If you follow what we teach about personal finance and money management, you know that we say you shouldn’t invest any money until you are out of debt with everything except for your home and that you have a 6 month emergency account in place first. People argue with us all the time about this advice, but the truth is you can’t argue with the results. I’d rather have $0 in debt, $15,000 in savings with $0 invested for my retirement, than have $30,000 invested in retirement and be living paycheck to paycheck with a mountain of debt.
Regardless of what we teach in this area, there is a place that you always need to be investing. It’s a place where you’ll see better returns than you’ll ever see in the stock market or the real estate market. Even if you have no money in the bank, you can afford to make this investment.
You need to be investing always in the lives of people.
When I was about 4 years old I desperately wanted a little brother. I needed someone to play with and thought my parents needed to bring home a little friend for me. The great news is they did bring home someone…. only… it was a little girl. Not only did this girl steal away my opportunity to be an only child, she was A GIRL. She liked Barbies and ponies and her room looked like it threw up pink and glitter. As a little boy, I was convinced that I hated my younger sister. I picked on her constantly and in my opinion it wasn’t a successful day unless I made her cry at least twice.
As we got older and I got busier with extra-curricular activities in sports, music, church, etc. I pretty much just ignored her. But in my senior year of high school, her freshman year, I came to realize that big brothers have a responsibility. A responsibility to defend and protect. I moved off to college and my sister Katie and Sara, became good friends. When we had our son, his Aunt Katie stepped in and was his playmate and babysitter. It took me 20+ years of picking on her, but eventually we started to become friends.
Then one day, he came into the picture. I came home from work and there was this… boy… in my living room and Katie was excited to introduce him to us. Clearly, I was less than amused. As the big brother it is my responsibility, and slightly a privilege, to run off anyone that isn’t a good fit for my baby sister. After a while things between them became serious and the next thing I knew they were engaged.
I needed to step up my game. It was time to find out was this guy was all about and possibly time for me to get rid of him. So I hired him to work for me. I took the 20+ years of experience in picking on my sister and crammed all of that skill into a short 6 month period with the ultimate goal of destroying him. Travis fought back resiliently. It turns out we even have several things in common.
Sure I have plenty of things I can pick on him with and some really good stories to embarrass him, but after investing some time to get to know they guy I found out that he is incredibly motivated and absolutely in love with my little sister. Their wedding was just a few weeks ago, and I still found a few ways to pick on him during the reception.
It may have taken 23 years, but I finally got that little brother I was wanting.
Question: Whose life are you investing into right now? Leave your thoughts in the comments.