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What I'm reading #28: Net fulfilment & teenage investors

By Sam Instone - July 15, 2021

Next week is Eid Al Adha.

And if you’re living in the UAE like me, that means a 6-day weekend…

To rest, spend time with loved ones and create memorable moments.

A true gift of time.

But regardless of where you are this weekend, how do you plan to make the most of it?

I found this piece by Darius Foroux particularly apt.

In it, Darius says:

Life is not about the things you get to experience, it’s something you experience regardless of what you do. That means every experience is worth it. Whether it’s something you desired or not. “

Often when you try too hard to chase special experiences or spend too much time planning the future, you miss whatever is right in front of you.

You forget to live in the now.

But how can you do this, without sacrificing your financial future?

What I’ve learned during my 20-year career in financial services is that the most successful investors are those who started early.

Who seized the day and began investing when others weren’t. They thought about their future, without sacrificing their time.

I found this great list of investing books for teenagers to help them get a handle on their finances sooner rather than later.

On the list, you’ll find The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, 4 Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein, Moneyball by Michael Lewis, and more.

While on the topic of Morgan Housel, his latest blog talks about the assumption that smart people have the right answers.

He says there are situations when people become too smart for their own good, where intelligence is a liability and blocks good decisions.

Why? Here are a few causes:

  • The ability to create complex stories makes it easy to fool people, including yourself.
  • What’s boring is often important and the smartest people are the least interested in what’s boring.
  • Intelligence can make it difficult to communicate with ordinary people, who may have the missing insight you’re looking for.

I’ve often spoken about complexity in investing.

If information is opaque, laden with jargon and lacking simplicity – it doesn’t mean it’s an intelligent solution.

It means it’s likely going to work against you.

This article by Tony Isola is thought-provoking. He discusses the concept of attention as the cash value of time.

You’re as free as your attention span permits.

Focussing on every small detail, both real and imagined, wastes precious attentional bandwidth. In a financial sense, how you deploy your financial attention provides much more bang for your buck.

So here are a few questions to ponder:

  • Is saving for thirty years and then living the next thirty in an incessant state of fear of losing it productive?
  • Is giving your riches away at 95 to your 70-year-old children the best way to maximise your almost century of living?
  • Is watching your portfolio grow more important than taming your mind, eating properly, and exercising?

Use it or lose it, Net Worth is no match for Net Fulfilment.

Spend your attention wisely.

Don’t waste the gift of longevity.


A question for you:

How much time and energy do you place on things outside your control?


This week’s meditations:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien


“Only time will tell if it was time well-spent.”
Jimmy Buffett


“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?”
- Henry David Thoreau


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! 


Every experience is worth having by Darius Foroux 

Investing books for a teenager by Kris Abdelmessih

Too Smart by Morgan Housel's

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

4 Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Attention is the cash value of time by Anthony Isola


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