November Links: How Do You Deal with Money?

We’re getting close to the end of the year, and this month’s links focus on the more personal side of how we deal with money.

Why You Should Be a Risk-Taker, Morningstar
There are plenty of people who will suggest that it’s possible to get risk down to zero. We know better, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t tempted to test some of those “risk-free” investments that still promise big returns. You’ll enjoy this breakdown of risk and perhaps come away with a better understanding of what risk really means and why it’s not all bad.

“The point with risk is not to avoid it (because you can’t). But neither do you have to submit to it. The point with risk is to take it: Actively take it. Deliberately take it. Take it with purpose, in the right balance and for the right reasons.”

How the Story You Tell Yourself Can Make You Happier, Quartz
There’s a lot of debate about what we can do to make ourselves happier. Psychologist Shawn Achor suggests that it may be something simpler than where we live or where we work. According to Achor, “Happiness requires ‘changing the lens’ of how you perceive your reality.” The first step: tell yourself a positive story about your life. It’s simple, yes, but oddly very helpful. If you follow the link, you can watch a short video of Mr. Achor sharing his ideas as TEDx.

What Constitutes a Rich Life?, A Wealth of Common Sense
This short post is worth the quick, three-minute read. It reminded me that’s it’s very easy to focus on numbers and skip over why we’re doing what we’re doing.

“Having a high net worth and living a rich life are two completely different things.”

The Willpower Gene, The Atlantic
We like logical explanations for why we do things. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to see that scientists are questioning if our financial abilities are biological, and they found one – they think. The problem with this thinking is that it give people an excuse to not get better with their money:

“If you accept that an innate, or genetic predisposition to risk or to risk-aversion can explain individuals’ financial savings behavior,” Richman added, “then the fiction that financial security or wealth depends solely on genetic predisposition can be maintained.”

There will always be reasons to avoid doing potentially difficult things that are in our best interest. Genetics just happens to be the latest reason to keep putting off what we need to do.

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