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A grizzly bear has a long, furry list of accomplishments that easily fit into financial advice.
Grizzlies are professional diversifiers. Their survival depends on their most valuable asset – winter fat storage. Huckleberries and seeds to grubs and groundhogs, these predators know how to maximize diversification to increase their success.
Like many in the financial independence retire early (FIRE) community, this mammal knows all about leveraging the power of a break. Instead of wasting precious energy in winter when there is little food, they sleep, conserve, and wait until the balmy days of spring.
A grizzly never shows up without the tools necessary to accomplish a job. From the needle-sharp claws to massive muscle for moving 200-pound boulders like a mountain of Legos – grizzles know the right tools for the right results.
Digging up Diversity
Grizzly bears have a short window to pack on pounds.
Bears’ annual denning behavior probably evolved in response to seasonal food shortages and cold weather.Yellowstone National Park
From spring until fall, these voracious eaters will dine on everything edible. The season suggests the diet, but these apex omnivores consume plants, insects, mammals, fish, and fungi. A wide variety ensures that there is always something tasty not too far away.
Just like diversifying personal finances, my investing plan takes a bite from the food buffet.
It is much harder to survive on only plants or meat, similar to thriving on one source of income. If I have more income sources, like passive income, the better the success (see raccoons, coyotes, and other trashcan cats).
Investing in index funds is another way to build success into a portfolio. Like the grizzly, I want variety but with as little energy (fees) as possible. I use the Total Stock Market ETFs to capture as many gains as possible with little expense.
Just like g. bears packing on hundreds of pounds, success is a long-term goal. Its frequent bites (adding money) throughout the year, with the insulation of compound interest, that will create a healthy layer of brown fat.
Just like bears and their good fat, I’m accumulating wealth while avoiding the pitfalls of heart attacks (inflation 😆).
Choose the Snooze
Outside of eating, grizzlies are champion sleepers.
They generally do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate during hibernation. They live off of a layer of fat built up before hibernation.Yellowstone National Park
While the plant and meat-eaters are out struggling through waist-deep snow, windy frostbite, and waddling like a penguin in the parking lot, bears are taking a long nap and avoiding it all.
Another bite of grizzly investment advice – sleep on it. For big purchases, my beary best solution is to sleep on it because everything is better after a snooze and a snack.
This is important investing advice too. Passive investments, like index funds, have magical growth, like when a bear wakes up from the long snooze to a magical land of food, fun, and more food.
The Best Tools
Giant claws, bulky shoulders, and a super sniffer.
The grizzly is one giant scary digging machine like nature’s backhoe but way cuter than anything made by humans.
Long claws, shoulder hump, and big nose are specific tools for prairie life. Like a giant, angry badger, grizzly’s tools evolved to dig their way to food freedom. Grubs, roots, and meaty treats are located underground, and these bears know how to upend a 200-pound boulder to get it.
Just like finances, having the best tools for any financial endeavor is key to a furry and fabulous lifestyle. From investment sites to credit cards, having the right tool for the job is the difference between a year of fat profits and a lean year of doubt.
Luckily, I avoided awkward conversations about payments, fees, or fiduciary responsibility when requesting financial advice from a grizzly bear. Not that I asked in so many words, but more like I watched, read, and created a park ranger program about grizzlies.
As a species, they have been cruising prairies, meandering meadows, and making life in the wild seem more furry and fantastic. It’s easy to see why their cuddles and claws have captured my attention and turned a typical post about personal finance into something a bit more wild.