LARRY SPEC CARRIER TIFF

“BUY BUY BUY!”, I said in my squeaky pre-pubescent voice.

When I was 10 years old, I took my paperboy earnings and ploughed them into stocks.  I was the Warren Buffett of the kiddy investment world.

Actually, in those heady Great Gatsby-like financial days of the 1960’s, my investing guru was Canadian-Jewish-Doctor-Investor Morton Shulman.

I picked stocks with names like Lake Ontario Cement listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and I made oodles of money hand-over-fist. I smoked Cuban cigars lit with flaming $20 bills during recess on the playground. I became so wealthy that I could have retired before I ever entered the workforce.

If I had been old enough to own a driver’s licence I would have been burning black-rubber smoke pulling into the Glen Brae middle-school parking lot in my hot red Ferrari. I would have OWNED the student parking area.

Kid with ferrari

After all of the accounting was finished up on my trades, I’m pretty sure that I racked up profits exceeding  $100 over a 3 or 4 year period.

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It was actually my mother who picked the stocks that I bought but I thought I was the best investor ever born.

I KNEW I was the best investor ever!

I had attitude in all ways. Some was good, some other not so much.

My Grade 1 teacher Mrs. Putns wrote on my report card,

       Works well with class. Independent. Has leadership qualities”.

You can see how obviously clear it was that I was well on my way to becoming a business and investing mogul, right?

Well, soon the train slid perilously off the tracks. Just one year later my Grade 2 teacher Miss McClurkin said,

       An excellent pupil. Larry’s superior attitude needs improving”.

She underlined the word attitude!

Alright, I have ATTITUDE… so take THIS attitude…

boy-with-attitude

I feel a Rick Mercer Rant coming on…

Today, it amazes me how few people take an interest in investing and looking after their finances. They say, “Money is the root of all evil“.

Well, love it or hate it … money in our pockets and our bank accounts is what gives us the freedom to make choices that are for our benefit and enjoyment. Money that also hopefully allows us to help others who don’t have what we have.

Why would anyone want others to choose their destiny?

CHOOSE YOURSELF, I say.

How can you choose yourself if you have a $400 car payment and a $1500 monthly mortgage obligation?

YOU CAN’T.

The easy availability of credit has made many of us indentured slaves to banks and credit unions and department stores and car dealerships and on and on. When the early morning alarm rings in our ears, we can’t just roll over and tell ourselves that we’ll get up early tomorrow

Nope, there are bills to be paid…

Stay with me here. I don’t want to suggest that we should all become lazy sloths and do only the things we narcissistically want to do every day … as glorious as that existence might seem. Life isn’t meant to be a free ticket to undeserved relaxation and a total lack of responsibility.

Life without any shit is a life without any sugar.

sad_little_boy

We become desensitized to joy if we have no contrasting hardships, sorrows, or challenges.

Some people see spending sacrifice as deprivation or punishment. However, even a little self-discipline and forward thinking can allow us to make our time filled with richness and meaning. Live a little today but also peer optimistically towards the future so that you can live a LOT tomorrow.

I’ve always tried to let my money work for me and not the other way around.

I don’t work in a highly paid occupation (medical laboratory technologist) that pays $100,000+ per year. I’ve worked just 3 eight-hour days per week for the past 23 years, since my youngest daughter was born. Laziness was only part of my story!  A big part of my time investment was in being Mr. Mom.

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Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. ” – Warren Buffett

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So … sow some seeds as early as possible and get rich slowly.

Here are my 5 best financial“attitude” tips that will get you on your way to the Billionaire’s Box:

  1.  Learn as much as you can about investing if you’re so inclined. Two books I highly recommend to boost your investing know-how are Peter Lynch’s One Up on Wall Street  and The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom. Knowledge and confidence in what and why you invest in something (instead of HOT TIPS) will kill the nightmares where you worry about how you’ll pay your bills, and have you floating back to those super sexy dreams … but …
  2.  If you just can’t bring yourself to learn about investments then use ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), not Mutual Funds. The management costs of about 2% yearly that are attached to mutual funds are way higher than ETF’s (usually less than 1%) and give no added benefit. Buy 3 ETF’s (S&P 500, Dividend, and International) with different focuses and let the growth of good companies pay you to sit and watch your money grow.
  3. Buy used motor vehicles with cash and put at least a 20% downpayment on any house purchase. Let the new car buyer absorb the big depreciation loss when they drive off the lot with their new toy. You can put the few thousand $$ you’ve saved into more ETF’s. I’ve never bought a car on credit (mea culpa… I did buy a new Honda Civic once but paid in cash) and I’ve always made at least a 25% down payment on any house I’ve bought.
  4. Save 10% of your take home pay and have it automatically put into an investment account. I’ve made investing blunders – like the time I lost $25,000 on a company that was laundering money for Russian organized crime – but I’ve made a point of always saving at least 10% of my take home pay and investing it in a way that OVER TIME has made it a force to be contended with.
  5.  Enjoy, just not too much! Life shouldn’t be drudgery. If you’ve put aside 10% of your earnings, you’ve earned the right to participate in the amazing things and experiences our world offers in whatever way pleases and gives you the most pleasure (just keep it off the credit cards AND keep it legal, OK?).

Alright, full disclosure time… I’m NOT a billionaire. YET!

Sorry I lied in the title to this blog post. But I also told you I have attitude, and sometimes that attitude makes me stretch the truth.

Choose yourself and live life for you and not the Don Draper Mad Men advertising world out there that wants you to BUY BUY BUY everything TODAY!

It takes self-discipline, strength of character AND attitude to stand up and not be a minion to those interlopers.

Be Bold … CHOOSE YOURSELF…

timeless-investing

 

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