Oddbean new post about | logout
 Wealth is important and necessary, but I’ve met far too many rich people who are unhappy. 

Usually because in the pursuit of wealth they neglected their health or relationships. Sometimes both. 

You should strive to max all three of these variables as best you can. 

If I was to give life advice to someone just starting out in life, I’d say prioritize your health in middle school, high school and college. Focus on eating right and getting in amazing shape. You’ll build the habits that will carry you through the rest of your life and you’ll look your best during the years when dating and sex matter a lot. Providing you more ability to find a high quality life partner, because long term high trust relationships are crucial for sustained happiness contentment etc… 

Then in early adulthood go hard on the pursuit of wealth. Your twenties are the time to work your ass off and put yourself in position to own your time down the line. Better to give up 5-10 years now and own the next 30, rather than goof off in your twenties and end up stuck as a wage slave for 30 years. Save and invest aggressively, take risks, embrace sacrifice. Allow your peers to make fun of you, knowing you have a plan. Let compounding work for you. 

Retire in your 30’s sometime around the time you’re starting your family and spend the rest of your life devoted to your kids, spouse and interests. Refocusing all efforts on health and happiness. Don’t take a single action unless it brings you more  in either of those dimensions, while simultaneously tending to and growing the wealth you built up to this point. 

People think for whatever reason that this sort of life path is not attainable, but it’s very much within the reach of the average college educated westerner. Most just have a defeatist mindset, which ultimately lead them in the wrong direction. 
 Skip the college education and it becomes even more attainable, imo. Or at the very least, don't think it's not attainable for someone without a college education, either by choice or ability. 

Very solid advice 👍🏼 

Only caveat I would add, don't get to your 30s and let your relationships negate all the progress you made to get there. Too many men make a great start, until divorce costs them their health, wealth, and family in one fell swoop. Think very carefully about the risks you want to take in today's gynocentic social and legal structure. 
 Absolutely. Choosing a wife will be the most important decision of your life for young guys. Don’t fuck it up. Attraction is the baseline. Shared values are where things make or break. 
 This is much more important than money. 
 I was always driven to make money and save since I was 10. My biggest win in life wasn't making a financial profit on Bitcoin. A lot of people think it is, but they're completely wrong. 

It was realizing I had enough wealth by 37 to stop focusing on obtaining more wealth, and focus 100% on my health, wife, and kids. I had the time to do that without trying to make more money. 

Money no longer motivates me, and I love it. I'm a better person. I look at rich people with 1000x what I have and wonder why they still want to make more money. It's completely unrelated.  
 I think the money itself plays a big part. How are you ever supposed to feel secure with money that loses 10% of its value a year? No matter how much money you have, that will weigh on you.

There is also a culture of constant peacocking where everybody wants to be able to one up the guy next to them. I again think this is the result of bad money, because so much of storing value in a fiat system is attributed to being “smart” or “making investment moves” rather than simple saving and working hard at a humble profession.

The last point I’ll add is that 99.9% of people simply aren’t built to be capable of achieving Bezos levels of wealth, and certainly would not enjoy trying. It takes a true psycho who is willing to sacrifice everything for their business or careers to make it to the absolute top, and for most people that is not in their nature. There is a ton of suffering in not realizing this in time and still chasing that type of life even if it is not naturally your path.

(I’m part of the 99.9% btw) 
 *meant to say completely unrelatable* 
 Big problem is, a lot of people are no good with money, they don’t know how to save or manage it.. You could give them million$ in their 20s and it would be gone by their 30s, no matter how many life lessons you give them. 
 You gotta learn. Your life quality depends on it. 
 "I'm not good with money" is usually a massive cope. If life is a game, money is one way to keep score. If you don't have enough it's not because you suck at money, it's because you suck at life. 

Believe me, I know inflation is real and the system is rigged and all that. In some countries, maybe in ways that are almost impossible to overcome. But I'm talking about the US for anyone born in the past 100 years right now. 

Money is what you get in exchange for your productive effort. However much you haven't consumed, you still have. All you've had to do in the US is work, don't consume more than you produce, put your money in the bank, maybe buy a house when you can afford it, and you'll have made out okay. You didn't need to know anything about investing, I mean you could have put your savings in a checking account earning 0 interest, and if you produce more than you consume consistently the balance goes up. It's not hard, in fact it just happens automatically. 

If you're constantly broke, you're either not productive enough, or you consume too much.  Stop being lazy and put in some time and energy working. Cut back your lifestyle and do without some non essentials until you can actually afford them. 

It's harsh and nobody broke wants to hear it, but that's the reality in the US. It's like telling a fat person they need to stop eating so much. They'll whine about metabolism and nutrient dense food and yada yada yada, but the reality is none of that matters when you're obese. You need to put down the fork and stop eating. For a year, if that's what it takes. People have done it, and they lost weight and didn't die. Then you can start talking nuance. 

Same with finances. Learn to be productive and live within your means. Then you can start getting into the nuance of managing money. But if you can't keep a dollar in your pocket, you don't have any money to manage and never will. It's a life problem, not a money problem.  
 For the most part sure, but just like some people aren’t good at cooking or art, they just aren’t good with money.. Yes, everyone should be, should at least have a foundational understanding, but they don’t.. Stocks, bonds, inflation, interest, etc. are already way too deep for many.. 
 There are also a lot of gotchas. A veritable cornucopia of scum trying to separate you from your money. Including your government.

You could spend everyday all day just learning the bullshit. Where the next gotcha will come from. Some people are really excellent that bullshit.
When most of you just want to do a good job, live a decent life, and call it a day.

Look at all this crap that's going on today. Many of you worked really hard. Got a good education. We're very prudent and responsible with your money.

Then your president and your employer said you have to take this extremely toxic poison so they can profit from it. Or you are going to be kicked to the curb. 

You obey and take the poison. Then you end up dead. Or the walking dead. Maybe it has happened to you. Or it's happening to you. GOTCHA!!!..👺👹💰💊💉🤮😫💀⚰️⚱️😠😂🤣😭 
 Stay humble, stack zaps 
 Great stuff. Knock on wood that the financial education they’re receiving is up to par as everything I learned about managing money, I learned on my own and not in school. 
 Like #bitcoin, wealth is multifaceted. 
Somewhere along the way, we as humans forgot about this and it became wealth=fiat. 
Stack Sats 🫂 
 Great advice. Could have done better maintaining peak physical form in my 20s but I did bust my balls with my head down for almost a decade building a business and exited in 2013. Took 5 years off working while mostly trying to maximize my cash windfall and fortunately found bitcoin. Then I got married, had a kid and now I have the option of permanent “retirement” which is really just the option to work on anything I want with a strong focus on family first. 
 I would point out the mindset is a slave mentality, brought on by fiat money. You can win, but you need to see that there's more to life than the paths they set for you.

Also, I would start thinking about what to do after your kids get out of the house. That's usually at least 30 years for most people, and if you don't have a plan, it's rough. 
 Totally agree 
 This resonates a lot with me. One step we’re thinking of taking next is homeschooling. Curious what ur thoughts on that are? Are u doing that with ur kids? If yes can u share some resources for me to dive into? 
 So we were going to homeschool, but found a really great private school near us that is anti woke. It ends up being quite a bit more expensive than homeschool obviously, but I think worth it. If this school didn’t exist we would have gone the homeschool route, because the other school options even private were not up to our standards. 
 Wish I worked this out in my 20s, or 30s. Better late than never, I suppose. 
 Good suggestions but the retirement bit I don not get very well. Thinking about gaining so much money that you do not have to work no more, feels so fiat and kinda impossible in a bitcoin world. Maybe I'm missing something. 
 You still end up working. You just don’t work by selling your time anymore. 
 So you never really retire, you are just getting some time off for the family, but two parents are not needed to be constantly in the life of a child, so you can really continue to "work" (as per doing something for the society) but giving priority to the family.

I get what you say, I just don't like the idea that people get with the work your ass of and then live as a rent-seeker.
I know you do not mean it like that, but this is what the normal people understand. 
 Personally all of my work is cognitive and it never ends. As an investor I’m always trying to understand things better, model the world more effectively, forecast trends etc… working for other people was just getting in the way of that. So when I no longer had to anymore I stopped. I still do the same mental work.