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Brian Portnoy: Balancing Returns with Simplicity, Financial Independence, and Peace of Mind

The author and financial-wellness advisor discusses ‘funded contentment,’ financial education, and the behavioral finance behind it all.

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Our guest on the podcast today is author Brian Portnoy. Brian has written two books on the field of behavioral finance, The Investor's Paradox and The Geometry of Wealth. He's also the editor of a forthcoming book of essays about how financial experts invest their own money called How I Invest My Money.

Brian is the founder of Shaping Wealth, a financial-wellness platform that works with individuals and organizations to make better money decisions. For more than two decades, Brian has worked in the hedge fund and mutual fund industries as portfolio manager and educator. He was also our colleague at Morningstar in the early 2000s. He's a CFA charterholder and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago.


Brian Portnoy’s bio

Brian Portnoy’s books

Shaping Wealth

How I Invest My Own Money,” by Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker blog, July 16, 2019.

Robert Seawright blog

Dasarte Yarnway

Morgan Housel

Shirl Penney

Efficient frontier definition

Harry Markowitz

Fama-French three-factor model

Capital Allocators

Ted Seides

Howard Lindzon

Four ‘Money Scripts’: Four Ways to Feel the Power of Money,” by Ken Eisold,, May 15, 2011.

Blair duQuesnay

Nina O’Neal

Ashby Daniels

Financial Wellness

“Financial Wellness in a Time of Crisis,” speaker Brian Portnoy, Association for Coaching, April 20, 2020

Funded Contentment

Behavioral Finance

Daniel Kahneman

Amos Tversky

Prospect theory

The Two Friends Who Changed How We Think About How We Think,” by Cass R. Sunstein and Richard Thaler,, Dec. 7, 2016

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, Richard H. Thaler, June 14, 2016

Daniel Crosby

Alliance for Decision Education 

Annie Duke

Save More Tomorrow: Practical Behavioral Finance Solutions to Improve 401(k) Plans, by Shlomo Benartzi, April 12, 2012.

Save More Tomorrow,

Governments Are Trying to Nudge Us Into Better Financial Behavior. Is it Working?” by Shlomo Benartzi, John Beshears, Katherine L. Milkman, Cass R. Sunstein, and Richard H. Thaler, Washington Post, Aug. 11, 2017.

Financial Literacy

Annamaria Lusardi: ‘Financial Education Works, ” Long View Podcast with Christine Benz and Jeffrey Ptak,, Feb. 19, 2020.

John Lynch: Rethinking Financial Education,” Long View Podcast with Christine Benz and Jeffrey Ptak,, Dec. 11, 2019.

The University of Chicago Financial Education Initiative