We live in a period of unprecedented opportunity. The secrets of enduring advantage are available to anyone who wishes to climb to the very pinnacle of achievement. Each article in this series highlights two critical attributes from our book, 101 Keys to Achievement and Fulfillment. This is the twenty-sixth installment. Determine your favourite key as you travel this incredible journey. Enjoy the read!!!
Investment versus Legacy
“Every man is the maker of his own fortune.” – Tattler
Over 80% of people think and worry about money all the time. Majority of the anxieties, fears, health issues and problems people face in relationships can all be traced to issues concerning money; not the abundance of it but the lack of it. Achieving financial freedom is one of the most engaging preoccupations of human beings. To be financially free is to have enough money so that you do not have to worry about it continually.
One of the surest keys to financial freedom is that of investment. Simply put, to invest is to put away financial or other resources over a period of time in order to generate interest or growth. You can create wealth and truly live a financially independent life if you start investing early over a long period of time. Investing towards a secure financial future is an important choice you must make if you want to achieve great things and live a fulfilled life.
Two identical twins, Diane and Diana, both agreed on their 20th birthday to create substantial wealth by the time they were 40 years old. Diane started immediately investing GH¢10 a month for twenty years. Diana, on the other hand, kept postponing the start for 10 years and only started when she was 30 years old. To try and make up for lost time, she invested twice the agreed amount, that is GH¢20 a month for ten years.
At a fixed interest rate of 10%, by their 40th birthday Diane who invested over a 20-year period had GH¢7,500 while Diana who did it for 10 years had a comparatively low GH¢4,090. This is interesting because they all invested the same amount of GH¢2,400. The difference was therefore in the interest generated per time period. This confirms that as a result of the working of compound interest, the earlier you start investing, or the longer you invest, the better.
Another lesson that emerges about investment is to focus on putting away little sums consistently rather than to wait for one big break. Many who hear about investment decide to wait until they hit a jackpot and then to put a huge lump sum away. This kind of expectation does not often materialise. It is much more preferable to invest a percentage of your income on a monthly or continuous basis. Choosing a reasonable percentage will help you avoid the temptation to quickly revert to your investment whenever you are in need.
You are not too young or too old to invest. Start investing today towards your dream house, further education or retirement. For instance, you can set a target to become a millionaire through investment in 20 years. All it takes is to ask an investment analyst or to work out how much you need to put away per month for 240 months at an assumed interest rate. This is not rocket science; you can decide to start right away.
No matter how little you earn, you can actually leave an inheritance for your children and even your ’yet-to-be-born’ grandchildren by opening investment accounts for their education and putting away little sums of money over a long period of time. It could be as little as 1% of your income, but because of time and compound interest, the results could be very amazing and ultimately very fulfilling.
Key Thought: I commit myself to making right financial choices from today; and to invest towards a financially independent future.
What do Princess Diana, Confucius, Christopher Colombus, Yaa Asantewaa, Jesse Owens, Pope John Paul II, Rockefeller, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Bob Marley, Florence Nightingale, Osei Tutu and Malcolm X all have in common? These are all people who made such an impact during their lives that, even after their death, they live on and their stories are passed on to future generations. Their legacies live on beyond the confines of their time and geographical location.
True success is not just about the achievement of one’s personal, career and financial objectives. It also involves touching others with your life and actions. In our typically modernised world with its attendant selfish lifestyles, it is easy to focus entirely on yourself and on meeting your various pressing needs. When that happens, you lose sight of the broader meaning of life, which is about blessing others and making this world a better place. At Legacy & Legacy, we teach that your micro or first legacy is to your immediate circle or family while your macro legacy is to the wider world.
Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren… (Proverbs 13:22a).
A legacy refers to “something handed down from one to another” or “a situation that exists today because of events or actions in the past.” A legacy could be a property, a philosophy, an achievement, a good name or a network of relationships. Successful people think long-term and do not live for themselves only.
Joel Osteen is one of the most successful ministers in America today. His television programmes are viewed by millions round the world, while his Lakewood Church attracts several thousands each week into their services. Joel is the son of John Osteen, a fine minister who laid the foundations of the church, raised his son in the ways of God and sowed in him the seeds of ministry. The success of Joel could therefore be an embodiment of the legacy of John Osteen.
One of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffet, made a point in an interview with Becky Anderson of CNN on May 20th 2008 that underscored his focus on leaving a legacy. When asked about his exit strategy from his business investments, he replied that, unlike the private equity companies that focused on short-term involvement, he expected his company to still be involved in the companies he was investing in after 100 years, even though he himself would not be around.
His mentality is not surprising because this is a man who donated $37bn to Bill Gates’ charitable foundation in what is thought to be the largest charitable gift ever in the US. In his statement after the donation, Mr. Buffett said, “This has been coming for 50 years. There’s never really been any other plan in terms of where the money should go.” What a legacy?
Subsequently, Bill Gates also announced his intention to step away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft to focus on the work of the foundation. In his statement, “the sage of Omaha” said he always wanted to give the bulk of his fortune away. Gates said it was Warren Buffett’s support for philanthropy which had persuaded him to set up the foundation in the first place. The need to leave a legacy is summed up in these words of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.”
Key Thought: One day when you are gone, what would you be remembered for? What legacy are you leaving for both present and future generations?
“101 Keys to Achievement & Fulfillment” by Albert & Comfort Ocran
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Albert & Comfort Ocran are Executive Coaches, Authors and Media lEducators. Their extensive list of corporate training clients can be found in the mining, petrochemical, banking, insurance, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, public sector and not-for-profit agencies. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call, SMS or Whatsapp 024 9999 000.