Good news stories are happening all the time

Posted by TEBI on January 5, 2024

Good news stories are happening all the time



Robin writes:

Something I hear increasingly often are comments such as these.:“The news is so depressing,” “The news is one bad news story after another, ” or “Isn’t there any good news to report on?” Some of my friends no longer watch TV news bulletins or even read the newspaper.

I absolutely understand it. Even I now ration my consumption of mainstream news, and I’m a journalist. I also seek out positive news stories from sources such as Future Crunch.

This is an age-old problem. Human beings have a negativity bias. We’re instinctively on the lookout for things going wrong that might cause a threat. Journalism naturally reflects that. But there are other factors at play, like the decline of local news and the rise of social media.

“The wider the news becomes, writes Morgan Housel in his new book Same as Ever, “the more likely it is to be pessimistic… The odds of a bad news story — a fraud, a corruption, a disaster — occurring in your local town at any given moment is low. When you expand your attention nationally, the odds increase. When they expand globally, the odds of something terrible happening in any given moment are 100 percent.”

As I explain in my latest article for rockwealth, it’s vital to keep a sense of balance and perspective.

Good news stories are happening all the time; it’s just that they don’t receive the same attention.

It’s important to be informed about what’s going on in the world. But seeing the bigger picture, and finding the sweet spot between pessimism and optimism, is a hugely valuable life skill.


New Year is a time when people look ahead. Some do so with a sense of excitement, others with a feeling of dread. So which is the right approach — optimism or pessimism? Are we more likely to achieve our financial, professional and personal goals if we see a glass half empty or a glass half full?

A new book by Morgan Housel addresses this important question. Housel’s first book, The Psychology of Money, is an international best-seller, with more than four million copies in print. His latest book, called Same as Ever, expands on some of the themes from the first, including how to visualise and handle risk.

Both optimism and pessimism, says Housel, are vital for our survival, but both can be destructive when taken to extremes. The smartest people are those who can find the sweet spot between the two, and knowing how is one of life’s most important skills.


Bill Gates and the early days of Microsoft

An example of Housel gives of someone who possesses this skill is Bill Gates. On the one hand, Gates was an extreme risk taker. He saw an opportunity, quit university, risked his savings and went for it. But the way he managed Microsoft was anything but reckless. From day one he insisted on always having enough cash in the bank to keep the company going for 12 months with no revenue coming in.

“What Bill Gates seems to get,” says Housel,” is that you can only be an optimist in the long run if you’re pessimistic enough to survive the short run.”

The beauty of this skill Bill Gates exhibited — the author calls it rational optimism — is that it can be applied to almost any area of life. “The trick in any field,” he writes, “from finance to careers to relationships, is being able to survive the short-run problems so you can stick around long enough to enjoy long-term growth.”




Rockwealth is an evidence-based financial planning firm, with its headquarters in Cheltenham, and serving clients across the UK. TEBI’s Robin Powell works for rockwealth on a part-time basis on client education and building the rockwealth network. Robin would like to hear from any financial advisers who may be interested in being part of rockwealth’s growth story. You can email him here or message him on LinkedIn.



Here are some other recent posts you may have missed:

Seven steps to better returns

2024 will be full of surprises

Burton Malkiel: How passive investing won the argument


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