spend well

Spend Well

The object of our work can be distilled into four words. Half of them have nothing to do with saving more, investing more, or putting off pleasure today in order to have more wealth tomorrow.

Invest wisely, spend well.

We’ve seen the dreary advice, no matter how much you are saving, to always be saving more. Some of you have told us about “advisors” who discouraged withdrawals from investments for any purpose, no matter how worthy.

What’s the point? As one of our clients recently told me, “I’m not living my life to make my kids rich.”

Invest wisely, spend well. We each know what spending well means in our own lives. But the reminder is that we’re not investing wisely in order to have: we invest to be able to do or be something different, to work differently or live differently.

These two facets of our work interact with each other. If we invest wisely and thereby increase our investment returns, we do not need to put away as much money each month in order to reach a sense of financial security “some day.” So investing wisely may give us more flexibility to spend well, even during our so-called wealth-building years.

Some advisors start with your pre-existing attitudes about “the market” and serve you up a lower-performing portfolio if you come in with any fears about volatility. We, instead, strive to work with people who were either born with great investing instincts or can be trained in them—in how to invest effectively for the long run. We believe this means, hopefully, obtaining higher returns by enduring the wiggles of the market, not pandering to fear of volatility.

This is what we do at 228 Main.

It’s not for everyone.

But if you can “invest wisely,” you may have more money to “spend well”—both now and in the future.

Invest wisely, spend well. Clients, if you would like to talk about the balance of these concepts in your life, email us or call.

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

The Dragon and the Hobbit

Do you remember The Hobbit? If you ever read J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel or watched the movies, you may remember the scene where the title character discovers the dragon Smaug sleeping atop an enormous pile of gold and treasure. 

It’s a striking image: the entire wealth of a once-prosperous kingdom, gathered up, a bed for a giant dragon. Tolkien uses this splendid scenery to good effect, exciting the reader’s imagination with his description of riches. In the story, after reclaiming the dragon’s hoard, the hero Bilbo Baggins is able to ransom an entire city with just a one-fourteenth share of the treasure. 

You have to wonder… what good did owning such unimaginable riches actually do for Smaug? After all, he was a dragon. It’s not like he had shopping to do or bills to pay. Piling it up to make a nest for naptime just seems like a poor use of the assets. 

What’s more, the misused treasure had become a burden over time. When Bilbo first encountered the dragon, he managed to steal a single gold cup from the hoard. The loss of even this smallest part of his holdings made Smaug miserable and furious. For all his vast wealth, Smaug spent all his time and energy worrying about it. 

We don’t know many dragons or hobbits, but wealth is certainly important to the humans we know.  

Money can buy a better bed than a pile of gold (for a lot less, too). But money can also be a source of stress and frustration, from unexpected home repairs to medical bills and car accidents. It can feel like life keeps sending hobbits to pilfer the hoard you worked so hard to accumulate.  

But these moments are precisely what we saved for in the first place. As stressful as paying bills might be, it is less stressful than having bills and not being able to pay them. 

A pile of money can make your life easier, but only if you let it.  

At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo returns home only to find that his house and possessions have been auctioned off in his absence. He is forced to spend his remaining fraction of the treasure buying his own belongings back from greedy relatives. 

Where Smaug lost sleep over a single gold cup, Bilbo feels only relief at giving up his hard-earned treasure to secure the happy and comfortable hobbit life he wants for himself. 

It’s no burrow, and there’s no tea kettle over an open fire, but you’re always welcome to our office in beautiful downtown Louisville, where there’s always a pot of coffee going. 

Call or drop by anytime: we’re glad to share the adventure. 

Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

Fantasy and Reality: A Huge Lesson from a Tiny Creature

One of the most striking images from Tolkien’s stories is of the dragon Smaug curled up on top of his massive treasure hoard. How far did his riches get him? Some real lessons from fantastic fiction.

Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.