Morgan Housel — Contrarian Money and Writing Advice, Three Simple Goals to Guide Your Life, Journaling Prompts, Choosing the Right Game to Play, Must-Read Books, and More (#702)

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“I’m not interested in anything that’s not sustainable. Friendships, investing, careers, podcasts, reading habits, exercise habits. If I can’t keep it going, I’m not interested in it.

Morgan Housel

Morgan Housel (@morganhousel) is a partner at The Collaborative Fund. His book The Psychology of Money has sold more than three million copies and has been translated into 53 languages. 

He is a two-time winner of the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and winner of the New York Times Sidney Award. In 2022, MarketWatch named him one of the 50 most influential people in markets. He serves on the board of directors at Markel

Morgan’s new book is Same As Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes. You can find my first, widely popular interview with Morgan at

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastPodcast AddictPocket CastsCastboxGoogle PodcastsAmazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the interview on YouTube.

Brought to you by Cometeer delicious hyper-fresh, flash-frozen coffee; Momentous high-quality supplements; and LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 900M+ users.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#702: Morgan Housel — Contrarian Money and Writing Advice, Three Simple Goals to Guide Your Life, Journaling Prompts, Choosing the Right Game to Play, Must-Read Books, and More

This episode is brought to you by Cometeer! Cometeer is hyper-fresh, expertly brewed, flash-frozen coffee that produces an incredibly delicious cup. Cometeer lets you prepare your coffee with no mess, no machines, no burning, and no bitterness. Cometeer sources high-quality beans from the country’s top roasters. The coffee is brewed using proprietary technology to pull out more flavor compounds and antioxidants. It’s then flash-frozen at minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit to lock in that incredible flavor and freshness of the specialty brew. Simply add hot water and you’ve got a game-changing cup of coffee. It’s easily customizable in seconds for iced coffees, lattes, espresso martinis, and more.

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Want to hear the last time Morgan was on the show? Listen to our conversation in which we discussed unorthodox career decisions, teaching children the value of money, lessons learned from being gamed by the market, counterintuitive bets, preparing for financially bumpy long hauls, understanding the difference between a fee and a fine, tolerance for petty annoyance as a valuable life skill, and much more.

#576: Morgan Housel — The Psychology of Money, Picking the Right Game, and the $6 Million Janitor

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Morgan Housel:

Website | Twitter | Instagram


  • [07:20] Buffett’s Snickers.
  • [12:21] What prompted Morgan to write Same As Ever?
  • [17:44] Morgan’s worst advice for aspiring writers is what works for him.
  • [21:48] The upsides of being rich and anonymous.
  • [26:35] Tips for raising unspoiled kids.
  • [33:19] Should families avoid passing along dynastic wealth?
  • [35:45] Finding worthy charities and causes.
  • [41:02] Money and happiness.
  • [48:37] Avalanches and other random, life-changing flukes.
  • [54:32] We can prepare for the future, but we can’t predict it.
  • [1:00:58] What current unknowns will seem shockingly obvious in a year?
  • [1:03:22] Which of our current views would change if our incentives were different?
  • [1:06:23] The most valuable personal finance asset.
  • [1:08:54] Optimizing the chance of marrying the right person.
  • [1:11:38] Mending divergence in a marriage or relationship.
  • [1:14:49] Trying to eliminate a hassle that’s an unavoidable cost of success.
  • [1:33:16] Guessing at the future of text vs. audio/video.
  • [1:37:41] Books vs. podcasts.
  • [1:46:56] Recommended reading.
  • [2:06:00] Has writing Same As Ever changed how Morgan operates in the world?
  • [2:07:39] Who is the intended audience for Same As Ever?
  • [2:09:47] Parting thoughts.


“Let’s focus on what we know with certainty is going to be a part of your future, and that’s the best that we can do to see the future.”
— Morgan Housel

“In anything you do in life, you want feedback that what you’re doing is working. And in a lot of these situations, you don’t get it.”
— Morgan Housel

“Does money buy happiness? I think that answer is pretty firmly no. Can money buy contentment? I think that’s a pretty firm yes. And that’s great. Contentment is a great trait that makes your life better, but it’s very different from happiness.”
— Morgan Housel

“Some people have fuck you money. Charlie [Munger] has fuck you intelligence.”
— Morgan Housel

“I think you do your best work if you are being introspective about yourself. And “knowing your audience” slips into pandering very quickly. And pandering is the worst writing. Not only is it the worst content, it’s the worst writing style.”
— Morgan Housel

“When people want something from you, they treat you differently, and it’s not good.”
— Morgan Housel

“A lot of investors try to eliminate volatility, and they view it as a burden and something that you should get rid of when, actually … it’s the fee and not the penalty.”
— Morgan Housel

“I’m not interested in anything that’s not sustainable. Friendships, investing, careers, podcasts, reading habits, exercise habits. If I can’t keep it going, I’m not interested in it. And I think the only way to really do that is if you are going out of your way to live life at 80 percent to 90 percent potential. If you’re always trying to squeeze out 100 percent potential for something, almost certainly it’s going to lead to burnout, whether it’s a friendship or a relationship or an investing strategy.”
— Morgan Housel


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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6 Replies to “Morgan Housel — Contrarian Money and Writing Advice, Three Simple Goals to Guide Your Life, Journaling Prompts, Choosing the Right Game to Play, Must-Read Books, and More (#702)”

  1. Tim, I know what you’ve said about 4HB; however, do any of Mark Bell’s proteins meet the criterion for breakfast – Steak Shake, Keto Pro, or his Isolate? Thanks!

  2. Great interview! I think you should interview Dr. David Fajgenbaum, the doctor who discovered his own cure to his deadly disease, after nearly dying five times.

    He’s now become one of the youngest tenured professors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and is using AI to discover more cures for rare disease patients.

    I would be happy to set up an introduction if you are interested in interviewing David!

    Best Regards,
    Long time listener of the podcast- Brent Shaw

  3. LOVED everything about this podcast. Comment about raising well adjusted kids: my brother in law, who is in the super affluent category, told his 3 kids that he will pay for all their education and any sports they choose. He also gave them a weekly allowance, significantly smaller than their equally rich children. He also told them that if they save anything from the allowance they are able to “deposit it to the dad-bank”, which paid 10% interest. Today , they are aged 32, 22 and 17. The oldest one has her own business, pays her own mortgage and car loan (at a better interest, but still) and still loves luxury items, but earns them herself. The middle one is a boy on Golf scholarship in the US (they come from the Czech Republic). His father offered to buy him a new car for the last year of university, as his old Fiat 500 does not always get him to his tournaments without challenges. The boy asked to continue driving his beater car and have the money invested instead. He is aware that his “gravy train” is nearing the final destination and this will give him starter funds for when he finishes school and is on his own. The youngest one is still in high school, and buys most of her clothes in second hand stores. Her hobby is street dance and she finds styles better suited to that for just couple of dollars.

  4. Hey Tim, you touched on a question that I’ve been trying to answer in this episode. You mention switching games every 5-10 years when the glory days are done, and when the odds become less favourable for you (paraphrasing). I’ve been a dedicated musician since I was a kid (I’m now 30), and often wonder if I’ve chosen the wrong game. As much as I love creating art, the game itself is undervalued and oversaturated, and I still can’t feed my family with my art.

    I would love to know if you ever left a game BEFORE you succeeded in it. It seems to me you only left each game after you’d conquered it. I’m not a quitter, but tethering myself to the same game since high school doesn’t seem to serve me either.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Loved this episode and feel like I’m there with you guys discussing. (Mental note to not put an exclamation mark).
    I loved the anecdote about Warren Buffett and the Snickers. Still the case now.
    I’m skeptical about the family that could have $8 billion and stay anonymous. Seems like if they own a super successful company, they would have a fair number of employees. Employees always talk. Even if they didn’t know the exact number, I’d think the employees would be aware of the general wealth of their owners.

  6. Morgan’s example of being angry at the woman at the CVS store blew my mind. So he bought her a cart full of groceries – did she have a car to haul them back, or even a home to take them to? What good did this do for her, exactly? Just give people money if you’re going to give charitably. Also, I’m 100% not surprised she didn’t make eye contact or thank him — she had no idea what this strange man wanted from her. Of course she is going to keep herself and her son safe.