What is written here is done with the hope that you will think more deeply about what your money is doing.
When you ask people for advice on saving for retirement, what do people tell you?
It's probably what their friends or family told them, who at some point might have gotten their information from a financial advisor. The financial industry tells us to figure out our tolerance for risk, and then invest in bonds, stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)s, you name it! They talk of an average of 10% return on investment based on an 80 year average, and other numbers and stats that point to success.
You decide to go for it, scrimping and saving as much as you can to invest as much as possible into that "nest egg" of yours. OR you started investing late, so you invest what you can but have come to grips with the fact that you'll probably be working all your life.
Most people investing their money don't know what their money is doing, who is using it or what it is being used for. Do they really care for what their money is invested in? Do they hope that their money will help the company/industry/etc succeed, grow and make life better? They just stick it away, hoping that it will grow without them putting any effort into it. While they pull out hair as they see their money reduced and get excited when they see their money grow, opportunities to change the world pass them by.
What I am saying is that there is a better way.
I am talking about value creation. Think about the money you have saved that is just sitting there. Think about what YOU are good at. What do you love to do? What is something that you are good at that in the past you've used to help other people? When we change our mindset from "I work for money" to "I work to help others, and USE what I earn to further expand WHO I help and HOW I can help them" we change the way we view life.
A lot of you know people who in recent years have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in this current economic downturn. Think of how better off things would be if we used part of that money to start a business. A website. Learn new skills. What would our economy be like if we focused on creating value for others and making a mark in this world instead of living a "fend for yourself" type of life?
Let us believe in people. Let us recognize that there is potential in everyone to make a difference in the world. Let us not waste our potential but discover it and use it to help those around us. Change the way you think about money. Change the way you see other people.
There are a lot of great things that we can do in this world but we've got to change our focus or we'll keep losing the great opportunities that will come.