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What I'm reading #31: Wealth vs. getting wealthier

By Sam Instone - August 05, 2022

I've just read yet another great article by best-selling author, Morgan Housel! 

It explained the importance of enjoying your journey to wealth...

Apparently, Will Smith wrote in his biography:

  • Becoming famous is amazing;
  • Being famous is a mixed bag; and
  • Losing fame is miserable. 

Housel suggests the amount of fame someone has, almost doesn't matter.

Instead, it's the trajectory that people cling to. 

The same could be said for money. 

For most people, the process of becoming wealthier feels better than having wealth. 

If it's wealth we're all aiming for, then wouldn't most of us feel great?

A lot of us are undeniably wealthier than we were a generation or two ago...

Perhaps it's the upward path that feels so good?

Housel says this is when dopamine takes over and one can begin to feel unstoppable. 

But when that path begins to decline, no matter what level of wealth you have, the thrill crumbles. 

Learn to enjoy the ride

In investing, lows are inevitable. 

Totally unavoidable. 

The markets go up in the long run, as a reward for paying the cost of admission and staying put while they drop in the short term. 

This is an integral part of how investing works. 

There will be some shattered souls and broken egos. 

And certainly, some terrible decisions made. 

The key to becoming a successful investor is staying on the ride.

It's all about context. 

Most people would respond with the classic line "it's the journey, not the destination that matters!"

It's important to realise that having an addiction to the process of making money, is a version of never having enough and feeling completely satisfied. 

Housel expresses it's a game that can't be won, yet presents a misconception that the finish line is right around the corner. 

He believes that most people suffer the 'game' in silence, expecting it to end.

And then end up disappointed when they realise it never does. 

Perhaps people think they like the game, but what they actually like is the numbers going up. 

This itself may be half the game. 

Most people focus on the outcome of their wealth. 

But maybe it's worth accepting the process of getting wealthier.

Knowing it's a series of constant surprises, volatility, setbacks and disappointment along the way.

But more importantly, understand that if you stick around for the long run, the odds of growth and success are in your favour

Investing can quickly turn into an addiction. 

Money buys happiness, in the same way, that feeding any craving brings pleasure.

Incredible if done right.

Disastrous when no amount is ever enough.


Further reading

The world’s best stock market tip

7 timeless investing principles

How to transfer your Shell pension (Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund/SOCPF)

What I'm reading #29: 45 cognitive biases of today's world

2022: A review at halftime

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