Same As Ever Book Review

I find psychology fascinating and used to love reading Psychology Today when I was in high school. Humans are fascinating given our range of emotions and how these emotions dictate how we behave. Many people don’t behave rationally even when the numbers prompt us to behave rationally (e.g. lump sum investing trumps dollar cost averaging, time in the market beats timing the market) and end up selling low and buying high. Here’s my Same as Ever book review.

Same as Ever is a book about what people have always done and will continue to do.

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Same as Ever Book Review

Same as Ever shares 23 stories about things that never change:

  • If you know where we’ve been you realize we have no idea where we’re going
  • We are very good at predicting the future except for the surprises
  • The first rule of happiness is low expectations (even if you are a billionaire and hang out with those even more wealthier than you, you might still not be happy)
  • People who think about the world in unique ways also think about it in ways you won’t like
  • People want certainty not accuracy
  • Stories are more powerful that stats
  • The world is driven by forces that cannot be measured
  • Crazy is normal (there tends to be an overdose on optimism and pessimism and nothing balanced)
  • A good idea on steroids quickly becomes a terrible idea (too much growth is not good)
  • Stress focuses your attention in ways that good times can’t (for example, many innovations happen when the consequences are dire)
  • Good news comes from compounding and time but bad news can occur quickly
  • Little things can compound into big thing (for example, don’t focus on a 20% return on your investments but focus on a decent return on your investments consistently for a long amount of time)
  • Progress needs optimism and pessimism to occur together
  • Being imperfect gives you an advantage (we all need time to think during work- inefficiency can be good)
  • Many competitive advantages eventually die
  • Everything worth pursuing comes with pain
  • It feels like you are falling behind but it’s easy to discount the potential of new technology
  • The grass is always greener (you don’t know what others are going through)
  • Incentives are the most powerful force in the world
  • Experience first hand is the ultimate persuasion and influences your mindset to the greatest extent
  • Time horizons (think about how relevant what you’re reading will be 10 years from now to you)
  • Trying too hard (people try to make things seem complex in order to give an impression of control and expertise)
  • Wounds heals but scars last

Who is MOrgan Housel?

Morgan Housel is the author of the book The Psychology of Money. The Psychology of Money is probably one of the most popular financial books available right now. He was a Wall Street Journal writer and is a partner at the Collaborative Fund.

What I Liked About Same as Ever

Morgan Housel does an amazing job as a story teller and author. He shares anecdotes and lessons from the past that people know very little about, I learned something new in this book that I didn’t before (and that is usually difficult to achieve with personal finance books since many of them rehash the same information).

For example in the chapter “Risk is What You Don’t See”, did you know that Harry Houdini used to ask people to punch him in the stomach as hard as they could as part of his stage performance? He invited some students back stage to meet him, one of the students started punching him in the stomach (meaning no harm, he just wanted to replicate what he did on his show) but Houdini wasn’t prepared for this and he ended up dying from complications related to this.

What I Didn’t Like About Same As Ever

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book, in this Same as Ever book review.

Similar to Psychology of Money, I wished the chapters were a little bit longer or it went into a little bit more detail.

However, I suspect that’s his writing style and probably why is books are so popular.

Genymoney.ca’s Verdict

I would definitely recommend the the Same as Ever book, each chapter tied nicely to the next and it was an easy read. Personal finance books are usually the same thing rehashed and shared in a different way, but for this book, I learned something new in almost each chapter. It’s not just a finance book but these lessons are also about money, ambition, and life satisfaction.

Based on this book, I am inspired to read more books on the past. It reminded of reading Poor Charlie’s Almanack, with the similar lessons and principles but much easier to read and digest.

What is your Same as Ever book review?

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