6 May 15
Be careful who your driver is when you jump into a cab these days – they just might be a financial genius.
I came across one just yesterday. Like many people, he regularly sends money to his siblings and extended family back home. However, after seeing it being spent on “perishables” for years, he decided on a new rule of thumb: he wasn’t going to give money for family to spend on food anymore.
(He reassured me that no one was in real danger of starving.)
What he would give generously for, he explained, was anything to do with starting a business.
When his brother, for example, came up with an idea for a cement block business, my driver agreed to fund it. Three trucks of sand, five bags of cement and a block-making machine later, a flourishing enterprise was born. After initial seed money of approximately $10,000, the business has now been profitable for years.
When I suggested that he was quite an investor, he was taken aback, protesting that he did not expect or gain anything in return for funding family business ventures. But he did emphasise what a joy it was to see money multiply instead of dissolving away.
So beyond the obvious social return on his investment – looking after extended family – there is also the monetary one: having money multiply into more. And if that’s not one of the aims of investing, I don’t know what is.
When you get right down to it, we all deserve better – a better car, a better house, a better holiday – whatever does it for you. You deserve better. We all do.
That said, we also need to make savvy decisions about what and when we’re going to spend. The timing’s got to be right – otherwise we end up dissolving money in the near term and turning our backs on the opportunities we can take up for the long term.
In finding those opportunities to grow and multiply, you’ll move toward a position where you can build a wealthy life, which will mean different things to different people.
You deserve it.