Saturday, December 6, 2014

The 'Money Mind'

The Money Mind

There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs
Thomas Sowell

A few questions and observations relative to the recent book The Money Mind & The Money Mind;s predominant taxonomy:

First, does The Money Mind  classification (either happiness, committment or fear) stop a bit short? Would not deconstructing the taxonomy further (be it fear, happiness, commitment) into the underneath payoff (be it gain or avoidance) get further into the primary imperatives (conscious or unconscious) which might actually modify the presentational money mind taxonomy?

Secondly relative to each of the Money Minds:
            Is it happiness or the seeking of an altered state (which is never enough – a hedonic adaptation ‘happiness’ which requires higher and higher dosages? NOTE: In Judaism there is no word for happiness – which is external and comparative. Instead there is the concept of Simcha – joy – an inside out approach)
            Is it a commitment mind or a sense of self other defined?
            Is it really fear – protection – or regardless of outward appearance an inner lack of confidence in one’s adaptability and resourcefulness (the real currency as currency change? NOTE: As planners, I don’t recall colleagues ever monetizing this (a client’s adaptability and resourcefulness) in their personal financial planning models.

(An aside, I, can empathize with the author's loss effectively of his  dad and precarious financial situation at 14 making his predominant Money Mind (pre filter?) Fear.  At 15, my dad died – and he died the Death of a Salesman. He left little behind – so I had to get scholarships, I had to graduate magna cum laude, I had to get an MBA --- I do understand the fear money mind but question (and  if the fear money mind is just the presentational symptom.)

Third, suggestion: consider incorporating formally into 'The Money Mind' prefilter process Kepner Tregoe’s Potential Problem Analysis – it was very effective with my clients when I was in practice.

Fourth, what may even override The Money Mind taxonomy and the fundamental motivation is context. There is quite a bit of writing on risk tolerance (foolishness when out of context of goal and capacity). Risk capacity and risk requirement per each goal prioritized may cause the cognitive to preempt, countermand and overrule – and possibly rightfully so.

Who is risk; he who is satisfied with his portion
Rav Ben Zoma, Ethics of the Fathers

A final comment: personal financial planning is, in my opinion, a failure relative relative to its promise of what I would define as ‘healing personal financial anxiety, putting money in its place, to elevate to connect to one’s signification.’ Why? Regardless of compensation method, personal financial planning is about ‘MORE And MORE’, better, now has a habit of becoming ‘worse, less, later.’ MORE is relative – comparative ‘outside in.’ There is no winning. In contrast, ENOUGH is ‘inside out’ – managing goals rather than managing assets (in comparison)

Per Ben Zoma’s statement above: satis (as in satisfied) in Latin means ‘enough’ and one of the key words in Hebrew for God is Shaddai. And what is the translation of Shaddai per Rabbi Twerski: God, God Almighty, God all sufficient, ENOUGH. There is no word for God (amongst the 100 plus references in Hebrew) for MORE

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