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The Geometry of Wealth

How to shape a life of money and meaning

By Brian Portnoy
Cover of The Geometry of Wealth (Paperback) by Brian Portnoy Cover of The Geometry of Wealth (Ebook - phone) by Brian Portnoy Cover of The Geometry of Wealth (Ebook - tablet) by Brian Portnoy

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About the Author

Brian Portnoy

Brian Portnoy, PhD, CFA, is an expert at simplifying the complex world of money. In his two books, The Geometry of Wealth and The Investor’s Paradox, he tackles the challenges of making better investment decisions and articulating how money figures into a joyful life. He is currently the head of education at Magnetar Capital, and has spent the last 25 years as educator, investor, and ... Read more on Brian Portnoy

Contents Listing

Introduction: A Story About Three Shapes

Taking Shape
Chapter 1. Alone Together
Chapter 2. Adaptive Simplicity

The Circle: Purpose
Chapter 3. The Places You Might Go
Chapter 4. What Matters
Chapter 5. Yes, Not Really, It Depends

The Triangles: Priorities
Chapter 6. Setting Priorities
Chapter 7. Making Decisions

The Square: Tactics
Chapter 8. Gray Matter
Chapter 9. Four Corners

Shapeless
Chapter 10. You Are Here

The Geometry of Wealth: Recap
Acknowledgements
Notes
Introduction: A Story About Three Shapes

Taking Shape
Chapter 1. Alone Together
Chapter 2. Adaptive Simplicity

The Circle: Purpose
Chapter 3. The Places You Might Go
Chapter 4. What Matters
Chapter 5. Yes, Not Really, It Depends

The Triangles: Priorities
Chapter 6. Setting Priorities
Chapter 7. Making Decisions

The Square: Tactics
Chapter 8. Gray Matter
Chapter 9. Four Corners ...

Jacket Text

How does money figure into a happy life?

In The Geometry of Wealth, behavioral finance expert Brian Portnoy delivers an inspired answer, building on the critical distinction between being rich and being wealthy. While one is an unsatisfying treadmill, the other is the ability to underwrite a meaningful life, however one chooses to define that. Truly viewed, wealth is funded contentment.

At the heart of this groundbreaking perspective, Portnoy takes readers on a journey toward wealth, informed by disciplines ranging from ancient history to modern neuroscience. He contends that tackling the big questions about a joyful life and tending to financial decisions are complementary, not separate, tasks.

These big questions include:

• How is the human brain wired for two distinct experiences of happiness? And why can money “buy” one but not the other?
• What are the touchstones of a meaningful life, and are they affordable?
• Why is market savvy among the least important sources of wealth but self-awareness is among the most?
• How does one strike a balance between striving for more while being content with enough?


This journey memorably contours along three basic shapes: A circle, triangle and square help us to visualize how we adapt to evolving circumstances, set clear priorities, and find empowerment in simplicity. In this accessible and entertaining book, Portnoy reveals that true wealth is achievable for many - including those who despair it is out of reach - but only in the context of a life in which purpose and practice are thoughtfully calibrated.

Professional Reviews

Managing one’s money is an emotionally fraught job, and comes with a confusing lexicon to boot. Is it any wonder so many individuals devote less time to their personal finances than they do planning their next vacation? Brian Portnoy’s The Geometry of Wealth makes a bracing assertion: it doesn’t have to be this way. In this elegant and insightful volume, he imparts the crucial message that building “wealth” isn’t strictly about money, but finding the intersection between our life’s purpose and the funds needed to achieve it. It’s essential reading for serious and novice investors alike. Christine Benz, Morningstar, Director of Personal Finance

In The Geometry of Wealth, Brian Portnoy has done something wholly unique and framed the conversation around money in a manner never before previously considered. Using a simple framework to make profound points, Dr. Portnoy has crafted a work that is simultaneously educational and poignant. For those looking to revolutionize their approach to money and even life, this book receives my highest recommendation. Dr. Daniel Crosby, NYT bestselling author of The Laws of Wealth

In The Geometry of Wealth, Brian Portnoy has used his incredible talent for translating financial drudgery into simple, accessible, and entertaining prose to help us re-define our satisfaction with money. He has written a book that will leave you truly wealthier for reading it. Corey Hoffstein, Chief Investment Officer, Newfound Research

The Geometry of Wealth walks you through what really matters in our relationship with money. In clear language, simple enough for my kids to understand and sophisticated enough for professionals, Portnoy gets to the heart of the issue. And that’s the point - our relationship with money is about what’s in our heart and what troubles our mind. Geometry brings it all together in a framework that every reader can follow to live a more contented life. Ted Seides, Managing Partner, Hidden Brook Investments

Good books about money are few and far between. Great books about money – which provide useful investment analysis and helpful personal insight presented powerfully and engagingly – are as rare as a bad investment by Warren Buffett, largely because the universe of terrific writers with the academic power and practical experience to write such a book is vanishingly small. The Geometry of Wealth is a great book about money because of who Brian Portnoy is, what he knows, and how well he writes. Don’t miss it. Bob Seawright, Chief Investment Officer, Madison Avenue Securities

Portnoy’s The Geometry of Wealth is an ensemble of profound wisdom, written in a clear and inviting format, that will inspire anyone who is looking to take responsibility for their own finances and wealth. It masterfully blends psychology, neuroscience, and economics - along with the author’s own professional background in investing - to demonstrate that the power to create wealth starts from within. It inherently takes a ‘coach approach’, built on self-reflection and enquiry, while offering a goal-focused, practical framework, for actionable insight. I will definitely be recommending this book to any business leader or coach helping their clients through the stages of career and life planning. At last, a book on managing one's own finances, in a way that is both accessible and personal! Katherine Tulpa, CEO Association for Coaching and Wisdom8

The Geometry of Wealth is told in three parts, with each part matched with a shape that represents a journey from purpose to priorities to tactics. At each respective step, we adapt to life’s evolving circumstances, set clear and actionable priorities, and render difficult decisions easier through the act of simplification. Creating a seamless narrative, not accomplished elsewhere, as money tends to be addressed either in broad philosophical terms or wonky technical details and Portnoy is considered an expert at simplifying the complex world of money. Brian Tramuel, Contributor for Retirement Savvy

In today’s busy world, most self help books recommend that author’s write to the lowest common denomination, or to the 8th grade reading level. I liked that Portnoy stretched my vocabulary with a few college levels words. Marie, Family Money Values

The Geometry of wealth by my friend Brian Portnoy is “A stoic playbook for navigating money life.” This is the type of book you give to someone you truly care about. Brian is a deep thinker and a beautiful writer. I wanted to share some of my favorite lines and passages in the hope that this inspires you to pick up a copy. Michael Batnick, The Irrelevant Investor

Writing a book that is enjoyable for others is a tough task for anyone. Write a book focussed narrowly on personal finance and you have an even tougher task. For Dr Brian Portnoy to succeed in doing so with his most recent release ‘The Geometry of Wealth’ is a significant achievement indeed. Alex Riley, Bunker Riley

True wealth is funded contentment. Anyone with the right mindset and the right plan can afford a meaningful life. Tobias Carlisle, The Acquirer’s Multiple


Media Coverage

Business Insider UK

Portnoy is a behavioral finance expert — he holds both a doctorate and a CFA degree. In "The Geometry of Wealth," he explores what it means to be truly wealthy, i.e. to fund a fulfilling life.

Read more

The Native Society

Brian Portnoy, PhD, CFA, is an expert at simplifying the complex world of money. In his two books, The Geometry of Wealth and The Investor's Paradox, he tackles the challenge of not only making ...

Read more

Traders.com

How does money figure into a happy life? In The Geometry of Wealth, behavioral finance expert Brian Portnoy delivers an answer based on the idea that wealth, truly defined, is funded contentment.

Read more

Nasdaq Reads

In a nutshell, how does money play a part in a happy life?

To answer this, we have to start with a critical distinction: Rich versus wealthy. Rich is the accumulation of more money and psychology ...

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The Irrelevant Investor

The Geometry of wealth by my friend Brian Portnoy is “A stoic playbook for navigating money life.” This is the type of book you give to someone you truly care about. Brian is a deep thinker and a ...

Read more

Modest Money

In setting our main priorities for growing and staying wealthy, controlling risk comes first. This isn’t the sexy part of money. That comes later. This is the hard part because it involves a great ...

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Value Walk

An important distinction when thinking about making good decisions is whether we actually have any choice to begin with—or whether we want any. At times in life, we have a great deal of discretion. ...

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Wall Street News Network

If you are looking for a different spin on money, finance, and wealth, I recommend The Geometry of Wealth.

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Stocks & Commodities

At the heart of this perspective, Portnoy discusses true wealth, informed by disciplines ranging from ancient history to modern neuroscience. He contends that tackling the big questions about a ...

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Money Life Show

It's right up the all of this show and the kind of stuff we do... I really like the new book

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Family Money Values

… He asserts that true wealth is not having more financial wherewithal, but in having enough to be content. This is a concept that many of us come to appreciate only after years of striving for ...

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Retirement Savvy

The Geometry of Wealth covers a lot of ground and the most useful bit (to me) is Portnoy’s shorthand for the system of making sense of your money life, adaptive simplicity.

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Bunker Riley

On the other hand, ‘The Geometry of Wealth’ is one of the very few books I’ve read, successfully bringing all of the pieces together to create a one-stop, all-encompassing guide to money. No ...

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Advisor 2.0

Ultimately, the book recognises the tension between “more” and “enough” — between wanting the best and being satisfied with what we already have. They’re both deep-seated, evolutionary ...

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Master Investor

"Overall, this is a truly enlightening, thought-provoking and refreshing book which teaches readers how to think about wealth in terms of what is important to them. Portnoy is a master of his craft, ...

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The Chicago Tribune

Have you noticed that we live in a world that suggests to us that more is better, and equates wealth with possession? Have you wondered what that has to do with living a meaningful life? In the ...

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Ms Career Girl

Brian Portnoy sums up what he calls “the four enduring sources of a joyful life.”

Connection – the need to belong.
Control – the need to direct one’s own destiny.
Competence – the ...

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Book Talk

This Featured Books page is the place to check out some fantastic books by great authors!

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Bookstr Talks

We're live with Brian Portnoy author of "Geometry of Wealth." He'll be discussing how happiness and fulfillment are a part of wealth and can shape a life of money and meaning.

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Money Sense

It’s a thought-provoking book that challenges the reader to think and feel about the role wealth plays to one’s own meaning of life. Portnoy does this by sharing behavioral economics and biases ...

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Informed Choice Radio

Brian Portnoy builds on the critical distinction of being rich and being wealthy... in this groundbreaking book, Portnoy takes readers on a journey to wealth.

Brian is an expert at simplifying ...

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The Acquirer’s Multiple

True wealth is funded contentment. Anyone with the right mindset and the right plan can afford a meaningful life.

Read more

Reuters News

Most people start with figuring out the right place to invest – and that is important, but it is actually the end of the process. First, you have to understand your own behavior. For instance, most ...

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Morning Star

It's the idea that what we're really trying to do the question that we're really trying to answer is, am I going to be OK, are my family and I are going to be OK. To get at that--that's really not a ...

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Sound View

The Geometry of Wealth proposes a model of wealth as funded contentment. Portnoy takes you on a compelling journey of both spiritual and financial discovery as a means of understanding wealth within ...

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The Inquirer

Questions for these sort of times should be long-term, said Brian Portnoy, director of investment education at Virtus Investment Partners and author of Geometry of Wealth.

He outlined them: "Do ...

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Financial Autonomy

I am joined by author Brian Portnoy in this episode as we talk about his book on money and happiness called The Geometry of Wealth.

In this interview we cover:

What is “The Geometry of ...

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Worth

So Brian Portnoy's new book, his second, is right up our alley. The head of education at Magnetar Capital , Portnoy thinks a lot about how to help investors make smart decisions that help them shape ...

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Your Money, Your Wealth

Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA® (author, The Geometry of Wealth) on the difference between being rich and wealthy, and how to achieve both. Plus, what about tax brackets? Joe and Big Al respond to a ...

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Of Dollars and Data

I know you have heard it many times before. Net of fees, most professional stock pickers can’t beat the market. As Brian Portnoy stated in The Geometry of Wealth:
"Decades’ worth of data ...

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Wealth Confident Podcast

One of the main reasons people seek out financial professionals is because money can be so complicated.

A great financial advisor is someone you can trust. A person who can listen and translate ...

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CityWire Americas

Mark Twain once said that all you need are 'good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience.' Our top 30 ensure you have at least one of those checked off with their must-reads.

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