How to Think About Money

Jonathan Clements

There are those who think the goal of investing is to beat the market and amass as much wealth as possible, that street smarts and hard work ensure investment success, and that the road to happiness is paved with more of everything. And then there are those who get it. Want a more prosperous, less stressful financial life? Jonathan Clements, longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, is here to help. His goal: to provide readers with a coherent way to think about their finances, so they worry less about money, make smarter financial choices and squeeze more happiness out of the dollars that they have. How to Think About Money, which was named 2017's adult book of the year by the Institute for Financial Literacy, is built around five key ideas:


  • Money can buy happiness, but we need to spend with great care.
  • Most of us will enjoy an extraordinarily long life--and that has profound financial implications.
  • We are hardwired for financial failure, so sensible money management takes great mental strength.
  • We need to bring order to our financial life--by focusing on our paycheck, or lack thereof.
  • If we want to add to our wealth, we should strive to minimize the subtractions.
  • How to Think About Money