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Index Of The Seven Deadly Sins Links:
Although popularized by the epic poem, The Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia) by Dante, the classification of the Seven Deadly Sins had an even earlier origin.
The version I am using as the basis of this series of posts will date back to the 6th Century AD using the nomenclature of the Catholic Pope, Gregory the Great.
These sins are ordered from the least deadly to the most egregious (and this series of posts will follow the same ordering).
The last and considered deadliest of the Deadly Sin was coined Superbia (later donning the name of Pride)
“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”- 1611 Kind James Version of the Bible, Book of Proverbs, 16:18
Pride has led many to financial ruin.
It is often hubris that makes an investor feel that they can do no wrong and that they are smarter than the market.
Pride will cause an investor to stay longer in an investment longer as the act of selling would acknowledge that a mistake was made.
This scenario epitomizes sunk cost fallacy.
It will be interesting to see how one of the longest bull markets on record will create a subset of investors who feel like investing geniuses and can do no wrong.
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”
The sin of Pride blinds an individual to his or her limitations.
There are many other situations where pride can have financial implications.
My ex when she went to the grocery store would refuse to use coupons.
She thought coupons were beneath her as a wife of a physician and a non-practicing physician herself.
She was more concerned about public perception, as if couponing should be only relegated to the lower class.
This was pride at work.
I myself have no such qualms about saving money and still use coupons even though I make a one-percenter salary and have a seven figure net worth.
Regardless of whatever wealth I achieve, I will never turn down the opportunity to save.
Pride in moderation can be beneficial as you strive to be the best you can be.
However taken to the extreme pride can lead to extreme vanity and narcissism, when you become so self absorbed you neglect the rest of the world around you.
There are stories circulating throughout the internet of individuals spending outrageous amounts on plastic surgery, as much as 7 figures, to maintain their vanity.
This is pride at work as they try to defy time and maintain their vanity.
The financial consequences of these decisions are often are staggering.
The counterpart to Pride is the Heavenly Virtue of Humility.
Humility plays an important role for the investor.
Recognizing one’s limitations and asking for help is the first step to regain your footing on the path to financial success.
“A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” — Albert Einstein
I am at my current state of financial success only because I recognized that I was severely lacking in financial knowledge and undertook steps to correct it.
Even now I still know I have much to learn and continue to read financial blogs and financial books to increase my financial knowledge base.
Thus ends the series on The Seven Deadly Sins FIRE edition.
Hopefully you can now recognize which sins you are at most risk for and currently battling and hopefully employ some of the heavenly virtues discussed to counter them.
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I did a post about buying Cisco way back before the tech crash in 2000. I held onto it for almost 10 years, refusing to believe that it wouldn’t come back. Thought I was smarter than the market, learned I was wrong
I think a lot of people feel that way. It’s the very basis of sunk cost fallacy. Will be interesting to see the new generation of investors behave after only seeing the market go up year after year
Well said! I have followed all of the Divine Comedy posts and was hoping Pride would be the last. Without much doubt, in both finances and medicine, pride can be the most destructive. It is far too easy for people to think they have it all figured out. The moment we lose humility is the same moment we stop learning and improving. I appreciate the work you put into these posts and hope others enjoy them and benefit as much as I have.
Thank you for the very kind words and glad you enjoyed the series of 7. Pride can be the deadliest of all for sure and hubris has led to many a downfall.
Thanks again for the kind words. -XRV
Enjoyed this series, X. I think you hit this one on the head. Pride is dangerous and in sneaky ways, because it can manifest in such subtle ways: selfishness in relationships, missed opportunities, even detrimental health decisions. Gotta stay HUMBLE **repeats to self 9 times**
Thanks MFM. I do think recognizing prideful tendencies is a great first step in changing hurtful behavior. Pride in itself is not always bad. You can be proud of your children, your country, etc. But as with everything it comes down to moderation
I think pride is rampant in the FIRE community. Everybody has a scheme, an angle, a hustle sure FIRE hustle. Everybody sings the same mantra but did you know the DIY investor leaves 4% of his return on the table, all the while bitching and moaning about some joker that might charge him .3-.5% and keep him on track. IMHO if you are going to DIY you best be absolutely mechanical in your investing technique and purchasing discipline.
Good point. Everyone (myself included) can sometimes feel like their way is the correct way and there is a form of pride that can lead to downfall if it causes you to completely ignore advice that counters your train of thought.
Loving this series ? Such a great way to share some really important financial aspects in a different way.
Thank you so much for saying that. It was fun to write and was an automatic 7 posts I had (I only wish there were more sins. Lol)