Don't Be Like Mozart

January 08, 2024

Mozart was good at making music.

Understatement of the millennium.

His compositions are admired everywhere. They expand the human soul and serve the ear blissfully.

Mozart, however, was not good with money.

He served the world magnificently with his music, but served himself outlandishly with his money

He overspent.

Charlie Munger explains how self-serving biases can mess up our lives:

“Another thing, of course, that does one in is the self-serving bias to which we are all subject. You think that your little me is entitled to do what it wants to do and, for instance, why shouldn’t the true little me overspend my income?

Well, there once was a man who became the most famous composer in the world, but he was utterly miserable most of the time and one of the reasons was he always overspent his income. That was Mozart. If Mozart can’t get by with this kind of asinine conduct, I don’t think you should try it.”1

If you think you are Mozart, you probably aren’t musically.

But you might be financially.

Let’s not emulate him in this.

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  1. Charlie Munger: "2007 USC Law School Commencement Address"