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The Psychology of Money

Never Enough

(Chapter 3)

Story about writers Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller (Catch-22) attending a party hosted by a billionaire. Vonnegut remarks that the billionaire makes more money in a single day than Heller made from his popular novel. Heller responds: “Yes, but I have something he will never have…enough.”

 

Examples of Rajat Gupta and Bernie Madoff: People who had everything but wanted more. They brought ruin upon themselves because they were greedy and didn’t know when to stop.

 

“There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.”

 

“The hardest financial skill is getting the goalpost to stop moving.”

 

Comparing ourselves to others is often the culprit. Capitalism is good at generating both wealth and envy. But social comparison is a process without end: there’s always someone higher up on the ladder.

 

Enough doesn’t mean you have to go without. Enough means you know when to avoid doing something you will regret.

 

Many things are not worth the risk, regardless of the gains. A short list: reputation, freedom, family and friends, love, happiness.

 

The only way to win is to refrain from playing the game.


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