Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management and Value Investing

Business Should Be Fun

If It’s Not, You’re Doing Something Wrong

I believe one of the signs of a life well lived is the fact that you wake up every morning and jump out of bed because you can’t wait to spend your time focusing on something that makes every part of you – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – satisfied.  This is going to be different for everyone.

Building a financial net worth that allows you to live any way you wish and enjoying your life are not mutually exclusive.  You can make money following your passion if you are wise and intelligent about it.  There is a man working for a major ice cream company that is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars as the head ice cream taster.  There are people who test roller coasters for a living.  I have arranged my whole life to allow me to sit in a beautiful office, read all day, and acquire stuff because that’s what I enjoy.  Something in me is satisfied when I pass a business and think to myself, “I own shares of that”, or shop in a store and know I am collecting my percentage of the dividends generated by the people around me handing over their cash at the register.

There are people who have built fortunes making bow ties by hand and selling them from the trunk of their car (seriously).  There are people who travel the world and get paid to write about it.  Find your bliss.  Follow it.  And find a way to make it self-sustaining.  Money isn’t the goal, it’s the by product.  To put in another way, you have to figure out how to monetize that bliss if you want to enjoy it indefinitely.  Don’t resign yourself to working for someone else doing something you hate so you can “someday” be financially independent.  You may need to do that for a few years as you figure out the details but it should be little more than a pit stop.  Instead, map out a plan to make money as you do something about which you are deeply passionate.

In my office, I keep an ever-expanding collection of Monopoly collectibles.  They remind me that having fun is part and parcel with investing; that adding things to the portfolio after identifying them, studying them, and waiting for a price I consider acceptable, is a tremendous amount of fun.  I love the idea that I have no idea when I wake up in the morning if, by that evening, we’ll end up owning shares of a power or water company, investing in an apartment real estate investment trust, or purchasing equity in a railroad.  If you run your financial affairs conservatively and with prudence, you can focus on the enjoyment of the game rather than feeling stressed like other people.  Sure, it requires a lot of patience but I strongly advocate it as being worth the trade-off.