Saturday, September 27, 2008

Money is the Most Egalitarian Force in the World Bestowing Power on Whoever Holds It

Novelist Joyce Carol Oates once wrote, "The only people who claim that money is not important are people who have enough money so that they are relieved of the ugly burden of thinking about it."

French existential writer Albert Camus agreed. He said, "It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money."

In many ways, they're right. How can you feel genuine contentment if you are harassed by bill collectors, living paycheck-to-paycheck, or worried whether you have enough to retire?

Don't get me wrong. Money doesn't buy true love or friendship. It won't solve all your problems, fix your marriage, turn you into "a success," or make you charitable if you're not already charitably inclined.

But money is the most egalitarian force in the world, bestowing power on whoever holds it.

It gives you the freedom to make important choices in your life. No one is free who is a slave to his job, his creditors, his circumstances, or his overhead.
Money allows you to support worthy causes and help those in need. It allows you to do what you want, where you want, with whom you want. It's called financial independence. And it's a great feeling.

As author Tom Robbins once remarked, "There's a certain Buddhistic calm that comes from having money in the bank."

As my regular readers know, I think more about money than most.

I've given the portfolio a light-hearted name. But securing your financial independence is serious business. The money that you will retire on - or are already retired on - should not be treated like chips in a poker game.
The Gone Fishin' Portfolio is risk-averse by design. Yet it has compounded at 17.3% annually since inception.

I don't want to suggest that you can eliminate investment risk entirely. That's not possible. But investing for income is a realistic approach. No other investment system comes closer to guaranteeing you long-term investment success.

My goal is to allow you to redirect your time from worries about money to high value activities, whether that's work you enjoy, time spent pursuing your favorite activities, or just relaxing with your friends and family.

In "The Pleasures of Life," Sir John Lubbock writes, "All other good gifts depend on time for their value. What are friends, books, or health, the interest of travel or the delights of home, if we have not time for their enjoyment? Time is often said to be money, but it is more - it is life; and yet many who would cling desperately to life, think nothing of wasting time."