The Super Rad True History of Money

Actually, I don’t know the history of money. Sorry. It probably involves the Romans somehow.

What I do know is that we all have our own personal history of money. A history of money that touches every aspect of our lives. It shapes our work, our lifestyles, our relationships and our futures.

Here is yours. Just fill in the blanks.

My ____________ give(s) me a sense of purpose.

____________ is what I value most.

I feel _____________ about the present and ____________ about the future.

My three most important financial goals, in order, are: (1)____________ (2)____________ and (3)____________.

My greatest financial fear is ____________.

My biggest financial mistake so far was ____________.

My ideal lifestyle is one centered around _____________.

I earn ____________ from working as ____________.

I work on average _____________ hours a week and feel _____________ about it.

____________ is what makes me most happy.

I plan to save ____________ within ____________ years so I can one day _____________.

I want to spend more time doing ____________ with ____________.

One thing I would sacrifice now is ____________ if it means I get more _____________.

Other people (creditors) have a claim of ______________ on my money.

____________ comes into my account every month, and ____________ goes out.

Most of my money is spent on ____________.

Three things that I find are always worth spending money on: (1) ____________, (2)____________ and (3) ____________.

If something is too expensive, I ____________.

Expensive to me is a ____________ car and a ____________ house.

The dumbest big-ticket item I ever purchased was ____________.

If I wake up tomorrow without a job, I have ____________ in cash to pay my bills.

On a scale of one to 10, my confidence in choosing the best performing investments is ____________.

I describe myself as a _____________ investor.

My portfolio is made up of ____________, ____________ and ____________.

I expect my portfolio to earn an average annual return of _____________.

The last time the stock market dropped 15-20%, I _____________.

On average, I spend about _____________ hours each week consuming financial news.

If I die, my assets will be distributed to ____________.

The way I most want to help my loved one financially is ____________.

The first three things that come to mind that I am grateful for: (1) ____________, (2)____________ and (3) ____________.

I will donate ____________ to ____________ because I care about ____________.

I want people to remember me for ____________.

The kind of legacy I want to leave behind is one described as _____________.

Catharsis

The moral is that money is a personal story. It is and always will be written only by you. There are many familiar narratives, but those serve just as general guidelines.

The right one for you depends on your situation, your desires. Put another way, don’t try to relive another person’s money history. Financial success is your own definition. It is the only passage to a truly happy ending.

That’s the cool, rad thing about money. You can use it how you want to shape your life into what you want.

Everyone has a money history. What you do with it is up to you. Some repeat it. Some learn from it. The special ones use it to help others.

Friday Five – Election Week Edition

How to survive the next few weeks with grace

This week has felt like several weeks. Perfect time then to read this meditation from wellness sage and author Rich Roll on not letting difficult times get the best of you.

Only through perspective, by broadening our own aperture, can we put distance between ourselves and the incessant whine of matters beyond what a single individual can control. Perspective provides objectivity on the vast divide between perception and reality. It grounds us in humility. And it is through perspective that we return to what is most important: our shared humanity.

How to mentally handle uncertainty

Morningstar’s resident behavioral economist Sarah Newcomb offers excellent tips to deal with uncertainty and avoid making costly mistakes.

The real existential threat to your finances is short-term thinking. Decades of research show us that short-term thinking is linked to increased impatience and discounting of future rewards[1], impulsive decisions[2], higher debt[3], lower savings [4], excessive risk-taking [5], and poor health decisions [6].

Fear and uncertainty can make short-term thinkers of the best of us. End-of-the-world narratives and our current state of pandemic confusion only serve to exacerbate the problem. It’s hard to plan for a 20-year time horizon when you can’t see past next week.

It’s not the end of your retirement

Ritholtz 403(b) educator and teach advocate Tony Isola provides some much needed perspective on staying the course when everything else seems out of control.

Is this really the end of the world? Do you think it’s worth sacrificing your most valuable asset, your health? Worrying and elevating your stress levels over events that have virtually no possibility of happening and which you have no control over isn’t a good use of your precious time.

Who said winners never quit?

Former poker star Annie Duke writes about the upside of quitting.

If you are stuck deciding between two options, you should choose the one that is easier to quit. The option to quit gives you the flexibility you need to successfully react to new information.

When it turns out that your initial choice wasn’t a good one, don’t stick it out simply because you chose it. Just quit.

Friday Fiction: George Saunders

Every day starts out as a certain day, dear reader, which, when it begins, we call today. Hence, every day, as we wake to a new today, we must assume that today may be the day. For what, though? That is what is unknown, that is what I must find out, and quickly now: for what will each of my coming todays henceforth be for?

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