An Easter Investing Reflection

Good Morning. He has Risen.

I was reading parts of the Gospel of John early this morning, and once I got away from that, I drifted into my usual habit of reading through old Wesco transcripts with Charlie Munger. One of them I distinctly recall was an investor lamenting increased taxes and seeking Munger’s counsel.

Before Munger answered, he said, “If any of you any here are feeling sorry for yourself because of the taxes you have to pay, you need to give yourselves a good kick in the rear.” The underlying point of what Munger was getting at was this: out of the 7 billion people hanging out on the globe, only a very, very narrow subset of them will ever reach a station in life where they can even contemplate something like investing. If I didn’t win the ovarian lottery and I ended being born in Uganda, you think this website would exist now? Heck, no, there are at least 9.8 out of 10 birthing scenarios in which I would have entered a culture where I survived until I died, and wouldn’t know the difference. Being put in a position where you can rise or fall on your merits is a tremendous blessing that got determined at the moment of our birth, and therefore, becomes easy to discount.

That’s not to say everything is easy. The good news, though, is that there a whole lot of powerful texts, whatever your religious or non-religious inclinations, that can provide inspiration and motivation for overcoming the nasty things that life allows to come your way.

If you find yourself in a bad situation, then you can look to the strength and strategies of those who came before you and dug themselves out of even deeper holes. And, if you find yourself in the position of having blessed circumstances without any significant hardships at the moment, then you can choose to express your thankfulness by finding someone else who is in a tough situation and helping them get out of it.

This is a financial site dedicated to income strategies for building wealth—but part of the equation is often left incomplete. The point isn’t just to amass wealth for the pleasure of it. Eventually, every dollar to your name will be converted into something. The morality of money is nothing but a reflection of the one wielding it; if you want to live your life building up a fortune that enriches no one but yourself, no one will stop you from pursuing that strategy for the rest of your life until an American Charles Dickens comes along and calls you a prick.

If you want to use your wealth to get something nice for yourself and then help others, the types of people who read this site are uniquely in that position more than anyone else. You can be that guy who walks into Wal-Mart and drops down $1,400 and sends an Easter basket to all the students at a struggling kindergarten through third grade elementary school. You can be that woman who walks into Starbucks during a lunch hour and pulls the manager aside to say, “Here is $250, and I want it to pay for everyone in here until the money is exhausted.” Gestures like that change the world, slowly making it a less lonely and more loving place. Given your powers, are you doing your part?


Originally posted 2014-04-20 08:42:15.

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