For some reason I decided to watch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel last evening and was subjected to Gumbel bloviating about his journalistic conquests. In the course of his self-aggrandizing, he showed an interview with Bill Parcells. Parcells was at the track and I was wondering whether Parcells owned a portion of the track. Which naturally led me to think about the investments people make and about my own investments to this point in my life.
I have a few safe investments made: a retirement fund, a money market. Not a whole lot but something thatI can collect a little interest on and hope that it leads to the path of retirement. But upon further contemplation, I realized that my primary investment is actually in people. That may sound a bit odd but when looking at the true financial investments I have made, it pales in comparision to the financial and emotional investments I have made in the people who are friends and family.
An investment in individuals can pay great dividends. There's not any true financial gain but the return on investment can be many times that of money. When a person you're invested in succeeds or accomplishes goals, you feel good too. Not necesarily a windfall profit but something that goes deeper. But the losses you can sustain are greater than any stock market crash. When an investment in a friend goes bust, the cost cannot be measured on any ledger book. And the writeoff isn't nearly as easy as selling a simple stock.
I've seen my investments gain and lose value over the years. I've seen some investments rise beyond the level of Exxon only to fall below GM. But most seem to gain value over the course of time, even when amount of trading falls. And there are some which I can't forecast what rate they may be trading a month from now. But, all in all, the investments I choose to make remain sound and I hope that they are not misplaced. Only time can tell whether my investments are wise or not. I know the risks...and yet I'll continue to stay in the market.