The Forgotten Asset Pt. 1
- August 24, 2016
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I may be quite alone in the following sentiment, but the meaning of a word is an interesting thing. What is an asset? In the practice of prosperity law, our discussions are often about assets: how many, the values, what types, and what to do with them. There is one asset that most people that I help with planning often omit from the list; but first, a quick discussion about the meaning of the word “asset.”
Subjectivity prevails when it comes to the meaning of words. Miriam Webster Online defines asset as, “an item of value owned.” Investopedia.com goes a bit further, “a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or county, owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.” I like the Investopedia definition better, but the truth is that the meaning of words will evolve. That is why the context in which a word is used also matters as part of the definition. At one time, a box of candles was a valuable asset, and then the light-bulb was invented.
If I were to define “asset” in prosperity terms, assets are resources that generate consistent income. That definition will not fit every circumstance, but I believe it is the meaning and paradigm that most need to adopt to prosper in our time.
If true assets generate consistent income, what is the resource with the most growth potential, and which consistently generates the most income on an annual basis? It is the person looking back at us in the mirror. That is the asset that most people forget and neglect.
Regardless of age or circumstance, I hope that new meaning causes a paradigm shift. If you are an income earner for your family, wisely protecting and growing the income stream should be a critical objective. Those activities are much more important than the indulgences that ask for our attention and hard-earned resources. If you are a business owner, wisely protecting and developing the income-creators in your business should be a critical objective. Life Insurance, disability insurance, property and casualty insurance, personal savings, retirement plans, real estate holdings, and personal property assets should all look a little different in terms of priority with a prosperity asset mindset.
In Part 2, I will talk about legal strategies about how and when to devote resources that serve the prosperity assets. Thanks for reading!