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The role of luck in personal finance.

Today is Tuesday, my friends, and this is another edition of Apex Money. Every weekday, Jim and I do our best to collect interesting and educational stories about personal finance (and more). Here are some recent faves…

How to do a bit better by doing a bit less. [The Science of Wellbeing] — “It’s not hard to find self-help books and business gurus telling you that in order to be happy and successful you need to be fully committed to your goals and give 100% every waking second of the day. But I’m more interested in the people who recommend a more moderate approach…even extolling the virtues of sometimes (shock! horror!) doing nothing.”

Why do we want problems to be somebody’s fault? [Raptitude] — “It’s not that there’s no such thing as fault, or that solutions never require holding a particular party to account. Only that there’s something about the human mind that wants a given problem to be someone’s fault, simply because it would be easier if it were.” Related (and also from Raptitude): Cynicism is boring.

The law of reversed effort: The harder you try, the harder you fail. [Big Think] — “There are many moments in life when trying harder makes things worse. When you have a mosquito bite, a broken bone, or a nosebleed, you leave it be. Picking, prodding, and probing only exacerbate the problem. So, too, with a lot of life’s major moments.”

Examining the role of luck in personal finance. [The Prudent Plastic Surgeon] — “We all hate luck. We don’t want to give it any credit. In fact, most of us will go out of our way to convince ourselves that we are not lucky. Instead we are deserving. In my mind, both are true. For some reason, and trust me this happens to me all the time, we feel that attributing any of our success to luck or randomness diminishes from our accomplishments or current reality. But does it? Not really.”

And that’s it for today. Time for me to take the dog for a walk. See you tomorrow, everyone!