An Important Financial Lesson That Could Set You Free
- Makes a laughable joke out of our traditional success measures.
- Demonstrates the importance of having a wealth plan that matches your values.
- Provides 7 essential questions for figuring what you want out of life.
It's one of my favorite stories – The Parable of The Mexican Fisherman.
It's short, fun, and packs an important message.
Make sure to see my related questions at the end of the story to help with your own plans for wealth and prosperity.
The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman and the Banker
An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them.
Get This Article Sent to Your Inbox as a PDF…
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”
The banker then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.
The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”
Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
It brings clarity to what the money game is all about… and definitely not about.
It brilliantly illustrates the illusions we so easily fall into when pursuing wealth and financial freedom. It's far too easy to build incessantly and forget the end game is happiness and a fulfilling life.
Consider Professional Advice To Help Build Wealth
If you’re reading this, you belong to an exclusive group of people with the drive to become more than mere savers and retirement planners. You are -- or aspire to be -- a wealth builder.
Your mindset is half the battle. As you know, the other half is a labyrinth of investment and lifestyle decisions, risk management, tax planning, and more. Everything matters. Get something wrong, and you may watch as your goals may slip beyond the horizon.
At certain points in your wealth-building journey, you should stop to ask yourself if going it alone is the right course. Or, should you find a trusted partner to guide and advise you?
Working with a professional financial advisor can give you confidence and spot the blind spots in your wealth plan. You may choose to fly solo, but it’s also OK – and sometimes the right move – to enlist an experienced financial advisor as your co-pilot.
This free online tool can match you with highly-vetted local fiduciary financial advisors based on a very brief questionnaire.
It's equally easy to forget all the goodness we're surrounded by today.
The truth is, it doesn't take a lot of money to have a truly wealthy life, but it does take freedom.
So here are some questions for you to ponder as you develop your own life plans for financial freedom:
- What does financial freedom mean to you? How will it change your life?
- What do you really need to be happy and fulfilled?
- How much money do you need to retire?
- Would a simpler life allow you to retire sooner?
- What's the price you pay for simplicity? Complexity?
- If you died tomorrow, what unfulfilled dreams would you regret having never lived?
- What's keeping you from living those dreams today?
Believe it or not, these questions and many more like them are part of the financial coaching process. I teach my clients how values determine your path in life, regardless of your financial goals.
Only after gaining clarity around issues like these can you develop a financial plan reflecting your unique dreams and ambitions for life – a financial plan that will create first and foremost a satisfying life – both while you build wealth, and after wealth is achieved.
Let me know how I can help you achieve your financial dreams this coming year.
Retiring Soon? Pick Up a Copy of My Book.
The conventional approach used by experts to figure how much money you need to retire is fundamentally flawed. Worse yet, you won’t even know it until it’s too late.
This book takes you behind the scientific façade of modern retirement planning to reveal simple, robust solutions that will help you retire sooner and with greater financial security.