I was driving down a newly repaved highway when I noticed two large mounds standing prominently out along the shoulder. Curious as to their nature, I took a closer look and found that each mound, made of sand, was about three feet wide and stood ten inches high. From the center of the mounds were dozens of busy red ants carrying grains of sand, one at a time, through a small crack in the new asphalt and depositing them on the sides of the mounds. Given the newness of the paving I was fascinated at the size of mounds these ant colonies had built, one grain of sand at a time. I contemplated the marvel of a city that lay right below my feet.
I have the opportunity on the pro-bono side of my business to counsel people who are struggling with their finances. Some are young marrieds but many have been challenged for decades to get control of their money. In most cases the solution, and inevitably also the great roadblock for them, is to learn to develop a system of consistent correct financial behavior over a long period of time. Discipline and patience, can solve just about any financial problem, but they seem to be the two qualities most lacking in those who struggle.
I often hear the discouraged response, “It will take years to do that.” To which I commonly reply, “The years will pass whether you do the right thing or not. The only question is what your situation will look like when they do.”
Building a strong financial future involves beginning today, not tomorrow, to set aside a certain amount of money on a consistent and regular basis. It also involves continually adding to your education, which can be done in many ways, not just going to school, so that you become increasingly more valuable to potential employers, or clients. In our rapidly changing society, as soon as you stop learning, your economic value begins to decrease. Likewise, each month that you don’t set some money aside, inflation creeps up on you and sets you back.
We can learn a lot from ants. They only move one small grain of sand at a time but they do so consistently, and all the grains add up to surprisingly large mounds. Some may say that ants have the advantage because they are not working alone, but neither are those who save. Every dollar you set aside becomes a little worker ant for you. As you move one dollar at a time into your retirement plan, those dollars begin working for you, moving dollars of their own through reinvested earnings or interest. If you are patient and disciplined, before long you will have your own little army of dollars working like busy ants moving grains of sand and building your own mounds of money. We can sure learn a lot from ants.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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