What does the word investment mean to you? Does it conjure up images of pinstripe-suited city bankers shouting loudly on the telephone on busy trading floors? How about various numbers scrolling across the screen with the latest stock and share prices? Or do you think pensions, property, assets, cryptocurrency, commodities, dividends or bonds? Typically investment is associated with the action or process of investing money for profit. An asset that will generate an immediate income or is subject to positive appreciation expected to go up in value over time. Naturally there are associated risks and rewards to be aware of with all investment types. Over twenty years ago, my husband and I invented our own investment strategy called Half the Difference. Simple yet really effective. Here's how it worked. We had been up town in London dining with friends. It was late, time to go home and we were tired. What was the easy thing to do? Get a taxi. But what was the more cost effective thing to do? Get the tube. So to celebrate taking the option which involved more effort on our part, we rewarded ourselves by setting aside ‘Half the Difference’ of what we saved by not getting a taxi home. We would apply this thinking to many occasions over the year and at some point later in the year, we would treat ourselves to something really special from the Half the Difference pot. We were investing in our future happiness through deferred gratification. We still play this game now! Often in terms of investment there is such a focus on wealth that sometimes the focus on health is neglected. Investing in yourself is the place to start. Invest in your mindset, knowledge, wellbeing and health as without your health, there is no point investing in wealth. For me, investing in how I spend my time is where I apply my focus. Five years ago it became clear that our investment focus needed to switch to health instead of wealth although ironically the latter was needed to manifest the former. Let me explain. I invested my time and energy into gaining property education and acquiring knowledge to become a professional property investor. Spending three intensive years building a property portfolio, my goal was to enable my husband Jon to retire from his stressful job which was affecting his health by replacing his 9-5 income. It was the greatest return on investment I could imagine. With a Focus on WHY, it was a steep learning curve and there were many moments where I questioned whether it would work however I stayed persistent to achieve the goal knowing the rewards would be many. Jon did retire three years later and we have just celebrated two years of him being out of the rat race! We now have a diversified portfolio of different assets providing us with short and long term returns. Knowing that we have the wealth aspect covered our return on investment is now heavily focused on time and health. Take the time to invest in your future. Be present in the moment of today whilst also planning ahead for your future self. Today we celebrate our investment in time and are currently in Reykjavik in search of the mysterious Northern Lights. Will we see them? More on that next week with a Focus on Discovery! Today, Focus on Investment!
ACTION POINT What is your focus on investment today? Spend some time considering what is important to you.