Do you only date rich men?

Are you making the best decisions for your money life?

How much does money affect your overall happiness?

Marni’s guest, Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA is the author of The Geometry of Wealth: How to Shape a Life of Money and Meaning and The Investors Paradox. He is the Director of Investment Education at Virtus Investment Partners and writes an investment column for His goal is to simplify the complex world of money. He believes the world is noisy and filled with too much information and too much choice. JUST LIKE DATING!  Money can seem like an overwhelming and stressful topic, but better outcomes are achievable by understanding a few key concepts, and planning.

The Difference Between Being Rich and Being Wealthy  [4:05]

Brian says the assumption of most finance and the point to most investing is we want more. But, where we find true contentment is where the story gets muddled. The quest for more is a treadmill, you might be happy with something for a while but most of us revert to type and continue to chase what we want more of.

Being wealthy is the ability to underwrite a life that is meaningful to you. Funded contentment. We have to start thinking about living the good life.

The tension between wanting more and having enough defines human nature. Appreciate the tension.

It’s Best Not to Base Relationships on Riches [7:19]

It’s dangerous to use money as a measuring stick for who you will or won’t date.

Brian says there are four broad sources of contentment which are more important than money:

  1. Or connections with others.
  2. The feeling that we are in control of our lives.
  3. Our being competent at something.
  4. Being attached to something outside of yourself.

If you don’t have these four things figured out no matter how much money you or your partner have will not bring you a deep sense of contentment.

Our need to feel safe and connected is an inherent trait. Often when we make social comparisons or become envious of others for what they have we are engaging in reflections of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Brian recommends we give ourselves a break because our brains are wired to survive in a dangerous environment. Simply knowing envy and comparisons are unhealthy things can help lighten the hold they have over us.

The Geometry of Wealth  [17:42]

Brian’s book, The Geometry of Wealth is based on three simple geometric shapes, a circle, a triangle, and a square. These three shapes allow us to live our why.

  • The Circle — Represents the continuous process of defining our purpose.
  • The Triangle — Represents setting three broad financial priorities tied to contentment.
  • The Square — The four psychological elements of setting expectations.

How to Connect Money to Your Why  [22:15]

Brian’s least favorite word is busy. He makes an effort not to use it. He doesn’t allow others around him to use the word ‘busy’. When we use the word busy we are saying that the world is overwhelming and we don’t have control.

Once you stop using the word busy and start saying “I have competing priorities” it forces you to take accountability for the choices that you make. It may be painful in the short term to make one choice over another but it is empowering in that it allows you to focus on your true motivations.

Take control of your vision. Stop, breathe and think about where you are and where you want to get to. Meditate on it if you can.

We need to give ourselves permission to make priorities that are in our best interest.

The brain recognizes an infinite series of short terms that are stapled together by choice and circumstance. How we manage those short term moments is one of the major keys to happiness and success in life.

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The Geometry of Wealth

The Investors Paradox