Hello, money nerds, and welcome to the penultimate day of 2019. Because I’m a nerd nerd and not just a money nerd, I won’t pile on the “end of the decade” thing because it’s not the end of the decade. If you start with Year One and a decade lasts ten years, then Year Ten is the end of the decade. See where I’m going with this?
Pedantic, I know, but it bugs me. And it’s not just me making stuff up.
If you go by official definitions (and most authoritative sources), the decade ends on 31 December 2020 — not tomorrow.
Enough with the super technical details. Let’s get on to some top money stories, shall we?
What top performers know about getting a promotion at work. [Chris Reining] — “In my 20s I used to think if I was the hardest worker my manager would see that and promote me. It took me years to understand that nobody cares if you’re working hard. Really? What matters then? Playing the game. If you don’t know there’s a game being played all around you then I’m going to tell you there’s a game being played all around you. You’re literally missing the gorilla in the room…It’s about adding value, and here are the steps to do it.”
The bus-ticket theory of genius. [Paul Graham] — “Everyone knows that to do great work you need both natural ability and determination. But there’s a third ingredient that’s not as well understood: an obsessive interest in a particular topic…If I had to put the recipe for genius into one sentence, that might be it: to have a disinterested obsession with something that matters.”
“The logistics of sharing finances: How we created an argument-free household money system.” [The Luxe Strategist] — “For me and my husband, where the money actually lives was never deeply symbolic. What really mattered to us was a shared vision, trust, and transparency into the other person’s financial life. We’ve got all of that with separate finances.”
Last of all — and this seems fitting for the end of the year — here’s Tim Urban (author of the amazing Wait But Why) interviewing dozens of people from around the world about what they yearn for. What would they request if a genie offered to grant them three wishes?
I really, really like this video. Love it.
That’s it for Monday. We’ll be back tomorrow to celebrate the end of the year…but not the end of the decade.