Blair duQuesnay catches up with Brian Portnoy to discuss some of the biggest challenges in defining wealth, finding happiness in our success and being aware of the fact that we seem to always want more.
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Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA, is an expert at simplifying the complex world of money. In his two books, The Investor's Paradox and The Geometry of Wealth, he tackles the challenges of not only making better investment decisions but also how money figures in to a joyful life. Here's Blair's conversation with Brian about The Geometry of Wealth, whether money buys happiness, what makes people truly content, gratitude, and financial planning and goals.
1:15 Being wealthy isn't the same as being rich
1:28 "I think of wealth as the ability to underwrite a meaningful life" (AKA funded contentment) - Brian
1:54 Blair on meeting goals - what she tells clients
2:20: "It's not about making more - it's about focusing on the goals" - Blair
2.35 Beating the market has become a cultural phenomenon, but it's irrelevant to meeting your goals
2:53 Hedonic adaptation: wherever you get, you then want more
3:20 Should I take my two-year old to Paris?
3:35: Two kinds of happiness: experienced happiness (in the moment) and reflective happiness (memory - "the step-back")
4:50 Distinction between pleasurable life and meaningful life
5:15 Blair's pro tip for Paris travel: how to skip to the front of the line at the Mona Lisa
5:40 What has Brian learned about gratitude?
6:15 Just saying "thank you" makes us feel better psychologically and physically
7:00 Does money not buy any level of happiness?
7:45 A higher salary doesn't make a big difference for gaining more experienced happiness (your day-to-day)
7:55 Going from $100k to $1M to $10M doesn't alter your emotional set point
8:30 The Geometry of Wealth - how do you afford a life that will make you happy?
9:00 You need to calibrate purpose and priorities - you need a plan (where financial advisors come in)
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