Subscribe  | September 28, 2020
an honest email about money and its impact on us + the world
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Hi! I'm Ilana. You are receiving this email because you signed up for Roooted, a weekly newsletter about money (without the intimidating finance vibe). Thank you for being here! If this email was forwarded to you, get your own

u think I'm lucky? that's so rude

I try to write down what I'm grateful for every day-- but the effects of luck on my life are way bigger than the scribbles in my journal can handle. It still feels so difficult to comprehend the bits and pieces of luck, chance, and risk sewn into my life. If you're reading this, chances are you're pretty lucky too.

But doesn't being called lucky sometimes feel sort of... invalidating? You're not alone. Our society admires hard work and skill as if our lives solely depend on it. 

Robert Frank, an economist and professor at Cornell, wrote
an entire book on the subject. He says, "a lot of people have bad outcomes in life purely as a result of factors beyond their control. They worked hard and they were talented, but shit happens, and reality is complicated."

And when it comes to money? OH BABY, luck is real.

Houston, we have a lil problem
As a kid, I knew about Bill Gates (you know... the realllly rich guy with a bowling-alley in his house?!)* As I've grown up and explored money, it's become clear that our society holds extreme financial success close to its heart.

There's a problem, though. Those examples offer the least useful lessons to apply to our own lives. Of course, Bill Gates (and all the others like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, etc.) are brilliant, hardworking dudes, but it can be downright harmful to downplay the role of luck on their lives. Their outcomes live on the extreme ends of luck and risk— and are impossible to duplicate.

Bad news first?
As humans, we don't value luck enough because:

1. It feels rude/unfair to tell someone their success may be due to luck (think: calling Kylie "self-made")
2. We want to believe there's an exact science to becoming extremely rich

Now, the good news
Seeking the highest, most extreme returns is, well, not exactly good investing. It's more like trying to win the lottery via the stock market.
According to Morgan Housel, author of
The Psychology of Money, being a good investor is about pretty good, easy-to-repeat results that you'll stick with for a long time. 

The best news!?

You can make those good, repeatable returns happen relatively easily.

Here's what you can do:
1. Find a robo-advisor with low fees (and no minimums)
2. Pick a diversified portfolio
3. Set up recurring monthly deposits (small is okay!)

By doing this, you will get results. The research backs it upNo luck necessary.

*Did Bill Gates ever actually have a bowling alley? Seven-year-old me needs to know

Per our last email
A few weeks ago, we had a conversation about retirement.
I just wanted to follow up with a reminder:  

don't! touch! it!

Let's try this! 
I'm currently reading a book called The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It's truly blowing my mind.

I'm dying to tell you about all that I've learned BUT there are so many good things... I don't even know where to start telling you about it. SO, I've decided to welcome you into my brain and make my notes public.

If you want to check them out, my notes are right here.
I roamed around the internet so you don't have to

Here's what I found:
On being human
Have you ever laid in bed, reliving a mistake you made six months ago? Say hello to
Negativity Bias

On tech + AI
Has Youtube recommended a flat-earth video to you recently?
Probably not

On business
Can anyone point Quibi to the nearest exit?

On media

Are curators the new creators?
Thoughts and feedback on my emails are always welcome! You can just reply to this email.

What I love most about writing this newsletter is talking to the people reading it. I'm hoping this becomes a bigger, more connected community. So, message me with your thoughts, questions, and ideas!

PS: If you've learned something and want to support me in some way, consider
buying me a cold brew-- I'll drink it over Zoom with you :)
I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase something I've linked to Amazon, at no extra cost to you-- they'll just give me a piece of the earnings for referring you. Thanks! 
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