Monday, June 20, 2011

Emphasizing Mind over Material

Discussions around the concept of time versus money interest me. I recently came across a couple of articles that discuss wealthy people's non-conventional approaches to spending their money.

The first one is an article in the LA Times (by Jessica Guynn) wherein she writes about how the new Silicon Valley millionaires who are shunning the traditional materialism of the affluent. They make up their own minds about what makes sense for them. "I have pictured myself owning expensive things and easily came to the conclusion that I would not have a materially more meaningful life because of them," says Moskovitz, one of the neo-millionaires mentioned in the article.

As Jessica writes:

It's not that this new generation of tech entrepreneurs doesn't seek status, Marwick said. They just seek it in different ways.

"This is not a community that values good looks, visible wealth or having a hot body. Those are not the ways that they distinguish high status from low status," Marwick said. "Technology millionaires don't hobnob with celebrities or buy a fancy car. They travel to Thailand or they fund an incubator. These things are just as expensive, but that's the classic hacker ethos that prizes the mind, not materials."
Read the full article here.

The second one is by Barry Ritholtz, a columnist for the Washington Post titled "7 life lessons from the very wealthy." At some level all of us know these lessons, but it is always good to be reminded.

One of Barry's lessons is:
Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor.”
Work is the process of exchanging your time for money. Remember: What you do with your time is far more meaningful than the goods you accumulate with your money. If you are working so much to become rich but you ignore your spouse and miss seeing your kids grow up, you are actually poorer than you realize.
Barry Rithotz runs a blog called "The Big Picture." Read the full article here.