Value-investing in your life

costs and benefits analysis business management investment value

You may not know what value-investing is.

But if not, you should find out. Let me explain.

Value-investing comes from investing in stocks – pretty sure an old-timer named Benjamin Graham was the one who first worked with the concept. Others have embraced the strategy over the years. It’s very popular among certain groups of folks with certain personalities and styles of investment preference.

Here’s the basic idea:

You buy something for less than it’s worth.

For stocks, that means – whatever the market price is, there’s actually some intrinsic value (which you as an investor see) but which the market as a whole does not yet recognize. You get to buy something that’s on-sale, but the seller doesn’t realize he’s selling it at a bargain. It’s almost like insider trading – except all the “insider knowledge” comes simply from your own skills and experience about valuing business and understanding stock markets.

So it’s like winning the lottery?

Sounds like a great idea, right? But easier said than done.

Because often the value of a thing is very different from what it appears, and it can take a lot of skill and experience to understand the difference between…

“actual value” vs. “perceived value”

But if you can get the hang of it, you can make a great profit. You’ll spend less to get more. Which is awesome.

(Or so I am told – I’m not a stock guy, I just like to take the same concept and apply it to other areas of life where I do have more skills and experience.)

We were talking about my life…

So what does value-investing have to do with life, and with areas of business outside of straight-up stock investing?

Well, you can look at the time you invest in all your various:

  • personal and professional projects
  • goals, hobbies, and recreations

As real and serious investment – just like when investing in a stock market. 🙂

After all:

  • Your time is limited, just like money.
  • Your time is valuable, just like money.
  • Your time becomes more valuable when it is invested in doing things that pay you back in the form of happiness, opportunities, great memories, accomplished goals, or personal development. (Just like money, sort of – it’s a metaphor, okay?)

The bottom line

Your time is something to think about. Not all the time, of course – you can’t make yourself crazy, you need to chill-out too.

Think, and feel great

You should be investing your time in a thoughtful way that helps you get to the end of each day in a way that makes you feel positive and awesome.

After all, if you get to the end of a day and you feel crappy, can you really put the blame on anyone other than yourself? (Yeah, I know sometimes a day is out of your control, but it’s not out of our control as often as we like to pretend.)

Unpopular doesn’t mean loser

A key strategy when looking to value-invest in stocks is to buy the stocks that other people aren’t interested in. The reason for that is pretty obvious – in a stock market if everybody is interested in buying a stock then the price goes up – so whatever intrinsic (hidden?) value the stock had is now absorbed into the inflated price. It’s no longer a value.

Likewise with your investment of time in your day, and your life.

Look to where everybody else is not

What do most people do? Do something different.

Where do most people spend their time? Think about the benefits of spending your time elsewhere.

Unpopular doesn’t mean outcast

That doesn’t mean you have to be the renegade, or that you have to be a lonely anti-social miserly investor of your time.

Make choices

Think about the pro’s and con’s of spending your time in all the various ways that are possible. Many times, the easy way to spend your time, or the one that you are used to doing, just out of habit, is not really something that’s going to help you get to where you want to be.

And the truth is, if you walk off into the weeds to explore some new adventure in an area where none of the people around you seem to find any value – you know what?

There’s other like-minded folks out here in the weeds!

When you get there, you’ll find like-minded folks. 🙂

Just because something is under-valued or is a bargain doesn’t mean that nobody finds any value in it. It just means it’s a little off the beaten path – it’s not where everybody is scrambling to get in on the action.

So you go where it is a little calmer, where the opportunities are more reasonably priced, where time spent is more often time well spent.

And you hang-out in that realm.

Chances are, you’ll find some amazing adventures, meet some incredible people, do some awesome work, and just generally become an all-around great contributor to the community you are part of.

Find the value!


Exploring the new workplace for a no-limits life…

It’s been about six months since I started working remotely and it’s going pretty well. We used to call working remotely as telecommuting but nowadays telecommuting sounds old-school, and is really something a bit different from being remote.

So the goal, nowadays, of any forward-thinking employee or all-around productive worker is to be remote. At least that’s what I think it is – or, should be. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last six months.

But working remote is nothing new – we’ve all been doing it for a while. When we think of it as telecommuting it actually means something different because a telecommute means that you were getting to the same office job that you might otherwise be at, but that you are doing it via a, uh… telephone! 🙂 Sort of. A tele-something, anyway.

But when we hear working remote, some of us think that’s some new-fangled thing but those of us who are more tuned-in to how work… actually… works, say to themselves, “That’s what I do when I get home at night and review the TPS report on my BlackBerry.”

Oh, jeez – that sounds old-school. BlackBerry?

But that’s what it is. Remote is about being able to work… wherever.

When I said I’d been working remotely for the last six months or so, what I really meant was that I’d been telecommuting, but not in that old-school way that we are used to thinking of it. Instead, I’m doing the telecommute, and I’m gettin’ stuff done… wherever, remotely, using great and awesome tools that are ubiquitous, for a forward-thinking company.

When you take advantage of all the many and wonderful devices, services, connections that your company offers, but do it on-the-go or at-home, then you are working remotely, regardless of whether you ever also telecommute. It’s a big part of office life nowadays, for everyone. Companies spend lots of money to make it possible, and employees spend lots of off-hours doing it.

That’s one aspect of the new workplace – the spreading of job tasks sort of evenly across your day, including getting into the parts of your day that we used to maybe call personal. That can be a sort of negative aspect if you let it be that.

There are other aspects of the new workplace – many other aspects, and those are all things we’ll be exploring here. Most of them are pretty darned positive.

Because the goal is not, as too often happens, to simply let your office gig spread all over your entire life. But rather to take advantage of all the many opportunities which are possible for productive work that is really and truly integrated into your life, and into your goals, dreams, and all the things you want to do or places you want to be.

Exploring the new workplace for a no-limits life… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We’re living in a groovy time.