Free Lunches Do Not Exist
“I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results”.
(Johann Sebastian Bach)
Very few extremely successful people achieve their goals without any effort, or with only little effort. Success also requires the right mindset, and often a bit of luck. One thing is for sure: no one gets results without work. If a very successful person achieves great results without personal work, it is because they had the opportunity to hire people to do the work for them. Most people do not have the needed assets to do so, but others find ways to grow their assets.
The same applies to any kind of action in life. If you want to achieve something, you need to have the right mindset, and be willing to work towards your goal with a long-term perspective. As Michael Jordan has said: “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come”.
Every Master was once an Apprentice. The best individuals never cease to learn, and to keep their minds open for new ways of looking at things. In order to become a Master in something, you need to keep practicing until it becomes as automatic as your breathing. You do not even have to think about it – it just happens. Of course, these days many people do not even master their breathing. Too many people breathe superficially, so even this automated function of our central nervous system requires our attention.
However, let´s assume that you have a long-term goal, e.g. regarding your financial situation/investments. The basic rule you need to understand is that free lunches do not exist. Only very few individuals have the luck of winning the lottery, or are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Still, our choices and ways of living and spending what we earn have an impact on our lives, on our futures, and also on other people´s futures. How we, as consumers, invest and spend our income and savings makes a difference not only in our geographically near society, but also on a global level. Therefore, consuming, spending, and saving/investing money wisely is a good thing to do.
There are a few especially important things to consider before you start investing:
– How much can I save on a monthly basis? Or do I have a larger sum of money that I am willing to invest at once?
– What am I saving for?
– For how long I am willing to save?
– How do I want to invest the savings?
– What is the importance of the liquidity? I.e. if something unexpected happens, how fast do I need to have access to the savings/investments?
– How do I want to allocate the investments?
– What kind of risks can I afford to take?
– Do I understand anything about investing?
– If I do understand investing, do I have the time to manage my investments by myself?
– If I do not have enough time to manage the investments by myself: who will take care of it for me?
– How will I choose a service provider?
– Will I choose a private, small firm that will take care of my investments? Or a local bank? Or a broker?
There are a number of things to take into consideration before investing. Answering the above questions will be helpful, and are also necessary to answer before you invest anything at all.
A general rule is also to understand the investment object itself. I.e. if you have no understanding about what a fund is, e.g. an ETF (exchange-traded fund), make sure to have it explained to you by an investment professional. There is also no point in taking extravagant risks for example by starting your investment “career” through FX trading, which is the most liquid, but at the same time extremely volatile and includes high risks for those who do not have the needed experience.
Please also keep in mind that with investments, no free lunches exist. In that sense, investing in no different from other types of businesses. Someone will always pay, and no services are free of charge. There are of course differences in service prices, as well in the quality of service providers and investment performance.
It is important to choose a reliable service provider. Of course you can invest by yourself, if you have the time for it, and if you think you can achieve better results than the service provider. If, on the other hand, someone tries to pull you into something that seems suspicious, or you do not trust the service provider, there is no point in using such a service provider. Too high promises are also something that you should be careful about. If someone promises you returns on investment that sound almost too good to be true, then it is also highly probable that this is the case. Remember, Rome was not built in a day either, and the same goes for growing your assets. So, do not take unnecessary risks unless it is an amount of money that you are willing to lose anyway.
The time is always right for investing. What is important is to know how to invest correctly.
This blog post has been written only for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute investment advice. The information provided herein or in any communication possibly linked to this blog post is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this post constitutes a solicitation or offer by the author to buy or sell any securities, futures, options, shares, funds, or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.