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Hidden value in advisors; Why readers make better money managers; Four simple truths; How to do what you love; A view from the top of the mountain

Hidden value in advisors; Why readers make better money managers; Four simple truths; How to do what you love; A view from the top of the mountain

By Amanda Morrall

1) Hidden value

Financial advisors will rejoice over this report from the Financial Post in Canada. According to new research from the Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organisations households working with financial advisors accumulate 58% more assets over a period of four to six years than those without. The longer the relationship, the greater the wealth accumulation, writes Jason Heath.

Those working with an advisor for seven to 14 years accumulate 99% more, and after 15 years with a financial advisor, an investor accumulates 173% more assets than an otherwise “non-advised” household, according to the findings.

2) Book worms are richer

It stands to reason that those who invest more time learning about how to manage their money will be better off as a result. However, Jeffrey Steele, blogging for takes this logic one step further arguing that book worms frequenting libraries are the best money managers by far because they're really embracing the spirit of thrift by not paying for the knowledge. Not sure about that but I'm all for public libraries, the best use of our tax dollars as far as I'm concerned. Of course, don't let that hold you back from buying my book next year. Please.

3) Hard reset

Feeling a bit stuck? Press the reset button and remember these four simple truths, suggests Tiffany Raiford.

  • Action makes the difference (not how smart you are)
  • Success and happiness are not the same thing
  • Mistakes are not always bad
  • Emotional decisions are rarely good.

4) How to do what you love

If you follow this column regularly, you'll know the "do what you love" theme well. There is a conflicting school of thought on passion pursuits. Here's another philosophical piece on the subject from Paul Graham.

5)Now what?

A perplexing thing about humans is that we are seldom satisfied. It seems no matter how good we have it there's always a gap that just can't be filled. Gene Jennings, a guest blogger writing for, shares the journey to finding his dream job and the shifting goal posts once you reach the top of the mountain.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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#5 I read a fascinating bit of research Amanda while I was doing some psych at uni, which has always stuck with me...

if you survey people and ask them what is the minimum amount of money over and above what they are getting now that would make them feel satisfied, they invariably answer around 15% more than they are currently earning.

This is right across the spectrum of incomes excuding the mega-poor and the mega-rich. Once you have enough to provide the basics of life, and until you get to the point where you have so much money you can't spend it all, you are always about 15% short of the ideal amount you think you need to be satisfied.

The reason for this? - we always live right up to our means and that lifestyle becomes the norm, and our human questing for more leads us to want that bit more than we have now, no matter how much we are currently on. 

Of course the simple thing to do is realise that if you try to find happiness through wealth that goalpost will constantly shift - it's like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Wealth <> happiness.

 Stanley..... my man with an eye for bad hair days,  my first response to that would have been . it don't satisfy me, more , less, more again , less again.....fact of being self employed.
Now when your sitting out the back at sunup or sundown at say Piha...and that face is getting up all glassy like, almost barreling.....that truly satisfies me...not a dime in my shorts, not a care in the world.
 I could do with 15%more of that..yessindeedy I could.

yeah funny how all those years chasing waves with nary a dime to my name and an unreliable old car and yet I was arguably happier then than I am now, despite having much less.

I decided rather early on that given a limited income where you have to constantly decide between having things or doing things (i.e. do I buy that mid-life-crisis car or do I go on holiday for 3 months) that I'd rather do things than have more/better stuff.

I'm happy with no car and an older house and loads of great experiences to look back on and look forward to, but our society is geared towards making you dissatisfied with what you have so you keep buying more - I think that's why most people are never happy - as soon as they move up in the world they fall victim to the pressure to keep up with the Jones.

Fortunately I don't know any Jones so I don't care what they have.


Crikey Stanley...coulda sworn I just said that.....musta left out the swagger. () <:}..?

I've read $75K is the sweet spot but saw a great quote today which read: "Money may not buy happiness but it's better to cry in a jaguar than on a bus.'' :)

If you're living in Auckland I'm gonna say post.
Here's some background on the Princeton sweetspot research that adds some context.,9171,2019628,00.html

two things leap out at me from reading that article. The first...

In other words, the more people make above $75,000, the more they feel their life is working out on the whole

Interesting that people evaluate their life 'performance' by this more than say, how well their relationships are going, or even how much fun they are having. But the telling bit for me is...

it's not absolute wealth that's linked with happiness, but relative wealth or status — that is, how much more money you have than your neighbors

So it just goes to show how shallow and insecure most people are - it's not the actual money, it's about feeling superior among their peer group. Perhaps if you could show people that if they are earning around $75k then out of 7 billion people on the planet that puts them well into the top 5% richest people alive, they may be more content.

Also I'm deeply sceptical of that 85% of respondents who say they were happy yesterday - studies show over and over again that people from supposedly poor or even 3rd world nations are generally happier than their much richer western counterparts, who are necking anti-depressents and anti-anxiety pills in record numbers. A prescription of SSRI's anyone?

The original of that saying is "money doesn't buy happiness but I'd rather cry in a Ferrari".

Where did the $75k figure come from? I didn't notice any slacking off in my desire for that little bit more when I went past $75k. It seems a very arbitary figure.

The 15% concept sounds right to me.
And so does the Ferrari/ Jag line.
Another saying is.  "Been rich.  Been poor.  Rich is better"

and it's important to make the distinction that money isn't the root of all evil, the love of money is.

My father was known to say "money isn't everything but it's a long way ahead of whatever comes second".

Excellent point Mr Stan.
And the greek word for *all* used could be translated as *every kind* of evil; rather than the idea of there being no other root for evil than money.  Which makes more sense in the light of pride, lust, jealousy and so forth.
Furthermore it also suggests those who are seduced by money in this manner "pierce themselves with many griefs".  And this is also true in my observation.

I can say that a truly good woman is absolutley worth pursuing.
If there are treasures in this life worth having -  she is one of the best ones.

same as a good man Ralph.


Its when your daughter goes out with a 'musician that you realise that we are not all the same.
  My friend tells a joke- What do you call an actor/musician without a girlfriend- Homeless.

A bit more of a list then:
Happiness is not obtained through pursuit.
Success is a largely meaningless word.
Who's to say what is a mistake?
Compassion is an emotion so they can't all be bad.

Empathy Ralph leads to compassion, the ability to relate is enhanced through experience.
 Words of love often easy to recant
 Actions always speak louder than words......measure me by deed not by promises.
 gosh ! I feel a moment coming on.

Give me a big hug you old softy.

Good morning David...I really think you and your team should take more than a leaf out of Hollande's book on 'Governing for dummies'....I see great things for Labour NZ...don't be shy about stealing other pollies's just like taking taxes off people...follow the link David...

Days to the General Election: 20
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.