Some time around now (it may have been closer to five years ago or
five weeks ago or five days ago but nonetheless some time around
now) the role
in my life, shifted. It's not that I've now got less
or more than I had. No, this shift isn't a quanti-tative
shift: it's a quali-tative shift. Having less
would be a content-ual shift. This isn't like that. This is
shift. In other
occurs for me, not in the amount I have.
Stake To Play
I'm a conservative investor. And the degree to which my investments
are worth more now than the total of all my combined down payments
in each of them was, is the degree to which I'm also a successful
investor. I invest for the long term.
I avoid high risk investments. I'm more comfortable with a solid,
steady, modest 10% return than I am with an uncertain albeit
possible 210% return. I like it to be secure.
About fifteen years ago a good
of mine, an awesome money
and a fund manager, looked at my portfolio, liked its spread, then
suggested I consider adding an admittedly high risk instrument to
the mix. It cost a lot to buy in. But that's what I did -
knowingly, responsibly. The upside is if it paid off (after an
expected fifteen years) it would pay off big time. The downside, as
with high risk investments, is if it failed, it wouldn't just lose
value: it would be worthless. It failed. It's now worthless.
called me to tell me about it. I could hear in his faltering voice
how badly he felt. Given what was for me a substantial amount of a
now worthless investment, I calculated his failed high risk fund's
gamble had lost millions of dollars for all his
clients. But listen: that's why they call it high risk, yes?
And nobody forced me to buy in, nobody forced me to
a check. That said, I could tell this was a guy who was now
carrying a heavy load on his shoulders. "I'm sorry I lost your
he gamely told me (what else could he say?). "Don't think about it"
I said, "it was my stake to
at the table.".