The idea of gaining wealth in flashy ways isn’t new. After all, Charles Ponzi, for whom Ponzi schemes were named, defrauded investors more than 100 years ago with a get-rich-quick scheme built on a foundation of lies. Today, speculative investments, multilevel marketing companies and other risky efforts to turn a profit still lay seductive traps.
You can always leave your money alone in an interest-bearing account and let time do its thing, but that doesn’t exactly make for exciting party conversations, does it? So we open and close accounts. We invest in hot stocks and sell them at the first sign of bad news. We mess with our money because, in our minds, growing wealth is supposed to take effort.
“In almost everything else we do, there’s a payoff to activity: If I want to be a good runner, I should run every day. If I want to be a good painter, I should constantly practice,” Morgan Housel, partner at The Collaborative Fund and author of “The Psychology of Money,” said in an email. “But if you want to be a good investor, the best thing by far for people to do is not trade, not tinker, just leave it alone — and I think that’s just so counterintuitive because it’s so unique to investing.”
In a world full of financial influencers peddling products and friends bragging about buying NFTs, it’s perfectly fine to manage your money in a mostly yawn-inducing way. Here’s why.