Friday, June 7, 2013

A Great Graduation Speech About Taking Risks, Achieving Peace of Mind, The Role of Money, Life and Living Well

Here's an article about graduation speeches never given that I found so good I decided to share it with you. You may wish to pass it on to someone you know and genuinely care about. It's that good.

Don't worry about money is subtitled 'A message to high school and college graduates.' Selected excerpts follow:

"If I could offer just one tip for your future, it would be to take advantage of compounding. The long-term benefits are undeniable. . . .

Compound interest has the most impact when it is applied early and consistently, so even when you can’t afford to save, find a way to sock a little bit away. If you don’t miss that money now, you won’t be able to ignore it years from now, when it is the basis for your ability to live comfortably in retirement.

Don’t worry too much about the future, because worrying isn’t going to make it any better. But do envision the future you, the 50- and 65-and-older versions who will show up someday and ask “What the heck have you been doing with my money for all these years?”

Have something worthwhile to say to them, and know that the place where you will find the answer is in that space where you balance the pain of savings with the value of having fun spending your money now.

Money is not your goal, a fulfilling life is. You’ve heard that money won’t buy happiness — and you will find that out for yourselves in time — but it does give you choices and opportunities, and having more of those will, in time, give you comfort and peace of mind.

Stay focused on that inner happiness and not on the dollar amount. . . .

Don’t be the richest guy in the cemetery, be the one known for living a rewarding life.

Don’t be reckless with your money. Don’t put up with people who are.

Money problems destroy relationships, break up families and more. Take care of your money and, ultimately, you go a long way towards taking care of your family. If you’re acting sensibly around money and have it in the proper perspective, don’t let someone else change that; don’t think of it like they’re messing with your money, think of it like they are messing with your family. . . .

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

If you are like most high school and college graduates, you are woefully unprepared for managing your financial life on your own, which makes you pretty much like everyone who has come before you. That’s a sad statement on the quality of financial education, and not an indictment of you.

While it would be terrific if you can avoid the spending, saving and investing blunders that most people seem to have somewhere in their past, it’s also unlikely. When it comes to life and investing, success involves moving from one mistake to the next without losing your enthusiasm.

Don’t lose your idealism. One of the signs of money maturity is the ability to give some of it away. When you get to graduation, you are full of promise, not yet jaded by the many slings and arrows the real world is about to shoot at you. It’s easy to forget those ideals in the daily grind. Don’t let that happen; find the causes you want to support and be charitable.

Investing is not a competition.

The point is not to beat someone else, but to have enough to be comfortable and reach your goals. In the connected, social world we live in , you will hear a lot of people talking about how great they are at investing and how much money they have made, the risks they have conquered and more. Most of it will be horse-puckey.

It’s hard enough to do this stuff on your own; don’t waste time focusing on whether someone else is doing better or if you could have somehow squeezed just a little bit more out of a strategy that has been working for you. Doing those things only leads to mistakes, and while I have just told you not to be afraid of making blunders, don’t raise your hand and volunteer for duty on the Worldwide Congress of Stupid Investors.

Remember that what the market is doing today is not important. What it is doing over the next few decades or the rest of your life is.

The more you focus on what the market is doing at any given moment, the more you feel a need to “do something,” and it’s usually something that will hurt you over that longer, more meaningful picture.

Most adults spend too much time worrying about money; don’t do that. ... And if you can succeed in this, tell me how you did it. Giving the lessons and living them are two different things, and even the “experts” (a term I am loath to apply to myself) don’t get it right all the time."

Summing Up

Words for all of us to live by, no matter our age.

And words of advice worthwhile to pass on to the younger among us. That's for sure.

Thanks. Bob.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, This was Great! It has been copied and will be given to my entire family! Most of my grandchildren are at that age now that I try to pass on "words of wisdom", and I find that the written words (which they are currently absorbing)are most inducible. Keep up the good work! Kay Wilson