Know Your Investing “Why”

Imagine you’re a young blacksmith during the Civil War…

One day I come into your father’s shop and hand you a sealed note with instructions to deliver the note to the young single school teacher who lives in a small white cottage on Orchard Road about five miles outside of town. You must go at night, cannot take a horse, and must stay off the road. Oh . . and you will not be paid.

When you ask me why I tell you I am not at liberty to disclose such information. You probably assume I’m just trying to send a love note to a single lady and don’t want anybody else to know. As I would expect from any other 14-year-old, I suspect that as soon as I leave, that note will surely end up in the trash.

What if I had told you that the note contained important information that could change the tide or the war? And the school teacher was merely part of an intelligence network that helped the Union?

Knowing the purpose of delivering the note, would your response have been different? Instead of throwing the note in the trash, would you have been more than willing to risk the danger to deliver the note to the young lady and end the war? Knowing the motive surely would have altered your actions.

Simon Sinek, a British-American motivational speaker, is behind a popular movement to find your WHY. He is the author of several books and speaks frequently on the subject – the premise being the WHY is the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every one of us.

Your WHY is the one constant that will guide you toward fulfillment in your work and life. He advocates what he calls the “Golden Circle” of decision making, with the WHY at the center of all we do, with the how being the plans and processes we put in place to achieve the why and the what is the results.

Do you know your investing WHY?

Why is it important to know your investing WHY?

Because knowing your investing WHY will dictate your investing how to fulfill your purpose.

Think about why invest:

  • To build wealth? If so, to what end?
  • To beat the markets?
  • To best your friend’s portfolio?
  • Because you’re bored and it’s exciting like gambling?
  • Because everyone else is doing it?

When it comes to investing if you didn’t know your WHY before, but are just now discovering it, maybe your HOW will change and the way that you invest will be different than it was before.

If your WHY is to break away from your dependence on work so you can have more time with your family and take more vacations before you’re too old to enjoy these things, your investment decisions may look a lot different than they do now.

An individual whose WHY is financial independence compared to an individual whose WHY is gambling and excitement are going to have very different HOWs (investment strategies). In other words, the way they invest and the assets they’ll gravitate to will be very different.

Knowing your WHY is essential to achieving your WHAT – the results you’re striving for to fulfill your WHY.

For investors motivated by spending more time with their families, leaving a multi-generational legacy, and doing more good in the world (their WHY), the right HOW (investing strategy) for getting there will be vital for achieving the WHAT (wealth) necessary for fulfilling their purpose – their WHY.

Know your investing WHY so you can get on the right investing path (the HOW) to achieve your goals (your WHAT).

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