The Four Commandments of Financial Certainty: A Closer Look

Dan Nicholson

In the pursuit of financial freedom and wealth, we often encounter various models and frameworks designed to guide us to success. Often those frameworks lead us into overcomplicated labyrinths that obscure our true objectives and pull us away from playing our own game.

I devised the Four Commandments of Financial Certainty to rectify that. 

Closer Over More

This first commandment “Closer Over More” urges us to focus on getting closer to our genuine wants and needs rather than endlessly pursuing more. In the frantic race to accumulate wealth, it is easy to lose sight of what truly matters to us.

We must remember that every action and decision we make should bring us closer to our real desires. It is about aligning our financial decisions with our life goals, and not merely a quest for higher numbers in a bank account.

Preference versus Binary

The second commandment, “Preference vs. Binary,” reminds us that life is not always black and white, and there are very few absolute rights or wrongs in our journey toward financial certainty, this understanding should permeate our financial strategies.

Instead, our choices often rest within the realm of preference. We must acknowledge this reality and make decisions that reflect our unique needs, goals, and circumstances. Binary thinking can trap us in rigid patterns that don't allow for the flexibility and adaptability needed in financial planning.

Infinite Number of Trade-Offs

The Third Commandment “Infinite Number of Trade Offs” reminds us that each choice we make opens some doors and closes others. The decision to invest in one venture means forgoing the resources that could be allocated elsewhere.

Understanding this principle can enhance our decision-making process, pushing us to weigh the pros and cons more meticulously. It calls for us to recognize the interconnectedness of our decisions and the ripple effects they can have on our financial future.

Business Decisions Should Have Asymmetric Upside

The final Commandment “Asymmetry To The Upside” urges you to remember that resources are always limited. As such, we must strive for asymmetric upside in our business decisions. This means seeking out opportunities that offer significant potential gains while exposing us to minimal potential losses.

This principle encourages calculated risk-taking. By aiming for asymmetric upside, we can judiciously leverage our resources for maximum potential return, positioning ourselves for significant growth while maintaining a safety net.

In conclusion, these Four Commandments of Financial Certainty are not just about making sound financial decisions. They are about making decisions that resonate with who we are and what we truly desire. They prompt us to pause, reflect, and choose paths that not only lead to wealth but also bring us closer to the lives we want to live.

Pause and Reflect

  • How have your previous financial decisions been influenced by the “more is better” mindset? 
  • Can you share examples where “Closer Over More” could have led to more satisfying results?
  • In your financial journey, have you found yourself stuck in binary thinking? How has this impacted your decision-making process?
  • Reflect on a significant financial decision you've made. Can you identify the trade-offs that came with this decision? In hindsight, would you make the same choice again?
  • Of the Four Commandments of Financial Certainty, which resonates the most with you and why?

Dan Nicholson is the author of “Rigging the Game: How to Achieve Financial Certainty, Navigate Risk and Make Money on Your Own Terms,” deemed a best-seller by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to founding the award-winning accounting and financial consulting firm Nth Degree CPAs, Dan has created and run multiple small businesses, including Certainty U and the Certified Certainty Advisor program.

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