Episode 55: Being Frugal: The Crux of Financial Happiness

Joining us on the podcast today is Jonathan Clements, former Wall Street Journal columnist, founder of HumbleDollar and author of From Here to Financial Happiness, How to Think About Money and several other books. Jonathan is a well-known name in the world of personal finance as he has been giving financial advice for more than 20 years. Today he talks about the role of stories in shaping people’s understanding of and relationship with money by sharing an anecdote from his own childhood. He discusses how his investment philosophy has changed in favor of index funds, why investing is much simpler than people tend to believe and then he gives us a glimpse into his own investment portfolio and the financial decisions he is making in his personal life. Jonathan also offers a balanced perspective on home ownership from an investment point of view, advises on the things worth spending money on and then we debate the age-old question of whether money can in fact make you happy.

Key Points from This Episode:

  • Working as a financial journalist on Wall Street for more than 20 years. [0:02:01.0]

  • How old family stories taught Jonathan to be thrifty and careful with money. [0:02:28.0]

  • How his philosophy and the investment world has changed over the years. [0:06:09.0]

  • The hardest part of investing is accepting how simple it is! [0:07:39.0]

  • Why Jonathan tilts towards value in his own investment portfolio. [0:11:12.0]

  • Considering the many sides to home ownership as an investment. [0:13:57.0.]

  • How his partial retirement has affected how he thinks about his portfolio. [0:17:43.0]

  • What HumbleDollar is about and dealing with the human side of money. [0:19:58.0]

  • Three things to do to get more happiness from your money. [0:24:17.0]

  • What people should be talking more about in finance. [0:30:46.0]

  • And much more!