Why do people invest? There are a variety of answers, but in most cases any answer that you could possibly give could be reduced to “security” or “independence”. For all of the investors who want to grow rich so that they have more options and freedom in life, there are millions of others who want to know that they will be financially secure for the rest of their life. In many ways, this latter characteristic is just another desire for freedom and independence. Security is independence from worry, freedom from trouble. Even though Security might be a more modest desire than Financial Independence, they’re both rooted in the same hoped-for outcome.
A good thing to remind ourselves of at this part of the conversation is the Investment isn’t the only way to achieve a measure of security and independence. A lot of investors forget this, spending all of their time analyzing earnings, losses, dividends, and other ways of conceptualizing money. But there are other ways to gain control of your security and independence, without ever becoming a professional investor. One of the best ways is fitness.
Fit people live longer and experience less illness in life than non-fit people. Their later years are plagued with fewer diseases, like diabetes and cancer. They spend much less time in hospitals, and therefore spend much less in healthcare costs. The financial plans that they do make for themselves, throughout life, tend to “stick” more often than those made by unhealthy people. They do this because there are fewer chances for failure. How? Well, if a person has a heart attack, he can’t very well keep to his budget or investment strategy. But the healthy person is able to keep puttering along, keep working longer, and keep learning, all without having much in the way of health catastrophe.
In essence, we hit the gym for the same reason we put our money into 401(k)s and IRAs. Most of us don’t enjoy these activities enough to engage in them for their own sakes. Some people claim to like financial analysis as an end it itself, but these people are in the minority. Similarly, most people don’t like lifting heavy objects or running for long distances. If they didn’t get the benefit of health, physical attractiveness, and stamina, they probably wouldn’t do it.
So if your investment prowess leaves you wanting, maybe doubling down on investment as a life strategy isn’t the best idea. Perhaps instead you should try getting to the gym. By becoming more fit and using technology to get in shape you will make your body more able to sustain the life you live without having to pay exorbitant health and life insurance costs. By living longer, and with fewer health complications, the financial planning that you do make will be more likely to go as planned, and the investments that you do accrue in your old age will be more likely to cover your long healthy life, much more so than someone who is unfit and sick in their old age.