Are You Worth the Risk? | Your Life Is Your Business

Any idea about who has a stake in you? I mean a real money stake based on your risk-reward value. Seem like a weird question? 

When you’re the investment, you’re expected to deliver a return. 

That’s right. Every time we borrow or accept money from an outside source, we are their investment. So we have an obligation to reward the investor. 

Here’s how this works. Let’s say, you’re a college student. Your parents pay part of your tuition and a lending institution pays the rest. Both are investors. You work to satisfy the terms of their investment. 

Parent-investors expect you to: 

  • Select a course of study that leads to a career that will support you
  • Complete all courses with passing or better grades
  • Meet all graduation requirements
  • Adhere to the rules and standards of the institution
  • Take advantage of placement opportunities
  • Successfully complete relevant internships
  • Graduate with an employment offer 

The return on investment for your parents is the knowledge that they have positioned you to be a productive, self-reliant citizen. It also brings to closure their expenses for your schooling. 

Lending institutions expect you to: 

  • Pay back their loan with interest according to the payment schedule

That’s all they care about. It doesn’t matter to them if you went to class, took courses that added up to anything, or got a job. They simply want their investment back with interest. How you do that is your business. Institutional investor’s aren’t fussy. They just want their return. 

Investing is about growth. Growth is about your future. 

Most of us have investors throughout our lives. The bank gives us a mortgage, a credit card, a car or home equity loan. They have a stake in us, want their money back with interest, and aren’t concerned if what we borrowed their money for is a good idea or not. 

We are the most important investors in ourselves because we have the biggest stake. 

I mean that. We’ve got to be smart with the money that we make or take. We need to use it in ways that position us for growth, increase our options, and provide us with the quality of life that makes sense for us. 

If we aren’t smart about the way we use the money others invest in us, then we are missing the boat. Each time we want to cry about our financial woes, we need to take a hard look at how we’ve used the money we’ve earned and the money we’ve borrowed. Our life is our business, right? 

I’m not talking about a time when the employment rug got pulled out from under you, although it is a reminder about having enough money saved to pay the bills for six months. I’m talking about the failure to have a real budget and financial strategy for your life. 

Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, is a must-read for everyone, no matter where you are in life. It’s a readable, straight-forward, and practical explanation of the right way to look at and handle your money. 

When I was eight, my parents bought me five shares of Sperry Rand Corporation. They thought I should understand about investing in the stock market. 

My dad told me that Sperry had invented a computer (Univac) that could do mathematical calculations faster than any human being. I had no idea why that mattered. 

“That machine is going to have a big impact on the future,” he predicted. 

“You betcha, Pop!” Thanks for showing me what it felt like to be an investor with just a small stake in what may lie ahead.

Like it or not, we are all the chief financial officers of our own lives.  

No business thrives if it isn’t fiscally sound. That includes the business of our own lives. Stay focused on the expectations of your investors, engage them strategically, meet your obligations to them, and enjoy being business fit as you move your life forward. 

What has been your experience dealing with those invested in you? Any advice to share?