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June 28, 2022

Funding Contentment with Brian Portnoy

The happiness and contentment we feel surrounding money doesn’t end with the number in our bank account. Take it from Brian Portnoy, founder of Shaping Wealth, a financial wellness company that helps clients make smarter financial moves. Brian understands the psychology behind financial decisions as much as he does the strategy behind investment.

For instance, as human beings, we instinctively compare ourselves to others, seeking comfort in status and discomfort when our social media is flooded with 18-year-old billionaires rich off crypto. But how can we learn to mute the comparison triggers all around us? And why do growth-focused goals keep us grounded? 

Brian talks with Doug and Greg about navigating the comparison landscape, why money is still taboo, why unlimited freedom has led to increased paralysis, and the difference between being rich and being wealthy.

Key Takeaways

  • [00:17] - An introduction to Brian. 
  • [01:11] - Why Brian believes money is a taboo subject.
  • [02:32] - Does insecurity around discussing money correlate with general financial insecurity?
  • [04:27] - Why social media has decreased society’s contentment surrounding their finances. 
  • [07:52] - The dangers of comparison and Brian’s perspective on differing financial priorities amongst generations. 
  • [12:04] - How Brian approaches goal-setting and disciplined progress.
  • [19:23] - The power of purpose. 
  • [21:31] - How to live a meaningful life and spend accordingly. 
  • [26:28] - How investors can stay grounded amidst a volatile world and a volatile market.  


[06:12] - “There’s a quote I love from J.P. Morgan, the original John Pierpont Morgan from whatever it was 100 years ago, where he said, ‘Nothing corrupts your financial judgment more than the sight of your neighbor getting rich.’ It wasn’t that long ago that your neighbor was the guy across the street. Now your neighbor is every person on Facebook and TikTok and Snap and LinkedIn and Twitter. Everybody is everybody’s neighbor and we’re going a little bit bonkers with it.” ~ @brianportnoy 

[16:26] - “What goals do from a negative perspective is they tee us up for emotional disappointment. Because no matter how good, or frankly how bad, a particular outcome is, we tend to revert to type, and then we say, ‘what’s next?’ Because we are foundationally growth-oriented creatures. And wherever we get, we want to get further.”  ~ @brianportnoy 

[22:21] - “I think what anyone can do to figure out where money fits into a meaningful life and have those goals be more emotionally resonant, is to think about purpose, is to think about meaning.” ~ @brianportnoy 


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The information in this podcast is educational and general in nature and does not take into consideration the listener’s personal circumstances. Therefore, it is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized financial, legal, or tax advice. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a final decision.