Considering the statements I made in my last blog post, I figured I had better write a separate post strictly on the topic of what I consider to be "financial independence" and how that is lived out in someone's life. For starters, being financially independent in my book doesn't mean you have to own your own business. In fact, for every person in this world who claims financial independence because they own their own business, I would venture to guess there are plenty of other people out there who claim financial independence through other means as well, chiefly: 1) inherited wealth (don't we all wish this was us), and 2) investments. Inherited wealth makes up a very real, yet small, percentage of people in this world (when considering the population of the world in its entirety). For our purposes today we will focus on people who have built wealth through investments.
While the words "investing" or "investment" might conjure up images of buying and selling stocks or bonds for many people when they hear those words, essentially you make an investment in something when you buy something with the hopes of selling that "something" later at a higher price to make money on it. In fact, when you own your own business you are making an investment of time and money into your business entity, hoping that it will grow and generate more and more money over time. Beyond that, you can invest in (essentially "buy into and hope the price goes up before you sell it") pretty much anything you want to: commodities, precious metals, real estate, postage stamps, wine, cigars, old coins, antique furniture, art, the list is pretty much endless. Everyone will have different tastes and fancies for what they enjoy speculating on, and nothing, per say, is "right". I know some people who swear by real estate, others who swear by stocks, others who swear by bonds, and still others who swear by precious metals - but one thing is for certain, they almost all disagree with each other, thinking the other person's investment is a waste of time, money, and energy. Another funny thing is, they all seem to do independently well within their chosen investment niches, results that could not be matched if they switched to a niche they weren't as passionate about.
International K-12 Educator,