The U.S. stock market is experiencing extreme volatility in recent weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic across the globe, shrinking individuals’ investment portfolios ‘overnight.’
This has been especially painful, since record-breaking stock market growth had become the norm since the day Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016.
Anyone who’s put their money in stocks, knows the market can’t be trusted. Ups and downs are cyclical and to be expected, but we all prefer the booming bull market to a sinking bear market.
Successful investing is a marathon, not a sprint. The tortoise wins, not the hare.
Living here in the Seattle area over the past 20 years, where Bill Gates and Paul Allen began their little startup called Microsoft, I often hear folks wistfully reflect, “if only I’d invested 35 years ago, I’d be a millionaire.”
But I CAN say, with absolute confidence:
“Your kids are the new Microsoft – buy stock in them!”
You’ve heard of the magic of compound interest? The genuine interest you show in your kids today will compound magically just the same, but with returns far more valuable. If you consistently make deposits into that relationship ‘account’ over time, 20 and 30 years down the line when you need loyal comrades and friends the most, you’ll have them.
Now that my sons are grown, I’m experiencing the remarkable and satisfying fruit of the investment I made by faith in them, day-by-day, over three plus decades. They are my dearest friends, confidants, neighbors, helpers, and encouragers.
Last week is a perfect example.
I was having a daaaaay :(( after incurring a sucker punch perfectly designed by the devil to abort my mission.
I walked around like a zombie, going through the motions of my decidedly demoted existence doing only those things I do on auto-pilot; tidying, walking the track, listening to an audio book, praying, fighting tears, trying to muster my emotional resources and regain my inner balance. Been there?? I figured.
I trudged through the market selecting groceries at a snail’s pace, loading and unloading, with no relief in sight. I reheated leftovers and, (what else??) ate chocolate and drank wine until I was too tired to watch another mind-numbing segment of my current Amazon Prime series. I collapsed into bed with a heavy heart.
A few sleepless hours later, I grabbed my iPhone and ambled quietly into the kitchen so as not to wake hubby, determined to somehow brave this new day with intention. I glanced at my screen: 5:21 a.m.
A text was waiting from one of my sons.
I was on his heart at midnight; he wanted me to know how much he loves me, that he thinks I’m awesome, he’s praying for me and if I need anything he’s always there for me.
He had no idea what my day had contained. I try not to burden my kids with negative crap.
It’s not the first such message, act of kindness or show of support my sons have sent me this week, month, or year. I’m wrapped in so much love, care and prayer from my adult children, I hang my head in shame at particular moments for complaining about any single thing in my life.
I wanna grab them tight and tell them a thousand times how much I love them. They are such treasures to me and to my husband – such incredible, diverse multi-faceted human beings with incomprehensible value.
Watching them grow into men; husbands, fathers, leaders and entrepreneurs – makes me want to hold them even tighter, as my pleasure in them is mixed with fear for them as we live in uncertain times filled with so many challenges…and yet I’m reminded that in every generation there were significant concerns specific to the timeline in history.
I’m confident they are men fit for the times we’re living in, and I’m on the edge of my seat, watching as this nail biter of life’s journey takes place for each of them as they venture out into the world.
I know firsthand, the investments you’re making in your children today, will return to you and the world around you in more ways than you can possibly imagine.
The character you develop in them by your example and training, is going to benefit you and so many others, years from now and perhaps you haven’t even considered it. Invest well while you have the opportunity – what a privilege to change the world through the humble call of parenting.
Your Two-Minute Takeaway
- Investing a slice of your hard-earned dollars is NO joke. Even if you can spare a meager sum each month, contact a reputable company and get your money working for you. TIME FLIES! You’ll be surprised at what’s possible if you simply invest what you can over time.
- YOU are a bad ass parent who is longing for MORE! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. Consider the ways you can practically ‘budget’ your allotted time in order to set aside a reasonable, quality portion out of your 168 hours per week to spend with your kids.
- Here are some ideas: Choose a book to read aloud at bedtime and plan three nights (or more if you have the grace) per week you can commit to reading one chapter before ‘lights out.’
- The other nights that work for you, lay in bed next to them for a few minutes and ask them about the best part of their day-what they’re looking forward to-if anything is burdening them…whatever convo works for you and your kids.
- Make a date – one a month – to take each child out on their own for a meal, errands ending in ice cream, even a walk with the dog. Nothing beats one-on-one with Daddy/Mommy.
- Turn off smartphones and landlines during dinner or as long as is humanly possible until the kids are put to bed.
- Limit electronics as babysitters – this is so easy to lean on, but can quickly consume far more time than we’re aware of.