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7 Things to Do With Your Money… and Your Life

August 23, 2010

Over the past almost 8 years as a financial and wealth advisor I’ve worked closely with hundreds of people… and I feel like I’ve seen it all.  Very different people!  Very different views of what to do with money.   Very different views of what risk is.  “I’ve had this money stuffed into my mattress since I retired.”   “If I lose a cent, I’m gonna show up at your door!”  “Help me make enough money to leave my kids a great inheritance.”  “I’d like you to help me make a killing with this money!” 

As I was exercising recently, I was thinking about all those people – and how often our view of money says a lot about how we view life.   There really are just a few things to do when you have some money (if you haven’t spent it all!…. so I’ll just assume there’s some left over.)    From completely risk averse – to completely risk-taking!

If’ its not already spent – here are the 7 things to do with your money … and your life. 

1. Stuff It Away:  Don’t even risk a bank!  Put it in the mattress, in a safe behind the faut Van Gogh or bury it in the yard.  If the Great Depression happens again, you’re still smiling.  And you don’t have to meet with bankers, financial advisors or ever read a prospectus!   You just don’t want to risk ANY calamity.  (I had someone come in with many thousands of dollars in hundreds stuffed into a briefcase… since he says that’s “the safest place he knows!”)

2. Save it:  You don’t want to risk any volatility.  You put it in bank savings, CD’s and treasuries… maybe a fixed annuity.  You get a the security of some kind of insurance on it.   You may say, “I earned this money through hard work!  I’m not gonna see it lose value!”

3. Invest it:  You realize that there’s risk of loss or volatility – but you believe that over time you’ll earn returns that can help do things like fund college, retirement or beat inflation.   You see this as a long-term thing that will pay off over time.  You’ll trust other companies, funds or managers to earn returns for you. 

4. “IIY” It. (Invest In Yourself)  This is means that you believe that by investing in your own education, training, entrepreneurial ideas, ventures or visions you will create returns worthy of the investment.  If you’re already a business owner, you invest in your own company to grow and to produce returns better than others would do with the money. 

5. Give it:   You have a heart for something that you give to that you believe will produce different kinds of returns…. whether good feelings, change in the world or eternal good.   Few financial advisors may recommend this, but you would rather see money producing “returns” in life-given, people served or change made than a few more dollars in your pocket.  Of course some say “you’re crazy!”  But you don’t care! 

6. Speculate with It:  This means you believe in your ability to pick long shots that will not just give you market returns – but will create exponential returns.  You know you could lose all of it, but believe you have insight that makes the risk a good one.

7. Gamble it:  This goes beyond speculation to putting money onto long-shots that invite lady luck, lightning to strike or lucky 7 to pay off bigtime.  Is it wise?  “What’s wisdom got to do with it?” 

So, where do you tend to fall…  First: With your money?    Secondly: With your life? 

At least as you begin to think about yourself your desires and your needs for money and your life.. What will you do with what you’ve been given?

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