It’s been a while, so it’s time for another post about some of my favorite things I’ve watched, listened to, and read recently.
If you’re not interested in checking out my fantastic content recommendations but are yearning for something strictly finance-related, here’s a link to the main blog page where you can read past articles.
NOTE: The content is linked in the green titles.
Each year the Federal Reserve releases its Survey of Consumer Finances which is the gold standard of wealth data for American households. And each year on his blog Of Dollars And Data, Nick does a great job documenting this information into easily digestible graphs.
And even though we know that “comparison is the thief of joy,” we can’t help but be interested in how we’re doing compared to our peers.
“Charlie Munger once said, “Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” We all understand what’s going on here. The media is in the business of generating dollars. And a large part of the dollars they generate are from advertisers. So their incentive is not necessarily to lie or mislead you, it’s to make you feel something so that you click on the link. And negative feelings are much more likely to generate clicks than positive ones.
Nobody watches the weather channel when it’s 70 and sunny.
News and social media are a drag on happiness. If I had to describe the economy using one word, I would use “strong.” If I had to describe the consumer in one word I would use “anxious.”
This is a dramatic oversimplification of extraordinarily complex topics, but I use those words to show the dichotomy between how things actually are versus how people feel.
And the gap between these two camps is widest among those who are online and consume the news and those who do not.”
If you’ve followed me for any time at all you’ll know I probably quote Morgan Housel more than any other author. He has his own blog with Collab Fund that I would highly recommend. And he recently wrote another fantastic piece.
In this article, he creates a list of nine downsides to getting rich. Stating that:
“Measuring wealth is easy. You just count it up. Measuring some of the downsides of wealth is so much harder and more nuanced. They can be so nuanced and hard to measure that many people won’t even believe they exist. A downside to wealth? How could that possibly be?
Let me propose that the absurdity of talking about the downside of wealth is part of why wealth doesn’t tend to make people as happy as they thought it would.
When the benefits of money are so obvious but the downsides are so subtle, the downsides you didn’t anticipate can be more jarring than the benefits you expected.
I want more money, of course. Almost everyone does, albeit for different reasons.
This is not an anti-wealth list – just a collection of subtle downsides that are easy to ignore, and so common you may as well call them the only true laws of getting rich.”
Here are two of my favorite quotes I’ve read recently:
“Happiness is that feeling you get right before you need more happiness.” – Don Draper from Mad Men
“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.” – Warren Buffett
A big reason why I haven’t done a recommendations post like this for a few months is I haven’t seen anything great in a while. I don’t feel like there’s anything noteworthy on TV at the moment.
If I had to give a TV show recommendation from the past few months, it would be Special Ops: Lioness. I’m a big fan of Taylor Sheridan who is the creator of Yellowstone and 1883 and a variety of other TV series. This is his most recent project, which stars Zoe Saldana, Morgan Freeman, and Nicole Kidman.
The show is about an undercover government organization that tries to take down a terrorist group. It’s pretty intense and wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you’re looking for an action thriller this is the show for you.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, is the movie Past Lives. You can watch it on Apple TV+. The movie is about childhood friends and sweethearts who reconnect after being apart for decades. It’s a wonderful modern romance movie. If you’re in the mood to sit and ponder on life, this movie will scratch that itch.
While this movie didn’t come out this year, it’s my favorite thing I’ve watched recently. I think it’s a criminally underrated movie.
Picture Ocean’s Eleven but in the American South. In fact, it’s from the same director as Ocean’s Eleven, Steven Soderbergh. Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, and Daniel Craig are great in it. It’s funny, heartwarming, clever, and I had a blast watching it.
If you have any other content recommendations, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for reading!