1: Towards Financial Enlightenment

What you need to know about money – and how to know it

Become such as you are, having learnt what that is. – Pindar, Pythian Odes

I feel it is the duty of one who goes his own way to inform society of what he finds on his voyage of discovery. – Carl Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology

Investing is not the study of finance. It’s the study of how people behave with money. – Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money

What this part is about

Making space for good ideas by ridding yourself of deceptive ones – Self-deceit repels any advice that doesn’t double-down on the deception. And it’s incredibly hard to overcome. But it’s especially important to do so with money. Because money deceives us more, and has more wide-ranging (and expensive) consequences, than anything else.

Trusting your own truth so you don’t get waylaid by someone else’s – Finance demands a philosophy. A way of understanding yourself, and how you live with money. Without one, you waste money, time, and energy chasing other people’s dreams, and flick from one siren-call of investment advice to the next, never sure if what you’re doing is right for you.

Cultivating wisdom and putting it to use – Your financial philosophy is tied to your life, not a textbook. But what makes it robust is an understanding of knowing what you know, how you know it, and how to use it in insightful and practically wise ways.

What this part isn’t about

Abstract theory – Tempting as it is to jump to the investing checklist, and dismiss the cultivation of wisdom that actually makes it useful, doing so simply doesn’t work. Becoming wiser should not be dismissed as a theoretical add on. It is by definition a practical endeavour.

Tired clichés – Thinking more mindfully about money does not mean spouting fortune-cookie claptrap about ‘abundance mindsets’ and spending your money on crystals rather than Cristal.

Pretending that the philosophy can wait – Philosophy isn’t a nice to have, or something to sort out when the finances are sorted. Finances without a grounding philosophy cannot be sorted.