Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bench in Kensington Gardens

On my other far more solemn research orientated blog, Protecting Alpha, I am looking at biases that affect investment decision making, and am trying to think of measures for how we go about improving and correcting such behaviour.

But the biases that we have there aren't just about how we invest. There is no magic wall that exists between decisions about money and other decisions. In fact, until you have achieved that elusive goal of financial freedom, money is a very emotional topic that gets woven into everything else.

I often tell people that one of my motivations for studying what I did was that I hated money. My friends from school may disagree having witnessed me in various attempts to make extra pocket money from doing extra chores at home like cooking porridge to a rather successful sweet business when I was 16 that helped me get my first hi-fi set. What I meant rather was that I hated what I saw money do. I hated the control that money seemed to have on emotions, friends and families. As I sat on a bench in Kensington Gardens about 10 years ago having gone to London to try get a visa for France and having just enough for a junior McDonald's burger and a ticket back to Chichester, I was not a happy camper. I had come to London only to return empty handed as the French embassy was closed. Probably the straw that broke the camels back, I realised that delusions I had about other 'first world concern' career choices were for later. If I wanted to do anything in life, money would be necessary. And so I committed myself to figuring out how it works.

Now, I think I have a fair (with lots of room for improvement) understanding, but still little understanding of the psychology of money.

In my little fantasy land, people are all able to deal with 'first world concern' dreams like art, reading, theatre, sport, conversation, comedy and the like. In my little fantasy land, there is never stress over not having enough for the basics or enough to fill your curiosity.

That is a long way off, and until then, I guess we have to learn how to get round the psychological battle ground that that causes. So... I guess that was the reasoning behind what essentially is my new 'bench in Kensington Gardens'.
Post a Comment