2.1: The Inner Game of Investing

Finding the right solutions requires looking in the right places

Yet what does it really matter how rich someone is? Perhaps it is of advantage to himself at least. Sometimes it may not even be that. All the same: let us assume that it is. In other words, he will have more to spend. But does that make him in any way a better man? – Cicero, On Duties

What this chapter is about

What's important about money is not how much you've got, but how well you think about it

It is lack of thought, not lack of money that is at the root of most money problems – A lack of money is at the root of the problem of being poor. The very act of reading this book is a good indicator of not being poor. Beyond that, from scraping by to flying by in one’s private plane, money problems are all in the mind. That doesn’t mean they’re not real, or that they can be simply wished away.

The solution to money problems is therefore not more money, but philosophy – Making confident and comfortable decisions about money without being beset by foreign interests or subtle addictions is easier when you follow some simple rules. Most financial coaches are interested less in teaching you how to play and more on sustaining a game you shouldn’t be playing in the first place.

What this chapter isn’t about

Jumping into investment management – You can manage your money ‘perfectly’ and money’s role in your life can still be negative. The relevant bits of investing are surprisingly simple, but not to the mind that thinks about money in unhelpful ways.

Providing a blueprint for living the dream – The trouble with dreams is that they are, by definition, not real. And the trouble with ‘The Dream’ is that it doesn’t work. Because it’s never your dream.