While I may have shared this before, it’s never a bad time to revisit and reflect.
It’s the story of the Mexican Fisherman…
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while.
The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
I’ve read the above story dozens of times over the years yet it never fails to make me stop and think.
And rather than state the obvious - and not-so-obvious - takeaways and how it might apply to your financial planning and your life, I’ll instead offer these:
10 Meaningful Lessons from The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
All good points, but numbers 4 and 9 really stand out for me
What we get wrong about the Mexican Fisherman Parable
In this counterpoint from entrepreneur Nathan Barry, he argues that it’s the journey that matters
How about you?
What do you think and how do you feel about the Mexican Fisherman Story?
Hit reply and let me know…
Links & things
The Retirement Puzzle
How do we piece together all the parts of retirement? Especially considering that some retirement-related decisions can’t easily be undone, and many of these choices are things we’ve never faced before? Jonathan Clements tackles this in his recent Humble Dollar article:
Planning in a Volatile Market
Rubin Miller uses data to address the volatility of investment markets and its persistence over time. And I encourage you to read his recent article to get to his closing thoughts: “You might be disappointed, but don’t be surprised.”
Kelsea Ballerini - What I Have
Thanks to my buddy Perry for pointing me to this wonderful song that I think pairs nicely with the fishing story above and a lot of the other themes I write about. Enjoy!
I’m grateful to have you as a reader.
If you have any questions or an idea for a future newsletter, blog post, or YouTube video, I'd love your input.
Just hit reply - I read (and truly appreciate) every email you send.
Until next Wednesday,
Great story. Larry and I can totally relate. We simplified early and have enjoyed riches that money can’t buy. DM