Focus on the Long Goal: Collective Prosperity

This is related to the principle that wealth should serve humanity. At the same time, it’s about perspective. The actions we take now toward achieving collective prosperity will look quite different, or have different motivations, than if you’re just looking to save $1,000 by next month. Foremost is the why, the reason behind saving your money. You may not care much about yourself, but when it comes to your kids or the families you work with professionally, you’ll move mountains. This long goal is about making sure there’s institutions around in 50 years that work for your family and the future generations, rather than seek to extract the wealth from your community. That tech company credit union my grandfather joined that I mentioned earlier? It’s alive and well, helping today’s generation access appropriate, affordable, and competitive financial products which strengthen the local economy.

As a long goal, aiming for collective prosperity means that even little steps taken and choices we make today can add up and make a big difference. Think about the idea of trajectory: You’re standing outside at night, looking up at the stars. Perhaps there’s a tree nearby partially blocking your view. If you were to shift your gaze one degree, you’d probably still be looking at the same leaf, perhaps even still hit the moon. But go far enough out, and you’ll land in a completely different solar system than the one you were originally looking at. Even moving one degree off from your current track can make a big difference. (The same principle also applies to the cost of an investment account. The difference between being charged 0.17% for an index fund compared to 1.0% for a managed fund can be thousands of dollars, once you’ve gotten the nest egg sufficiently established. That’s, say, $10,000 being diverted away from your account. But, I digress.) So, even if there are little choices you can make that align you in the direction of collective prosperity, it will make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

This book is a work in progress and we’ll all benefit from your input and collaboration. In the “Leave a Reply” below, please post examples, comments, questions, and needed edits. By posting, you grant permission for inclusion of any content to become part of the book, now or in the future, in whatever form it may take. I’ll give attributions to the extent possible. I know sharing about our financial lives can be sensitive, so if you want to share anonymously, please use the contact form instead and I’ll honor your request.

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