April 18, 2022
Forefront’s Monday Market Update
The Greatest Killer of Happiness, is Comparison
Being a parent is tough. The running joke is always “no one gives you a book on how to be a good parent,” but there certainly are a number of “parenting” books. They are full of anecdotes and tips and tricks that the writer is trying to pass along to other parents, but all of the books seem to miss the key ingredient for happiness. Financial plans tend to do the same thing.
Comparing ourselves to others, both as parents, and in general, will snatch any and all happiness we might feel away.
I love McLaren cars, mainly because I love the McLaren Formula One team. Anytime I see one on the road I have two thoughts.
That car is awesome, and if I had that car, people would think I am awesome.
There is one problem though, when I see the car, I don’t think about the driver for a single second. I don’t wonder if the driver is successful or rich, I don’t even think that the driver is cool, yet instinctually I feel like if I was driving that same car, people would think I am successful and cool.
No one is as impressed with your possessions as much as you are. I tell this to my kids every time they want a new game or toy that one of their friends has.
I write emails to both of my children, commemorating big events, and just telling them how much I love them.
In one email I wrote about how they might think they want fancy cars, houses, and stuff, but what they really want is to be liked, and respected. We live in a world where we all think that the nicer our stuff, the more we will be liked and respected, until we realize, the people who like and respect us because of our stuff, are the people we want to avoid in life.
I have been having a conversation about what is enough with both of my children lately. My parents immigrated to the USA from India, and wasting food in my house growing up was not an option. Instead of forcing my children to finish the food on their plate, I am trying to help them understand what enough is. You don’t need to eat the biggest piece of cake, just because it’s cake.
I am teaching them this lesson now, because as adults understanding what enough is, and sticking with it is 99% of the happiness equation. The same goes for your own personal finance, and your financial plan.
Understanding what is enough for you, and your family is one of the most important financial lessons we can all learn.
Nestor Cortes Jr.
Did anyone watch the Yankee game yesterday? Nestor Cortes Jr., who is a pitcher for the NY Yankees, had 12 strikeouts in 5 innings. Out of the 15 outs he induced, 12 of them were strikeouts. It was incredible! Nestor makes $775,000 a year, not a small sum of money by any stretch of the imagination.
To you and I, Nestor Cortes Jr. is rich, or at least on his way to being rich. Nestor plays on the same team as Giancarlo Stanton, who in 2022 will make $29 Million dollars. By comparison, Nestor is broke! Now, Giancarlo must feel great, he makes tens of millions of dollars. Unless of course he compares himself to the worst hedge fund manager in all of 2020 who made a cool $355 Million dollars.
There will always be someone richer than us, and you shouldn’t let it bother you. Comparison is the killer of happiness.
So how does this impact all of you?
- There will always be someone richer than us, and you shouldn’t let it bother you.
- Comparison is the killer of happiness.
Most anticipated earnings for this week:
About Amit: I am a first generation American, the son of a working-class Indian family, and I lived through my parents’ struggle to find their place in this country, to put down roots that would sustain them as well as their children in a new land. As they encouraged me to excel in school and fostered my hobbies and interests, I was keenly aware of the dynamic between them. I understood that there was a difference between where they came from individually and where we were now. They worked hard in their individual capacities, but they weren’t always on the same page about financial issues – and that can make or break a family’s future. I didn’t know it at the time, but this laid the groundwork for my passion towards financial services and helping families succeed.