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Miserable by Design?



March 27, 2012 – Comments (5)


While I certainly don't always agree with all of the articles that appear here at The Motley Fool, I appreciate the fact that this site welcomes a diverse set of opinions from its authors.  I came across an interesting article here today that really didn't have much to do with investing, but I loved it nontheless:

Miserable by Design?

By the looks of the comments section, the piece certainly generated quite a bit of controvercy.  I personally think that it is a fantastic article. While I don't necessarily agree with the exact "Happy Planet" formula that the author mentions, I completely agree that those of us with an interest in business often become way too focused on the quantity of money and other stuff that we have rather than the quality of our and our families' lives.

I have made a concerted effort to focus much more on the latter in my life over the past year and I would definitely say that my happiness has increased.

Some readers may be disappointed that this article isn't centered around some sort of actionable investment idea, but I think that it is important to bring awareness to this issue. Not only the issue that happiness is important and that material things do not always bring it but that it is literally impossible for global consumption to continue to grow at a rapid pace indefinitely, let alone at the pace of the bubble-fueled years that many of us because accustomed to.

Anyhow, I liked Brian's article. And I appload you for bringing attention to this issue.  If you don't like it, feel free to skip over it rather than complaining about it. Of course you are free to do so, but is being negative really the most valuable use of your time? Encouraging positivity and happiness in others should be encouraged, not discouraged.


5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM, portefeuille (98.32) wrote:

the quality of our and our families' lives


2011 Quality of Living worldwide city rankings – Mercer survey

United Kingdom
London, 29 November 2011

European cities dominate worldwide quality of living rankings

Vienna ranks highest for quality of living; Baghdad, the lowest

Luxembourg ranks highest for personal safety; Baghdad, the lowest

In UK, Aberdeen and Glasgow rank 44 for personal safety; London ranks 68 out of 221 cities


Vienna has the best living standard in the world, according to the Mercer 2011 Quality of Living Survey. Zurich and Auckland follow in second and third position, respectively, and Munich is in fourth with Düsseldorf and Vancouver sharing fifth place. Frankfurt is in seventh, followed by Geneva in eighth, while Copenhagen and Bern share ninth place.




Düsseldorf was ranked #6 the prior year.

see these posts.





So not only is Düsseldorf home of the best biopharma hedge fund in the world, it is also a great place to live ...

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#2) On March 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM, portefeuille (98.32) wrote:

Some Düsseldorf stocks.


Henkel (preferred)

Henkel (ordinary)



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#3) On March 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM, TMFCheesehead (78.42) wrote:

Many thanks TMFDeej!

If you want to see really interesting stuff, check out anything you can get your hands on regarding happiness on small island nations.

They tend to be off the charts as: (1) they function just as much on a gift economy than a free market one, where everyone's needs are generally met, and (2) are hyper aware of depletion of natural resources.


Brian Stoffel

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#4) On March 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM, TMFDeej (98.34) wrote:

You're welcome Brian.  I'm reading a fascinating book on the subject of the mind and happiness right now by one of the most reknowned researchers in the field.  Here's a link of you're interested:

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them by Richard J. Davidson


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#5) On March 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM, TMFDeej (98.34) wrote:

Thanks for reading port.  Your post makes me wonder if there is any correlation, either direct or possibly even reverse, between the reported happiness in a country and the performance of the stocks that are headquartered there.  Hmmmm.


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