Archive for November 27th, 2008

Practical practice (The Financial Athlete #76)

November 27, 2008

Practice never draws a large crowd to watch. Nothing is sensational about repetitive drills, jogging laps, and calisthenics. However, without practice no game would be worth watching as a spectator sport.

Everyone knows a championship must be preceded by enduring practice. Even a fool is clever enough to not believe in get-championship-quick schemes. Everyone should know the path to financial success is also through enduring practice, but many fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes.

Enduring practice has the power to transform you. It molds average people into athletes, or craftsman, or savvy investors. Someone who practices a sport long and hard is hardly the same person who had led an inactive life. The “return on investment” from the practice of a sport extends beyond the benefits of greater coordination, strength, flexibility, and athletic prowess. On or off the playing field, the athlete distinguishes himself as a man of action and confidence.

All forms of enduring practice are investment-driven. An artist “invests” in creating. A world traveler “invests” in new, mind-opening experiences. A student “invests” in knowledge. An attentive parent “invests” in a loving relationship. Someone who exercises moderately and eats nutritious food “invests” in health. All of these activities enrich life.

The narrow purpose of investing money is to increase wealth, while the broad purpose of investing is to enrich life. Never place greater importance on the narrow purpose over the broad purpose. Those who do may grow financially rich but also more miserable. Take the time for enduring practice to invest in whom and what is most precious to you.