By James Kwak
A friend passed on this article in The Motley Fool by Morgan Housel. It begins this way:
“That’s the title of Vanguard founder John Bogle’s fantastic book about measuring what counts in life.
“The title, as Bogle explains, comes from a conversation between Kurt Vonnegut and novelist Joseph Heller, who are enjoying a party hosted by a billionaire hedge fund manager. Vonnegut points out that their wealthy host had made more money in one day than Heller ever made from his novelCatch-22. Heller responds: ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have: enough.'”
The rest of the article discusses the cases of Rajat Gupta and Bernie Madoff, the former accused (but not criminally) and the latter convicted of illegal activity done after they had already been enormously successful, professionally and financially.
Housel asks, why do people push on — legally or illegally — when they have more of everything than anyone could possibly need? He summarizes the happiness research as follows:
“Money isn’t the key to happiness. What really gives people meaning and happiness is a combination of four things: Control over what they’re doing, progress in what they’re pursuing, being connected with others, and being part of something they enjoy that’s bigger than themselves.”