is hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. A good definition of financial genius is doing the average thing when everybody around you is going crazy.
8. Freedom comes first.
Honestly, I couldn’t agree with this more. That’s why I believe in financial minimalism all the time. It’s the idea that even doing something that you love on a schedule that you hate or with people that you hate can make it feel like something that you hate. So even if you love your job right now, focusing on building freedom in your life is what’s important. What if, in a year, you get a terrible boss or you hate your job or they try to move you or they do something or you hate your work environment or the schedule they put you on? We should be focusing on building freedom.
9.No one gives a… no one is as impressed by your material stuff as you are.
Like, let’s be honest. When you see somebody driving that cool car, you don’t think that person is cool; you think the car is cool, or how cool you would look if you were driving that car. This is something that I used to struggle with, where I would always be focused on my clothes, my car, what people thought about me, my job, whatever it was, and how people perceived me. When, in reality, no one cares. They’re just worried about themselves. So that’s freeing because you don’t need to spend money on stuff to impress people you don’t even like.
10. Be wealthy, not flashy.
When most people say that they want to be a millionaire, what they mean is they want to spend a million dollars, which is the opposite of being a millionaire. But most people judge how successful they are on how much money they spend, and how flashy their stuff is. But true success and true wealth are measured in freedom.
11 .Be frugal.
Shocker, right? Building wealth has very little to do with how much money you make and almost everything to do with your savings. Right now, a lot of people only save for specific things. They save for a house, they save up for a car, for a vacation, whatever it is. But it’s important to save just for the sake of saving. You don’t need something that you’re saving up for. You’re saving up because that’s what’s gonna buy your freedom, that’s what’s gonna buy options, that’s what’s gonna buy memories. It’s saving money not spending it because you know that stuff won’t make you happy.
12 .Never tell me the odds.
You know, the odds are quite interesting. The odds of making money in the stock market are 50/50 over one day, 66% over one year, 88% over 10 years, and 100% over 20 years. This just shows the importance of being in the market for a long time, taking advantage of that compound interest, and not freaking out when the market goes down or trying to time it. Just try to be in the market and continually put more in over a long period. That’s how you’re guaranteed to make money.
13. We suck at telling our future.
Most people stick with the job they chose when they were trying to go to school at 18. But the odds of picking a job that’s gonna be fulfilling, that you’re gonna care about and enjoy going to work and enjoy every day for the next 40 years are astronomically low. That’s because we can’t tell what the future holds.
I used to have five-year plans and ten-year plans, and now I don’t plan past about six months. If something’s not fulfilling you and you’re just doing it because that’s what you’ve done in the past, it’s not a good reason to do it. It might be time to make a shift and see what you can change so that you’re not stuck doing this thing you don’t like doing for the rest of your life.
14.Not all prices are on the label.
Like I said earlier, there’s like a 100% chance of making money if you invest in the stock market over 20 years, and the historical average is around 11% per year. However, that money does not come free. There is a fee you have to pay, but that fee is not money; it is volatility and uncertainty.
This can be powerful to understand, especially with everything that’s going on right now. When you see the market dip 20% and you lose 20% of your money, that can be scary. Unless you look at it as “This is the fee. If I can stick through this, this is what’s gonna make me money in the long term.” Instead of people who can’t handle it and they sell and get out of the market, you have to realize that that stress, that uncertainty, that worry, that is the price for the returns you’re gonna make.
15.You are not me.
That’s kind of obvious, and congratulations to you. But we often look at people giving financial advice, and a lot of it. This will equal this; this will be a good decision. If you invest your money this way, it’ll be a good decision. That’s not necessarily true. We have to be very careful who we listen to.
When you’re giving financial advice to an 18-year-old as opposed to a 30-year-old who’s just starting a family as opposed to a 50-year-old who’s getting ready for retirement, a decision that would be great for one person would be a horrible decision for somebody else. Realize that I’m not you and the other people you listen to, you have to take it with a grain of salt and adapt it to your circumstances because every circumstance is different.
In conclusion, these 15 lessons from “The Psychology of Money” have reshaped my financial perspective. They remind me that financial decisions are a blend of luck and risk, emphasizing the importance of having “enough.” Compound interest and the long-term view have become my allies. I’ve learned to plan for the unexpected, prioritize freedom, and understand that material possessions don’t impress others as much as they do me. Avoiding unnecessary risks, embracing calculated ones, and practising delayed gratification are key principles. I now focus on simplifying my investment approach. These lessons guide me towards a more secure and mindful relationship with money.
You can check out the book here !!!
It’s free and it’s a must read book
Wondering how you can support me ?
If you are a friend of this blog, show some love here.❤️❤️❤️🐼