Money changes the way you think and feel, but does becoming wealthy mean that you will turn into a greedy and entitled jerk?

This episode is all about tackling the idea of what wealth really makes us do and feel. 

You can read the complete transcript of this episode here.

Many people have a mindset around money, especially when it comes to wealthy people or gaining wealth themselves, that wealthy people are all entitled, greedy and un-empathetic. They avoid pursuing becoming wealthy because they feel that they will become the same thing that they hate about other wealthy people.

Do they really think money is the root of all evil? If they were being honest with themselves, are they judging rich people? Continually look for every reason to prove or reinforce some sort of stereotype they likely already had about rich people?

Here’s where things start to get interesting…

A team of psychologist at the University of CA Berkeley rigged a game of Monopoly so that skill, brains, financial shrewdness and luck – the pieces of the game that can create your success or your demise – have been made irrelevant. 

Researchers watch and document every hand gesture, every eye twitch, each statement or exchange between the players, you name it.

Here were the big picture findings:

→ As a person’s wealth increases, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down.

→ As a person’s wealth increases, their feelings of entitledness and self-interest increases.

→ As a person’s wealth increases, they care more about their personal ambitions and success and considered their own personal endeavors to be more important than the interests of those around them

Does this study actually justify those people’s with the opinion that wealth makes you a jerk?

As a financial coach, I don’t think this is the case.

If you believe that having money makes you a bad person, how do you think that’s impacting you today with the choices you make? It might be totally subconscious to refuse bringing more money into your life, having more money in savings or overall becoming wealthy, but no one sets out wanting to be bad and if having money makes you bad, it’s also reasonable to think that we reject it.

So what if you shifted the belief to this? 

What if you began to believe that money simply makes you more of who you already are? 

It’s a magnifier is strengthens or grows more of what you already possess.

It doesn’t make you good and it doesn’t make you bad, just makes you more of who you already are. If you are a giving person, you will likely give more as you become more wealthy. 

If you are a selfish person or if you’re slightly entitled now, it’s likely you’ll become more so as you acquire more money. If you make better decisions, when you feel calm, cool, and collected when you’re not stressed or under a lot of panic, if you feel more creative when you’re not feeling stressed, it’s likely you will make even better choices and feel even more creative when you have money in savings and investments that provide security and stability. 

So what if you believe that money simply makes you more of who you already are? Then what that helps us to do is begin focusing inward on who we are and working on ourselves right now today.

Tune into this episode to hear more of the details of this study but also hear Kelsa’s thoughts on the mindset I believe we should all be adopting.


Full article:

PBS Segment of the Study & Findings:

Ted Talk by Study founder:

Just Mercy By Bryan Stevenson

Related blog post: The one thing you should never say to kids about money

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