Let’s play a quick game revolving around investment strategy!
Say you had the opportunity to earn 10% of someone’s salary for the rest of their lives. You get to select one person you know who you are going to school with or a peer of the same age and you get to earn 10% of their salary every year for the rest of his or her lifetime.
Now you can’t the friend who comes from a rich family, that doesn’t count! You have to pick someone who is going to do it on their own accord.
Now, after putting some thorough thought into this choice, and making a list of characteristics that would need to be in place to make this solid investment, who have you settled with to embark on a wild investment journey with? And how did you go about selecting this person?
Did you give all these potential candidates an IQ test, and then pick the one with the highest IQ? I doubt it!
Did you select the person who gets the highest grades? I doubt it!
You probably didn’t even pick the person with the most energy, displaying the most initiative.
If I had to bet, I would guess you narrowed down your selection by evaluating some qualitative factors involving personality traits, because the fact is, most people have enough brains to be successful in life.
You probably picked a person that you responded the best to, a person who displays the solid leadership qualities. These people are usually good at motivating others to complete tasks. They are also people who tend to be generous, honest, highlight others successes, and enjoy giving credit to people for their own ideas. You would make a list of all kinds of positive attributes that your selection would need to exemplify like the ones stated above.
Now as part of the deal of owning 10% of this person there is a caveat to this deal and you also have to select someone to go short on 10%. This is getting exciting now, isn’t it? The thought of anticipating someone’s demise is unfortunately pleasing to some.
What kind of qualities would the person you chose to go short on posses, and how would you go about picking this person?
Again, you probably wouldn’t pick the person with the lowest IQ or the lowest grades. But, you might start to think about people who rub you the wrong way for one reason or another. These people have various qualities quiet apart from their academic achievement that made them difficult to be around. What would these qualities be that made you feel this way?
The person may be egotistical,greedy, dishonest, or is the type that likes to cut corners to mention a few traits.
As you are reviewing these qualities that have strongly influenced your investment choice you start to notice something interesting. You notice that it isn’t someone’s ability to throw a baseball 100mph, or their ability to run the 100m sprint in 9 seconds that made you want to invest in them. And It’s definitely not their attractiveness levels that persuaded your choice either. The qualities that you have deemed investment worthy are traits that are available to anyone. They are behaviours, temperament, and character you can operate with in life no matter who you are or where you live. These positive attributes will never be forbidden anyone.
Now on the flip side of things, look at the list of qualities that the people who rubbed you the wrong way posses. You might also start to notice that there isn’t one quality on this list that these people HAVE to have. All of these negative traits should, and can be dropped like a bad habit (no pun intended).
Most behaviours are habitual, and they say “the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”. I don’t know about you, but this sure rings true to my experience with thought change. People are usually stuck in self destructive behaviour patterns that truly limit their expansion in life, not only their financial earning power. These people go around and do things that negatively impact people without them even knowing it.
The good news is that you can invest into any pattern of behaviour you choose and sell off the attributes that don’t serve you any more. It’s simply a matter of deciding which ones you want to be the focal point in your life and begin to act upon them daily.
A young Ben Franklin took this approach to heart and it paid to be very fruitful for him. From an early age he would observer people he admired and said to himself, “I want to be admired, and so why don’t I just being like these successful individuals”!
He found that there was there were no barriers that would impeded his growth into these new behaviours. I would suggest that if you wrote these desired character traits down that you wanted to invest in and incorporate them into your daily life you will find that YOU will be the one you want to invest the 10% in. The great thing about that is you already own 100% of yourself and are stuck with YOU for life!