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Learning to navigate not just markets but life itself

WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?

In $how Me The Money Book 4: Ideas And Philosophies To Navigate Life And The Markets, the writer shares some realities of life - a greater understanding of which will allow us to develop a healthy approach to money and life and our relationships with others.

The result would be happier individuals, and a kinder and more harmonious society.

A former journalist turned fund manager, Ms Teh Hooi Ling covers a wide range of topics, from how emotions affect our decisions to the economics of how to solve the haze problem, as well as management theories such as how to motivate employees and build high-performing teams.

This is the last of her Show Me The Money books, which have been bestsellers. It started with Sound Principles To Grow Your Wealth, then came The Science Of Stock-picking, and Fighting Paralysis In A Market Meltdown And Other Curious Facts About The Markets.

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SEVEN KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Randomness or luck can determine much of how your life turns out. The parents you were born to, the aptitudes you were born with, the time and society you were born into, lucky breaks early on - such things compound over time to give a big advantage, and account for much of your "success" now.


$HOW ME THE MONEY BOOK 4 By Teh Hooi Ling Straits Times Press, paperback/ 218 pages/$26.75 with GST

2. The ways we organise ourselves today as a society are unsustainable: Unfettered capitalism has led to a small proportion of the global population owning the bulk of the world's wealth, while rampant consumerism and the externalisation of almost all environmental costs by businesses have led to rapid destruction of our surroundings.

3. The pursuit and accumulation of money have become the central theme of people's lives, so much so that they are now an end in themselves. Tacking a price tag on everything can lead to unconscionable decisions. Always remember that money should be a means to an end. We earn money for a purpose, to achieve certain goals.

4. When pretty much how we turn out is a result of randomness or luck, can we claim to deserve all that has been bestowed on us? If a chief executive happened to preside over a company during an industry upcycle, can he claim credit for its soaring profits, and demand to be paid an astronomical salary?

5. When we realise that it is our good fortune to be where we are today, that there are others who are not as lucky as we are, and that we are happier if society as a whole is happy, then the natural tendency would be to want to share more, so that the world's resources can be more equally enjoyed by all the inhabitants of the globe. In any case, research has shown that those who give generously are more likely to enjoy success.

6. We are all just transient passers-by on this earth. The world is constantly evolving - the minute we are born, we are dying; where there is a boom, there will be a bust. Thus, there is no point in clinging, whether it's to our youth, our wealth or the good times. The same is true of less happy moments - these, too, will pass.

7. At some point, we will start to think about the meaning or the purpose of our lives. Allocating some time to explore this question and coming to a resolution will make a difference in how we approach our lives after that.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'Learning to navigate not just markets but life itself'. Print Edition | Subscribe