What this book isn't about

The non-contents

If these ideas already existed in a sufficiently well-organised form, this book wouldn’t.

If traditional, non-philosophical, investment books reliably changed our relationships with money from our brains outward, rather than hoping to do it from numbers-based tactics inward, there would be no need for this book.

But such books all suffer from the same self-deception that is the cause of the crummy relationships with money they’re trying to improve.

Money Blind is about beating self-deception. The trickiest thing about self-deception is that we also deceive ourselves into thinking we’re not deceived by anything. At least not in too dangerous or expensive a way.

Yet when it comes to money, and our just-about-incessant interactions with it, not to mention all the really catastrophically crappy things it inspires people to do, this is very far from being true.

What this book isn’t about is almost as important as what it is.

In addition to the ‘What this isn’t about’ sections of the respective intro pages for each Part and Chapter, this is what Money Blind isn’t about:

1. Money Blind is about investment advice, but it isn’t about the illusion of reassurance

Most people seek investment advice for reassurance. And most receive it. But what they receive is usually only an illusion. It’s the reassurance of an industry that’s dressed itself up to be impossibly complicated, but you needn’t worry, because it is here to deal with that.

2. Money Blind is about mindset more than money, but it isn’t about equivocal woo-woo

Some investment books rightly acknowledge that money doesn’t solve money problems. But then dash immediately into an impractical land where willing yourself to have an ‘aura of abundance’ or redefining what being ‘rich’ or having ‘wealth’ really means is the answer… mysteriously overlooking that obsessing about ‘abundance’, ‘rich’, and ‘wealth’, or ‘having’ anything, be it stuff or status, is exactly what made things messy in the first place. Exhortations to love yourself or pigeonhole yourself into one of X number of different money types come from the same shelf as get-rich-quick schemes. If simply knowing it’s how you feel inside that matters were the answer, we’d all have got unstuck centuries ago.

3. Money Blind is about money, but it isn’t about numbers

We get stuck with money because we get stuck in the ‘having’ mode, when we want to be in the ‘being’ (or rather the ‘becoming’) mode. Because it is only in our participatory relationship with it that money takes on any meaning. Financial success is very rarely anything to do with numbers. There is an underlying emotional reward behind every use of money, every thought of money. Pretending there isn’t blocks us from working out what it is we really want to achieve and subsequently whether what we did to achieve it worked or not. Focusing on the numbers simply doesn’t work. I don’t care how strongly you think it will for you. It won’t. Everybody thinks they’re the exception. And everybody is wrong.

4. Money Blind is about changing behaviours, but it isn’t about specifying what those behaviours should be

If someone tells you how to spend your money, write them off as an insecure fool and move along. It doesn’t work that way. You can even tell someone that spending money on experiences will make them happier than spending it on stuff, and they’ll find a way to turn an experience into a material good. This book is about preparing your mental ground for insight, and wisdom. Becoming wiser with money means that when you slow down and think things through, you’ll make better money decisions by yourself. As a side-effect. Learning to think things through is harder than believing that the solution is for sale, but it has the great advantage of actually working.

5. Money Blind is about short-term work and long-term ease; it’s not about ephemeral easy answers and a lifetime of rumination and worrying about money

Some of the best financial advisers I’ve met have still been suckered in by the instantaneous palliative promises of get-rich-quick schemes. More than once. They’re that tempting. But they lead to a lifelong mental slog. Slogging is shit. We want real rewards from effortless effort.

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In summary, Money Blind is about understanding, in a profound and participatory way, that if you can’t see because you have your hands over your eyes, it’s better to remove your hands and adjust to the light than to pay for an expensive guide dog.