The other day, I was asked what my investment advice for a 65-year old would be? My reply: “Go to the gym and watch your expenses.” To create wealth and/or preserve it for a future generation, all too often do we lose sight of the big picture. Let me explain.
Most of us invest because we pursue long-term goals, even if the means of achieving them differ greatly. This long-term goal tends to be saving for retirement; for those who can, it might extend to save for a future generation; or, for institutional investors, there might be an infinite investment horizon.
To serve investors, we have a massive industry paid in basis points of assets serviced or commission on products sold. In my humble opinion, our industry is ill equipped to provide advice that falls outside of those parameters. Here are a few of those:
Go to the gym. Seriously. You don’t need to be a wizard able to dissect financial statements to appreciate that your own earnings potential is the one you might have most control over. You have more income options at your disposal if you stay healthy until an old age. While there are limits as to how much we can control our health, it is an aspect of our lives that many of us could easily improve. If you want “diversification” in your portfolio, investing in your own health is something you might want to add to your list. If you manage an endowment, this may not apply, except that sending your board of directors to the gym may not be such a bad idea either.