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Are You Your Greatest Asset?

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Are You Your Greatest Asset?Here is a tricky question for you – What’s your greatest asset? Is it your house, car, jewelry, or investment portfolio? Ha! You’re thinking – I know the answer to this one. It’s me! I’m my greatest asset. Yes, that’s a great answer to this trick question. Many successful people like Warren Buffett would support that answer. You need to invest in yourself so you can increase your earning potential. The ability to earn and grow your income is better than any passive income.

Here is a quick and dirty example. If you invest a million dollars in a dividend portfolio, you’d receive around $30,000 in dividends this year. That’s a lot of money, but almost anyone can earn more than $30,000 by working. And you don’t need to invest a million dollar to work and earn money. Invest in yourself and you’ll earn more every year. The best investment is to improve your skills and learn more. That’s a great optimistic answer, isn’t it?

Well, today I’m going play the devil’s advocate and tell you that Warren Buffett is wrong. You are not your greatest asset. You’re thinking – Joe is out of his mind! Did he forget to take his medication? Okay, let’s see if I can make my case.

You are your biggest liability

One takeaway I learned from Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad is how to evaluate assets and liabilities. An asset puts money in your pocket. Anything that takes money out of your pocket is a liability. That’s a simple concept which is misunderstood by a lot of people.

That’s my first argument – you are your biggest liability. Yes, you earn money, but you also consume most of it, too. Some people make six figures every year, but their debt keeps growing. That mean they are a liability. If your net worth is trending downward, then you are probably a liability, not an asset.

Let’s look at a theoretical example – Joe. Joe made about $30,000 last year. He was self employed so he had to pay the $&%!y self employment tax. That’s about $3,500, so he brought home around $26,500. His family spent $54,000 in 2016 and his share is half of that.

  • Joe made $26,500
  • Joe spent $27,000

In this case, Joe is a liability to his family. He’d need to earn more money or spend less this year to become an asset. So you see? You are not always your greatest asset. If you don’t control your spending, you will be a liability no matter how much money you make. In Joe’s case, he probably needs to make a little more income.

The 4th dimension – time

My second argument is that earnings can’t last. Joe used to make six figures per year, but he doesn’t anymore. You will face the same scenario sooner or later. No matter how smart you are or how much money you make, there will come a time when your earned income starts to decline and then stops altogether. Time is an unstoppable force and you will get old. It is inescapable.

A lot of people don’t pay attention to the future and just focus on the present. That might work while you’re younger with more options, but it’s exactly the reason why so many people won’t be able to retire comfortably. You need to look ahead and figure out how to support yourself when you can’t work anymore.

Let’s go back to the dividend example.

Most people will be able to earn more than $30,000 per year, but at some point the dividends will surpass your earnings. If the dividend portfolio is invested in a good low cost dividend index fund, it will throw off dividend in perpetuity. No matter how much money you earn, there is no way to compete with perpetuity. Unless a big meteor crashes into earth or the US economy completely melts down, a dividend portfolio will eventually make more money than you earned.

The problem with earning money is the limited time you can work. Most of us can work for 40-50 years and that’s it. A good dividend portfolio will pay out much longer than that. When you factor time into the equation, the dividend portfolio wins.

Plan for passive income

Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.” –Warren Buffet

I agree to a certain extent. It’s best to invest in yourself when you’re young. That way you can increase your earning potential and make a ton of money over your working life. However, you also need to control your expenses and plan for the future as well. You need to figure out how to support yourself when you can’t earn money anymore.

My strategy is to increase our passive income and wind down my earned income slowly. Last year, I was a liability to our household, but we still came out ahead. Our passive income more than made up for that $500 short fall.

Mrs. RB40 is a big net positive for our household last year. She is making great income and doesn’t spend a lot of money. Even after she retires, we should still be fine financially. Our household income would drop, but we should be able to continue to increase our net worth over time. You can see how we’re doing with passive income so far this year. If we get it right, our portfolio will outlive us and benefit future generations for years to come.

What do you think? Are you your greatest asset?

*Update – Al’s comment below is what I was trying to verbalize. Our creations are our best asset. If you create something lasting, then it will keep giving back. That’s a great way to look at it.

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{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Ernie Zelinski April 24, 2017, 3:51 am

    Yes, I think that I am my greatest asset. By that I mean that my creativity is my biggest asset. I value my creativity at $5 million to $10 million. So far I have earned around $2.6 million in pretax profits from my books. The profits from my books are what gave me the funds to completely pay for my duplex and save around $1.4 million. I also know that I can bring out at least one more book using my creativity that will sell over 100,000 copies and earn me a million dollars. Of course, my creativity is what generated the tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of dollars that I have blown on fine dining, fine wine, and flying Business Class. Don’t forget the income tax of around $230,000 that I will have paid for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 8:57 am

      Do you think you are a special case or can anyone do that? You are a great role model. Not many people can keep generating this kind of income for decades. Intellectual property is the way to go.

  • Mustard Seed Money April 24, 2017, 4:02 am

    I like to think the amount of money that I have put into myself has turned into a great return on investment but honesty I’d have to do some of the math to see if it were really true.

    It would be interesting to take the amount of money that I spent on undergrad and graduate school, add up my what I’ve made vs. a generic job and then see how I’ve done.

    Hopefully I would come out ahead but I honestly have no idea. Great topic!!!

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 8:59 am

      It’d be tough to get the math right. I’m sure I got great value out of my education. I had a great salary for 16 years and that’s much more than I invested in my education. College is a lot more expensive now, though.

  • Amy @ Life Zemplified April 24, 2017, 4:25 am

    Interesting topic. Yes, I’m my greatest asset. Seeking to be better every day should keep me in that column. But you raise some valid points. I’d think we’ll flip-flop from side-to-side on the balance sheet throughout our lives. At times we are a liability and others surely an asset.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 8:59 am

      It was tough to write this post. I think I’m my greatest asset too as long as I’m healthy. I’m not looking forward to getting old…

      • Helen April 24, 2017, 12:27 pm

        You both have very good points. Right now, my greatest asset is my good health (physically and mentally). Hope it stays this way for a while.

  • [email protected] April 24, 2017, 4:26 am

    This line got me thinking – “It’s best to invest in yourself when you’re young.” I think a lot of young people are trying to do this, but they are going into a crazy amount of debt to try to get ahead. My daughter graduates from undergrad in 3 weeks (and she finished in 3 years) and got a full-ride package to get her Master’s degree. She could have gone to work (BS in Chemistry) at a lower wage job but with getting a free MS degree, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. She’ll be 23 when she is done – and debt free. She also paid for one year of undergrad. Hopefully she’ll be able to focus then on work and investing and she won’t have to take night classes that could cut into her earning potential (side gigs, etc.) We were going to help her with one more year of college (a 4th year) – but now we’re going to use that money to start an investment account for her.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 9:01 am

      I think going with the MS is a great idea. It makes a huge difference in that field. Probably even better to get a PHD. 🙂
      The future is going to be really different by the time my kid grows up. It will be a skill base economy and you might not have to go to college to be very successful. I still think college is the way to go for now.

  • Dividend Growth Investor April 24, 2017, 4:26 am

    The reality is that my most important asset is my ability to generate income over time. After all, my primary cash generator is the engine that provides fuel for my investment endeavors and also pays my bills until I reach the dividend crossover point. I view myself as a DGI Inc, where I am in charge of increasing my earnings capacity. The goal is to generate the most earnings for the least amount of effort and time possible. This is achieved through streamlining, growing, and learning skills that generate higher profits for each unit of time.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 9:03 am

      The problem is the time is limited. The FIRE community knows this and aim to replace our income through investment. The ability to earn income needs to be phased out slowly as we get older. It’s not dependable.

      • Dividend Growth Investor April 24, 2017, 12:06 pm

        Actually, the goal of the FIRE community is to spend your time on something you are passionate about. Having FI allows you to live life on your own terms ( not needing to work), but pursue your passions. FIRE does not mean you do not work and lay on the couch. When you work on something you love, success and money is a byproduct that flows easily to you. If you do something you love, you improve yourself all the time, and you are investing in yourself constantly. Since you love what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like work.

        This is what Warren Buffett has…

  • Jay April 24, 2017, 4:31 am

    Interesting take! I totally agree that we are our greatest assets, and that investment in knowledge (especially when you’re young) can lead to huge returns that can be compounded for decades. I really believe in investing in ourselves.

    But your point about being our own biggest liability is also well taken. I had to admit I hadn’t considered that but it’s completely valid and something to keep aware of. I also agree that in the end, a diversified low-cost portfolio of high-quality dividend paying stocks is a great way to grow your snowball forever.

  • The Green Swan April 24, 2017, 4:35 am

    And you’d be an even bigger liability to your family if you have life insurance…meaning you’re worth more dead than alive 🙂 That’s a joke my Dad would always tell me about buying life insurance…kind of dark humor.

    I can see you’re point. I think the right statement is that you have the POTENTIAL to be your biggest asset, but potentially your biggest liability on the flipside too. I’ve done a lot of “investing” in myself…taking numerous training programs, continuing education, going back for my MBA, working overtime, etc, and it has certainly paid off. I think I have done alright so far on capitalizing on the potential of being my biggest asset.

  • Mike Drak April 24, 2017, 5:15 am

    I would have to say that time is my greatest asset. That period of time when I’m healthy enough to do the things that I want to do. Two things that I always consider now is ROTI – (return on time invested) and ROMI (return on money invested) You can always turn time into money. Looking at life this way the most important consideration is your health so you can maximize the quality time that you have available. I’ve been terrible at this but this will be a major focus for me going forward. Another good article Joe!

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 24, 2017, 5:18 am

    Assets and liability sometimes go hand in hand perfectly as you pointed out (i.e. house, car). I think education is the best investment anyone can invest in for now and the future. My husband and I often talk about investing in retirement and rental property. But deep down we know no investment can be as valuable as education in ourselves and our children.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:54 pm

      I think education is a great investment too. However, the economy is changing for the future generation. It might be better to acquire new skills without paying the high price of college. I think in 20 years, we’ll see an employment revolution. More and more people are working in non-traditional ways. My kid might not need a college degree. Who knows… We’ll still plan for him to go to college, though.

  • Buy, Hold Long April 24, 2017, 5:18 am

    A very interesting way to look at it. I hope it pays off for you. I would love 30k a year in dividends, sadly, that’s not possible just yet. Maybe one day!

  • Grant April 24, 2017, 5:32 am

    My ability to focus and remain consistent on achieving goals.

  • The Tepid Tamale April 24, 2017, 5:33 am

    Joe, a very thought provoking topic! It’s good to think through things like this. I think we are potentially assets since, we can earn and save money. However, if we don’t watch our expenses, we can suddenly be liabilities, as you have shown. We should invest in ourselves to maximize the income, and also minimize the expenses. This will insure we remain an asset, until our investments can take over. At that point our investments can become our earning assets, and we can sit on our ….. sorry, I know we don’t want to just sit around, but I couldn’t resist!

  • Apathy Ends April 24, 2017, 5:45 am

    We have spent a lot of time investing in ourselves over the last 5 years, college degrees, extra classes, graduate degree, and most importantly driving up our income from our starting salaries through promotions and negotiations – the gift that keeps on giving.

    If you blow your entire income after investing in yourself, you can definitely be your biggest liability. The earn more to spend more cycle is tough to break

  • FullTimeFinance April 24, 2017, 6:10 am

    I believe it’s a little bit of both. Life is all about maximizing time. Time to do whatever you value. You trade Time for money early on to allow you to maximize that time in other ways or later. Investing in yourself allows you to more efficiently use that time to earn for further maximization up to a point. How you use that efficiently and what time bought is the personal in personal finance. But since the goal in life is tied to self not money, you have to be both an asset and a liability.

  • Roseanne April 24, 2017, 6:17 am

    What an interesting question/debate, Joe. I do consider myself my greatest asset, and thanks to you I have increased my savings greatly and started a blog that may earn something in the future. I plan to work 5 more years – required to be fully vested and receive 100% of a state pension – but I definitely earn way more than I cost our household. Great topic!

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:52 pm

      That’s a great plan. 5 years will fly by very quickly. I’m sure you can do it. The state pension will come in very handy.
      Good luck!

  • FinancePatriot April 24, 2017, 6:42 am

    It’s hard to see how you were a liability when your child care probably replaced day care expenses. Also, I assume you cook and clean as well? If not, your wife would likely, perhaps, hire someone to do those tasks, would she not?

    I have always thought that no one could ever take my work ethic away from me. They can take my job from me, they can even steal from me, but the knowledge, experience and effort that I maintain is my greatest asset.

    I am now focusing on preparing for my planned severance/layoff and may write about it on my blog. However, I realize that being able to retire early and get paid is something people will want to read about. It is my drive that will make this blog profitable. Right now I am mostly just going on blind faith.

  • Wes April 24, 2017, 7:07 am

    I’m definitely my greatest asset and my worst liability.

    I find myself in an interesting conundrum.

  • Al April 24, 2017, 7:15 am

    Loved the 4th Dimension example. Been pointing it out all along.

    We are not our biggest asset. Our creations are. Financially if we create income streams for perpetuity, they will certainly be greater as you pointed out.
    Humanly, our children and their children’s children are our greatest assests.
    So you invest in yourself not to improve your skills but your creativity.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 9:26 am

      That’s what I was shooting for! It was tough for me to write this post. Our creations really are our biggest asset. Thanks!!

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai April 24, 2017, 7:40 am

    So long as my online business is trouncing my passive income, then yes, I hope I don’t die too young! Got folks to take care of!

    You are lucky to have a wife who continues to work and provide a solid income for your family + your passive incomes. But I’m also lucky to be able to provide enough so she doesn’t have to work either.

    I’d love to die knowing all loved ones will be taken care of, forever!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:49 pm

      We’re both lucky in different ways. 🙂 I’m very grateful for the life I’m living now. Hopefully, Mrs. RB40 can join me soon.

  • Mr. Tako April 24, 2017, 7:47 am

    Love the critical thinking about conventional wisdom Joe!

    The saying is true, conventional wisdom contains very little actual wisdom!

    Your thinking about dividend income in perpetuity vs. earned income for a limited number of years is very true! Eventually our earnings from investments will be far larger than our earned income!

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:48 pm

      Of course, the dividend will last only if your progenitors don’t raid the account. Hopefully, they will be smart enough by the time I’m gone to learn this. 🙂

  • freebird April 24, 2017, 7:47 am

    For me it’s a tie, my annual W2 gross is about 3% of my net investment portfolio. So when Mr Market smiles I work for icing (actually it goes to dry powder for his next hiccup). I think you’re exactly right that the answer depends strongly on age, and also health and marketability (having any talent or attribute that is scarce relative to demand).

    Your line of thinking also opens up the question about fairness in assessing income taxes, namely the ongoing debate about the ways earned and unearned income are treated. Since I’m now in the half and half camp, I think I can offer a relatively unbiased opinion– I don’t think it’s fair to set a cost basis of zero on a person’s time and effort.

  • SillyLily April 24, 2017, 8:18 am

    Joe, you forgot to give yourself a salary for being the cook, nanny, and maid for your family (me too!). We need to calculate how much $$ we saved for our family not to eat out all the time, child care, and house cleaning… and those savings would certainly not make us a liability! 🙂

    “If you don’t control your spending, you will be a liability no matter how much money you make. ” So true, controlling spending $$$ is way way way more important in making $$$. Everyone wants to buy all the time but should we buy whatever we want? That’s one of the most important financial lessons I want to teach to Koya.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 9:31 am

      You’re right, but it’s tough to calculate our non monetary contribution. We definitely spent more money when I was working. Childcare alone cost over $1,000 per month. I’m sure it’s more expensive now.
      Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  • ThinkingAhead April 24, 2017, 9:47 am

    What’s better for someone who is in the early-middle part of their career? Investing in dividend funds/ETFs, or investing in growth/capital appreciation funds/ETFs?

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:50 pm

      Up to you. I think either will be fine. They outperform each other at different point in history. I’d keep it simple and go with a low cost index fund.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life April 24, 2017, 10:05 am

    As a person, I’m pretty awesome 😉 but with age and health factors, like anyone else to some degree, I’m also a diminishing asset. At some point, I will (or have?) peak and my ability to exponentially increase my income will peak as well.

    Apparently Green Swan’s dad and I have the same sense of humor, I frequently tease PiC that I’m worth more to him financially dead than alive. But that’s true only if I don’t continue earning and managing our portfolio. If I am as productive monetarily in the next ten years as I was the last ten years, that won’t be true either because one of my best skills is the ability to evaluate our circumstances, do risk management, and position ourselves ahead of need so that we’re proactive, not reactive.

    I might agree that our greatest assets are our creations in general but by and large, I’m not a creator, I’m an analyst and that skill means that I don’t need to flex a weaker muscle to create lower returns, I strategically deploy assets to make more assets. The jury is still out on whether JuggerBaby will be my greatest creation, it’s way too early to tell.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:56 pm

      Kind of sad to think of ourselves as diminishing asset, but that’s completely true. My peak earning years are behind me, but I’m still useful to my family. I just had to make myself an asset in other ways like managing our investment.

  • Lazy Man and Money April 24, 2017, 10:07 am

    I’ve never liked the blanket statement of “Invest in yourself.” Maybe it’s because I follow too many scams and see people using that as justification to pay any price for a worthless piece of paper that won’t help them earn more.

    For example, there are a lot of house flipping classes out there and they can cost more than $25K. There’s little guarantee that will pay off for them. Most of the information can be had on websites like BiggerPockets for free.

    So maybe the best plan is “Invest wisely in yourself.” Sometimes the wisest investment in yourself is simply not to spend the money.

    As for being you being your greatest asset, I don’t think have to go too much further than Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic… the old guy who turned 98 who won the lottery. In a vast majority of cases (especially the ironic ones), the lottery ticket would be greatest asset.

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:57 pm

      You’re right. You have to use your common sense and screen out those scams. Invest wisely in yourself is a better way to spend money.

  • Financial Coach Brad April 24, 2017, 10:21 am

    I definitely agree that we are our own greatest assets. Interesting thought about us also being our own greatest liability. I hadn’t ever considered that angle but it is very true!

  • K. McGarrett April 24, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Your good health is your greatest asset but you don’t realize that when you’re young. Maintaining it becomes worth more than almost anything else you can think of. (family excluded, of course)

    • retirebyforty April 24, 2017, 12:59 pm

      Health is even more important than family. If you’re not healthy, you probably will be a burden to your family. Sometime you have to be a little selfish. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.

  • Your First Million April 24, 2017, 4:13 pm

    “The key to every human being’s success lies in his mind; the gold mine between his ears.”
    -Earl Nightingale

  • The Grounded Engineer April 24, 2017, 6:25 pm

    I believe I am my greatest asset because if I hadn’t invested in myself I wouldn’t be where I am at today. It would be difficult for me to support my family the way I want to if I wasn’t in the career that I am in now.

    With that said, we’ve really taken to the personal finance community to live frugally and only spend money on what makes us happy. We have a long way to go, but we are making great strides!

  • The Magic Bean Counter April 25, 2017, 5:36 am

    I’ve always thought health to be my greatest asset. Without it, none of the other stuff really matters

  • Rich @ pennyandrich.com April 25, 2017, 6:17 am

    I agree with education and health, as others have mentioned. I’d add to that the virtues of honesty and perseverance (willingness to work). The reality is that unforeseen events or circumstances outside our control could bring catastrophe. But if you are educated and healthy with a strong sense of honesty and perseverance, you’ll be fine. A lot of factors need to line up for financial independence, but the true value comes with being able to succeed even when times are tough.

    • retirebyforty April 25, 2017, 12:57 pm

      Good point. If you have perseverance, you can get through anything.

  • High Income Parents April 25, 2017, 6:25 am

    The part about time eventually running out and we become less and less of an asset and more of a liability is sobering but true. Our lives are definitely a bell curve. Eventually, that income potential runs out and if we squandered everything, we are a major liability to possibly the government, our families, and society.
    I like looking at the other side of the coin. Sure we can’t earn anything without ourselves, but we can’t spend anything either. Eventually, we need to produce something from all the investment we put in ourselves. Thanks for taking on the oracle of Omaha and questioning his wisdom. 🙂

    Tom @ HIP

  • Mr Crazy Kicks April 25, 2017, 7:07 am

    Hah, way to turn the tables! I suppose I’m a big old liability these days. I just hang out doing whatever I want, and consume without generating any cash. But I was a decent asset for a while, and like to think I can still become one if I really needed to 🙂

  • derek April 25, 2017, 7:41 am

    Great reminder!

    I’m always thinking that I need something that is “outside of me” in order to be a success. Even if/when I attain those symbols of success it will be because I worked on and used my most valuable asset. Me!

    • derek April 25, 2017, 7:49 am

      (wasn’t finished replying!)

      And yes, I am also my biggest liability. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of it like that.

      Like the greatest asset side of the conversation, I often think that I just need to avoid all those liabilities that are out there trying to harm me!

      Interesting take on this idea.

  • Jo April 25, 2017, 8:06 am

    The first 23 years of my life I was a really big time liability. All in all my parents have invested more than one million dollars in today’s terms to bring me to the point where I can start making money. I’m now investing in my kids the same way. So in a way I can say that my biggest assets are my parents and my biggest liabilities are my kids.

    • retirebyforty April 25, 2017, 12:58 pm

      Wow, that’s a lot of money invested in you.
      I hope they make a profit on that investment. 🙂

  • SMM April 25, 2017, 11:17 am

    ““Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.” –Warren Buffet”

    My interpretation of Mr. Buffet’s quote is we need to invest ourselves and be smart about the “payoff” of our investment. So the investment would be in education, experience to attain a good position. The payoff would be a higher paycheck and being smart about the payoff would be to invest a substantial part of it and live below our means. In terms of dividends, you usually need to invest a lot and over-time the dividend income will become something significant. But I think it all starts with investing in ourselves.

    • retirebyforty April 25, 2017, 12:59 pm

      Right! You have to think about the payoff too. It’s not good enough to blindly invest a huge amount. These days, there are many ways to obtain various skills.

  • Friendly Russian April 25, 2017, 9:12 pm

    It’s a tricky question, very tricky. You can’t measure people by money only. Yes, money are important but what if:

    Joe makes six figures and brings a lot of money to the family. But he’s a total jerk (forgive my French). Is Joe an asset or liability to his family?

    OR

    Joe makes less than his wife, but he takes care after the kids, household, takes care of his wife and his family is happy. Is Joe an asset or liability?

  • FiscalVoyage April 26, 2017, 6:42 am

    Yes!! I am my greatest asset!!

  • gfaseed April 26, 2017, 9:29 am

    I would say that if you are your greatest asset, you should be doing a couple of things:
    – Invest in yourself through education;
    – Build stability all around you, saving money, relating to good people;
    – Have good principles. Live by them.

    • retirebyforty April 26, 2017, 12:32 pm

      I’d like to add that everyone can learn by reading and just doing. There are a ton of resources on the internet now. Education doesn’t only mean formal education.

  • cato April 26, 2017, 10:40 am

    Hi Joe,

    Have you ever calculated your earnings productivity? I looked at my lifetime earnings less taxes to date and measure it against my net worth. I am at about 95%

    • retirebyforty April 26, 2017, 11:44 am

      I just checked our social security statements recently and we are at 83% combined. That’s pre tax, though. I don’t know about post tax. Probably around 100%.

      • cato April 26, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Ya, wow joe…those are impressive numbers. Great job!

  • [email protected] May 3, 2017, 4:06 am

    The way I think and act are my greatest assets. I can improve these qualities with time and they only tend to depreciate when I get past my retirement age.

  • Dividend Diplomats May 14, 2017, 11:49 am

    Yes – I would say I am an asset for myself, but my answer is for a slightly different reason. Each day, I am working hard to increase my passive income and do what I can to make the most out of the opportunities placed in front of me. At least I perceive myself that way. I also work to keep my costs down where I can, but not at the expense of living life and having those experiences that I know I am going to love. It may not be money driven and I don’t have a firm dollar impact, but I feel like I am an asset based on my mentality. For contrast, I see several others that are their own worst liability. They had so much potential in life and could achieve great things, but refuse to put in the effort that is needed to unlock their potential. Because of that, they are a financial liability to themselves. Similarly, I also see co-workers that get caught up in the keeping up with the Joneses mentality of life and despite mountains of student debt, can’t resist all the luxuries that come with having their first full time salary.

    Sorry for the ramble here! Hopefully it all makes sense. Amazing article though!

    Bert

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