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When is Enough, Enough?  Thumbnail

When is Enough, Enough?

Last month I spent a week driving a combine on the family farm, helping my brother wind up the summer harvest in the Palouse.

It was a good deal for him, getting a week’s worth of free labor out of his older brother. It was a good deal for me, because I didn’t have to pay anyone to attend a week-long silent retreat, sitting in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned cab.*
Forty-five years ago air-conditioned cabs didn’t exist. As a teenager on that same farm, I made $4 an hour driving a dusty, dirty combine, accumulating a small bank balance along the way before heading east to work at the Chicago Board of Trade. While working in the pits of Chicago, I set out to take my meager farm earnings and get rich trading wheat futures at the Board of Trade, but that’s not how things turned out.

Within a week, I lost everything, but gained a valuable lesson. I realized early on that I hated to lose money more than I wanted to get rich – a lifelong lesson that has served me well.  

To this day, I have never purchased an individual stock or commodity, opting instead to stick with broad, diversified investments in stocks and bonds.  

How do you come to grips when focusing on building wealth competes with the desire to get rich by buying and selling individual stocks?  

In other words, when in pursuit of building a portfolio with performance that will sustain you for a lifetime, “When is enough, enough?”?  

In my next blog, I will share with you how Coffeehouse Investors let go of the urge to get rich quick, and instead build financial wealth in a way that allows for a rich life of meaning and purpose through common-sense portfolios.  

*As I write this, today’s article in The Wall Street Journal references John Deere’s effort to develop self-driving farm equipment. (Registration may be required.)  

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