If money is your focus in life, I recommend reassessing your relationship with money.

Money is important, but only in an instrumental sense – to help you live in line with your values and priorities.

And if you want to be happy and have a meaningful life, I recommend prioritising your relationships with other people.

Treat money as a means to that end.

Consider the following excerpts from a 2003 paper, with the ominous title “Zeroing in on the Dark Side of the American Dream“. The paper It was written by four psychologists, including Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and “Dr Happiness” himself, Ed Diener. Its subtitle is: “A Closer Look at the Negative Consequences of the Goal for Financial Success

  • “aspiring to… financial success has negative consequences for various aspects of psychological well-being.”
  • “the stronger the goal for financial success, the lower the satisfaction with family life, regardless of household income”.

In other words: love people, not money!

Sonnie Bailey

In his spare time, Sonnie likes telling people that he’s a former Olympic power walker, a lion tamer, or that he is an orthodontist. He is none of those things. In reality, Sonnie is a financial planner based in Christchurch. Through his business, Fairhaven Wealth (www.fairhavenwealth.co.nz), he provides independent, advice-only, fixed-fee financial planning services. Sonnie is a “recovering lawyer”: he has specialised in trusts and personal client work. He has also worked as a financial services lawyer for many years.