In recent months, I have been thinking of money, It is not a topic that has occupied my mind until recently. I have never lacked it nor had an abundance of it. Almost every need and some wants of mine have been met. However, in recent times due to the current economic realities (mostly local but also global), I have begun to look over my shoulder. I have gotten to that stage in life where I have begun to ask myself if I have been a good steward and if an evaluation of the past might lead to regret. I have also begun to be slightly apprehensive about the future. I decided to interrogate my view on money from all angles; first from a spiritual perspective and the secular perspective. The two-sided evaluation was not deliberate but coincidental. I recently started a more devotional attitude towards biblical themes and the book I started with had riches and poverty as its theme (for anyone who may be interested, it is Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Material Possessions by Craig Blomberg ). Not completely sold on the prosperity gospel of the Pentecostal movements that I largely identify with, I wanted a nuanced view of money and I could not have found a better study. While this piece is not about that book, I was struck by some of its finer points that were reechoed in The Psychology of Money. Unlike most finance and prosperity books (which I can’t stand), is not a motivational book on how to get rich and stay rich, it is a pop-psychology book about how to reorientate the reader’s bias around money. Not necessarily how to make it but how to handle it, both in the present and the future. It is about the place of risk and luck in evaluating financial decisions. Luck and risk humble the wealth holder and cause him or her to handle it with caution because no proven 100% rule ensures it can always be replicated. The Psychology of Money evaluates how humans frame savings and how the rational decisions we make limit our saving culture. It also examines concepts of greed and contentment as factors that impact how we relate to money. The Psychology of Money has no magic bullet to getting rich nor does it have any of those silly 5 steps to being a billionaire. Instead, it preaches the patient mystery of the confounding nature of compounding and warns not to disrupt its tremendous power unnecessarily.
The Psychology of Money is a humbling read that stretches the mind, causes a lot of introspection and shifts mindsets. Also, it causes a late starter to start small and be hopeful of staying the cause. It subtly encourages the user to not only start small but also to manage the goalpost of desires that consumerism breeds. This is an excellent read that I will return to over and over again.