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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How to be happier with your money

By Morgan Housel






JewishWorldReview.com | Novelists Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were once allegedly at a party hosted by a billionaire hedge fund manager. Vonnegut mentioned that their wealthy host made more money in one day than Heller ever made from his novel, "Catch-22."

Heller responded: "Yes, but I have something he will never have: Enough."

Whether it's true or not, I've always thought this to be one of the smartest finance stories ever told. (Editor's note: A similar teaching of the Talmudic sages can be found in the ancient work Pirkei Avos.)

All throughout college, I had one career plan: investment banking. The industry was attractive to me, and to thousands of other students blinded by a lack of life experience, for one reason: You can make a lot of money. Six figures right out of school, and millions later in your career.

There's just one catch. Your life becomes abjectly miserable.

One-hundred-hour workweeks, the most pressure you've ever experienced and less exposure to sunlight than death row inmates. They had a saying: "If you don't come to work on Saturday, don't bother coming back on Sunday." The senior bosses were worth millions, but stressed, overweight, anxious, never saw their kids and hadn't taken a vacation in years -- I'm unfairly generalizing, but only slightly. Almost no one actually enjoys it. I quickly cried uncle, moved on and never looked back.

In his book "30 Lessons for Living," gerontologist Karl Pillemer interviewed 1,000 elderly Americans (most in their 80s and 90s), seeking wisdom from those with the most experience. One quote from the book stuck out:

"No one -- not a single person out of a thousand -- said that to be happy you should try to work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.

"No one -- not a single person -- said it's important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it's real success.

"No one -- not a single person -- said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power."

The elderly didn't say that money isn't important. They didn't even rule out that more money might have made them happier. They just seemed to understand the concept of enough.



Studies show that money does increase happiness. The latest research shows there's not even a known satiation point -- a higher income makes virtually everyone happier, although each additional dollar delivers less happiness than the one before it.

But we tend to overestimate money's potential effect on our happiness by thinking of it out of context. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics, writes in the book "This Will Make You Smarter":

"On average, individuals with high incomes are in a better mood than people with lower income, but the difference is about a third as large as most people expect. When you think of rich and poor people, your thoughts are inevitably focused on circumstances in which income is important. But happiness depends on other factors more than it depends on income."

In other words, young investment bankers assume a big income will make them happier because they think about a nice house and fancy cars, not working until 4 a.m. and having no social life.

In a New York Times column three years ago, David Brooks put a twist on this thinking by analyzing the life of actress Sandra Bullock. He wrote:

"Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk. So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?



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"If you had to take more than three seconds to think about this question, you are absolutely crazy," Brooks concludes. But for the same reason investment bankers choose a miserable life while assuming money will make them happier, I'm willing to bet many otherwise happy people would have gladly changed shoes with Bullock three years ago. Research is clear that some things completely override any happiness that can be gained from money or work success. It's just hard to realize that because money is tangible, measurable and universal, whereas the "other factors" Kahneman mentions that have a greater impact on our happiness are vague and nuanced.

What are those "other factors" Kahneman mentions?

The field of positive psychology studies what makes people happy. It's a young and constantly changing field, but researchers broadly agree that four major points have a big impact on making people happy:


  • Control over what you're doing.

  • Progress in what you're pursuing.

  • Connections to other people.

  • Having purpose and meaning.


That's it.

You'll notice "more money" isn't on the list. But you can easily see how money ties into these points. Money can grant you freedom from a 9-to-5 job, offering control over what you're doing. It can provide the tools necessary to achieve progress in whatever you're pursuing. It can afford you time off and a chance to spend time with other people. It can give you the ability to provide for people other than yourself, bringing meaning and purpose. To the extent that money can buy happiness, most of us would do better to think of how it can help us achieve these four points.

Everyone is different, though. So, I want to ask you: How much is enough money?

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Morgan Housel, a columnist at The Motley Fool, is a two-time winner, Best in Business award, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Best in Business 2012, Columbia Journalism Review.


Previously:


Learning from the past, and the Next Big Tren

What newspapers were saying when you should have been buying

Why you never learn from your investment mistakes

The curse of success, and why most mutual funds fail miserably

If you know only five things about investing, make it these

Why spotting bubbles is so much harder than you think

When smart investors do stupid things

The deep downside of home ownership

The biggest retirement myth ever told

He's rich, smart and old: Listen to him

Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on

Gold collapse: The start of something big?

BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!

Twitter: The carnival barker of investing

Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets

25 important things to remember as an investor

New paradigm for both drivers and car companies

Biases that make you a bad investor

Nine financial rules you should never forget

Gaining from financial destruction

How to read financial news

Housing: Partying like it's 1925

A rebuttal to student loan horror stories

CONGRATULATIONS: We just saved half a trillion dollars

End this crazy tax: It will boost the economy

Medicare: A dangerously good deal

Economic future looks bright

The Biggest Threat to Your Portfolio (It's Not What You Think)

Bond Market Bull Run dead at 30



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