Here is a secret: If you are having fun, you never have to work hard. Or, to put it another way, if you are having fun, working hard is not an ordeal — it can even be a rewarding, enjoyable way to spend your time.
This goes for:
- Work, work: Work for yourself; work at Pixar; work doing what you love …
- Exercise: Tramplines, sports (basket ball, soccer), paint ball, rock climbing .. .
- Other boring, annoying, scary, tiresome, awful, painful and/or smelly stuff: E.g., Raising children.
Examples of hard work being fun:
- Sex (although, I bet you had already figured this one out)
- Showering (stop and think about how much work you do in there! I bet you never noticed, as it feels so nice).
- Games/puzzles …
- Misc. (i.e., punching a pillow, chewing gum or running from small woodland animals while drinking Boons Strawberry Hill with your friends in the woods).
One of the secrets in this life is to learn basic life-hacks, such as the example above, and creatively, (and actively) apply them to other areas of your life. So how do we apply this “fun can distract from annoying/tiring/painful work” theory to investments?
Here is a list of five things you can do to make investing fun:
1) Invest with friends: Get a group of people together, pool your money, and buy lots of stocks. Advantages of this route include: diverse knowledge and fresh leads; lowered fees, due to buying in bulk, and splitting the costs; more brains working on the problem; rapid diversification; it can be an excuse to get together and have fun!
2) Invest with your kids: Have your kids help you invest, and teach them a valuable skill at the same time.
3) Play “fantasy investing” (i.e., paper trading or paper investing). Get a bunch of fantasy football addicts, ante up, and win a pot of money at the end of a set period — then use your research to invest for real …(also, all of your competitors are giving you their research for free! Suckers!). My infomercial: Stop wasting your time on Baseball, Basket Ball, Football, Soccer, or Hockey, which only take your money! Play a game that can make you REAL money! Just send me three easy payments of $19.95! Act now! Supplies are limited to the first 6 billion!
4) Buy companies you love: Guitars, watches, motorcycles, helicopters, Hollywood, cosmetics, fashion, theater, whatever turns you on! My wife watches Charlie Hunnam on Sons of Anarchy, and begged me to buy Harley (HOG). I love music, so I bought a stock of a company I had heard of, Avid (NYSE: AVID), which makes Protools, a software used by every professional musician in the world. There is also Porsche (OTN: POAHF), Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) and TakeTwo Interactive Inc. (TTWO) which owns RockStar & 2K Games, two well known video game companies. Your imagination is your limit, from Barbie (MAT) to Dungeons & Dragons (HAS) to Phineas & Ferb (DIS) to parachutes to Mythbusters (Discovery Communications, NASDAQ: DISCA) to L’Oreal (NASDAQ: LRLCY).
5) Buy companies you hate (and get your money back!): Microsoft is a dirty thief. I am determined to get my money back (see article related to this: here).
I have a problem with feeling powerless. The problem is not feeling powerless, although that sucks eggs too, but my reaction to it. I get obsessed with it — how I should do something about it, how others have taken advantage of me and this is just another in a long line of jack-boots stepping on my face. See? I get weird. I start snapping at people — coworkers, wife, kids. One thing that always gets me spitting steam like a boiled cartoon cowboy is Microsoft — the ultimate baddy. I remember one time, as a lowly college student, struggling with finances, I was required to purchase Microsoft Office (student ed.) because my professor Would Not Open Non-Microsoft Text-files. Despite my having made the effort to save it in a Microsoft compatible format. Soon after that, my computer crashed. Guess what? It was too late to download the Office suite I had bought from Microsoft just 3 months earlier. So, I had to buy it again, and a new Microsoft OS! I spent $900 on the computer, and another $1000 on Microsoft products, just to be able to turn in my assignments for school. Then, for a statistics class, I realized I needed Microsoft Access. And guess what?
Over the years I have spent a lot of time and energy simply pondering Microsoft’s aura of evil. Obsessing, really. Oh, every time I had an interaction with a Microsoft product, like, every other second, I would start to simmer again. How I hated the feeling of being abused and used like some sort of worm hosting a wasp larva — they want me alive, so I could earn more money for them. Over and over … every few years, paying for an upgrade to a system I had just learned how to use, only to start at the beginning again.
One day, I was stewing, and I looked up Microsoft’s stock, thinking, “I wonder what evil costs?”
It was quite reasonable, actually. And they had begun paying dividends … hmm. Then something magical happened. I said to myself, “What if I could get all of my money back from Microsoft? All of it!”
So, I bought the stock, and I had a feeling of peace. And I began to stop dwelling on how Microsoft tries to screw me and everyone I know; I began to live a life without “Microsoft Hate” eating away at my soul. I had never realized just how awful it had made me feel, all those years, brooding, loathing, hating.
So, here is a list of 6 companies I have bought stock in, because I just don’t have time to hate them anymore:
3) My insurance companies (Auto and Medical).
4) My cable company.
6) My Bank.
Now, understand, I didn’t even really look at the numbers on these companies. They are not going anywhere, and that’s the point. My investment is monetary sure, but mostly it is about retribution. These companies have taken something from me, and I am going to get it back. And I know when it’s time to buy more, when I start thinking how much one of these companies pisses me off.
Microsoft, by the way, has put out a nice operating system this year, much to my surprise. I actually like it. And, you know what? I am close to getting all of my money back from them, and it makes me so fucking happy.
I wish the government would privatize the DMV, so I could buy the hell out of it …