What is wealth? The common answer is money, riches, gold as far as the eye can see. But let’s picture a person who is struggling with an incurable sickness or injury. Would that person rather have millions of gold coins or their health? Let’s go one step further. A person who has unlimited money and is of sound body and mind, yet they are lonely without someone to enjoy life with. To that person, a happy and loving network of friends and family may be more valuable.
My intention for Skillful Wealth is to focus on all three in an efficient way. Money, health, and happiness. While I am a self-admitting financial nerd, money has largely been my focus of the three core principles. Yet, as I come closer to reaching my financial goals, I find myself equally if not more focused on health and happiness. I hope for this blog to be a learning experience for visitors as well as for me. As I continue to research and write about various topics, as well as learning from interactions with readers. I encourage you to begin by reading the below posts.
- Happiness – A State of Mind and Social Inclusion
- Health – My Four Pillars of Health, DESS
- Money – How to Invest for Retirement
As for me, here’s the story of how I came to create a blog and what I want it to represent. Unlike most people, I don’t want to retire. I simply want the ability to retire. To do something that I would happily do without getting paid. To answer the question, “If you had buckets of money what would you do?”
I work in the field of finance and have been interested in investing for as long as I can remember. When I see a 100-dollar bill I don’t think what I can buy with it. I think, how can I invest it to watch it grow. It began from my home life. My grandfather stood in soup lines during the great depression in Manhattan. This led him to lead a frugal life which trickled down to my father, then to me. Being prudent with money, a strong work ethic, and ensuring you had money saved for a rainy day were well taught lessons during my childhood from both my parents.
After college I was lucky enough to land a job with a wall street firm, then to a smaller investment firm during the great recession of the late 2000s. During my career I have learned that in order to beat the market, that is to earn a return greater than a stock market index such as the S&P 500, it takes a tremendous amount of work. I tried beating the market in my spare time, mostly researching investments on my bus commute and late at night. While I did well, at the end of 5 years I realized that it was not worth the stress or effort.
Instead of myself trying to beat the stock market, I decided I would hire someone. I interviewed and researched multiple investment professionals. Frustratingly, when I compared their track record, very few beat the market after the fees that they charged and taxes they generated. Of the ones that did beat the market, who is to say that they would continue to do so? One manager that I found outperformed the S&P 500 quite well. Unfortunately, he was towards the end of his career.
Since I have decided to stop managing my own money and that I can’t choose or justify hiring someone else, I happily invest in index funds. After all, at the end of your life, will you care if you beat the market? Or will you care that you lived a life of less stress and enjoying friends, family, and your health. That is my goal of Skillful Wealth. To do just that.