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You Don't invest To Make Money

As I reflect upon my 11 year old daughter after her last Lacrosse practice of the 2019 season, I can’t help but relate her journey to investing. You see it was 5 years ago that she walked on to the lacrosse field for the first time only because she saw her friends playing. She wanted to be with her friends, that made her happy, lacrosse was another activity for her do so. Her objective was to play with her friends.

In the beginning years, she was a firm believer of letting the other team get the ball first, to be polite. It was cute, but frustrating. There was a point that I thought she may never even touch the ball. But as my wife and I are learning, kids surprise you, they evolve.

Wouldn’t you know it 5 years later, after hanging out with her friends, she had 7 shots and 3 goals on the season! Now Is she the best on the team? Not even close. How long will she continue playing? We have no idea. But most importantly, in our typical Gen-X parenting humble opinion, she is way farther along then either one of us ever were at her age because she identified her objective on her own and achieved it, 5 fantastic years having fun with her friends!

Sometimes, when I’m lucky enough to sit with a client or prospect to review their investments, I ask the questions, “ What is the purpose of investing this money? What is your objective?” I get an array of excellent responses, but my personal favorite is, “I just want to make money”. Wait, what? You just want to make money? So you can pile it up in your basement and look at it? Maybe we can put it all in $100 dollar bills and bury you with it?

When I push people to dig deeper, there always is a reason far greater than to "just make money". Maybe your objective is to invest your money so you can be self sufficient, travel extensively, buy a second home, or provide wealth for generations to come. Maybe your objective is to invest your money so that you can eat, have a roof over your head, enjoy life, and hang out with your friends. My daughter’s objective was never to score goals or win games. Those goals or, dare I say, competitiveness, are a byproduct of her fulfilling her desire to play with her friends, just like investment return is of your objective.

It’s important to determine specifically why you are investing and consider all of your options. Sitting down with a financial advisor may help you do that. However you proceed, do not under estimate yourself, realize you are evolving at any age and we all want to be happy.

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