Back in the day, my brother would lament that we weren’t born into a money-smart family.
It’s not that our parents were financially reckless – quite the contrary. They were careful and conservative and as a result we were well taken care of all the while we were growing up.
But we were not marinating in entrepreneur sauce.
My brother imagined that under different circumstances, we might have absorbed some business smarts from a line of savvy patriarchs who could have shared their collected wisdom regarding investments, promoted the expectation that fortunes would be made, and somehow transmitted to us a knack for being in the right place at the right time with the right connections to make a killing on emerging market trends.
Whenever he offered up some fresh regret over this unfulfilled scenario, I agreed in order to avoid an argument. But secretly I was glad I hadn’t turned out to be that guy who is always counting the money and scanning the horizon for some way to gain an advantage over everyone else. Life is too short.
But now with new evidence seeming to emerge every day that climate change will cause a rise in the sea level coupled with the news that humans are living longer than ever and the first person destined to reach age 150 is already breathing air on the planet today, I’m wondering if life will ultimately be too long.
And in my most ambitious moments I’m thinking maybe I should fire up my latent market-cornering urges and invest in future beachfront property located considerably back from the shore. Some observers believe it’s not too late to alter your financial strategy to make the best of a global environment that will be water-rich and ice cap-poor. Apparently there’s opportunity there because the market hasn’t adjusted yet for a coming coastal calamity.
In other words, rich people are still buying expensive places with water views. According to the Forbes article linked above, “… billionaires like Larry Ellison are purchasing beachfront property rather aggressively.”
In a world where everyone accepted that climate change is really real, the advantage-takers of Wall Street would be buying farmland, life jackets and pontoons. They’d be crunching the numbers to locate the new waterfront building a Riviera in Ohio. With so much wealth at stake, why don’t they act quickly and aggressively on the conclusions of an overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists?
Unless being money smart is not exactly the same thing as being really smart.
What’s the best financial advice you didn’t follow?