Or, even a lottery winner had to buy a ticket.
Not to conflate the above with investing, but the point is that what we often call luck or success is the result of hundreds or thousands of low-cost (or high) and invisible options working in concert.
Every time you move through this world, incurring costs in the form of time, effort, pain, you are building a portfolio of invisible options. Whether its learning a language, attending a course or university, traveling out of town, a conversation, going to a party (“networking event”), reading something, learning anything.
Options can develop on their own, with little effort, with the addition of time; i.e., the proverbial investor who buys a building in a dilapidated neighborhood and reaps the rewards decades later when it gentrifies.
These options are hidden and hard to quantify and so we often dismiss them, but I believe they’re a true source of wealth. Think about the saying ‘right place, at the right time’. Well, that person had to travel to or be at that place, with that particular mix of skills or mindset. Traveling somewhere is an option, the mix of skills and experience you carry with you are also a compounded, well-mixed option.
This is why the young are wealthy beyond imagination, although they don’t even know it – not only do they have more time, they also are able to accumulate options more quickly and cheaply than older people who have entrenched obligations, deteriorating energy levels, higher opportunity costs, etc.
A thought experiment: What low-cost options am I picking up every day? What can I do, to drench myself in optionality? 🙂