Wise & Wealthy: Money principles and Montaigne’s life advice

Welcome to Wise & Wealthy: A weekly newsletter full of proven ideas to become smarter and wealthier. I send this every Monday.

#85 – August 21, 2023

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Wise: Internal validation

We live in a world where external validation dictates our self-worth. Isn’t that a shame? 

That’s something the French Renaissance philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, also talked about hundreds of years ago.

This isn’t a new problem. However, social media does magnify our inferior feelings when we see so many rich and perfect people every day.

As a result, we’re too focused and engrossed with the lives of others.

Montaigne emphasized the importance of cultivating a strong sense of self. He wrote: 

”I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.”

This idea encourages us to embrace our authentic selves and focus on our own well-being, rather than seeking validation from external sources.

In my latest article, I share 7 tips to cultivate a stronger sense of self.

↳ Montaigne: Don’t Care About What You Are to Others

Wealthy: Money principles

I got my first decent-paying job when I was 17. I made two grand in my first month—A LOT of money for me at the time.

I felt rich. But then I spent it all like a stupid teenager. If I could go back, here’s what I would tell myself:

  1. Start investing: The earlier the better. Just invest in an S&P 500 index fund. Let the companies do the work, and own a piece of the action.
  2. Money buys you freedom: Every time you buy something, you’re giving up a bit of your freedom.
  3. The more you learn the more you earn.
  4. Be generous: Don’t hold on to all your money like a dog with a bone. 
  5. Money is a renewable resource: You can’t earn back time.
  6. Trust your financial habits: Take care of your money, and trust the process. Results follow later. 
  7. Save more as you earn more.
  8. Having six months’ worth of expenses saved is enough: You also don’t need to over-save.
  9. Don’t obsess about your retirement: Your top-earning years are probably in your forties and fifties, so if you’re not in your prime career years yet, don’t beat yourself up. 

All the above money principles might sound obvious, but it’s not obvious or simple to live by what you know.

↳ 9 Money Principles I’d Tell My 17-Year-Old Self

One interesting thing

A great quote from Darren Hardy (author of The Compound Effect):

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” 

Your good habits might not have an immediate payoff, but in the long term, they will change your life.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this edition of Wise & Wealthy useful.

All the best,


Join the 5-day Financial Freedom Challenge

I created a 5-day email course you can do alone or together with a group. It’s called the Financial Freedom Challenge. And it will help you to gain control over your finances.

Most people try to calculate their way out of poor finances. But money problems aren’t rational. They’re emotional. Manage your emotions well, and you’ll manage your finances better.

Financial Freedom Challenge

How to Unlock the Financial Freedom Challenge

You can join the challenge for free. For five days, you’ll receive a short email with a small challenge that inspires you to improve your relationship with money.

I highly recommend sharing it with your friends/family so you can go through the program together. It helps bring perspective. And it’s more fun that way too.

Join here for free: dariusforoux.com/financial-freedom

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