Vincent’s Blog: Success is not a given…

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You are intelligent, hard working and think you have all the right tools to be successful in building your wealth over time. You start your own investment partnership with seven initial clients who believe in you. To gain more clients is a real challenge. You try to convince them with detailed numbers, examples and anecdotes. You find people start to hide when you call upon them again and again. You fight rejection, ingrained perceptions and set ways of doing things. Your planning spreadsheet, which you so enthusiastically put together at the start of your venture, still portrays a steep growth in assets under management. But after a few years of toiling away, you made some progress but are not even near your goals. You are a few years older and you wonder what you wished for… You are Warren Buffet and it is 1962.

Did you know that the Dow Jones on December 31st, 1964 stood at 874 and seventeen years later on December 31st, 1981 stood at 875? Not much success for those who invested in the Dow Jones index during those years. Did you know that in 1900 there were about 17 million horses in the U.S. and currently only around 3 million? You would think it was better to be a horse breeder in the 1900’s than now because of the sheer numbers. Wrong. You would have been in a seemingly perpetual declining industry, where horsepower was substituted by the automotive industry. Success would have come hard. Did you know that only three major car manufacturers are left over from the twenty that existed during the great substitution from horse to car? Do you know what will substitute our fossil fueled cars and when?

You see, being intelligent and hard working are just the starting blocks of your success. On top of these very essential ingredients, it seems we need more to make a difference. Our world is in constant motion and what is a success now will likely not be in the future. An ability to look into the future, luck and adaptability are therefore also essential ingredients. So, be careful what you wish for because the future is a foggy unsure affair with one known constant: “aging”. Funny enough for this one sure thing we seem to be in total denial, obstructing our chances of success. I challenge you to spend 60 seconds to look at yourself when you have aged… Huh! Yes, our competitive friends at Merrill Lynch will take your picture and show you what you will look like in the future. It is an eye opener and maybe an incentive for you to plan and adjust your wish list. Success is not a given, aging is and with that comes an increased cost of living. So prepare to let your wealth grow faster than you age. With intelligence, hard work and a bit of luck it will be a success. Take your picture, travel in time and see for yourself.