On Investing and and Happiness.

Three things provide long-lasting satisfaction, as quantitatively measured by academic psychologists: autonomy, meaningful contact with others, and the development and exercise of competence. Cognitive researchers loosely refer to fame, fortune, and power as “external rewards,” and autonomy, connectedness, and competence as “internal rewards.” The American workplace environment pushes far too many people to sacrifice the latter for the former. That humans often exchange independence and the love of friends and family for mammon is a trite homily; that they frequently sacrifice the pleasure of craft for lucre is less obvious, but equally true.

The message for small investors is clear. Begin with the assumption that you value your independence, family, friends, and intellectual and physical development, and do not want to spend the rest of your life buying and managing small machine tool shops and insurance offices, or financing chip, software, and Internet startups. Even with their relatively lower returns, the public securities markets will allow most people to finance their children’s education and their own retirement goals.

Source: Executioner of  excellence


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