When you deal with rich people – and some really rich people -you realize that money does not do much in life! When people are struggling with bills to pay and work to do, they do fantasize what a lot of money can do. However, as they save, invest, and make the money grow, they may find that it is not enough.

However, I do not see a man with Rs. 25 crores stand at the window and shout “I have money”.

Compare it to health. A person who does not have good health thinks good health is everything. However, if you have good health you do not shout from the rooftop that your health is good, do you?

Basic health and basic money are hygiene. You need it. It is like salt. You cannot live without it. However having more does not create a great pleasure.

What does it really do?

  • it lets you do what you want in life
  • it means you can quit your regular job and pursue something else
  • it means you can choose where you live, what vacations you take
  • a solid base of money to give for causes close to your heart

What you think you can do, but do not:

  • stop working
  • lying on the beach doing nothing
  • stop managing money
  • stop thinking about money

In real life when you have a lot of money you are ‘worried that you will lose it all”. So there is effort to make it safer. Asset allocation. Indexing or active management? more in debt, now that you have so much to lose? why risk more money in equity? should we seek a second opinion on Subra’s aggressive no RE, no gold recommendation? Makes sense to buy some gold and a second house no? What if equities fail?

We do all this because we do not know what REALLY gives us happiness! Sitting in the forest with a 600 mm lens waiting for a tiger – and be stung by bees? or worse leech? or in a Goa beach infested with mosquitoes? Or taking a vacation and the flight is 9 hours late in Amsterdam airport?

Does travel give us happiness? does buying tons of things we do not need give us happiness? Actually happiness, like everything else is great in the imagination than while seeking it! So for many of the rich people seeing their net-worth go up is a pleasure in itself. Then they imagine that they are skiing in the Alps. By the time they go, they are more likely to be sipping coffee seeing other people actually skiing!

We get confused – we work hard and cannot put too much money together. Or by the time we put it together we start worrying that the source may vanish – lotsa people are losing their jobs at 49 instead of 59. And if we do put it all together we do not know whether we will lose it all by poor fund management.

So ask yourself: Does money really bring happiness? or is it just a fantasy? remember fantasy is always better than reality. Almost always.

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  1. Stunning words indeed-

    Does travel give us happiness? does buying tons of things we do not need give us happiness? Actually happiness, like everything else is great in the imagination than while seeking it! So for many of the rich people seeing their net-worth go up is a pleasure in itself. Then they imagine that they are skiing in the Alps. By the time they go, they are more likely to be sipping coffee seeing other people actually skiing!

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