The best message I received all day in the usual flood of reader submissions …
Hello Mr. Kennon,
I am 24 yr old who has saved/invested incessantly since I was 18, and my portfolio just recently breached 6 digits! I have always had a similar mindset to you when it comes to the future value of money because my Dad is a “next-door millionaire” type of person. Since I found your blog, I have learned a great deal more than I could have ever imagined from one person’s personal blog, and I wanted to say thank you so much! Although I have read and reread many of your entries, my favorite lesson that I have learned from you is that money is not an end but a means. Like you I want nothing more than to be reading by a fireplace 30-40yrs from now reading literature or financial documents while watching huge sums of dividends roll in, but I admit I am guilty of focusing on this too much probably.
After reading about your 6 month project and your analysis of future value vs current utility of money, I decided that there is one thing that I would love to have right now that is worth more to me now than the opportunity cost of purchasing it. A year ago I began drinking tea, and I love brewing tea now with friends. Teavana has an imperial dragon iron teapot set for around $400. It comes with tea cups, the tea pot, the trivet, and a few other things. They all have what I would deem a beastly looking yet artistic dragon design on them. I have always loved video games/fiction related to dragons, so it is no wonder that this appeals to me so much. I now have the set sitting on my dining table, and not only do I enjoy the perfect tea made with it, but I genuinely enjoy walking by it and just looking at it as decoration. I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me that it is okay to reward one’s self with things that are worth more than the opportunity cost while on the road to amassing great wealth!
A loyal reader,
Well done, Dan! Not only on passing the six-figure mark but learning that money is all about utility. The thing that makes me happiest is that you can afford it, and you deserve it. You aren’t just spending money carelessly; you spent your money on something you wanted deeply and that provides you a constant source of utility relative to the opportunity cost. That is it. That is the key. That is what makes the purchase full of win.