A Tale From Quarantine
Its a 7 am mid week, mid quarantine morning. Steam rises from my coffee as I sit at my kitchen table looking out the window. I can see the sun peeking through the trees. It has been ten or so days under doctors orders to quarantine. My wife and I are starting to feel some physical relief from the tight-chest, sore throat, and slew of other symptoms we have experienced in the past days. With that relief comes with a poking motivation to do something. I briefly scan some of the news articles full of bad economic news, market crashes, and the pandemic gripping our country. It has been easy to sulk in the bad news, but this morning with adversity rearing its ugly head, there has never been a better time to make an investment.
Surprise Stock Holder Meeting
With any good investment, you need to have sound advice. This particular morning, I have just the source. In fact, I have three (my kids). The whites of little eyes appear in my kitchen as the kids wake up. One by one they filter in. Unbeknownst to them, they have been promoted to investment consultants and will be contributing advice as to how our investment will go. Shortly behind them appears my Chief Financial Officer (my wife). Over cereal and eggs, we commence our morning meeting. The dress code at this particular meeting is very lax; lots of footy pajamas and flannel pants. Ideas flow like the trickle of melting snow down the driveway. Everyone has their two cents on what type of investment we should make. After heated discussion, and with everything currently going on in our country, the decision is made that this morning in quarantine is a good time to invest.
Tools of the Investment
The kids don their winter gear and I assemble the necessary tools to make the investment. I don’t reach for a computer, or cell phone. I do not call my financial advisor or turn to my 401k portfolio. I collect some red solo cups and grab my rifle. Not just any rifle either. From deep in the gun cabinet I pull out my very first rifle; a rusty single shot .22 bolt action rifle with iron sights. This particular gun is the first rifle I learned to shoot on and have carried many miles through the woods. The investment I prepare to make with my kids is not a financial one but an investment of time.
I lined up red solo cups with a safe backstop and with the family all accounted for, one at a time, (with Dad’s help of course) little fingers load .22 shorts into the chamber, slide the bolt forward, and plink away at the red targets. Chunks of snow fly, smiles widen, and excited little voices squeak sounds of pure excitement. We occasionally stop to talk strategy, and tips on safe firearm practices, and that although there is a time and place for squirrel hunting, now is not the time. We conclude our quarantine range session and the kids go about their merry way playing outside leaving me to clean the old rifle and reflect.
With the pandemic at hand and the crashing of the economy it is easy to be swept into frustration and negativity. One thing that no recession can take from you is your time. Investing your time into others, be that may family, or friends, or strangers will always pay dividends eventually. We all make investments into our financial life hoping to one day see the fruits of our labor and enjoy them in retirement. The general consensus is that if you save now eventually your investment will grow and become something great one day. So why not invest equally in your relationships that will hopefully pay dividends later on. For me, the time I invest with my kids now, and the lessons and skills I can teach them now will hopefully benefit me in the long run. The plinking lesson with my kids will foster memories and hopefully develop them into ethical little hunters, and more importantly, hunting partners of mine when I am old(er) and grey(er). A small investment of time now may just be cure for the quarantine blues and fortify happiness in the long run.