Figuring out your investment style is actually more useful than it might at first appear. People accumulate or throw away wealth during the course of their lives without recognizing the style they fit into, or it’s effects upon their lifestyle. In a world of consumerism, suddenly all the traditional values have gone out of the window, and people see themselves as normal when they compare themselves with others or with the everlasting wealth of images that appear on television, though can make their lifestyle richer by understanding where they are going wrong, and which style they fit. Having established which style they are, they can then move on to a more constructive way to handle their affairs and become more savvy about securing their future, and enjoying their lives now.
The investment styles listed below may be a little tongue in cheek although there is an element of each in all of us. They determine who we are. They determine what we get back out of life, and when searching for stability, unless we are prepared to recognize our errors of judgment, how can we move forward into a more stable approach to our lifestyle that gives us better returns, and a more intelligent approach.
Broken into different categories, the styles listed are the types of people that can be recognized by their behavior and by their financial situation. Many are in the categories that do not understand economics and plow through their lives without giving due thought to consequence. Starting with the rich and working through the spectrum, the reader can recognize their weaknesses and aim higher in order to figure out where they would like to be, since having a direction in life makes it much easier to reach the destination, a little like having a road map instead of guessing.
THE HIGH FLYER
The high flyer has figured out how to invest their money to the best advantage. They are comfortable in their lives and have invested in a home, have a regular job, and have established security for their future. Here, they can afford to make a couple of mistakes and have a larger risk factor because there is more cash in the pot, but they didn’t get there on luck alone. They planned their way through their lives to arrive at the destination where the worry of debt is eliminated and replaced with the concept of saving.
Have you ever wondered about those people that insist on possessing everything that the neighbors do. Here, it doesn’t matter about expense. If the neighbor has a brand new car, chances are in a very short time they will too. It’s actually a sign of insecurity that people need to copy what others do, though consumer society encourages it. Instead of saving and sorting out their lives, they are too busy buying beyond their means, and are on the road to debt simply because they believe they are entitled to have all those trimmings even if the bank balance tells them that they are foolhardy.
THE DESIGNER LABEL FREAK
This applies across the spectrum and isn’t confined to youth as one might expect. To the designer freak, it matters that they wear Calvin Klein underwear, even if no one will see it. What matters more than whether the clothing suits them is the label. It’s a very strange concept that anyone would pay out hundreds of dollars for a handbag, or a pair of shoes with a designer label, and yet every day millions of people get into debt because they cannot live without those items that they believe make them a better person. Do they really ? Do you get status from owning a pair of briefs designed by Calvin Klein. If you look at the ridicule of the situation, would it not be more intelligent to produce an image that is individually you, rather than a mass produced one that costs you your earnings and gets you into debt ?
Many of the designer label freaks buy beyond their means and never have money to save or to put by for a rainy day. This type of person belongs in the Live Now Pay Later category, but the mistake they often make is that they pay an enormous amount for the privilege of having those labels on their clothing and accessories in that the interest rates they pay on their credit cards mean that for the sake of a pair of underpants or the latest handbag, they may be paying interest for years, and remain in debt, simply because their monthly payments don’t cover their expenses, and there is always one more label that comes onto the market that matters more than how much they cost.
THE PLASTIC PEOPLE
Have you ever wondered how come there are so many advertisements on the television offering you money regardless of your financial standing ? Why would they do that ? The problem with plastic people is that they see the advertisements, they see the possibility of buying items they cannot afford now, and instead of wondering why the credit card companies can offer such possibilities or the eventual cost, they are too awe struck by the possibility of possessions that common sense goes out of the window.
Remembering someone seeing a man with fifty or so credit cards and their reaction to seeing so many that the man must be rich, it actually occurred to me that it was the opposite of that. That man must be so poor. A rich man doesn’t need the trappings of credit cards to buy what he needs and is not faced by fifty separate payments a month, but it doesn’t take a lot of savvy to realize the weight that the individual puts upon themselves by using so many.
Credit cards can work for you. They can actually give you up to 30 days interest free credit, if you pay the whole amount at the end of the month, though the credit card person looks beyond this obvious advantage and finds themselves trapped by clever marketing skills, and the need to have everything now, rather than wait for it. This works against them in many ways because it means they don’t have money for all those necessities and certainly cannot plan their future, as the payments they have to make each month mean there is nothing left in the pot.
Have you ever looked at the amount that consumers waste ? In a world where equality isn’t a viable aspect to life, at one side of the globe there are children dying of malnutrition. On the other, there are people that are throwing away food, clothing, possessions that are no longer wanted. When you decide the dinner doesn’t taste that good and scrape the plate into the bin, does it ever occur to you that with that amount of food, a person in a far off country could live instead of die ?
We waste, and individuals that waste too much find that it becomes habit forming. Their investment style hits the waste bin and there isn’t enough left to think of future. If you fall amongst those that are wasters, changing the habits of a lifetime and asking yourself whether that supermarket basket is filled with items you really do not need is a good way to go forward and invest in habits that allow you a little extra to save for future.
These same people are quick to admit they are short of money though if you examine the contents of a supermarket trolley even if it is not your own, what is demonstrated often is the element of waste in society that holds people back and makes them poorer than they need to be. Gone are the values of home cooking in favor of packets that cost ten times more, and in becoming a waster, those that fall into this category are also the cause of their own lack of investment and lack of money.
THE POOR PEOPLE
Poor people invest in now. They have trouble stretching the finances further than today, though their investment style probably has more foundation than that of other categories of people, since they realize the value of each dollar and use it wisely. Many are poor because of circumstance, and there will always be poor on this planet, though one should never criticize their investment style, since they are investing in something money can’t buy, in that the care they give their families and the security in which they bring up their children are investments in the future in themselves.
THE SENSIBLE ONES
Sensible people know their incomes. They know their regular outgoings, and they make allowance for future. These are the traditionalists and those that become the high flyers of the future in some cases, but the advantage that they have is that they have direction that goes beyond what is happening today, beyond having possessions for the sake of possessions, and care sufficiently for their families to secure a future for them.
In an ideal world, everyone would work towards the same kind of goals though this is neither possible nor feasible. Inequality is part of society and we cannot change that. What we can do is address the imbalance by recognizing the faults in our own style of investment for the greater good. Was the designer handbag a good investment ? Of course not when you think that the money spent could have paid for a security for the future or a meal for a hungry family.
We cannot change the way things are with apathy, but we can recognize our individual flaws of investment strategy and try and make ourselves better people with moral values that take us into a more secure future.