THE MONEY MINUTE: The new American Dream

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

The dream has shifted. It used to be a house, a picket fence, a new car, two healthy kids, job security, and maybe a family trip once or twice per year.

Today, younger people are not as interested in buying homes, and they’re starting families later than previous generations. Younger people seem to be more interested in experiences and are more averse to debt, probably due to the debt they already amassed by attending college. Can you blame them?

One thing hasn’t changed and probably never will. Whether it’s purchasing a house or a new sports car or traveling to explore new cultures, we are all looking for a certain something from the things we buy or in which we invest. I believe this certain something is a feeling.

Think of it this way: People don’t buy cars. They buy performance. They buy luxury. They buy a symbol of success or achievement. They buy the freedom to get out of the house and go somewhere, quickly. They buy convenience and safety. Similarly, people don’t buy vacations. They buy adventures. They buy discovery. They buy memories. They buy a stress-free environment. They buy excitement and joy. In reality, we buy the emotions we believe the car or the vacation will give us.

Before you spend a dollar, whether for an object or an experience, or before you invest one, I suggest you ask yourself: What am I really doing? What am I hoping to get out of it? Is it probable that the result of the purchase or investment will align with the way I want to feel?

When you invest, in what form do you hope to earn a return? Is the return in the form of more money, an object or experience that money can buy, or is it a feeling that you seek? At JMA, we believe in the value of experiences as well as the value of a dollar.

Here is what I promise: When you ask yourself the right questions about what to do with your money, you increase the probability that the results you seek align with the results you experience.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Manage­ment. He can be reached at 207-248-6767.

Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.


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