Something occurred to me as I was out driving to make money, today. I have personally had a wrong perception of what exactly an investment happens to be, and I think that most people make my mistake, as well.
Wen we think about investments, we think that we are putting money into a stock or bond and trying to make money on the return. More may expand that to include things like property that are bought to flip or to rent. However, does it end there?
NO... if you really think about it, most things in our lives are investments.
The idea came to me as I was thinking about the car that I had and the one that I am buying. For the last year, I have been weighing the amount of money that I put into the car vs the amount of money that it returned. Sound familiar? That's an investment. Indeed, every career choice that I have taken over time has had costs and time that were invested into making them a reality and in process of doing them. My college classes were an investment.. not sure that they were a GOOD investment, lately. However, I bought them with the intent of having a return, after.
But stretch this out further. Every CHOICE that we make in what we put our focus and energy into is an investment choice. Should we live in this location or that location. Should we do this job or that job? Should we eat out or make dinner at home? Where should we buy our groceries and using what discounts? What clothes are we going to wear? Everything is a choice of how we invest our time and money, and they will have varying levels of return. That return doesn't have to be financial. It can be non financial benefits of having things in our lives that we like.
Indeed, even our choice to date or not to date... to be with this person or that person... is a choice of whether we give up our money and time to someone else and which someone that would be. Sometimes, that choice can be toxic, meaning that it is a bad investment decision that harms our other assets... a poison pill if you will... while others can give us the benefit of having a comfort and support to help us reach those goals, which is quite a return, indeed.
So, who is an investor? We all are, every day. You know best what you want to achieve, and you make decisions every day on the path to get there. Adding stocks is just another in a long list of investments that we all make.