I found this quote and thought that I would share it with you. Famed American entrepreneur and financial investor Malcolm S. Forbes said, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Forbes was trying to stress the importance of having an open mind in life. As I grow older, I see what he meant and sometimes find myself looking back to compare the major milestone points of my life with how my life is today. At the ripe old age of 43, it just seems that life in many ways now has become much more complicated than it was in the past. With the onset of computers and advanced technology and systems, we have become co-dependent on them for the most rudimentary of tasks. You would think that this would be helpful, but even with their help some days there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything. Do you feel the same way, or is it just me now experiencing adult growing pains?
In looking back, I am also reminded of one of the most important financial lessons that I had to learn…the hard way. Through my employer at the time, I was enrolled in the company 401K Plan, and I contributed the yearly plan maximum amount so, with my employer’s matching, I would receive the maximum ROI over time. This was a no-brainer for me, as the 401K was managed by a major investment firm, which left me with little concern for its security and performance. I watched the market regularly and received my quarterly and yearly statements which were always positive as my investment continued to grow s-l-o-w-l-y. In the interim, I managed to put away $10,000.00. My thought was to find a reasonably priced stock to invest in for the short term and make a profit. It sounded easy enough. I did what I thought was a decent amount of research and ended up making my investment with the help of a friend’s Broker. With some of his direction, I made my very first Stock purchase and now became the “Proud Poppa” of several hundred shares traded on the NASDAQ. Now I was glued to the daily newspaper for the results of my investment. It was like a daily rollercoaster ride as my Stock was traded. The company did not perform as projected, and the stock price fell considerably. I panicked and put in a “Sell Order,” for when the stock reached 60% of its original purchase price thinking that I could afford to lose $4,000.00 of my initial investment and not a penny more. My Broker didn’t even try to talk me into just holding out, he placed my order, and with that phone call, I lost $4,000.00. Lesson learned the hard way!
Had I have known then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have made that Rookie stock investor mistake. I am happy to say that my initial 401K Plan investment has successfully been rolled over several times, and my returns are very solid. Time and education have taught me the true importance of utilizing the thought process of “Critical Thinking” where you perform an objective analysis and evaluation of an issue, to form a sound judgment. I utilize this process in all that I do in my life daily. It has allowed me to grow as a person in my personal and business lives. I believe that the same “Critical Thinking” thought process could work for you too. Thinking Differently could be just the right first step to achieving total harmony and prosperity!