Same as Ever – Morgan Housel Certainly Writes Another Great Book

Those familiar with Morgan Housel will not be surprised that his latest book, Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes, is an instant classic in the world of personal finance.

His 2020 book, The Psychology of Money, has sold over 4 million copies, and he was one of MarketWatch’s 50 most influential people in finance in 2022. He blends his knowledge of finance and people through the lens of history to present compelling anecdotes that captivate and educate.

Same as Ever continues in the same vein as the previous book, using storytelling to help us navigate the complex financial world. One thing that seems to not have changed is that this book, like its predecessor, is powerful for those seeking financial happiness, and beyond.

Finance Fables

Together, these books are like the Aesop’s fables of Finance. They should be approached like scripture, read and reread until the aphorisms distilled from the stories become second nature, effortlessly guiding daily decisions.

Yes, I think these books are that valuable!

I have read Psychology of Money several times, just finished Same as Ever, and immediately hit re-play on the audio book!

But equating financial books to scripture? Blasphemous!

While personal finance isn’t spirituality, it is fundamental to success in many important areas of life. Also, many of the psychological and behavioral principles for financial success transcend subject matter.

And the downside of not handling your personal finances can be disastrous. Money problems have ruined relationships, destroyed mental health, caused suffering, and led to tragedy.

Mastering personal finance may not save your soul, but it might save your life!

Uncertainty Tolerance

But what do these books really do for us? For me, Housel’s books are really about building tolerance for uncertainty that is inherent in life.

Uncertainty is the ubiquitous background character present in all of his stories. Like a successful Hollywood character actor, it’s in everything, yet somehow, we hardly even notice. With chameleon like abilities it blends in, morphs and camouflages itself in every scene.

As humans, we have a striking aversion to uncertainty. We will put ourselves through crazy mental gymnastics to avoid dealing directly with it.

Conversely, like an addiction, we crave and are comforted by certainty. Whether or not a thing is actually certain seems to make little difference.

For example, in the finance world, people spend enormous amounts of time forecasting, modeling, and making predictions. However, in hindsight, these activities turn out to be largely useless. That is, except for making people “feel” better in the moment.

History does show us that some things are certain, which Morgan Housel teases out for us in Same as Ever. However, the certainties he finds are not the soft, fluffy kind that you want to take to bed and snuggle.

For example, we certainly will not know exactly what the next big disaster will be, but certainly know that one will come – certainty with uncertainty hanging out in the background.

The Art of Housel

But like an artist posing a model, Housel gently positions our heads to face towards uncertainty, even though we are trying to crane our necks to look away.

Then he distracts us with compelling human stories, some with characters we already know, some we don’t. Some help us understand complex mathematical truths, and some lay bare the irrationality of human nature.

Embedded in the stories are the few things that we can count on as certainties, as unsoothing as they may be. And they contain examples of real life ways to accommodate the ever present, unwelcome guest, uncertainty.

Through careful research, he crafts accessible retellings of history to distill the important lessons we need to greatly improve our chances of financial happiness, and beyond.

Round of Applause, Please!

So, thank you Morgan Housel, for doing the hard work of getting us to face uncertainty and accept the real certainties – like feeding a toddler vegetables, sometimes sneaking them in when we aren’t looking.

Two things are certain, our inability to tolerate uncertainty will be the same as ever, and I will read Same as Ever again.

Uncertainty in Your Life?

What do you do to deal with the unpredictable? What certainties have you clung to for comfort? What do you do to challenge yourself to look directly at uncertainty and challenge your assumptions? Lets talk about it below.

Master Your Money, Live a Truly Prosperous Life!

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