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For the Next Great Money Making Idea

This article has been sitting in my “need improvement” file for over a month.  Many might think it should remain.  But yesterday I had a conversation with a man who was pitching a new investment strategy using alternative energy.  Listening to his pitch reminded me of this article.

A few months ago (I told you this was sitting around) I was talking with a good friend.  To protect the innocent, we will call him AJ.  AJ owns an extremely successful practice.  When I grow up, I want to be like him- good family man, humble, expert in his field, smart businessman and a kind individual.

We usually talk “shop”.  I ask how he’s doing, and he asks what I’m doing.  Each of us has our respective side project which we also talk about and compare notes.  It is obvious we are both fully engaged in our primary careers and our respective side project.  According to our wives, we have already bitten off more than we can chew.

AJ then says to me, “Hey Jim, I have some “extra” money and I’m looking for a new investment idea.  This line of questioning usually worries me and can be potentially dangerous.  In my short life, I have seen enough people invest in different things only to wish they had not.  I’ve also heard enough stories over that time to make me cringe the moment AJ asked the question.  But this happens to most extremely successful people- they get bored doing what has made them successful at the start and they look for something different.  As if everything they touch will turn into gold.

This is the time in AJ’s life where he might hear pitches to invest in race horses, rock bands, Emu oil, or garbage companies (not to discredit any of these industries).  The problem is AJ does not have any expertise with these industries, and we have already determined he does not have enough time in his day for a new project.

My point is this- if you ever run into “extra money”, don’t try something different just because its different.  Try staying in your wheelhouse, invest in yourself, your side project or ask an objective advisor.  Stay within your competence.  Don’t invest in something new just for the sake of it.  Be boring.