From 1994 to 2008 I read, no devoured, Jonathan Clements personal finance columns in the WSJ. I remember being devastated when he wrote his last column. I still have a copy of that column in my files. I know, I need to get a life.
Back in 1994 he was writing and promoting much of what was becoming my investing world view -the key to investing success is invest with low cost index funds, keep fees low, minimize taxes.
Over the last 10 years, working as a financial planner, I have also learned that investing success is only a part of what I call “FINANCIAL” success. FINANCIAL success is having a balance in life with your wants, level of saving, career, relationships, health and living a life of meaning. These ideas are the core of his recent book How to Think About Money:
“His goal: to provide readers with a coherent way to think about their finances, so they worry less about money, make smarter financial choices and squeeze more happiness out of the dollars that they have. How to Think About Money, which was named 2017’s adult book of the year by the Institute for Financial Literacy, is built around five key ideas:
- Money can buy happiness, but we need to spend with great care.
- Most of us will enjoy an extraordinarily long life–and that has profound financial implications.
- We are hardwired for financial failure, so sensible money management takes great mental strength.
- We need to bring order to our financial life–by focusing on our paycheck, or lack thereof.
- If we want to add to our wealth, we should strive to minimize the subtractions.”
If you would like a preview of what is in his book, here is a podcast interview with Clements on the Meb Faber show. Listen to this on your pc or on your smartphone while driving or getting ready in the morning. I think you will find it worth your time: Podcast interview with Clements
Finally, Clements is writing again in a blog post, today’s post also sheds light on how to achieve FINANCIAL success. We live in a world that focuses on investing success but we should focus on FINANCIAL success and not focus on beating some arbitrary benchmark that may or may not be the correct benchmark for you: