Brian Portnoy — Geometry of Wealth

When it comes to money, do you ever worry if you’re going to be okay?

What’s the difference between being rich and being wealthy?

And does more money really mean we’ll have more of what we truly want in life?

Brian Portnoy knows money. He’s dealt with billions of dollars in his years in the hedge fund and mutual fund industries. But what about meaning? Today, we discuss how to get off of the hamster wheel of chasing more money, learn how to zero in on what truly matters, and use money as a tool to fund the experiences we most want to have.

In this interview:

  • Why talking about money is so emotional and confronting
  • Why we’re hardwired to make lousy decisions with our money
  • Richard Thaler “People aren’t stupid – the world is hard.”
  • “Am I going to be okay?”
  • The difference between being rich and being wealthy


  • Why beyond a certain amount of income, more money doesn’t necessarily make you more happy
  • Wealth and “funded contentment”
  • Clarifying what makes a meaningful life
  • Can you afford the meaningful things in life?

Click here for Brian Portnoy’s book The Geometry of Wealth: How To Shape A Life Of Money And Meaning.

About Brian Portnoy

Brian Portnoy, Ph.D., CFA, is the author of two books — The Investor’s Paradox and The Geometry of Wealth — which simplify the complex world of money. Both outline how to achieve simplicity in a world of too much information and choice. Among other accolades, The Geometry of Wealth was named by Business Insider as a 2019 “best book” to read on growing wealthy.

He is currently the Head of Education at Magnetar Capital, an investment firm committed to providing innovative solutions for both institutional and invidual investors. In that role, Brian creates and delivers educational content on making smarter decisions and achieving better life outcomes.

For the past two decades, Brian has worked throughout the hedge fund and mutual fund industries. He has held senior investment, research, and strategy roles at Virtus Investment Partners, Chicago Equity Partners, Mesirow Financial, and Morningstar. Across those positions, he has demonstrated a passion for cutting through the jargon of modern finance and helping investors meet their goals.

In educating thousands of investors over the years as keynote speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, Brian emphasizes the practical benefits of understanding the intersection of human psychology, financial markets, and modern capitalism. Across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, audiences have benefited from Brian’s commitment to Einstein’s dictum: “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” A career highlight was lecturing at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of its Leading Authors series, on the history and future of complex investments. Brian and his work have appeared in media outlets including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC,, and many podcasts.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Brian pursued his research and teaching interests in global political economy at the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate. His research on the social institutions undergirding global capitalism was supported by the MacArthur Foundation. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder, a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and on the advisory board at How I Decide, a foundation building innovative decision education curricula for students.

Brian lives with his wife and three children on the north side of Chicago. He and his family are committed to a variety of social causes, including hunger and literacy.

Click here for Brian Portnoy’s book The Geometry of Wealth: How To Shape A Life Of Money And Meaning.