Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Time For Investing

Daily.  That's how often I tell people I check on my investment portfolio.  I often get the feeling it is not the answer they were looking for.  How often do we brush our teeth?  How often do we bathe?  How often should we exercise?  For me, the answer is at least daily.  I used to have some difficulty with the exercising thing, then I decided to ask myself a different question than, "Am I going to exercise today?"  I changed the question to, "When am I going to exercise today?"  Different question, better result.

Managing Priorities
I just read something the other day where the person said, "We will never find the time [to do something], we have to make the time."  I learned a long time ago that time management was really nothing more than priority management.  Here's a reality check:  track your time for the next week, and see if where you are spending most of your time is consistent with your own priorities.  The first time I did it, I found I was spending too much time on work - seriously!  Family time is very important to me. 

When it comes to investing, the problem for most people is the time for them needing investment income is too far in the future.  It is like smoking a cigarette without thinking about the cancer because the need for nicotine is now, while fighting disease seems to be a long time from now.  There is no single more powerful tool in the investor's toolbox than the power of compounding over time.  Invest enough in the first 10 or 15 years of our working careers, and we can retire wealthy, yet how many people do?

See The Future
Still, it is never too late to get started now.  The internet provides us with access to so much information, most of what we need to do can be learned from the comfort of our home.  I know for some people, money, and investing is just not their thing.  I can't say I'm really into flossing my teeth, but I do it anyway!  Whether it is flossing, exercising, or investing, what keeps me motivated is a mental picture of the result.  Flossing improves my oral health, as well as my heart health.  In the end, exercising may not increase the number of years I have, but I can guarantee it will improve the quality of my years.  The more I know and understand about investing, the more wealth I will have to spend on my family, myself, and others.

Can a few minutes a day really be too much to invest?

What is your excuse for not enjoying the returns investing brings?

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