“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” – Henry David Thoreau
Most people associate wealth with large bank accounts, extravagant homes, and luxury cars. But that’s only one form of wealth. One of my Twitter friends, Ben Carlson (@wealthofcs) wrote about another form of wealth that is often understated, but equally (or even more) important than tangible stuff. For example, a career you enjoy, having a flexible schedule, meaningful relationships, etc.
We are quick to point to the material things we don’t have, but we fail to recognize other forms of wealth that make our lives fulfilling. I started to think about my personal list of not-so-obvious things that were valuable to me, but easily overlooked.
*I’m going to avoid the no-brainer stuff like health, family, roof over my head, employment. I’m openly grateful for all of those things!*
Not Wearing a Suit & Tie to Work
Let’s cover ourselves from neck to foot with cloth and see how this goes. The suit & tie is an outdated experiment that just won’t die. Have you ever worn a suit on a steamy August day in Portland? Coming back from lunch drenched in sweat after eating street tacos is no bueno. What about getting caught in a March torrential downpour? Those new dress shoes are water logged and discolored for life. Talk about demoralizing.
Don’t forget the signaling effect of a suit & tie. I vividly remember arriving at an upscale senior living facility for a client meeting. We were waiting for an elevator when a resident came up to our group and matter of factly asked, “What are you guys selling?”
We have instituted a no suit & tie policy at Pure Portfolios. Being comfortable and professional are not mutually exclusive.
A Life Partner with Patience
In my youth, seeking patience in a partner wasn’t even on the radar. Now it’s a blessing to have a partner that can be up all night with a newborn and still wake up with a great attitude. I can’t even pretend to have a little patience. A friend broke it down perfectly when I expressed how frustrating it can be with a newborn and two kids that destroy the house and only occasionally listen:
“Look, you have complete control at work. You are well organized, efficient, and have a process for everything. At home, it’s anarchy. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong as a parent, or your kids are misfits, but you have less control of your environment.”
Bingo! Mrs. Schuurmans, thanks for being such a patient, stabilizing force!
Freedom to Express
The most understated benefit of being part of an independent company is freedom to express what I really think. It’s liberating. I’m no longer told what to think about financial markets. I don’t have to parrot the company line. I’m free to write this blog (166 posts and counting).
I always appreciated the clients that would say “Give me the top of the house corporate view first, then tell me what you really think.” Such a brilliant question because there’s a huge difference. We still joke that if you gave every Wall Street chief investment officer a 12-pack of beer, you would likely get a much different market outlook than their buttoned up corporate answer.
During my junior and senior years at Washington State University my entire life was within one square mile. I walked everywhere. I lived across the street from Martin Stadium, the business school was a three minute walk up the hill, the sorority I worked at was a short-cut through an adjacent parking lot. I lived in the backyard of the most popular campus watering holes.
I can’t walk to work, but our Washington office is five minutes from my house. With the fast pace of life, it’s a rarity to be gifted ~2 hours per day.
We would love to hear from our readers. What’s your different kind of wealth?
Via Twitter @pureportfolios