Can Money and Happiness Cohabit?

Jones, Michael L.
June 2005
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2005, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p26
Academic Journal
The article provides information on a research which determined the association between wealth and happiness. Prospect theory tells us that losses are significantly worse than gains are good. In other words, losing will hurt more than gaining will bring pleasure. Once something is given to you, it is yours. You are essentially endowed with whatever that something is. That is called the endowment effect. An intervention could be similarly constructed where the person seeking the improvement in financial well-being would spend a few moments at the end of each day writing down at least three specific financial blessings they have experienced that day. These blessings could be something as simple as the really nice lunch they shared with their spouse or loved one at a restaurant. Another blessing could be the sheer fact that all their bills are paid for that one day. Debate continues to brew from different corners of the financial planning community. Some think it is not the responsibility of planners to get involved in the emotional or spiritual affairs of clients. They propose that financial planners maintain their role as analytical purveyors of portfolio design, investment analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, and all the other trappings of the quantitative work that financial planners do.


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