Question For Traders: Can Money Buy Happiness?

As adults, we spend most of our lives exchanging time and effort for money.

Whether it’s through Forex trading or an office job, the goal of most of our daily activities is essentially to have more income.

But does having more money really make us happier?

In thinking about this, let’s first define that ‘happiness’ is.

Happiness Defined

For the most part, there are 2 ways people relate to happiness.

The first is a short-term experience of ‘feeling good’, such as when you eat an ice cream, or get an enjoyable massage. This is associated with sensations of one (or more) of the five physical senses.

The second way people relate to happiness is a longer-lasting experience of fulfillment and joy. This is an intangible experience associated with a sense of freedom and a meaningful life.

In this post I will talk about happiness in both these aspects.

More Money Buys More Good Feelings, Sort Of

Obviously, money is required to purchase an ice cream so in this sense, money does buy happiness.

If ice cream makes you happy, having more money enables you to buy more of it.

But you see, the relationship between ice cream and ‘feeling good’ isn’t linear.

Beyond a (very) limited point, having more ice cream not only results in less instances of ‘feeling good’, but eventually makes you feel even worse than before you started. The same goes for massages, alcohol and all other agents of ‘feeling good’.

This brings up a crucial point: in pursuing more experiences of ‘feeling good’, knowing when to stop becomes increasingly important.

So, just ‘having more’ isn’t the key here; it’s about balance.

Money Makes Us More Fulfilled, Kind Of

To the extent that money allows for more choice and freedom, it contributes to personal fulfillment.

However, fulfillment is more than just about having choices. Being rich doesn’t guarantee a meaningful life.

Money CAN buy you the means to live meaningfully, but only if you know what those means are.

Money Is An Enabler

Money may make you happy for now, but it can’t keep you that way.

It’s an enabler, that’s all.

It gives the power of choice.

And what you choose to do with that power determines whether you’ll remain happy.

Is Money Good Or Evil?

Money doesn’t have a moral compass. It’s a neutral force.

All it does, is amplify the characteristics of your life – it multiplies how happy or unhappy you already are.

If you’re unhappy, money will make you even more unhappy.

So pay attention to your life when you don’t have money. Are you happy?

If you aren’t, money isn’t likely to make a difference in the long run.

 So, Can Money Buy Happiness?

Money will buy whatever it is you choose.

If you know how to be happy, money definitely helps.

But if you don’t know how to be happy, money won’t magically change that for you.

The question with money is, do you know what to buy with it?

Your Thoughts?

Do you think money can buy happiness? Let me know in the comments below!

By |2019-03-14T18:42:46+00:00March 14th, 2019|General|16 Comments


  1. tino November 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    used properly and wisely money can make you happy

  2. James November 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Nice job Mr. Lee.

  3. Wibowo SIndhuraharjo November 18, 2012 at 4:20 am - Reply

    No, money can’t buy happiness. If somebody think that money can buy happiness it means she / he doesn’t know what happiness is …

  4. Dollie November 18, 2012 at 5:32 am - Reply

    The lack of money can definitely lead to unhappiness, but having enough money to be fed, clothed, and housed is important to life. Having more will be icing on the cake, but being satisfied and not fearing that you will lose the money you have is important also. Fear brings unhappiness. Greed brings unhappiness. But your example of using the money that you have made to enjoy life does bring happiness. Thank you Chris.

  5. Chris A November 18, 2012 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Good post, thanks. The while thing is: money does not buy happiness, but lack of money definitely leads to unhappiness in most cases. Just a thought.

  6. Shakeel November 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    If we spend 10% of our earned money in charity,then we will never be unhappy and poor in our life.

  7. umesh November 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Respect and value your money and thou shall return double the happiness

  8. Chris Lee November 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Some interesting thoughts here…

  9. Ray Benison November 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    To be happy, devote your life to a worthy goal, or goals, and to a power greater than yourself, whether you have money or not. We have only one life to live, and must make to most of it to maximize our contribution to helping make life better for everyone.

  10. Jatau November 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Think about having money to obtain Something you really desire at a given time,this gives a lot of happiness.

  11. Dan November 24, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Money is important to anyone but he/she must be able to control it and live a happy life. Here is a note a friend of mine shared among his friends:

    Don’t forget to make a life!

    • Money in itself is not evil!
    • Money provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. Money is only a medium of exchange.
    • We need two kinds of education. One that teaches us how to make a living and one that teaches us how to live.
    • There are people who are so engrossed in their professional life that they neglect their family, health and social responsibilities. If asked why they do this they would reply that they were doing it for their family.
    • Our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come home. Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone.
    • Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face problems. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction.
    • Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will become a means of destruction.

    Friends, take a moment and ask yourself…. has water entered my ship?

    • Chris Lee November 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for sharing that! I appreciate it.

  12. Jeff December 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris,
    Firstly you never defined happiness but merely talked about how people relate to it. Bad start. It doesn’t get any better really from that point on. I would suggest you stick to trading per se and stop trying to impart your philosophy onto others when it’s clear you’re no philosopher. I’d suggest you study some philosophy perhaps if you want some real answers.

    Disappointed but not surprised,

    Dr Jeff O’Carroll

  13. Chris Lee December 9, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    First of all, just like all other posts written on this blog, this one simply reflects an opinion. Whether you think it is appropriate for you or not, is your choice.

    What I am concerned about however, is that you’ve expressed disagreement without offering any constructive feedback, or to explain the nature of your disagreement.

    You’ve implied that you know the “real answers”, but no one is left any better off with your comment.

    Perhaps you’d like to share with us a little bit more about your thoughts?

  14. Keith June 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris
    Happiness or peace (living in harmony with the Universe) should be your first goal, the wisdom to make money will automatically flow towards you once you have achieved some level of that. Hold the Faith in that and give gratitude for that which you are receiving and watch your life change.
    Don’t question why, it just works.

  15. Juantomas September 9, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hi,Here’s the truth: If you want to become a sescuscful forex trader, you must 1) Always stay humble Realize that at any given moment, you have the capacity to do serious and permanent damage to your forex account. In the blink of an eye, you can and will have your account wiped out if you are an undisciplined trader.2) Limit your risk Proper money management is the key to the long term survival of your account. Only risk a tiny percent of your account on any given trade( I usually risk 1-2% on any one trade). I recommend stop losses at all times. 3) Never be greedy Always take small gains and small losses. With discipline and training, you can easily learn to be profitable with a 50/50, or even lower, win/ loss ratio.4) Invest in your forex education Learn to be a good technical trader. Study pivot points, support, resistance, and trend lines. Through my own forex training, I’ve learned that all of the get rich quick systems and strategies will work one day, and not the next. Some are designed for trending markets while others work when the currencies are trading in a range. I’ve seen many accounts blown up from using a system that was touted as the latest and greatest’.There are quite a few forex training courses on the market. I’ve studied and reviewed many of them. As a matter of fact, I just finished studying a course which cost me $2000. There was a lot of great information in that course, but I still felt $2,000 was a little pricey. It was a learning experience for sure.Hope this information helps,Dennis

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