Short Money Rules

  1. Above-average results require not being afraid of looking wrong.

  2. Most people are afraid of looking wrong.

  3. Good investing is 50% psychology, 48% history, 2% finance.

  4. Great investing is 40% skill, 20% luck, 40% inability to tell which is which.

  5. Bad investing is 40% overconfidence, 40% fees, 20% denial that keeps it all going.

  6. Getting rich is hard.

  7. Staying rich is harder.

  8. Being satisfied with your riches is hardest.

  9. Some good advice is simple but made complicated because professionals can’t charge fees for simple stuff.

  10. The fact that you can’t charge fees for it is part of what makes it good advice.

  11. Wealth is what you don’t see – money that hasn’t been spent, cars that haven’t been bought, jewelry that hasn’t been purchased.

  12. Most people can afford not to be a great investor.

  13. Most people can’t afford to be a bad investor.

  14. The combination of the last two is the foundation of investing risk.

  15. Past results cause confidence to rise faster than ability.

  16. You’re not obligated to have opinion about anything. Unless you’re paid to do so.

  17. You’re obligated to not have an opinion about things you don’t understand. Unless you’re paid to do so.

  18. Be wary of people who are paid to give opinions.

  19. All market growth is just earnings and what people want to pay for those earnings.

  20. All economic growth is just population growth and how productive those people are.

  21. Being nice to people is the easiest career competitive advantage.

  22. Being smarter than others is the hardest.

  23. Options make people happy.

  24. Debt reduces options.

  25. Obvious risk: not having three months of emergency savings.

  26. Underappreciated risk: having three months of emergency savings when the average duration of unemployment is six months.

  27. People like weekends because it’s when they have the most control over their time; financial goals should keep this in mind.

  28. John D. Rockefeller was worth the equivalent of $340 billion, but he never had penicillin, sunscreen, or Advil. For most of his adult life he didn’t have electric lights, air conditioning, or sunglasses.

  29. Which is to say: Everything about money is results in the context of expectations.