This is personal

Way back in 7th grade, I’ll never forget how I felt that day.
My desk neighbor and I were kicking around our bank account balance totals. Don’t ask me why, but I think it had something to do with “Birthday money” or gifts, etc.
Actually, I think we were talking about purchasing a new “Walkman”.  Anyway, regardless of the reason, he had mentioned that his balance was about $1,000.

I was quite impressed and I remember saying out loud, “Wow, you have that much money, in your own account?” and he said, confidently, “Yes, of course! How much do you have, $100?” he said with a laugh.

I remember feeling this sinking feeling, and a feeling of shame.  He had nailed it. He guessed my balance almost to the penny!   I also remember how hard it was for me to scrimp and save Birthday and Christmas gifts, just to get to that balance.

It would take me a paper route and working during my last 2 years of High school to match his balance.

I specifically remember my balance in 12th grade, because I spent about 20% on tickets to a concert for the woman that would become my wife.  Not a bad return after 30+ years.

What drives us

I’ve obviously, never forgotten that incident, but I learned from it and no longer would feel that way if someone compared their bank account to mine.
I’ve had several life lessons like that, including run-ins with brokers, and challenges with family members.

With that being said (as Jerry Seinfeld said recently on Curb your enthusiasm), there is nothing wrong with having something that motivates you.  That can be a good thing, and can help you establish some goals.

Turning negative into positive

I think the biggest life lesson is to truly learn from others mistakes and especially your own.  If we don’t do that, history is destined to repeat itself.  I’m a fairly conservative investor, but when I go “Cowboy” and shoot from the hip, I know it’s some of these previous life lessons, that I’m channeling during those moments.  Actually, they are momentary lapses of reason.   Since starting this blog, and actually learning to hear others and share their success, I’ve been able to become a better investor.   Mainly because I’m open to the idea that my way is not the only way and new things are being created every minute.

Realizing that these things are actually in play, all the time, and that they make up our “investor profile” is most of the battle.  Finding new paths to success is the fun part.

Where do you find your deepest motivation when it comes to money?