The WHYs of Investing

I would like to look at the question from the ground up.   I propose why we  invest is based on what we value.   For myself I think the primary reason I invest is for financial security.  More security to weather person economic changes.  This includes job loss and/or (stock) market loss.  I invested in a house because it is nice place to live and was a good value.  I keep some money in cash for unexpected costs.  I buy insurance, not just because it is required, but because it helps against a large financial loss.

While I value security, I sometimes make poor choices.   For example I have not been exercising much this winter.  I have also not been very consistent eating healthily.  This is foolish because it increases my chance of heart disease and even stroke.  Though I am still under 35, I am beginning to enter an age where I can really benefit from a healthier lifestyle.  Not to mention the fringe benefits… looking better and feeling better.

At least this is what I am trying to tell myself. 🙂  So far it’s been working for about 8 weeks.

I also hope exercise and healthy eating will offer an antidote to the sting of my financial losses of the last 9-12 months.  It would be nice to say my portfolio may be down since summer 2008, but so are my waste line and my weight.

In essence, I hope I’m investing to give myself and my loved ones the best chances for happiness over a lifetime.  I hope that I’m investing wisely in life.  Money and finance are part of that effort.  Investing time with friends and family is too.  So is taking care of one’s health and fitness.

I’ve been short-sighted in the past about some of these things.  I’ve managed my money, I believe, very well.   I like to think that mostly I’ve been a good friend and family member — but I can certainly think of some lapses.  I’ve been really hit and miss about diet and exercise.  There have been stretches up to about 2 years where I’ve been in good to excellent physical condition.  There have also have been stretches of up to 2 years where I have let fitness lapse.  I hope I’ll continue digging my self out of the most recent lapse.

My point is that investing isn’t just about money.  Ideally investing is one tool among many to help improve the way we live.  Not to suggest that this is easy.  I think that while there is a danger in neglecting financial investment, there is also a danger in forgetting to examine why we invest in the first place.

I hope this blog helps stimulate some new perspective.  It has been interesting to write.  I look forward to your thoughts on this little investing/life excursion.

One thought on “The WHYs of Investing

  1. Wow, “The Whys of Investing”, probably my favorite post so far! Excellent points and I agree with your “investing wisely in life” thoughts. I think it’s way too easy to lose the big pictures as we focus on the details. That’s a major part of why the topic of “opportunity costs” was very interesting to me when I first took economics in college.

    In Christianity and several religions/philosophies, other elements of investing come into view as well – investing in others’ lives and in the life to come. I have several thoughts on how religious beliefs would impact the whys of investing, but I can probably best summarize my thoughts with the verse below (it does seem to correlate well with your initial statement).

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

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