Writing this site is a lot of fun for me. I get to go around, meet interesting people, and make fun of things. I once got a free lunch. But still, I’m not sure it makes a big difference.
A while ago, I ran across an article entitled, Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running.
My concern is that there’s a big difference between buying new running shoes and actually hitting the road every morning. Big difference. One is really fun and relaxing while the other requires a lot of hard work, diligence, and sacrifice…
You can buy a successively more costly and high-quality series of claw hammers until you’ve reached the top of the line, but until you learn how to use them skillfully, you’re going to keep making ugly bird houses.
Boy, we love to buy things and read things and watch things. But actual behavioral change? That’s another story.
That’s why I still shake my head when I get emails asking if they should go with Datek because it has trading for $5 cheaper. Or when people ask if they should invest in stock A vs. stock B, rather than taking a holistic view of their investment strategy, or what software to use.
I remember when I was in high school. My group of friends was pretty competitive, which pushed all of us to try to do well in school. So when it came to the SATs, I was so pumped up that I went out and bought about 10 SAT books. Dorky, I know, but it felt good to get each shiny new book. But what did I really accomplish?
At that time, if anyone had told me that college admissions (or whatever) was not just about your score, but a holistic view of your character and accomplishments, I would have laughed and tried to figure out what the “right” SAT score was for getting in. With perspective, though, I realized that buying the books was probably the smallest step to successfully getting into where I wanted to go.
Same thing for finances. It’s so easy to read this site, watch CNBC, buy the Wall Street Journal every day, etc. After a while, you know what you should be doing. But really, the only way to get rich is to start doing it. Whether it’s starting a budget, or buying your first stock, or even just opening the right bank account, that’s the way to do it. Reading and reading and reading with no action won’t accomplish anything.
What will you do today?
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