The Investment Category You’re Likely Missing


Stocks. Bonds. Gold. Mutual Funds.

The topic of money is a really polarizing conversation.  When you see the word “investing” in the title, you typically associate it with ROI, rates of return, and diversification of portfolios.

Have you ever asked, I wonder how much money he has?  Or, I wonder how he makes all of his money?  That’s what investing is all about right?

Remember when Owen Wilson’s flamboyant character in Meet the Parents said, “How’s your portfolio?”  Ben Stiller’s awkward and out of place character squeamishly responded, “I’d say strong….to quite strong!”

Meet The Parents

Meet the Parents

While I believe heavily in the value of being educated on the topic of money and what it can do for you, I think focusing solely on mutual fund categories and stock options will only get you so far.   If you start making a little money, and investing a little money, and never find a way to add momentum to your strategy, your only game plan is a beans-and-rice discipline for the next 50 years.  Sound fun?  HELL NO. 

The biggest investment category people are missing out on is themselves.  What is your true market value and what are you doing to increase it?  What knowledge are you gaining today to warrant a higher price tag tomorrow?  What skills are you learning from those who have “been there, done that” to better your position? What challenges are you taking on to stretch your comfort level and capabilities?

If you’re thinking I’m only referring to post graduate education and a mountain of MBA debt, I’m going to disappoint you.  We can debate the value of the average MBA at a later date.  What I’m referring to is a daily discipline or activity to grow your mind.  What are you doing to challenge your thinking?  How are you investing in yourself?

Instead of investing only money, consider how you’re investing your time.

It really bothers me that at the ripe age of 18, a naive teenager can choose to go thousands (maybe tens of thousands of dollars) in debt chasing a career they’re uncertain of, but a slightly accomplished professional thinks twice about investing $500-$1,000 in themselves to digest literature, audiobooks, or an online course to better their skills?

You don’t have to be enrolled in a college to learn something.  You have to make a choice and pursue that choice with piss and vinegar.

Someone much smarter than me said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”  I liken complacency and stagnation to dying because today’s economy doesn’t allow for status quo.

I believe the list of items below are small (some even free) investments you can use to get a bigger return from your talents.  Invest the time, and increase your value.

  • Podcasts: There are many free and terrific podcasts out there.  Here is a link to a few of my favorites – One Podcast A Day Keeps Mediocrity Away. Free. Free. Free.
  • Blogs: How much are you paying to read this?  There is so much great info available.  Just have your BS detector up!
  • YouTube: If you can navigate the cat videos, there are hundreds of hours of free teaching online at your fingertips.  Your price tag = focus!
  • Audiobooks: These are likely not free, but you do have the freedom of movement (traveling, exercising, even cleaning) to consume them on your schedule.  I love audiobooks because I’ll listen to them over and over.
  • Books: Yes, people still read books.  Try getting lost in a mind-bending book.  I just read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and I think I’ll read it again soon.  It’s that transformational.
  • Mentors: Do you have a mentor?  If not, don’t call someone and say, “Will you be my mentor?”  Anyone in their right mind will say no.  You’re begging.  But, you could reach out and offer to buy them a cup of coffee and invest in the relationship, instead of just trying to suck the knowledge out of their head like a brain surgery they didn’t sign up for.

 ACTION ITEM: Keep learning.  Keep pursuing new and challenging ideas.  Keep growing.

Counting Your Currency

There are two types of currency being traded in our lives.


Cheddar, coin, dough, green, cash, Benjamin’s.  Pretty obvious right?.  I spent the first decade of my career working to accumulate this currency.  I counted it, I helped make it, created it, I saved it and every day I search to find better ways to invest it and grow it for my family’s future.
I don’t think money is a bad thing or the pursuit of money is a bad thing.  I think money is a great tool and every day I learn it is actually more of a resource.  Have I been greedy in pursuit of money?  Maybe?  When I was younger money was a way to keep score and I’m an achiever.  I like to see the scoreboard.  Today I still like to make money, I just frame it as a tool/resource to open up more doors and experiences in my life.  However, money alone will not bring happiness, but if I can choose between being poor and happy and financially comfortable and happy I’ll choose the latter.
Any ideas on the second type of currency you traded today?
Any guesses?


Time is the most valuable currency we own and the crazy thing is we each get the same amount to use every single day.  I’m sure you’ve heard this, so I won’t belabor the point.  Actually I will, I would like to drive it home like an ice pick into the icy side of a frozen mountain pass.
Everything changed for me on July 30th 2014.  This was the day my son was born.  I’ve learned so much in the three months since then I can’t even believe it took me this long to understand it.  Today everything revolves around the question, “What is the best use of every second of my time?”  Where can I get the most time with my son?  Where can I get the most time with my wife and family?  How can I maximize my time to spend with cherished friends?

Where can I invest my best strengths and talents to generate the biggest return for everyone involved?  Everything I think about now revolves around time investment and return.  This is much different than simple bottom line return (scoreboard & money).

What I encourage you to do is think about the relationship of money, freedom, and time in your life.  Have you earned enough money to have the freedom should you choose to exercise it RIGHT NOW?  Can you leave what you are doing this very second to be with your family if needed or pursue another opportunity?  Can you take that vacation you’ve been talking about to create a lifetime of memories?  If not, it’s time to start thinking about how your currency is being spent or find ways to make more money today to get closer to freedom.

Whatever you choose, don’t be a cheapskate.  No one likes a cheapskate!

Your resources(time and money) are in constant competition for your willpower and your goals.  I’m asking you to consider more “experiences” instead of things.  I’m asking you to save a little now for the overwhelming pleasure to pursue freedom if you choose later.

The iconic Steve Jobs says it perfectly.

Steve Jobs - Experiences Quote

Steve Jobs – Experiences Quote

ACTION ITEM: If you’re not happy with the track you life is on I’ll ask you to evaluate to simple resources.  How are you spending/wasting money?  How are you investing/wasting time?