Power is financial independence

The decisions you make today determine the lifestyle you enjoy in the future

Go to the profile of David Meckin
Sep 05, 2014
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Money, whether rightly or wrongly, is often associated with power. The 1987 film "Wall Street" introduced us to one of the most powerful characters of modern day cinema - Gordon Gekko. His power was attributed to his ability to make vast amounts of money from investments. This power gave him control; control over his destiny. So does this mean we should all aspire to be Gordon Gekko?

A common goal for many people is to achieve financial independence; to be in a position where money is no longer a worry, but is something to be enjoyed. There are two ways you can achieve this. One option is to work hard over the next few years, put in the hours and ultimately reap the rewards. The trouble is the more money you want, the harder you are going to have to work and this can have a significant impact upon your relationships with both family and friends. It's regrettable that many divorces are attributable to one of a couple becoming a slave to work at the expense of family life. Fortunately, there is an alternative.

Instead of going out to work for money, why not get money to work for you? Gordon Gekko is often quoted as having said "Greed is good!" In fact, this is a misquotation. What he actually said was, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works." Although I wouldn't advocate greed as an appropriate character trait to try and develop, I would argue there is nothing wrong with wanting your money to grow. Investing is all about getting your money to work for you. Many people shy away from investing because they "don't have the time". Ironically the whole point of investing is to free up your time and let your money do your work. Investing is all about being able to sit at home watching the television, or perhaps doing something more exciting, knowing that your money is growing without you having to lift a finger.

As an example, let us take two women - Carol and Jane - who had similar jobs. They both earned £25,000 a year for 40 years, until they retired. Carol shied away from investing and tended to spend her money as she earned it. Consequently, over the space of her 40 years in work she was able to enjoy spending her money on £1 million worth of goods and services. Jane was different. She took time out to learn about investing and, instead of spending all her money as she earned it, she invested some of it each year. As a result, she managed to create an additional £1 million worth of income over her working life. So, although they were both on the same salary, Jane was able to enjoy a far more lavish lifestyle, being able to afford £2 million worth of goods and services. That's the power of investing.

THE MESSAGE

If you want to take control over your future lifestyle and have the power to lead your life as you would like to, you should take time out to learn how to invest. Read a book; attend a course; learn how to invest. I would argue that knowing how to get your money to work for you is a life skill everyone should possess.

Go to the profile of David Meckin

David Meckin

Author of "How To Grow Your Own Money" and MD of Insight Financial Consulting, -

As Managing Director of Insight Financial Consulting, I regularly deliver management workshops and present at conferences to audiences from around the globe, helping companies and individuals alike make sound financial decisions. If my clients are to be believed, I appear to have developed a reputation for making the world of finance and investment interesting, easy to understand and even fun! Regardless of the audience, my objective is always the same - to remove the fear from finance and investing. My latest book - "How To Grow Your Own Money" - has been written to prove that the skills required to be a successful investor are well within the grasp of the average person on the street and is supported by a dedicated investment website (www.insight-investing.com). At a personal level, I am blessed with a loving wife and two grown-up children who still think it is still cool to hang out and spend holidays with their parents. Hobbies? I have a passion for mountains involving regular mountaineering trips to the Scottish Highlands, the Alps and the Himalayas. I also enjoy a variety of other activities including flying (I'm a qualified pilot), adventure travel and photography.

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