“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where— “said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
- Lewis Carol, Adventures in Wonderland
Most of us don’t much think about “where [we] want to get to”, so we go about the business of acquiring and accumulating as if we “don’t much care where”. That’s because we don’t know better, and “get as much as you can” seems like a good default position. It’s certainly better than not having enough. There is preferable course of action though; Taking the time to figure out where we’d like to end up and move accordingly.
As regards investing, it seems obvious that growing your pile of assets as much as possible is the overriding goal. Turns out though, investment structure and distribution can be as important, not more so. What’s that pile for? That’s an important question.
If you’re saving/investing for retirement and planning to spend it all down and die broke (that’s valid), your saving/investing strategy will be different than if your intention is to leave an inheritance for the grand-babies. An endowment or a legacy gift would require another plan altogether. Annuities? Growth/Dividend stock portfolio? Real estate? Will? Trust? Joint tenancy? It all make a difference and what’s best depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Two things are consistent, no matter your intent: save as much as possible while you’re working and waste as little money as possible paying taxes.
Similar considerations apply to your avocational collecting. Most collectors are moved by passion (some are “investors”), but we should think some about the eventual disposition of our collections. It may impact what you choose to acquire as well as how you structure your estate. Leaving baseball cards to your nephew is very different than leaving an art collection to your alma mater’s art museum.
It’s always good to consult professional help. They’ll be able to do a much better job of helping you if you know exactly what it is you want to accomplish and if you’re able to clearly articulate that. That’s definitely something you will want to spend some time on.
William S Jiggetts