The Tortoise and the Hare-The Modern Version

Published: 07th February 2007
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No doubt you are familiar with Aesop's fable The Tortoise and
the Hare. In case you aren't, let me sum it up for you: The Hare
challenges the Tortoise to a race, which the Tortoise accepts.
The race begins and the Hare lazes around (because he knows
he can outrun the Tortoise any day) while the Tortoise begins
his slow progress to the finish line. When the Tortoise is close to
winning the race, the Hare begins running for dear life, vainly
hoping to beat the Tortoise. The Tortoise's victory is often
described as "Slow and steady wins the race."

For years this is how the financial advisement industry has
characterized retirement preparation: Start early, invest often,
invest for the long term, dollar-cost average, etc. No doubt
you're familiar with these terms and others connected with what
I call "The Tortoise Approach." The Tortoises are those who've
been following the counsel of the self-appointed financial
experts. They have been meticulously and methodically planning
and investing so that they will be ready to cross the finish line.
However, the Hares may have neglected to adequately prepare;
they may be at a point where the financial "experts" have told
them that they may just be out of luck unless they come up with
thousands of dollars to invest quickly and regularly. Essentially,
they're told that they need to run with all their might to catch
up.

Well, I've got news for you. The American Dream has rewritten
Aesop's fable and in the modern version, both the Tortoise and
the Hare can win. Both can achieve financial freedom using
different approaches, and achieving them at different times.

Most of you are probably very familiar with The Tortoise
Approach. This truly is the "slow and steady" approach to
wealth. It involves years of planning and investing in 401(k)'s,
IRAs, 403(b)'s, SEPs, etc. And in the end, if you're "lucky" and
the stock market keeps heading in the "right" direction, you
could actually retire with more than a million dollars invested
and ready for your use. Low risk? Those who do it seem to think
so; after all, that's what the financial "experts" tell them:
"Diversify, diversify, diversify-and you'll be okay." They spread
their investments across low-, medium-, and high-risk
opportunities. They do it regularly and automatically. They are
told to "sacrifice now" and "reap the benefits later." For many
people, this is the best approach.

However, the ultra-wealthy would say that The Tortoise
Approach is the riskiest form of investment there is. That no
matter how "diversified" you think you are in your investment
vehicle of choice, your eggs are essentially all in one basket-the
Stock Market, prone to all its foibles, follies, frustrations, and
failures. This is why the ultra-wealthy use "The Hare Approach."
In the modern version of our fable, the Hare doesn't dawdle
around; he just finds a better way to build a bigger mousetrap.
He may even be able to beat the Tortoise to the finish line, even
when there is little time left.

The ultra-wealthy know that there are essentially four fast
tracks to wealth: real estate, building businesses,
internet/information services, and stocks. They learn the skills,
knowledge, and tactics that lower their risk. Understanding how
to function in these areas brings them greater rewards and
ever-increasing wealth. (When was the last time your IRA
offered you a 30% or higher rate of return?)

Too risky, you say? Well, that all depends on your point of view.
Your tolerance for risk is directly proportional to your fear. Fear
has its roots in ignorance. Knowledge expels that fear. To the
ultra-wealthy the Hare Approach is less risky because
knowledge backs their investment decisions, unlike most
Tortoises who really don't understand or comprehend what
they're investing in; they just keep plodding away. The Hares
prefer to take the bull by the horns, rather than by the tail!

What is it that draws people to The Hare Approach? They don't
want to "sacrifice now" and "reap the benefits later." They want
to learn how to "get it now and still have it later." They choose
freedom over security. They become the masters of residual
income, money that works for them so they don't have to.

How can you do it? Get educated! There's no one right way for
everybody. Your path to wealth is as individual as you are.
There is an abundance of information at your fingertips:
websites, books, financial magazines, e-zines, financial
newsletters, motivational speeches on cassette or CD. Learn
about the four fast tracks of wealth and decide which interests
you most. Prepare, Pursue, and Prosper! If you're like most
wealthy people, you'll probably make your money in at least two
or more of these areas.

Both the Tortoise and the Hare can win. There is plenty to go
around. It's just a matter of when you want your results! How is
this possible? It's the American Dream, my friend, and the Land
of Opportunity is ripe for harvesting.


Chemain Evans is a quality control specialist for Simple Joe, Inc. Income & Expenses PC software is a Simple Joe product that is a quick and simple way to keep track of your expenses and stay within your budget. Learn more at http://www.simplejoe.com

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