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Education Is Better Than A Condo In Aspen?

Written 9/19/2003

(Thoughts from a conversation I overheard)

Note: I have used E and L to represent the two people having this conversation that I overheard. They may not want to be named.

E was talking with L about how she felt like she didn’t know how to make her money work for her in the stock market. All E did know for sure was “how to work more hours”.

This led into a discussion between L and this friend about missed opportunity in the real estate and stock market.

(E) talked about how her mom passed up on the chance to buy a condo in Aspen for $16,000.

E’s mom didn’t do it because she wanted to give her kids what they wanted in terms of a good education.

L said “Well, you’ve gotten good education because of it and you’ve done well.”

It struck me as odd that this conversation happened in the course of 2 minutes.

I didn’t say anything to E and L, because they were not in a place to hear what I would have to say about the topic.

However, it seems to me that if the education had been worth the thousands of dollars which was undoubtedly paid for it, then the education would have taught her how to make her money work more, so that she could work less.

It would also have taught her how capitalize on opportunities in the stock market or especially in real estate.

Her education should have taught her how to work herself out of having to “work more hours” in a job by positioning herself in front of opportunities. She may love her job and love what she does, but if she has to work more hours in order to feel financially secure, then she will, on some level, resent the work during those extra hours.

Instead of giving her an education about opportunity and taking advantage of it, her expensive education taught her to be very good at working in a system which trades time for dollars and freedom for security.

This traditional financial advice and mentality (the cost of education had to be the trade-off over buying a condo in Aspen) keeps people working ridiculously long hours at jobs they sort of like, to live a life they consider “good enough”.

If you want to change the things you work on, then change the things you work on.

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