“God has created enough for Man’s need but not for his greed,’- Mahatma Gandhi.
Most of us would like to have more money. This is a fact of life. But question is, how much more?
Last week, we met a client for an annual review. He asked, “Is this rate of return I am earning good enough?” This made us think.
The portfolio in question is earning double digit returns. This is also the base case return required rate to achieve set goals. As per his risk profile and goals, his rate of return is good enough.
But, apparently, it isn’t for the client. Why?
Our satisfaction with what we have is relative to conditions we are in. That said, chasing things has become the norm. There is no end to desire and greed. We want more real estate, more of the good life. There is no end to the more we chase.
Is this good for us? Will our desire for more make us happier? Studies have repeatedly proved that more money is not directly related to more happiness.
The UK office for National Statistics has identified the things that matter most for happiness as “health, relationships, work, and the environment” This is something worth considering.
There is this book – How much is enough? In it, there is a quote by the author, Robert Skidelsky that captures the human condition perfectly. It goes like this: Experience has taught us that material wants know no natural bounds that they will expand without end unless we consciously restrain them.
Another thing the book emphasises is that, “It is not just that we want more but that we want more than others, who at the same time want more than us; this fuels an endless race.”
This is similar to how many of us feel about our return on investments, number of assets, number of vehicles, and the like. It is not healthy. This too, studies have proved. Desiring more than others is not good for health. And if you are not in good health, what is the use of having more?
It is important to rationalise the amount of things we want and align it with sensible needs and happiness. Expecting more and more and more will not lead to more happiness. Irrational behaviour hurts you in more ways than you can imagine. It is an illusion with no real benefits.
Remember this, ‘There are no easy ways to grow your wealth over the long term. But looking for short cuts is a good way to fail quickly.