Book Review, Summary, Highlights and Quotes from The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel
For the last year or so, I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. Over, and over, and over, this book has taken the Personal Finance community by storm.
I finally decided to take the plunge after a little friendly nudging by Kurtis Hanni.
As is with many of the books I have picked up lately, this book ended up with nearly every page tabbed for its quotability. Example:
Morgan somehow manages to take every thought or view I have had about saving and investing, rich vs. wealthy, risk vs. reward, and managed to put them all into a cohesive and brilliantly written book.
The lessons from The Psychology of Money paired with The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by Jack Bogle, are all that anyone would need to make more prudent and shrewd financial moves for the rest of their life!
I love Morgan’s writing style, his ability to weave together short stories, famous money quotes, and psychology into a compelling narrative about money – or rather, why people do what they do with their money.
Morgan also leaves us with a postscript A Grief History of Why the U.S. Consumer Thinks the Way They Do that is simply the best rundown I have seen of why America is in the place we are today financially, socially, economically, and politically. It was really insightful.
Even if you have read every financial book out there, you’ll find reasons to enjoy The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel.
AR’s Book Score: 8 out of 10
Key book highlights from The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
The Psychology of Money contains 20 chapters each with their own unique perspective on money. Example chapters like:
- No One’s Crazy
- Luck & Risk
- Tails, You Win
- Reasonable > Rational
- Room for Error
- When You’ll Believe Anything
Morgan Housel covers everything from the fact that the 401(k) is relatively new (I didn’t realize this), to why saving even when there is no reason at all is prudent.
Most financial advice is about today. What should you do right now, and what stocks look like good buys today?
But most of the time today is not that important. Over the course of your lifetime as an investor the decisions that you make today or tomorrow or next week will not matter nearly as much as what you do during the small number of days – likely 1% of the time or less – when everyone around you is going crazy.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
He dives into being Rich vs. Wealthy, Risk vs. Reward, and also works in his takes on happiness, and why time > money. The book also has some brief touches on Financial Independence throughout.
Morgan also lays out how exactly he invests his money in the last chapter.
Lastly, the Postscript is a great essay unto itself about American consumerism, and how we have gotten to the point that we are at now.
Best quotes from The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
Spreadsheets can model the historic frequency of big stock market declines. But they can’t model the feeling of coming home, looking at your kids, and wondering if you’ve made a mistake that will impact their lives.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
You are one person in a game with seven billion other people and infinite moving parts. The accidental impact of actions outside of your control can be more consequential than the ones you consciously take.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Modern capitalism is a pro at two things; generating wealth and generating envy.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
“Enough” is realizing that the opposite – an insatiable appetite for more – will push you to the point of regret.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Good investing isn’t necessarily about earning the highest returns, because the highest returns tend to be one-off hits that can’t be repeated. It’s about earning pretty good returns that you can stick with and which can be repeated for the longest period of time.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Did they buy a Ferrari thinking it would bring them admiration without realizing that I – and likely most others – who are impressed with the car didn’t actually give them, the driver, a moment’s thought?– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
More than your salary. More than the size of your house. More than the prestige of your job. Control over doing what you want, when you want to, with the people you want to, is the broadest lifestyle variable that makes people happy,– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
The truth is that wealth is what you don’t see.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Savings in the bank that earn 0% interest might actually generate an extraordinary return if they give you the flexibility to take a job with a lower salary but more purpose, or wait for investment opportunities that come when those without flexibility turn desperate.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Having more control over your time and options is becoming one of the most valuable currencies in the world.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
The world isn’t that kind to anyone – not consistently, anyways. You have to give yourself room for error. You have to plan on your plan not going according to plan.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Beware of taking financial cues from people playing a different game than you are.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
When investors have different goals and time horizons – and they do in every asset class – prices that look ridiculous to one person can make sense to another, because the factors those investors pay attention to are different.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
The bigger the gap between what you want to be true and what you need to be true to have an acceptable outcome, the more you are protecting yourself from falling victim to an appealing financial fiction.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
We all want the complicated world we live in to make sense. So we tell ourselves stories to fill in the gaps of what are effectively blind spots.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
Savings that aren’t earmarked for anything in particular is a hedge against life’s inevitable ability to surprise the hell out of you at the worst possible moment.– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
More from Morgan Housel
- Website: MorganHousel.com
- Twitter: @morganhousel
- Blog: Collaborative Fund