Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Personal Post #1 : A Millennials Most Valuable Asset

Have you ever heard your parents or grandparents say something similar to “…there is no time like the present”? It is more than likely that you have. Why is that? Well aside from the ideas of being active and getting something done, for millennia’s, the statement holds a more significant meaning. More than just a meaning though, an opportunity, the key that everyone is searching for.

Recently I noticed I have been spending more and more time reading online. Topics include increasing blog traffic, undervalued dividend stocks, how to monetize a blog, the list goes on.  More specifically, I have been interested in finding value in the stock market. As a self-proclaimed subscriber to the dividend value investing school of thought this should be no surprise. Sooner or later I began to realize that I was not spending time online reading and learning as I have previously stated is valuable. Instead I was searching for something. I find, especially at my age, it is easy to attach to an idea. Recently that idea has been finding that next stock, that next opportunity to put my money to work. I cant quite put my finger on why but I almost feel pressured to deploy my capital.

Today I took a step back. After a bit of brainstorming and thought I discovered what I had been searching for. Not only had I discovered it but also I realized I already had it.

Time. My most valuable asset, I have had it all along. Chances are if you are under the age of thirty it is your most value asset as well. Time is everything and we only get so much (or little) of it.

In the investing world time is your best friend. If you are able to invest early in your life, time will be your life raft in the sea that is the stock market. The earlier you start, the bigger the raft.  There is a seemingly unlimited amount of information that continually tells us to buy in early and weather the storms. For many young value investors like myself this cannot be reiterated enough. As a dividend value investor I am, indirectly getting paid to do everything that I do. Currently my payments are small but they should grow from here forward. That is one of the ideas that got me interested in looking for high quality dividends. You will be paid to sit on the couch, or spend time with your family. It doesn’t make a difference.

Outside of the investing world when the value of time comes up I tend to think of opportunity cost. Right now I am not investing (though I am collecting dividends) but I have decided to take the time to write this article. What else could I be doing right now? Well I could be weed whacking for the man up the street for $12/hour. I could be playing video games, or any number of things really. The opportunity cost of any activity is the value of the next best use of your time . In other words, opportunity cost is the value of something else you would rather spend your time on. I emphasize the word spend because when you think of your time as a currency that you can not get any more of, the idea starts to take shape. Currently writing this blog post is worth more to me than $12/hour. That wont always be the case but you have to understand that these days you need to decide what is valuable to you. Is it video games? Twelve dollars? If your time is your most valuable asset; you should treat it as such.

What is your most valuable asset?
Do you consider opportunity cost when making decisions?
Do you think other millennial’s realize how valuable time is?

I am a 21 year old kid who seeks to create a life of financial independence via passive income. The accumulation and growth of quality dividend yielding stocks will be the main source of income and this is my journey.



  1. Great questions! Let's see..

    >> What is your most valuable asset?

    Time. Definitely time.

    >> Do you consider opportunity cost when making decisions?

    I'd like to say yes, but of course, not every time. Obviously time spent working is valuable, but less valuable than working on things I find fulfilling or traveling or just generally vacationing (not working). For the longest time, the thing I've hated most about working is that I could be doing so many other things that I find so much more valuable and that's the fire behind achieving ... FIRE. Ha.

    >> Do you think other millennial’s realize how valuable time is?

    In general, no, but it's not like it's exactly drilled into us. You can't blame most people for following what seems like the best pattern in life, even those who go so far as to join start-ups. These people are often regarded as going off the beaten path and going on a life adventure, but in the end, they are still trading time for money in the hopes of a bigger pay-off in the future. In order for the next generation to use that time-for-money trade-off, it's sort of up to us to say, "By all means, work and have some fun, but also save and invest."

    And it should be emphasized that saving is not just sort of hoarding money away so you can't have fun with it. Saving is borrowing from your current self to buy a better tomorrow. As you know, this is the kind of thing I've been thinking about a lot lately, because part of me is bummed no one told me this in a meaningful way. And I say "meaningful," because even if someone had told me to save and invest all my money, I wouldn't have known how (largely because even when there was Internet while I was young, there wasn't much on it). Kids these days have the opposite problem -- just an ever-growing, mind-numbing vastness of information.

    So I think it's up to us to just pass the knowledge onto our children. In my opinion, that's the best you can do and it's the best bang for your buck in terms of trading in our time.

    Anyway, great post.



    1. FM

      Wow, you almost wrote your own post there! I love it!

      The way I most often find myself looking at opportunity cost is how many hours of work it will take to buy something. Through my temp agency I make about $11/hr so that new $80 external hard drive that I want will cost me more than 7 hours of my work day. Then I always sit back and think about if that is worth it or not. It has helped me save A TON!

      I really really love what you said in the latter half of your comment. "Saving is borrowing from your current self to buy a better tomorrow" I don't think I could say it any better myself!


    2. Div,

      Glad you got something out of what I wrote! It came from the heart.

      I think the way you describe thinking about things before buying them is what every person who works a job should do. Obviously once you're FI/RE, you'll have to figure out how long it takes you to accrue enough interest to purchase something and maybe take that into consideration. But for the rest of us who are just on the long, slow journey, that's an excellent way to exercise delayed gratification. Even if you inevitably end up purchasing the thing, at least you took the time to consider the trade-off of your precious time.

  2. Hey DK,

    Nice post. Funny that you mention above comparing the time it takes to amass $80 vs how worth it an external HD would be. I had the EXACT same thought yesterday.. realized I really didn't need it. "Saved" $80 that could go towards dividend investing.

    I don't think other millennials realize what incredibly advantages we possess since we're so young... A lot of young people nowadays are all YOLO this and SWAG that, and before you know it, life has flashed by and they haven't a penny to their name. Pretty grim.. but I can say I see a lot more negative than positive. Hopefully we can make a change, and bring about some awareness (maybe by blogging?).

    Best regards

    1. That's exactly the mentality that needs to be take when assessing a non-critical purchase. With that said though. Treating yourself here and there can make it that much easier to stay on track with your spending and saving goals!