… but, you will see from the comments that not everybody agrees with – or, even understands – my deeper point about setting yourself up properly for the day when you can’t – or, no longer want to – work.
I’m republishing this because I’d like to hear your thoughts?
“I write to you the story of a fisherman in a Mexican Village who goes out every day on his boat to catch a fish. The fisherman goes out for three or four hours, catching a small load of fish and returning home. Every day he does this, without fail. One week, an investment banker from New York is vacationing in this Mexican village. Every day he sees this young fisherman go out, catch fish, come back, go out, catch fish, and come back. So after a few days, the investment banker approaches the fisherman. He asks the fisherman if he catches fish like that all the time.
“I do,” says the young Mexican, who is about thirty years old.
“How long have you been fishing?” asks the investment banker.
“All my life,” says the Mexican. “Since I was a boy.”
“And you catch fish like that every time?” He looks at the sizable fish in the catch.
“Yes,” says the Mexican. “There are always fish.”
“But you only go out a few hours a day. If you catch fish like that, why don’t you go out longer—catch more fish?”
The young Mexican thinks a minute and looks down at his feet. He looks back up at the investment banker. “Well, I like to spend time with my family and play cards with my friends.”
The investment banker nods, he steps closer to the Mexican. “Look,” he says, “if you double the amount of time you fish, you’ll make double the amount of money you make now.”
“Why would I want to do that?” asks the Mexican.
“Because then you can buy another boat and hire more fishermen.”
“Why would I want to do that?” asks the Mexican again.
“Because then you’ll quadruple your earnings and pretty soon you can have your own fleet.”
“And why would I want to do that?”
“Well, once you have your own fleet, you’ll have enough fish to cut out the middle men and go directly to the distributor. You do well enough with him, you can buy his company. Then, we do an IPO, take the whole operation public. You’ll cash in. You’ll be rich.”
“And then what?”
“Then,” says the investment banker, “you can spend time with your family, and play cards with your friends …”
That’s a nice story. It’s usually used to show how ridiculous the Investment Banker’s position is, and how we should focus more on what’s important than money … which, of course, is true.
It’s just that money is a part of – or at least an enabler of – what is important …
For example, what happens when the fisherman gets sick, or too old to fish?
We can cover ‘sick’ with Fisherman’s Insurance (a couple of fish set aside from his daily catch should cover that) …
… but, how do we cover ‘old’?
I think, only by meeting the investment banker part way …
IF the fisherman’s ideal retirement is simply to spend some time with his family every day (and, eat a few fish), and have a little spare time to play cards, it shouldn’t be a very big number …
… no IPO’s necessary!
But, it will take some investing in cold-storage to build up enough fish to last as long as the fisherman does!
Perhaps it’s time to think about how many fish you need?