The best investment (but not what I thought)


Holy smokes!  That’s it?  (my palm slaps my forehead)

In some ways, it seemed like such an obvious conclusion.  Perhaps the answer was always right there in front of me the whole time?

I wonder if I chose not to see it?

You see, like many, I’m seeking good returns on my savings.  In recent years, the investing climate has been absolutely treacherous.  For those of you who don’t follow it, it’s probably as difficult an environment as it has been in at least a generation.  Why is a subject for another post.

But what to do now?

As I pondered this, I approached the issue from a different perspective.  The result was enlightening.

As an executive and actuary in the insurance/reinsurance business, I have focused a lot of energy on the topic of risk and uncertainty over the course of my career.  Enterprise Risk Management (or ERM) is a popular topic in my industry today.  While the concepts and methods are getting more sophisticated, it’s pretty simple to understand in principle.   It basically focuses on understanding and managing business risk to optimize the return vs risk dynamic.  Really good companies have been doing it for centuries without formally defining it.

One day, I applied these concepts in a slightly different way.

I wondered if I could apply Enterprise Risk Management to my own life?  What if the ‘Enterprise’ was me? 

What is the best investment in my personal enterprise I can make now that would give me the highest return and lower my risk?

I started with the concept of security.  The basic premise being that happiness and fulfillment can be optimized with high security (being secure).

To simply, I outlined three categories of security.
1. Financial
2. Emotional
3. Physical

Replacing ‘security’ with ‘health’.  I then asked myself how I’ve been managing the balance between my financial, emotional and physical health.

The science &  evidence on this let me to a clear conclusion.

I realized that over the course of my life, I was likely to spend a certain amount of resources (time, energy and money) on my physical health.  No matter what I did, that was not likely to change.  However, I could influence how and when the resources could be spent.  I could spend them sooner on wellness, or later on sickness.  While no one can completely prevent events like accidents, emergency illnesses, etc.; one could improve his/her odds dramatically.   I remembered almost everyone I knew who has had an acute medical episode and saw how everything changes the moment the episode begins.  There’s even the old cliche:  “When you have your health, you have everything.  When you do not have your health, nothing matters at all.”

Investing time, energy & money into my physical health & wellness would be the best for my ‘enterprise’.   Improved physical health is great in and of itself.  It also has the added bonus of improving all three aspects of health and security; yielding incredible potential returns.

At first I wanted  to kick myself for not reaching this conclusion earlier in my life.  Well, I now realized it and it was time to get started.  There was no time to waste.

High returns await.

Here’s to our health!


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