As we think about all the issues in the world now, one I am constantly trying to figure out is investing. What to do with my money and time. I have come to the conclusion I will need to invest in myself and family first. Along this line of thinking, I am concerned with the 5 basic survival needs. Realize my advice on investing has to do with things I know will have a positive return on investment (ROI).
Food as we know is always going up in price. Now there are some ups and downs, but as a general rule food goes up in price. So how do you contain ever rising food prices. They way you do it is twofold. One is buying food before the price goes up. This is food storage basics. You are buying food now you will use in the future. This is a way to mitigate cost increases, but you are still paying higher food costs, albeit at a rate lower than the average person. The second way to hedge higher food costs is to grow some of your own food. I think this is the best way to contain food costs. It will always cost you about the same amount of money to grow a carrot year after year. So I think having a garden and growing your food is a great investment. If you grow $1000 worth of food a year it is like having $10,000 in the bank giving you a 10% return. It takes about $1000 or less to have a garden which will produce $1000 worth of produce.
Also remember part of your garden will include perennials like bushes, vines and trees. raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, along with fruit trees produce fruit almost forever. More than likely they will be producing after you are dead. This is an awesome ROI. The only drawback to these items is they take a little longer to produce fruit. Once producing fruit they will produce more than you can use. I have a pear tree and it produced about 150 gallons of fruit. We made dried pears, canned pears, pear sauce, pear nectar, pear juice. This is while we gave away probably 50 lbs. worth to neighbors.
Making home improvement is a great investment. Having a home with efficient appliances, good windows, extra insulation pays dividends. Paying off your mortgage is one of the best investments I can think of. Once you have no mortgage payment and you are growing some of your own food. The amount of money you need greatly decreases.
Along with shelter, look at trying to obtain some land to produce more food with permaculture technics. Having food systems which need very little human input are great to have on your land. You can grow year after year and only go up to harvest. This is why I recommend perennial plants.
I think you should try to save about 20% of your income till you get to 6 months worth of cash. With all of the volatility and uncertainty in the market, having cash will be valuable.
If you decide to invest in the market, pick quality companies which have weathered past recessions. Along the same lines know your exit point. If you have a goal of getting a return of 10% and you have realized 20% this year, sell your stock, move to cash and wait. You have effectively realized 2 years worth of gains. Do your research and find another investment. Do not get greedy.
Increase your financial IQ. Start to read online or watch financial news shows. Look up words you do not know the meaning and learn what they are. In a world where money rules knowing what people are talking about will give you an advantage.
Focus on your community. Investing in your neighbors will bring dividend beyond belief. Help them to grow a garden. Share some of your knowledge. Teach a class on financial literacy. Start a neighborhood garden club. Focusing on community allows people to get to know one another. Use the common bonds of food and community to foster relationships.
Self Sufficiency and Self Reliance
Start to increase your self reliance by a preset amount of time. Try to start with 3 days, then move to 3 months. It comes one step at a time.
Next is to increase your self sufficiency. Start to become more self sufficient. Start with food. Grow some of your own food even if it is 1% is 1% self sufficient. This is 1% less you need from the food system. This increases your resiliency. Keep moving in small percentages toward greater and greater self sufficiency. I do not advocate becoming 100% self sufficient unless you need to. It is cost prohibitive and almost impossible. Any way you are part of a community right? Which means you can trade or buy what you do not have.
Investing gets rather complicated. I want you to focus on being able to do things for yourself and have some time while you are younger to spend with the ones you love rather than working until you “retire” only to sit in your chair and get old. Life is fun and amazing. Live it so you can live it later.
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother