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What I'm reading #27: Money rules and goals

By Sam Instone - July 08, 2021

This week, my colleague, Stuart was telling me about a dinner party he attended.

He was invited by one of his friends, a well-known business owner in Dubai.

He said it was inspiring to neither be the smartest nor the wealthiest in the room.

And here’s why.

At this dinner party, they discussed life, wealth and everything else.

And as with wealth, they chatted about the various ways to grow and preserve it.

Stuart was able to share his thoughts and experiences working with many affluent individuals.

You can see some of the common strategies here.

This week’s big news was that of Jeff Bezos’s final day as Amazon CEO.

Andy Jassy, long-time Amazon employee who served as CEO of AWS - the company's cloud computing platform, takes over the reins.

Most reports suggest that Jassy is just as competitive as Bezos.

There is, however, an important difference between the two.

Jassy understands that, for most people, work and not work are two different things.

There’s inspiration in here for other successful business owners who, too, look to balance work and life with the demands of their employees and customers.

I also loved reading Ben Carlson’s latest (and very timely!) piece that compares investing to goal keeping.

Researchers studied nearly 300 penalty kicks from various leagues and championship matches and found goalkeepers dove left or right nearly 94% of the time, meaning the other 6% of the time they basically just stayed in the middle hoping the kick would come right down the pipe.

These researchers figured the save percentage would roughly double if they just stayed in the middle around one-third of the time.

As humans, we have a bias towards action over inaction.

In many areas of life, the harder you work, the more you are rewarded for your efforts. This rule of thumb does not apply to the markets. 

Morgan Housel shared 10 money rules this week – all of which I whole-heartedly agree with. These include:

1. What money can and can’t do for you isn’t intuitive, so most people are surprised at how they feel when they suddenly have more or less than before.

2. Money makes it easy to mistake optimism (good) with gullibility (dangerous) and overconfidence (disastrous).

3. Getting rich and staying rich are different things that require different skills.

4. The formula for how to do well with money is simple. The behaviours you battle while implementing that formula are hard.

5. “Save more money and be more patient” is too simple for most people to take seriously, but it’s the best solution to most financial problems.

6. Expectations move slower than reality on the ground, so it’s easy to become frustrated when clinging to the economic trends of a previous era.

7. Everything is relative. John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough and said, “Just a little bit more.” Everyone, at every income, tends to feel the same.

8. Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money.

9. Debt removes options, savings add them.

10. No one is impressed with your possessions as much as you are.

What has the pandemic taught us about wealth and ‘funded contentment’?

In this podcast, Brian Portnoy and Neil Bage discuss various aspects of behavioural finance, the differences between being rich and being wealthy, and more.

As people reconsider where money and work fit into their lives, have you thought about what leading a meaningful life means for you? 

Finally, on goals...

Carl Richards talks about the emotional weight of setting goals.

Research shows goals are helpful in creating direction and purpose, so how can you deal with the dread of setting them?

Are you placing too much emphasis on trying to predict your future?

Be a little kinder and easier on yourself and remember that goals are really just guesswork – and they're meant to change as your life changes. 


A question for you:

How can you commit to becoming 1% closer to your goals every day?


This week’s mediations:

"The more you move, the easier it is to keep moving. Maintain the momentum."
- James Clear


The only constant in life is change
- Heraclitus


If you liked this post, please share it using the social buttons at the top, or just forward them this blog.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the ‘light’ reading! 


Ben Carlson's article doing nothing is hard work.

Jason Aten's article on Jeff Bezos' successor at Amazon.

Money rules by Morgan Housel.

Finding funded contentment podcast with Brian Portnoy & Neil Bage.

Carl Richard's article goals are only guesses.


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