Skip to main content

The Biggest Asset You Have

We finance nerds spend a lot of time thinking about investments. Constantly watching the markets and checking our brokerage account. Overanalyzing this, over-optimizing that. All to squeeze out a few basis points. There's some value here of course but our energy is largely misplaced. Your portfolio should take a backseat to your biggest asset, you. 

Human capital - the value of all your future earnings. Your economic power. Far more important than any portfolio decision. You're the cash cow, invest your energy accordingly. The more you invest in yourself, the greater your financial potential.

Keep learning. Education is the greatest predictor of wealth. College graduates makes a median $30k more a year than high school graduates. Huge for a single year, life-changing over a career. The chasm grows even wider for those who up-skill post-graduation. Learning makes you valuable. 

Focus on your career. Invest in a career (or build a business) that is financially rewarding and something you can do for the long-term. This is your greatest cash flow, portfolio returns don't even come close.

Build relationships. Invest in strong relationships. This pays off everywhere. 

Get healthy. Nothing matters without health. The rewards above all come from compound interest. You need to stay in the game in order to reap the benefits. 

It's easy to get lost in the finance sauce. Remember what your biggest asset is and prioritize it. 

Happy new year, friends.


Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Giving Feedback

Constructive feedback is an awkward affair. You don't want hurt feelings, but recognize the importance of honesty. You've tried the classic "hoping things will get better on its own" and unfortunately it hasn't played out. When giving feedback, here are a few things that I try to keep it mind. Start with empathy. Step into their shoes and understand their story. If you don't know, ask. Be genuinely curious. Feedback is a dynamic affair. Shared communication with a shared goal towards progress. Take the emotion out of it. Focus on the situation, not the person. Focusing on the person adds unnecessary weight to an already emotionally-bloated event.  Be specific. Give clear examples. Vague feedback equals dismissed feedback.  Doing above won't de-awkward things fully, but it will dampen it and increase the chance of better outcomes. 

Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea

Negative Feedback, Positive Lessons

In the battle against plastic bags, a five-cent tax was shown to be much more successful at deterring usage than a five-cent credit for bringing your own bags. Carrots satisfy but sticks sting, and they sting hard. So we default to the less painful choice of avoiding loss. Loss aversion impacts the way we process information. A 2019 study  invited participants to learn through a series of multiple choice questions. Each question only had two options to choose from. Whether guessing correctly or not, they would still learn the right answer.  Despite the identical learning opportunity, participants were much more successful at recalling the answers they guessed correctly than those they got wrong.  "You're right!" feels good. We savour the moment, analyzing every detail.  "You're wrong!" stings. We want to quickly forget, dismiss, and move on.  When we succumb to loss aversion, we miss opportunities to learn. Failure is part of the process. We'll experie