I recently became eligible for the 401K plan at work, and as part of the enrollment process I got to sit down with a financial advisor and talk about my cash monies. Our plan allows you to either choose your own selection of investments or sign up for one of five “lifestyle funds” that allocates your money based on your tolerance for risk. They go something like Aggressive, Growth, Balanced, Moderate, Might as Well Keep Your Money Under Your Mattress. The advisor administered a quiz to determine my tolerance and I fell into the “Growth” category, mostly because I am young and can afford to lose some money at this point. According to the literature, I am “interested in making my money grow and know that investing over the long term can help me reach my goals.” (By the way, the description of an “aggressive” person is “I have an iron stomach and am willing to take significant risks for the chance to make money.” Ha!)
I think these categories can apply to all other aspects of life, too. Everyone knows that great risk can bring great reward, but I like thinking of my life as a fund I can sort of play with, and knowing that I am young enough to try some stupid things and fail spectacularly and come out alright. So the theme of my new radical life improvement plan will be to invest in the “growth fund” of life.