Capital Investment Advisors

#171 – Revisiting The Unvarnished Truth Of What Humans Really Want With Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

What does your digital footprint say about what you want?

Data scientist, author of best-seller “Everybody Lies,” and speaker Seth Stephens-Davidowitz sits down with Wes Moss to talk about how data can reveal societal and personal trends in desires, psychology, wealth building, and more. This includes when you become a sports fan, who you seek out for romantic partners and how you present yourself to them, and what activities are ranked as the happiest to do. Seth explains how he went from just reviewing data to using it to make his life decisions, and gives examples of how listening to his own data has made a difference for him. As for what data he encourages retirees to pay attention to, listen in to learn!

Read The Full Transcript From This Episode

(click below to expand and read the full interview)

  • Wes Moss [00:00:30]:Today on this episode, the unvarnished truth of what humans really want. And where are we getting that data from? Google. Google. Google. The entire planet uses Google. It’s a verb and a global technology company. Talk about good branding. It’s always good to create a brand new word, whether it’s to research a pasta recipe or look up a song you heard on Yellowstone or even Doom Scroll. Potential causes of joint pain. Our Google search history leaves quite a digital footprint. And as Seth Stevens Davidowitz explains, that footprint can often tell a far greater truth than we ever knew. You’re going to love Seth. He’s actually a very funny, cool guy. He’s an author, a data scientist, and he’s a speaker who studies what we can learn from tons of anonymous data. Big data. He wrote a book in 2017 called Everybody Lies. It ended up being a New York Times bestseller, an Economist Book of the year. He’s an op ed writer for The New York Times. He’s worked as a visiting lecturer at the Wharton School. He even spent time within the belly of the beast as a data scientist for Google. Also has a BA in Philosophy from Stanford and a PhD in economics from Harvard. He’s a Jersey guy, and maybe that explains his love and fandom for the Knicks, the Mets, and the jets, which probably makes his Google results full of disappointing sports updates. So to really understand what motivates humans, it’s not the answer the search engines give us. True data is found in the questions that are asked. I’m Wes Moss. The prevailing thought in America is that you’ll never have enough money and it’s almost impossible to retire early. Actually, I think the opposite is true. For more than 20 years, I’ve been researching, studying, and advising American families, including those who started late, on how to retire sooner and happier. So my mission with the Retire Sooner podcast is to help a million people retire earlier while enjoying the adventure along the way. I’d love for you to be one of them. Let’s get started. Seth. Welcome to the retire sooner podcast. I don’t know exactly where to start here, but I guess if we sum up your work and your latest first of all, let’s just start with this. Everybody Lies is your very popular book. And essentially what I’ve gathered from all of this is that you’re able to figure out why we are lying by figuring out what people are really searching for. So maybe just explain to our audience here before we get into happiness, before we get into retirement, talk to me about your data science.Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:03:27]:

    Yes, that was my first book called Everybody Lies, and it was how you can use the Internet to see who we really are. And a lot of it was analyzing aggregate, anonymous Google search data. And kind of the idea is that people are really honest. So there’s some dark topics where if you ask people in a know, Are you racist? Nobody’s like, yeah, of course I’m racist. They’d say, no, of course not. But then if you analyze Google searches, you see, oh, these are the parts of the country that have the highest racism or questions about sexuality or dark but important topics child abuse, do it yourself, abortions. There are all these topics where people are typing on Google what they’re really interested in, really. You know, by analyzing the anonymous aggregate data, you kind of get a better, more accurate view of humankind than we’ve ever had before.

    Wes Moss [00:04:15]:

    Well, let’s get some examples of this. And I don’t know if these are all you’re looking at big data now, and this is important too. This is just anonymous data, right? Are you able to tell us just about that for a second? Are you able to just aggregate? Do you have to be working for a search place, or can you do.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:04:33]:

    A lot of it? So Google Trends is a tool that’s available to anybody, and you can see kind of where and when searches are made. And it’s a tool. It’s still underutilized. It’s used more and more when I first started. Like, I give a lot of lectures, a speaker around the country, around the world, and I first started describing Google Trends, I was like, what the hell is that? And now at least 60, 70% of people have least heard of Google Trends. I think a lot of people aren’t using it as much as maybe they could be.

    Wes Moss [00:05:03]:

    And again, it’s just taking the raw big data and seeing what people care about, what people are searching for.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:05:09]:

    Yeah, exactly.

    Wes Moss [00:05:11]:

    Then how do you back into things like climate being a factor in, let’s say, depression? The thought around when do you get hooked on your favorite baseball team? Like, what ages do you get hooked? Let me start with that one just for a second, because that’s fascinating to me because I live in a melting pot city, Atlanta. You don’t have the strongest pro sport loyalty here. I think it’s because it’s a newer, younger city where people have been moving and moving and moving. So you’re coming from New Jersey or Pennsylvania for me. And you grew up kind of an Eagles fan, kind of a Phillies fan, but you don’t hate the Braves. So when do you ever switch over? The answer is not really. And then I see my kids. I got four boys, and they’re all very into sports. I find that they’re kind of into, like, ten different teams because they like one player from this team. And I don’t see any real heavy loyalty in pro sports when it comes to my kids. So tell me about when you get hooked on a team.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:06:14]:

    Yeah, so this is a study, actually using Facebook data, likes of different teams, and you see that kind of the teams get a big bump among males. If they were good when males were about eight years old, that’s the biggest bump. So the Mets, my team, they won a two championship, 1969 and 1986, and they have the Moss fans, 1977 and 1994, kind of when people were sorry. Most fans among men born 1961 and 1978, kind of those boys were eight years old when the Mets won championship. And you see that kind of throughout teams, that if the team is really good at eight years old among boys, they kind of win them for life. Now, I haven’t seen how that’s changed. You might be correct. I’ve heard that there is some evidence that younger generations, the idea of a favorite team is kind of passe, which is shocking to me. That’s kind of a big part of my childhood. It was finding my teams. And I think people are moving away from that model. Maybe everyone’s so into fantasy sports now, so it’s much more about the players, and the players all move around so much.

    Wes Moss [00:07:31]:

    Yeah, I think that’s interesting point you make is that you’re right, they’re into the players because they do care about their fantasy teams, which is really just about what player does, what not so much about a particular team. And here in Atlanta, the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. My kids were in that sweet spot. They were five, six, 8910, and the Falcons lost the Super Bowl. And it was very depressing. It was like because we grabbed it out of the jaws of victory and the jaws of defeat, whatever that is, because we were about to win the Super Bowl and then we let it go to the Patriots in the last it was a disaster. And it almost crushed my children’s loyalty to them, maybe forever.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:08:12]:

    Yeah, I don’t know. I can relate. The Knicks lost a championship in 1994 against the Houston Rockets. And I still think that may have been the darkest day of my life. Like that game seven, which all the things that have happened since then, they don’t really quite compare. That childhood brain. But I don’t think it turned me against the team.

    Wes Moss [00:08:30]:

    So I don’t know what about this is interesting. You do a lot of studies around depression in different states, how it’s treated, and then just the thought around climate as a factor in depression. So how are you figuring that out throughout?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:08:45]:

    Well, it just is very clear in the Google search data that warm climates, I mean, it’s not so shocking, but the magnitude of it is pretty unbelievable that warm climates just have way lower levels of depression in winter months in Hawaii versus chicago. The depression rates might be similar in the summer months, but in the winter, it’s just through the roof in Chicago and much lower in Hawaii. So that’s kind of the value of these big, huge data sets. And other scholars have found similar things looking around the world, kind of just how much climate seems to play a role in depression, and definitely something to think about. If you do suffer from depression, should you be escaping those cold winter months if you live in a colder climate?

    Wes Moss [00:09:27]:

    Yeah, it’s more than just a passing good idea. It’s a very real, clinical thing for a lot of people.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:09:35]:

    Yeah. Seasonal affective disorder. But the magnitude of it kind of did surprise me where I think I said that if you look at kind of just the data, it seems being in a warmer climate in the winter months may be twice as effective as antidepressants for fighting depression, and it’s not something that a lot of people think about. I actually have suffered from depression a lot, and I live in New York, and I’ve been kind of down this winter, and I’ve taken two trips. I went to the Caribbean, and then I went to Florida. And I did notice, like, oh, my mood’s a lot better when I’m around sunshine. And, like, I haven’t made any drastic decisions like, well, maybe I should be in a climate like this more regularly.

    Wes Moss [00:10:16]:

    Yeah, you need to listen to your own data.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:10:18]:

    I guess it is hard. I have a whole second book, Don’t Trust Your Gut, and I just present all this data on kind of how you should make the biggest decisions in life and what career you should pick and how you can be happier. And everyone’s always like, so how have you changed your life based on this data? And I kind of sometimes exaggerate the extent to which I’ve made life changes, because I find it just so hard. Even when you know the data, you know that it’s good to escape a bad winter climate, or, you know that the importance of socializing for happiness, or you know that being an entrepreneur is a better path to wealth than being an employee. And you know all these things, and yet it’s so hard to act on them. For me, and I think for a.

    Wes Moss [00:11:07]:

    Lot of people, well, let’s just go right into that. I want to talk about. Don’t trust your gut. And I think you say that we make all these major life decisions flying very blind. I guess we’re using our gut. How so? Tell me more about that.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:11:23]:

    Well, I just think of I reflected back on my own life, and I’m a data scientist. I’ve written out two books on data science. I have a PhD, basically in data science. I worked at Google as a data scientist. I’m not saying that to brag. I’m just saying the contrast between so much of my life has been devoted to data and the way I make decisions was really striking to me that I just never I was single for many years. I’m not single now, but when I was single, I was never like, let me look at the data on what I should look for in a partner or let me look at the data on how I can date better. I just never and that’s bizarre because I’m a data scientist. I believe so much in data, why do I not do that and think about my happiness? Very rarely was I consulting charts and data on what things would might make me happy, happier, how I picked a career. It was basically just totally random. I wasn’t looking at data on what careers make the best offer, the best financial opportunities, or the best happiness or any of those questions. And I figured if I’m not using data, then most other people must not be using data as well. And I’m going to just end a few years looking at the data on some of these big questions that pretty much everybody faces at some point.

    Wes Moss [00:12:41]:

    Well, let’s go into that. So let’s start with relationships. And I know you talk a lot about, I guess, the science behind finding somebody that’s the right match. Clearly, most of us do not do this. And it sounds like, I don’t know if you see yourself longer term being, well, an advocate to say, look, please listen to the data and implement it in your life. Tell us about dating and relationships and what are we looking for in partners if we would just follow the data?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:13:09]:

    Well, I’ll tell you what data says, and I think you’ll understand why this one is a particularly hard one to follow. But the data basically says that all of us are looking for the wrong things in terms of long term happiness. Because many of us, if you look at the data from online dating sites, what are people drawn to? Well, most people are drawn to hot people. That’s kind of the number one predictor of dating success, someone who’s physically convinced.

    Wes Moss [00:13:33]:

    Can you define that for our audience? When you say hot, what does that mean?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:13:36]:

    I think most people know it when they see it. Right, okay, cool. If you ask people to rate someone one to ten, researchers have said rate these people one to ten on attractiveness and the ten, they’re just going to get way more messages than the five, four, threes. I’ll get more to that in a bit. Conventionally attractive people, tall people, tall men, heights, such a huge advantage in, in males. Men in certain occupations, women find more attractive. Lawyers, firemen, even controlling for income, certain occupations do better than accountants tend to do very bad in online dating on average. Not that an accountant can’t do well, but those are the averages. People in hospitality, males in hospitality do really bad. So we’re looking for all these things. Oh, race. It’s not talked about. There’s almost more evidence for racism in dating than any other arena of life, I would argue.

    Wes Moss [00:14:50]:

    How so?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:14:51]:

    Well, there’s just overwhelming evidence that certain groups, asian males and African American women in particular just are way less likely to get responses in online dating sites. And you can correct for other factors like the income that people have. And still racial dynamics play a big role in how many messages people receive or how likely their messages are to be responded to. So we’re looking for all these things and that’s been proven with dating sites and then data from dating sites and you compare that to what actually makes people happy. Well, there have been big studies using machine learning models, 11,000 couples and it basically shows that everything we look for has just about dough predictive power for long term relationship happiness. So people who end up with someone hotter, I didn’t know, I’m like, maybe you have a hot wife, a hot husband, you’re going to have more wild sex, you’re going to feel good every time you bring them to a party, you’re going to be happy in a relationship. But there’s basically no correlation between how hot your spouse is and how happy you are in your relationship. Similarly how tall your spouse is, what occupation they’re in.

    Wes Moss [00:16:02]:

    So again, none of those things do correlate to happiness at all.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:16:06]:

    None of the things and the things that do, what does it psychological traits. You know, those psychological quizzes for me, my romantic partners are always giving me these psychological tests like, do you have? What kind of attachment style are you? And I’m always like, this is so annoying, I just want to watch a baseball game, let me do something else with my time. And it turns out these are like the only things that predict romantic happiness. So if your partner has something called a secure attachment style, which I didn’t even know what that meant, but you can take a test online and see or you can give a potential partner more relevantly a test. And people have secure attachment styles, kind of the way they relate to other people probably due to childhood. That does increase your chance of being happiness. People are more conscientious, people have a growth mindset, people are more satisfied with life. So we massively overvalue these superficial traits.

    Wes Moss [00:17:06]:

    And I think money and looks, right? Dating is money and looks which mean.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:17:11]:

    Nothing long term, very little long term. Money does have a tiny bit, but very little. And then the things and we really undervalue these psychological traits which are, again.

    Wes Moss [00:17:24]:

    Your attachment style, if you have a growth mindset, if you’re a conscientious person that ends up correlating with higher levels of happiness over if your partner has.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:17:35]:

    Those, yeah, you’re going to be happier if you end up with a partner with those qualities.

    Wes Moss [00:17:39]:

    Wow, so it’s totally flip flopped, right? We’re thinking about the next six months. And when we’re dating, we’re not thinking about this next, like, 50 years. That’s the problem. That’s part of it. That’s the challenge.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:17:51]:

    Maybe, but I tell people that. I’m like, yeah, so don’t worry about the looks of your partner, and everyone just like you. Seth, I don’t know if I can use that language on this podcast.

    Wes Moss [00:18:01]:

    You can. It’s like the Joe Rogan podcast.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:18:04]:

    Okay. They’re like, well, maybe we believe, I don’t know.

    Wes Moss [00:18:06]:

    We can always bleep that part out. But no, please speak as freely as humanly possible.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:18:11]:


    Wes Moss [00:18:12]:

    Data science shows that we appreciate that.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:18:14]:

    Yeah. My data science on how people have received my dating advice is they do not like it. They’re like, Tell me how to get a hot person. Which I actually have a section of the book that tells people how they can get a hot person, but that’s.

    Wes Moss [00:18:27]:

    Not give us a preview. Come on, give us a preview. Come on, give me a preview of that section of the book.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:18:32]:

    Well, one of the big things about I talked about how looks impact your chances of getting a response, and a ten reaching out to a ten, according to people who are asked to rate the photos, is you have a much higher chance getting a response than a one reaching out to a ten.

    Wes Moss [00:18:49]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:18:49]:

    But I was shocked. Not surprised at all, but I was shocked. The odds of what happens when a one reaches out to a ten, like, what’s the odds they get a message back like a one this is someone, like, really at the bottom of the barrel, physical appearance reaching out to a borderline model. Sure. And I thought, what are the odds of the response? I’m like, okay, one in a billion.

    Wes Moss [00:19:13]:

    I would say, like, yeah, one in a million.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:19:15]:

    Literally one in a million. That’s just not going to happen. And it was around 14% if it’s a man reaching out, and it’s around 30% if it’s a woman reaching out in the data set they use, it could be a little different for different dating sites. And there are some caveats, but I think the general point that asking someone out, you may have a higher probability of success than you think, and then you use that, combine that with basically there’s a law of statistics. If you have a 14% chance of getting a yes and you do it 30 times, you have core than 98% chance of getting one yes. So if each time you have a 14% chance and you do it 1234 or five, keep doing it 30 times, you’ll get up to a 98% chance. So basically, I think what a lot of people don’t do enough is just ask more people out. That’s certainly been because I think people are scared of rejection. I understand why people do that and humiliation. But I think a lot of people, if you look at sometimes I’m walking down the street. I’m like, how did this person end up with that person?

    Wes Moss [00:20:23]:

    We all say that, Seth. We all say that. How did they did they just ask? It was a numbers game.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:20:29]:

    I think I’m concluding that it is largely that they played the numbers game and they act out a lot more people and they got rejected a lot. If you see a guy and you’re like, how the heck did that guy end up with that woman or that man? Or how did that woman end up with that man? My read of the data I’ve looked at a lot of different studies is probably they got rejected more than everybody else on their way to reaching that kind of person out of their proverbial league.

    Wes Moss [00:21:03]:

    It’s so funny and good. That is amazing. Full disclosure, I am affiliated with Capital Investment Advisors, which is a full service and a fee only financial planning and investment management firm in Atlanta and Denver and Tampa and Phoenix or wherever you are. And if you’d like to take your retirement planning or retire sooner, journey to the next level, capital Investment Advisors would love to help. You can find our team and schedule a time to chat., that’s your wealth.

    AD [00:21:42]:

    Wait, are you gaming on a Chromebook?

    Wes Moss [00:21:46]:

    Yeah, it’s got a high res 120 Hz display plus this killer RGB keyboard.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:21:51]:

    And I can access thousands of games anytime, anywhere.

    AD [00:21:54]:

    Stop playing.

    Wes Moss [00:21:55]:


    AD [00:21:56]:

    Get out of here. Yeah, I want you to stop playing and get out of here so I can game on that Chromebook.

    Wes Moss [00:22:01]:

    Got it. Discover the ultimate cloud gaming machine. A new kind of chromebook all right, so let’s go with a slightly easier one. Well, no, actually this one seems even harder. This seems way harder to me. When it comes to success or people achieving success, what do we learn about that? Who ends up successful? What does the data science say around that? And by the way, how do you measure that? You’re just talking about income or yeah.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:22:35]:

    There are many ways notarized success. And data science will tell different things on different measures and then there’s a question, does success make people happy? Which is a whole other question that data can help us on. But there’s sentence to really stuck out to me that the typical member of a top .1%, kind of the typical richest American is the owner of a regional business such as an auto dealership or beverage distributor. And that’s kind of not how we usually think of a rich person. I mean, we usually think rich person like Hollywood athlete, financier, maybe startup founder and definitely there are lots of those in the rich people. Particularly if you get to billionaire status, they’re going to be dominant. But if you get to just not just but the very healthy people making like one and a half million dollars a year at least, it’s kind of dominated by these small business owners frequently in very boring fields like I find boring. You don’t have to find boring like auto dealerships or beverage distribution. And frequently it’s fields that have some sort of protection against competition. So auto dealerships and beverage distributors are kind of protected local monopolies and other fields have their own ways to kind of give you a little protection. So you kind of got to find this niche, unsexy area that has some sort of protection and then you’re just crushing it, making a couple of million bucks a year, living the dream. And it’s not the path. Most people, when you say I want to be rich, you move to Hollywood to be an actor, you moved to Silicon Valley to start your company, you.

    Wes Moss [00:24:15]:

    Moved to Wall Street.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:24:17]:

    Yeah, to Wall Street to go into finance. And definitely those are options and most people aren’t, know, let me get into the auto dealership business or the beverage distribution business. Know some of these other businesses that really allow you to crush it.

    Wes Moss [00:24:31]:

    Yeah, it sounds like that wouldn’t even work on a dating profile. Beverage distribution, what industry are you in?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:24:36]:


    Wes Moss [00:24:37]:

    I’m going to put them over there with the accountants.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:24:40]:

    Well, if you’re a beverage distributor, maybe you just have to put your income right there just be like $2 million a year beverage distributor.

    Wes Moss [00:24:49]:

    You have data around making us a good parent and I don’t even know what do you say is good? How do you even measure that?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:24:58]:

    Yeah, so that’s another area where there’s obviously a lot of different measures. But one of the things that’s surprising in the data is how little overall parents matter. So you would think I think most parents I’m not a parent, but also I just want to apologize. I wasn’t dissing the accountants or the ones on the one to ten scale or the shorter guys. I’m just presenting the data.

    Wes Moss [00:25:22]:

    I always say that when I have listen, it’s not that there’s anything wrong against this group. That group we have happy and happy retiree traits. I think one of them showed up on the unhappy retiree list was hunting. And I remember getting real feedback like and I was like, no, I always say data. It’s not what I think the data.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:25:45]:

    Nobody’S going to blame you anyway.

    Wes Moss [00:25:48]:

    So the first thing in parenting parenting.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:25:50]:

    The data on parenting is that the overall effects of parents, the way they study this is adoptees. So sometimes people are there are these adoption programs where it’s kind of randomly determined who your parent ends up being. And it turns out kind of parents matter overall to much less than just about everybody thinks on moss dimensions, income, education. There are a few things you can influence. One of the things you can influence most, actually is how your kids think of you. Do they think they had good parents? So you can’t change how educated they are, how rich they are, how happy they are, but you can change how they think of you, which is something that is pretty valuable to most parents. But some of the big things, again, education, income, happiness, parents don’t really influence things, values. Parents aren’t having a huge impact. So all these decisions we sweat about, when you actually look at the overall effect, the effect just isn’t that big. That said, there is one decision that parents make that may have kind of a disproportionate impact, and that’s where parents raise their kids. So there’s all this research, again, from tax data, which is just becoming available to researchers that where kids grow up just can dramatically impact any outcome we can measure in tax data. So how educated they are, how rich they are, whether they have kids as a teenager. Neighborhood really does matter for parents. And what is it about a good neighborhood? Like, why are certain?

    Wes Moss [00:27:25]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:27:25]:

    What is that really good?

    Wes Moss [00:27:27]:

    Yeah. How do you measure that? Or like, what’s good?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:27:30]:

    Yeah. We can also compare it to other facts about the neighborhood. It turns out a lot of the things you think might really matter, so great schools or booming economy, those don’t really matter a lot that much at all. The things that really seem to matter are the qualities of the people in the neighborhood are 2% of two parent homes, a percent of people with college degrees, percent of people return their census forms. A very, very random measure, but it seems to be something about adult role models giving your kids good adult role models. And there’s actually also studies that if you have a daughter, if you raise her around a lot of female scientists, she’s more likely to become a scientist herself when she grows up. So I think we don’t think how much the other adults we’re exposing our kids to are impacting them and how they turn out. And even if apart from the actual place you live, the city you live, the block you live, who are you exposing your kids to? Are these people you want them to turn out to be? I think one of the reasons that parenting is overrated, but neighborhoods are underrated is kids have complicated views about their parents. So sometimes kids think their parents are the coolest people. Sometimes kids think their parents are the least cool people, the people they don’t want to be, the people they want to rebel against. But neighborhoods kids tend to think they’re pretty cool regardless. So they may rebel against you, but they’re not necessarily going to rebel against the other people you expose them to. So I kind of recommend outsourcing parenting a little bit. Expose your kids to people you want them to turn into.

    Wes Moss [00:29:21]:

    Parenting is overrated, neighborhoods are underrated. I’m going to take that as probably the favorite thing I’ve heard in a long time. Yeah. And that is true. I think about it. Yeah. I’m thinking back to when I was a. Kid, how much did I consider or look at and judge my parents on their friends? And I guess thinking back now, I don’t have ever thought of it that way, but I guess, yeah, it is important. It’s a big deal.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:29:54]:

    Yeah. Exposure, which are their careers. You might see someone who is a beverage distributor, and they’re crushing it, and they have this great life, and you’re like, oh, I want to be a beverage distributor. There are all kinds of ways it can play out, right?

    Wes Moss [00:30:11]:

    Yeah, I think that is interesting. That makes a ton of sense. I think it was one of my little League baseball coaches. I always looked at as rich because we used to go over to his pool and after games, he’s the only guy with a big pool and he would pay for hamburgers. I always thought, wow, he’s giving everybody hamburgers and hot. Like, this guy’s got to be rich. And you know what? He was a small business owner in an insurance agency in southeastern rural Pennsylvania and probably made an absolute killing. He had, like, a cool truck. I remember he’d drive this giant F 350 truck. He’s got this great you know what? And that’s maybe why I wanted to become an entrepreneur. It’s not an insignificant thing for me to remember in my mid to late 40s relative to when I was like, seven. And I still remember that maybe it had an impact. All right, what about and this goes back to I want to go back to success and then happiness for just a second. Is it mostly because you’re a data guy? You’re not really defining what success is? Are we pretty much having to look at income data here, or is there any other measure of sometimes, like one.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:31:24]:

    Thing I think about as a data scientist is you go to war with the army you got, not the army you want. Like as Rumsfeld said in know, you go to war with the data, you you know, there aren’t great data sets that compare every kid in the United States to how happy they ended up. The data sets that have every kid in the United States are administrative data sets from the IRS, income, education, marriage. So it obviously would be great to also measure happiness on that dimension. How much does a neighborhood impact adult happiness? Because I think obviously, money is not in education aren’t the only things that matter. But on that question, there isn’t data.

    Wes Moss [00:32:09]:

    How about this? Now, again, this is a harder question because it’s even broader than success is the term happiness, right? So we write about the happy retiree here. What do they do? What are the five financial traits of the happy retiree? What are the five life habits of the happy retiree? How do you define it or what makes people happy? And then what data are you finding to figure this out?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:32:32]:

    So there’s kind of revolutionary understanding of happiness thanks to iPhones. So not iPhones haven’t made people happy. They make people miserable. But they actually have allowed us to understand basically how miserable iPhones and other things make people. There’s this project mappiness that I became obsessed with. It’s really cool. They ask people on their phone, they ping them maybe multiple times a day. They say, who are you with? What are you doing, and how happy are you? It was founded by George McCarron, Susana Barado, two British economists, and they built this data set of more than 60,000 people, more than 3 million happiness points. Like, just this revolutionary understanding of kind of people ranking one to ten how happy they are and what are they doing, who are they with, and they ranked 40 activities basically how happy someone is when they’re doing each of 40 activities. On average, the number one activity was making love and intimacy, which wasn’t too surprising, except it was kind of funny that people were stopping their sexual activity to answer the survey. Yeah. I’m like, oh, let me take a break from that, to tell Happiest that I’m a ten out of ten.

    Wes Moss [00:33:57]:

    All right, so that’s unshakable, right? That’s boom. Making love.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:34:03]:

    Yeah. Making love is ten out of 1010 out of ten. But then other things near the top were maybe a little more not shocking, but gardening very high. Exercise high. Walking, karaoke singing really high.

    Wes Moss [00:34:23]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:34:24]:

    And I actually did a study with my friend Spencer Greenberg. We took these 40 activities, and we just asked people to rank how happy they thought people they thought they made people. And we can compare, okay? These are how happy people think these activities, the joy people think these activities bring. And these are how happy the activities actually make people. And let’s see what activities are kind of overrated and underrated.

    Wes Moss [00:34:51]:

    Love that.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:34:52]:

    Yeah. And the overrated activities were like almost all the massively overrated activities all fit into a very similar bucket. They were things like resting, relaxing, watching TV, playing computer games, social media, basically passive activities, watching TV. Passive activities don’t make people happy, but we think they’re going to make us happy. So lying on the couch and watching Netflix, you ask know how happy you think that. That’s a pretty good day. You actually ask people who are lying on their couch watching Netflix in the moment, how happy are you? They say they’re actually unhappy. And the activities that give people more joy than we expect are things like going for a walk with friends, going out with friends, going to a museum or a show, kind of things that require more energy. Those tend to give people more happiness than we expect. So I think we’re all kind of fighting our own minds, our own laziness. Basically, our minds are tricking us to do nothing, to lie on the couch, play that computer game, watch that show. And really, that’s not a path to happiness. You got to go out and do stuff if you want to be happy.

    Wes Moss [00:36:20]:

    Well, I think this really relates back to the happy retiree, the happiness results I’ve gotten. And I didn’t do it in the big data way like you have done. But it seems to have this high correlation around anything that’s socially interactive, whether it’s exercising or any sort of sport, whether it’s tennis or pickleball. Something that is active, really ends up ranking really high on the list, whether it’s physical, social, maybe even better if it’s both combined. But I love looking at things as over versus underrated. So again, resting, just hanging out on the beach doesn’t really rank all that high necessarily.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:37:06]:

    Well, unless you’re having sex on the beach.

    Wes Moss [00:37:10]:

    You actually talk about the ultimate thing in the world when it comes to pure happiness is what tell our audience.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:37:16]:

    Yeah, I said the data driven answer to life is being with your love on an 80 deg and sunny day, overlooking a beautiful body of water, having sex, because those are actually the highest ranked of everything. So the highest ranked people to be around is your romantic partner person to be around as your romantic partner. Highest ranked weather is 80 degrees and sunny. Highest ranked environment to be in is near a body of water and highest ranked activity is sexual, is intimacy. So you put them all together, it basically converges on sex on the beach.

    Wes Moss [00:37:52]:

    There’s a reason that a perennial drink was named that many years ago. Water. How did you get the water data? Is it just very highly ranked search that there’s tons of people looking for water? No.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:38:09]:

    So the water stuff is again, the Mappiness project where they compare because it has GPS of using people’s phones. They look where people are. And if you’re near a body of water, you get a boost in happiness.

    Wes Moss [00:38:24]:

    Warm water, warm and water and it boosts happiness in a good neighborhood.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:38:31]:

    Well, if you want to raise kids. If you’re raising kids.

    Wes Moss [00:38:34]:

    Yeah, if you’re going to have kids. Let’s talk about money for a minute. Have you found any correlation between more income? Well, first of all, there’s the distinction. There’s income and then there’s overall net worth or wealth. Right. So your tax records typically are probably looking more towards income and it’s a little harder to judge wealth. But again, if you have a billion dollars, you’re probably getting millions in dividends alone. But my question then goes back to did you see a correlation between money and happiness? Higher plateaus?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:39:09]:

    There’s a popular study from a long time ago that said that happiness plateaus at $70,000 a year. You might have heard it. So kind of up until then there’s a big effect, but at kind of stops that’s actually not true. Better data has come out and it finds that happiness there’s no point that we found where happiness plateaus, it increases throughout the income distribution. That said, it increases in what statisticians call a log form, which is basically doubling your income, increases your happiness the same amount. So you need more and more income to increase your happiness. And going from 40,000 to 80,000 has the same effect of going from 400,000 to 800,000, which has the same effect of going from 4 million to 8 million. So basically the effects at higher levels are smaller. The other thing to note is the effects aren’t as big. And this gets probably to your happy retiree study. The effects aren’t that huge compared to other things. So people with a net worth of $8 million are happier than the average person. But the happiness boost of having an $8 million net worth is only about half as large as the happiness boost from being married. So in other words, having an $8 billion net worth is going to help. But just keep it in perspective that just getting married would give you twice the effect in happiness of that net worth boost. So someone who’s working nonstop and doesn’t have any time for dating just to get that $8 million net worth and sacrifice their friends, that’s probably not the best path to happiness. Like the things that matter more friendships, marriage, relationships those have bigger impacts on your well being than money. But money does have an effect.

    AD [00:41:20]:

    At intel world changing ideas start with real solutions and real solutions start with exceptional engineering. The quantum computing revolution the next generation of AI experts. The renewable energy grid early diagnosis for cancer. The examples are countless. The impacts are endless. But the foundation is always the same. It starts with intel. Learn slash stories.

    Wes Moss [00:41:50]:

    You’re a data scientist, so I would ask you the way I look at the money data, at least the research that we’ve done is I think of it as this plateauing effect, but it continues to rise as income goes up or network. Actually net worth goes up, but I call that diminishing marginal returns for each new dollar of happiness. Would that jive with you?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:42:14]:

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. That’s kind of this curve that a log curve that just slows down. Except there is some evidence, there’s another study that says that there is this gain at the level of about $8 million. They interviewed like people with a wide range of wealth. So there may be my theory on this. So one thing you also see in the happiness data is that doing chores really sucks. Like, people are not happy cooking, cleaning, waiting on a line that doesn’t make people happy. And I think there is a level. You talk about living on dividends. If you have a net worth of $8 million, 4% of that is already, what, 320K? You pay a little tax on that. You’re living at a level where you can outsource. You can have a housekeeper pretty consistently living person. You can kind of outsource a lot of the drudgery of life, and I think that does help a lot.

    Wes Moss [00:43:18]:

    Okay, so you’re saying data did see at least some sort of material, at least a little bit of a boost at the $8 million net worth level.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:43:26]:

    Yeah, exactly.

    Wes Moss [00:43:28]:

    Interesting. So it’s just a little jump up. And you attribute that back to is this also from the data, or is this just no, that’s my I don’t.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:43:37]:

    Know the reason for that. But if I’m thinking about why would 8 million kind of reach that point? That’s when you have such freedom to get out of doing the things you don’t want to do and devoting your life to if you look at the studies on what makes people unhappy, a lot of things that tend to make people unhappy are things you kind of have to do in the maintenance of life. So working, for example, this wes kind of depressing. Working was the second least happy activity. It was just slightly above being sick in bed.

    Wes Moss [00:44:12]:

    Hold on. Okay. You got to be kidding me. So out of the 40?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:44:15]:

    Yeah, out of the 40. This is George McCarron and Alex Bryson.

    Wes Moss [00:44:19]:

    Give me the bottom couple here. That’s crazy. Yes. I actually thought you were going to say, like, working was number, like, five or six on the list.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:44:28]:

    No, working very low.

    Wes Moss [00:44:31]:

    It’s number 39.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:44:32]:

    39. Wes sick in bed is number 40.

    Wes Moss [00:44:36]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:44:37]:

    It’s kind of depressing, isn’t it?

    Wes Moss [00:44:39]:

    That’s amazing. Yeah. What was 38?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:44:44]:

    Core or help for adults? Not telling. People do that often, but if you’re caring for mom or dad, that doesn’t make people happy. Waiting queuing waiting in line. Yeah. Administrative, finances, organizing in a meeting, seminar, or class traveling, commuting muting just alone is 34. Wow.

    Wes Moss [00:45:15]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:45:15]:

    And housework chores. And do it. Housework and chores is 33. So one of the things you see in the activities at the very bottom is they’re the annoying things that you have to do as a part of life. Right. So you can’t not wait in lines. You can’t not work. Presumably. You have to feed yourself. You have to take care of administrative finance, organizing. You might have to commute. You have to do housework chores, do it yourself. So I think the fact that those activities, perhaps not surprisingly, rank so low is one of the reasons that people above a net worth of $8 million or $10 million do legitimately get a boost in happiness. Because if your net worth that high, you are able to do a lot more fewer of those annoying things.

    Wes Moss [00:46:07]:

    Sure. Yeah. You may not be working. Yeah. A lot of these are outsourceable you’re right.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:46:16]:

    At that level, but only at extreme levels of wealth. You can’t stop working and stop doing core. If your net worth even three or $4 million, maybe you could stop working. But you’d have to live a frugal lifestyle and do a lot of the chores. So the only way to stop doing both is to have a really high net worth.

    Wes Moss [00:46:40]:

    How about the I know that’s something you talk about is the work trap. Can you explain that?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:46:46]:

    Well, just that work is the second lowest ranking activity and they also from the same Happiest project. They look at what people are doing while they work. And my read of the data is the only thing that really makes work tolerable is working with your friends.

    Wes Moss [00:47:13]:


    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:47:13]:

    Yeah. So if you’re at work but you’re also with your friends, then work is not so bad. If you don’t like the people or you’re by yourself, then work is going to be pretty tough. So I think that’s something that people undervalue in picking a job or deciding whether to stay in a job. Do you like the people you work with?

    Wes Moss [00:47:39]:

    How about wealth building? What are some of the biggest misconceptions around becoming wealthy or wealth building?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:47:46]:

    Or is that well, the fact that a beverage distributor is one of the more likely paths to that was definitely yeah, I guess that’s a misconception. Definitely. The importance of owning something rather than being an employee. That’s also clear in the tax data. About 80% of members in the top .1% own their own business. So, again, you see a lot of TV, you might see CEOs and employees. You’re pretty capped there. So even if you’re on a pretty lucrative employee path, it really doesn’t compete with owning your business. There’s a fun fact that the richest it was pointed out by the data scientist Nick Majulli. The richest NFL player in history is Jerry Richardson, who also owner of the Carolina Panthers. And he played in the NFL for two years, and then he stopped playing and he bought up a bunch of Hardee’s franchises and became a billionaire. And you compare that to Jerry Rice, one of the best wide receivers of all time. Jerry Richardson has 30 times the net worth of Jerry Rice because he owned his product in a way that Jerry Rice never did. So even obviously, Jerry Rice still made a lot of money and more money than most of us could dream of making. And being an NFL star is a legitimate path to wealth. But it doesn’t really compare to the fact that he’s nowhere close to the richest NFL player or that Peyton Manning or any of these guys aren’t close to the richest NFL player. That’s this guy who owned a lot of hardy’s franchises, does show the value of owning.

    Wes Moss [00:49:36]:

    Yeah, it makes sense that we think about Shaq. I watched the Shaq documentary the other day. He’s legitimately, I think, halfway through a billion, and he owns a ton of Pizza Huts and he he’s a real he’s a business owner. How about this? Let’s go back to we’re talking about building wealth and success. One of the ideas I think you talk about in Don’t Trust Your Gut is about looks, success. What’s that to explain that to our it’s kind of sad retire sooner audience.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:50:07]:

    It’s kind of sad just how much looks matter in every dimension of life. So there’s a study I find this sad. I don’t know if other people find it sad that you try to predict who rises at West Point, who rises in the military. And they’ve looked at all kinds of data. What was their GPA, what’s their family background, what were their athletic accomplishments. And the number one predictor of success in the military is having a face that other people rank as dominance. So basically, forget everything. If you just look like you should be dominant, you will rise higher in the military, and this has been proven in politics that looking competent is one of the biggest predictors of a politician winning. You can predict 70% of Senate races just based on which candidate looks more competent, which, again, is sad. We’d like to think the winner is going to be the one with the best ideas or the smartest, the hardest working. It frequently is someone who just looks the part. There are also studies these are even more depressing looking baby faced is a massive predictor of being judged innocent in grand juries. So just like that guy couldn’t have killed those people. Look at him. He looks like cute. So, yeah, it’s a little depressing how much looks matter for success.

    Wes Moss [00:51:41]:

    Wow. And anything on income and looks? Have they done studies on that?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:51:45]:

    Yeah, I mean, also just that looks are a big predictor of income. But one of the things I did, I did this little study on myself where I could just I created using AI. I expect nobody to do this because you have to be nerdy than me. Different versions of myself. Versions of myself with different hairstyles, different glasses, no glasses, smile, no smile. Beard, no beard. And I asked people to rank kind of which one looks the best on many dimensions, and I found out I looked the best with glasses and a beard. So now I usually wear glasses, except when I’m on a podcast interview because I’m too close to the screen. But now my look is glasses and a beard, which is apparently the best version of myself, according to the data, matters so much, I might as well figure out how I come across. Right.

    Wes Moss [00:52:35]:

    Well, okay. And this is something that we touched on earlier, is that you were saying that it’s hard for you, and I think it’s just hard for people in general to take the data and use it or what do you think the easier things are for you to use out of your data?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:52:52]:

    So definitely the beard thing. So now I definitely always keep my beard because people take me more seriously with my big, full beard.

    Wes Moss [00:53:00]:

    It makes you look more prominent.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:53:02]:

    More prominent, I guess. Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:53:04]:

    You rise quickly in the military.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:53:06]:

    Plenty of gray, an increasing amount of gray in it, I think will just only help, I think some of the happiness stuff I’ve used. But it’s hard. I still find myself. My friends invite me, hey, you want to go out and go to this show? And I’m like, but there’s a Knicks game I want to watch, and I just want to lie on my couch and watch the Knicks game. And it’s really hard to overrule, even though I know the data so well. I know the data says go out, go out with your friends. I find it hard to know. But I think it’s helped on the margins, knowing the data. And I don’t have kids. When I do have kids, I think I will maybe there’s a website I talk about the book Opportunity Atlas, where you can see how good every neighborhood is for raising kids. So that’s definitely something that I would look in if I had look at if I had kids. So definitely there are areas where I am using it, but it is.

    Wes Moss [00:54:15]:

    That something you have online or you’re saying in the book or online?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:54:18]:


    Wes Moss [00:54:19]:

    The opportunity.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:54:19]:

    Atlas. Yeah.

    Wes Moss [00:54:21]:

    So you could really zero in on what, zip code or even further?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:54:25]:

    Yeah, senses tracks even smaller than zip code.

    Wes Moss [00:54:28]:

    Yeah, it’s pretty wild. I hope mine ranks higher else I’m moving. I’m telling you. I’m going to go look at this as soon as we’re done. If it’s not good, I’m moving. So you’ve tried to implement some of this, but this is just like the habits of everything that we know. We know we should eat the Mediterranean diet. We know we need 30 to 45 minutes a day of vigorous exercise. I mean, we know all that stuff, right? I don’t know why. Maybe that’d be an amazing thing to figure out. Why is it so difficult to do the things we know we are supposed to do? Can we get some big data around that or do you yeah, I think.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:55:03]:

    That may be a follow up book. Like, here’s all the things you should do. And then the next book would be, here’s how to actually do them, which would be useful. I mean, another one. Social media. There’s increasing evidence that social media is terrible for our mental health, particularly teenagers, but for lots of people. And they’ve done experiments where they’ve asked people to quit Facebook, to quit TikTok, to quit Instagram, and they report big increases in happiness, big decreases in you know, I’ve known that and I still find myself spending much of my day on Twitter and Facebook. I think the next level is using this data to really learn to do these things, because some of these things, you need the data first to say what you should do. So we didn’t know before seeing the data just how bad social media can be for mental health. But once we have that data, the next level is, okay, well, how can you actually stop doing these things that are bad for you.

    Wes Moss [00:56:09]:

    So is it that well agreed upon? Right. There was a period of time where the thought is, oh, well, social media, how can it be bad? You’re connecting with lots of people and your old friends, right? Then you hear studies that friendship and close friendships in America have gone down by 50% over the last 25, 30 years. So what happened with social media? From thinking it might be a pretty darn good thing to just almost the consensus says it’s really pretty horrible. Does most people just agree that it’s terrible?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:56:40]:

    It’s a common it’s just so many studies and so much it’s just data. I mean, you look at the rise in teenage mental health problems, it’s shocking how high depression rates have risen among teenagers, particularly teenage girls. It almost perfectly tracks the smartphone, the rise in the smartphone, and the rise of social media. And then these studies, like I talked about, where they’re literally randomly asking certain groups, randomly assigning people to groups, and one group, there’s no intervention. One group is paid to stop using Facebook, and they just report a large decline in depression and other mental health problems. So a lot of these things, it’s just you’re waiting on the data, you’re waiting for the academics to look at. I think, you know, the academics have looked at it, and the research is pretty overwhelming.

    Wes Moss [00:57:30]:

    How many people read the books they buy?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:57:34]:

    Very low. That’s a study by Jordan Ellenberg where he analyzed Kindle data and how often people make it to the end of books. And for nonfiction books, like the books I read, science books, pop science books, the numbers are 3-5-7. It actually motivated me. My first book. Everybody lies. I was struggling so much on the conclusion. I want a perfect conclusion, and I was torturing myself, taking everything. You know, what’s the and then I read that Jordan Ellenberg study. I go, oh, effort. I don’t care. I’ll just phone it in because nobody’s reading anyway. The hard work is behind me, so.

    Wes Moss [00:58:19]:

    That allowed me to done only 3% of you. Now, what about in a fiction?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:58:27]:

    Some of the addictive romance fiction can be 70, 80%, so some of those can be a lot higher.

    Wes Moss [00:58:35]:

    Okay. Yeah. Have you ever done studies around the romance and fiction novels that I’ve seen for my entire life, but I’ve never know who actually reads them? Are those a thing? Somebody must read them.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:58:48]:

    Yeah, I don’t know the demographics. I could guess demographic. I haven’t seen the demographics. But there’s probably a lot of deception about what books people are reading. A lot of people probably are a little embarrassed. I’ve done some work on that, that if you look on social media and what people report they’re reading, it’s always intellectual. It’s the Atlantic and nonfiction books.

    Wes Moss [00:59:12]:

    Danny Khan, the Economist.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:59:14]:

    Yeah. And then if you look at what people are actually reading, like the sales data. It’s National Enquirer and romance novels. I think people are embarrassed by their taste for that material.

    Wes Moss [00:59:26]:

    Yeah, I don’t see how people don’t want to read your two books, everybody Lies and Don’t Trust Your Gut. I didn’t ask you this. Maybe it’s rhetorical, but what’s your explanation around why everybody lies? And does everybody really lie about everything or just, like, a few things?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [00:59:44]:

    I think part of the reason we lie is it can help us advance. There’s a strategic element to lying. So if you’re on a dating site and you exaggerate your income or your height or you minimize your age and those can allow you to get more dates, the lie might eventually be uncovered. But a lot of lying people lie in their resume or shade the truth. You don’t want to say nobody on their resume is like, yeah, I wasn’t a great employee there. It wasn’t my best work. I didn’t do much. I slacked off. I was on social media much of the day. Everyone lists all their grand accomplishments. I think that’s probably smart. So there is some sense in which lying makes some sense and does serve a strategic purpose. I think we also lie to ourselves a little bit. There’s a great line from George Costanza in Seinfeld where he said, it’s not a lie if you believe.

    Wes Moss [01:00:52]:

    So is that credited to Costanza?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [01:00:55]:

    Yeah, I think it’s Costanza line, and I think that kind of shows that there’s value in if you lie to yourself, then you’ll be more convincing to other people. So if you think of yourself, there are these studies that 90% of engineers think they’re above average engineers, which is only 50%. Can be impossible. Yes, impossible. But maybe it’s good to think you’re an above average engineer because then when you’re applying to a new job and you’re trying to impress a new potential Moss, you’ll be core persuasive in your claim that you’re a great engineer rather than a more realistic assessment.

    Wes Moss [01:01:37]:

    Parental concerns. Sons versus daughters.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [01:01:41]:

    Yeah, that’s just Google search data, where parents are much more likely to ask if their son is a genius or is gifted, and they’re much more likely to ask if their daughter is overweight or unattractive. It’s much more intrigued by the intellectual potential of their sons and much more concerned about the physical appearance of their daughters.

    Wes Moss [01:02:04]:

    And again, that’s seeing what people are caring about. You’d never read that in a parenting book.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [01:02:11]:

    Well, and that might be parents may be lying to themselves. They might have a son, and search, Is my son a genius? And think if they had a daughter, they’d ask the same question. But the aggregate data says that that’s probably not true.

    Wes Moss [01:02:25]:

    So maybe we’ll wrap it up here and maybe the data is the same for podcasts. Nobody ever makes it to the end. So I’ll phone this last question in. In your opinion, if you were able to wave. A magic wand and actually listen to your data. I’m sorry, enact or act on your data and you’re approaching retirement. You’re somebody in the you’re 60 and you’re getting ready to retire. What data would you encourage them to really take a hard look at? What matters. You talked about what matters when we pick a spouse, even though we don’t look at it. What matters for the 60 year old American to have an awesome retirement?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [01:03:06]:

    I would say your relationships with other people are the biggest predictor of happiness and the time you spend with other people. So put much of your energy into close friends, romantic partner, and enjoying your time with them.

    Wes Moss [01:03:21]:

    By the water.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz [01:03:22]:

    By the water.

    Wes Moss [01:03:24]:

    Awesome. Amazing.

    Mallory Boggs [01:03:27]:

    Hey, y’all, this is Mallory with the Retire Sooner team. Please be sure to rate and subscribe to this podcast and share it with a friend. If you have any questions, you can find That’s You can also follow us on Instagram and YouTube. You’ll find us under the handle Retire Soonerpodcast. And now for our show’s. Disclosure this podcast is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations. This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. It is not intended to and should not form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal tax or investment advisor before making any investment or financial planning considerations. Please refer to the full disclosure in the podcast description for any additional information.

Call in with your financial questions for Wes to answer: 800-805-6301

Join other happy retirees on our Retire Sooner Facebook Group:


This information is provided to you as a resource for educational purposes and as an example only and is not to be considered investment advice or recommendation or an endorsement of any particular security.  Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee offered that investment return, yield, or performance will be achieved.  There will be periods of performance fluctuations, including periods of negative returns and periods where dividends will not be paid.  Past performance is not indicative of future results when considering any investment vehicle. The mention of any specific security should not be inferred as having been successful or responsible for any investor achieving their investment goals.  Additionally, the mention of any specific security is not to infer investment success of the security or of any portfolio.  A reader may request a list of all recommendations made by Capital Investment Advisors within the immediately preceding period of one year upon written request to Capital Investment Advisors.  It is not known whether any investor holding the mentioned securities have achieved their investment goals or experienced appreciation of their portfolio.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

Previous ArticleNext Article