Monday, December 7, 2015

The Single Best Investment Idea --- How To Spend Our Precious Time

What's a good investment and perhaps the best investment of all?  And what's a bad investment and perhaps the worst investment of all?

The answer to both questions is the same --- how we spend our time.

Time lost is gone forever, and tomorrow is never today 24 hours later.

When an Expense Becomes a Wise Investment Choice tells the story well:

Ask someone how they invest, and you’ll probably get a pretty standard answer involving stocks, bonds and maybe some real estate or cash. But rarely will people mention something that is even more important: their investments in human capital.

They don’t talk about it because human capital investments can look a lot like any other expenses. I’ve thought about this for years, ever since I attended the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference in 2010. It’s one of the largest annual gatherings of its kind, and that year, Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of the Eurasia Group, a leading research and consulting firm on global political risk, offered one of the keynotes.

Near the end of his talk, someone posed a question that always seems to get asked at this type of event, “How do you invest your money?”. . .

After a pause, he replied, “I just hired another Ph.D. at my business.” Now, this answer didn’t tell me how he invests his personal wealth or what assets he owns, but it did tell me something else even more important. Mr. Bremmer invests in human capital. What some might call an expense, he considers an investment. Consider the fact that he just as easily could have said, “I own a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds.” But he didn’t. He was asked how he invests his money, and the answer he gave has stuck with me for years.

Kyle Korver, a professional basketball player, made a similar choice in 2008. After Mr. Korver had some injuries, it looked like he was on the downhill side of his career. Then he started training at P3, the Peak Performance Project, in Santa Barbara, Calif., with Dr. Marcus Elliott. I have to imagine the training didn’t come cheap, either financially or in terms of time. But Mr. Korver was so committed to improving that he even moved his family there so he could stay close during the off-season.

His success since then makes it clear that his choice qualifies as an investment. In 2013 and 2014, Korver’s stats showed that he played the best basketball of his career — at the age of 33. He noted that his “body feels better now than it did at 23, and that doesn’t happen in pro sports.”

It’s another brilliant example of identifying what someone else might call an expense and understanding that it’s really an investment. Obviously, we’re not all experts on political risk or N.B.A. players, but we have similar investment opportunities."

Summing Up 

There are 24 hours in each of our days. 

What we do with those hours is what matters most.

Time is both the greatest investment and biggest waste in our lives.

Let's emphasize the investment side and encourage our younger friends to do likewise.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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