I have no idea how much money I have

The Internet got very mad at Emma Chamberlain.

Since most of you have never heard of Emma, she’s an OG YouTuber.

She landed a Joe Rogan-esque deal with Spotify during the pandemic.

At the ripe age of 22 years old, she’s reportedly worth $20 million.

But she wouldn’t know. She hasn’t checked her financial statements in years.

What’s your hot take on Emma?

Totally irresponsible? Or has she found total freedom?

What gets measured gets managed

A 22-year-old with $20 million is destined to draw the ire of the Internet.

The anti-financial-advisor gang came in and said “FEES ARE EATING YOUR RETURNS.”

The late capitalists said “this is EVERYTHING that’s wrong with the system.”

And even her Gen Alpha superfans said, “Bruh, you’re totally unrelatable.”

All valid perspectives.

Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum, FatFIRE.

This is delayed gratification crowd. They’re relentlessly saving to retire as early as possible. (The “fat” part means they’re trying to do it in high cost of living cities.)

In this Reddit post, 208 aspiring millionaires are debating what software to use to keep track of their net worth.

They are debating:

  • Excel vs. Google Sheets
  • The Empower app (“you can track commodities, like Silver”)
  • Quicken vs. Mint

They’re also debating whether you should track your net worth monthly.

Some say quarterly. A few think daily provides the right amount of vigilance.

Then there’s one cheeky commentator (maybe it’s Emma) who uses a novel approach:

For the last 18 months or so, I’ve used the age old technique of burying my head in the sand, plugging my ears, and yelling “EVERYTHING IS OKAY” over and over.

Should you bury your head in the sand?

Let’s go back to Emma.

Yes, she does come across as pretty out of touch.


But to me, she’s doing something very clever.

She’s opted out of the “money game.”

And I know, that many of us are watching the net worth numbers like hawks.

Sometimes it’s because of scarcity. Other times it’s because we use net worth as a measuring stick for our self worth.

But if you earn, invest and spend reasonably – there’s a strong case to be made that you don’t need to look.


Especially if the person “looking” is your ego – who’s always trying to make sure that “mine’s bigger than yours.”

Shifting my frequency

Emma goes on to say that there are numerous checks and balances to her approach.

First, many people (including parents) ARE looking.

She generally knows what’s coming in.

And she generally knows what’s going out.

Before watching this clip, I was on a quarterly “checking” schedule.

And while I have wayyyyy less than her, I too know what goes in. And what comes out. And I know what markets do to my portfolio.

So I’m stealing a page from her playbook. And not checking for at least a year.

And maybe never again.

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