The Geometry of Wealth Book Summary - The Geometry of Wealth Book explained in key points
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The Geometry of Wealth summary

Brian Portnoy

How to Shape a Life of Money and Meaning

4.2 (228 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

The Geometry of Wealth by Brian Portnoy is a personal finance book that emphasizes the importance of balancing money and meaning in life. It offers a unique perspective on financial planning that goes beyond traditional advice and focuses on creating a fulfilling life.

Table of Contents

    The Geometry of Wealth
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Financial insecurity is the new normal, and our instincts stop us from investing our money wisely. 

    Historically speaking, pension plans are a pretty recent invention. In fact, they only really became common in the nineteenth century as certain societies became more financially secure.

    Today, however, that era appears to be over. With financial insecurity ever more widespread, pension plans are once again becoming a rarity.

    That’s because there’s been a big change in how pension plans are funded. Before the 1980s, employers typically stumped up much of the cash to pay for their employees’ retirements. Now, however, workers are expected to pay this themselves. In the United States, retirement is now most often self-funded through 401(k) investment plans.

    Statistics reflect this sea-change in retirement funding. Between 1980 and the present, the number of employees entitled to a full company pension dropped from 62 to just 17 percent. The number of employees self-funding their retirement through 401(k) plans, by contrast, rose from 12 to 71 percent.

    Unsurprisingly, this has created a great deal of insecurity. Take a 2017 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. It found that less than one-quarter – just 18 percent – of all Americans expect a comfortable retirement.

    But here’s the real kicker: Our efforts to self-fund retirement are undermined by our instincts, which lead us to make poor investment decisions. 

    Let’s unpack that. When there’s an economic downturn, we feel less secure. As a result, we begin hoarding money. And how do you do that when the economy stalls and stock prices plummet? Right – you sell the stocks you already own and put off purchasing new stocks.

    But this doesn’t make any sense. Think of it this way: You don’t rush to your local supermarket when it hikes its prices; you wait for the sales. This is exactly the logic we should apply to the financial market. The best time to buy stocks is when prices are low – because of, for example, an economic crash. Put differently, if you weren’t buying up cut-price stocks during the 2008 financial crisis, you missed out! That’s a mistake to avoid in the future. 

    Investment isn’t the only path to greater financial security, though. In the following blinks, we’ll be exploring some of the tools you can use to put your finances in order.

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    Key ideas in The Geometry of Wealth

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    What is The Geometry of Wealth about?

    The Geometry of Wealth (2018) is a practical guide to managing your finances. Packed with financial wisdom and hands-on money-management tips, these blinks also look at the larger, philosophical questions around abundance. Author Brian Portnoy argues that material and spiritual planning go hand in hand. Take care of both and you’ll achieve true wealth.

    The Geometry of Wealth Review

    The Geometry of Wealth (2018) explores the intersection of money, happiness, and meaning in our lives, making it a book that deserves your attention. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through thought-provoking insights and engaging stories, it challenges conventional wisdom about wealth and helps readers reconsider their relationship with money.
    • The author combines psychology, philosophy, and finance to provide a comprehensive understanding of the true meaning of wealth, beyond just financial abundance.
    • With its emphasis on living a fulfilled life and defining our own path to prosperity, this book offers a refreshing perspective on wealth that goes beyond mere accumulation.

    Best quote from The Geometry of Wealth

    I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. – Henry David Thoreau

    —Brian Portnoy
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    Who should read The Geometry of Wealth?

    • Investors and savers
    • Folks looking to beat the debt trap
    • Consultants and financial planners

    About the Author

    Brian Portnoy is an investment consultant at Virtus Investment Partners, a consultancy that helps clients plan their financial future and make sound investment decisions. Portnoy is also the author of The Investor’s Paradox. The Geometry of Wealth is his second book. 

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    The Geometry of Wealth FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Geometry of Wealth?

    The main message of The Geometry of Wealth is that true wealth is about aligning our financial resources with our most important values.

    How long does it take to read The Geometry of Wealth?

    The reading time for The Geometry of Wealth varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Geometry of Wealth a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Geometry of Wealth is a thought-provoking read that challenges conventional notions of wealth. It offers practical insights for building a meaningful and fulfilling financial life.

    Who is the author of The Geometry of Wealth?

    The author of The Geometry of Wealth is Brian Portnoy.

    What to read after The Geometry of Wealth?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Geometry of Wealth, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Laws of Wealth by Daniel Crosby
    • The Value of Debt in Building Wealth by Thomas J. Anderson
    • How I Invest My Money by Edited by Joshua Brown and Brian Portnoy
    • From Here to Financial Happiness by Jonathan Clements
    • 21st Century Investing by William Burckart and Steven D. Lydenberg
    • Die with Zero by Bill Perkins
    • Rich Dad's Who Took My Money? by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Second Chance by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Pillars of Wealth by David M. Greene
    • Manage Your Day-To-Day by 99U and Jocelyn K. Glei