Today is my 26th birthday. It was a low-key affair, just hanging out and spending a bit of time with my wife before grabbing some dinner. Relaxing. I can’t help but be a little depressed on my birthday…I always feel like I should have accomplished more over the previous year than I did.
I just finished reading “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis, a British publishing mogul worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 million. The book is an incredibly frank appraisal of wealth, what it takes to get it, keep it, enjoy it, and the prices you pay along the way. Best of all, it’s actually written by a guy who built incredible wealth, rather than a guy who made most of his riches off of books he’s written telling people how to get wealthy. Anyway, one of the things that stood out to me was where he said that he would give it all up and everything he would ever make just to be young again. And I think that many wealthy people would say the same. He states that if you are young, you are far, far richer than anyone much older than you can ever be, because you have a lot more time than they do, and time is the most valuable resource we have.
I completely agree, and for me, building wealth is about building the ability to own my time and do what i choose with it. Additionally, wealth buys access to better health care, which can both improve the quality and the quantity of the time that we have in our lives. And if radical life extension becomes a reality during my lifetime, the unfortunate truth is that those with wealth will have access to it sooner than others.
I guess the trick is finding an area to build wealth in that you enjoy, so that you don’t spend your entire life toiling away at something you hate just to build wealth, and thus lose the time you were trying to save in the first place.