Financial planners recommend setting aside savings of three to six months of expenses in case of unexpected emergencies such as job loss or a sudden disaster, but how about setting up two years worth of expenses for an opportunity fund?
In Richard Carlson’s book Don’t Worry, Make Money he tells a story of a man who was offered a job at a promising start-up company. The position offered a small initial salary but plenty of stock and stock options in the company.
Because he had a large financial reserve he accepted the job without worry. If the venture worked out, great. If not, he figured it would at least give him valuable experience. It turned out to be successful and he amassed a large fortune within a few years.
This man however was not the company’s first choice. The talented person to be first offered the job unfortunately had to turn it down.
He was currently earning an excellent salary, but he was living paycheque to paycheque.
He had a large mortgage and both he and his wife drove expensive cars. They enjoyed spending money at fine restaurants and taking luxury vacations. They spent most of what they made. Although the job offer was an opportunity of a lifetime, he had to decline as he thought it was too risky.
Build an Opportunity Fund
If you are completely dependent on a secure, regular salary and have no financial safety cushion, you are probably going to dismiss a lot of opportunities that may come your way.
If your livelihood isn’t dependent on your day to day efforts though, it is amazing how creative you can be and how willing you will be to experiment with new and unexpected opportunities to broaden your life.
It’s not easy and may take a few years to accomplish but it’s worth the trade off – buy a less expensive house and car, take fewer or less costly vacations, reduce luxuries – for that two years worth of income in the bank.
What do you think of this idea? Do you think it’s possible to save two years worth of income? Would having that money allow you to make some changes to your career and lifestyle? Would you pursue your dreams? Could you go back to school, look into starting a franchise or opening up a small business, or maybe take a year off to travel the world?
I think it would be a challenge but imagine the enormous peace of mind and sense of security you would have. With an opportunity fund you’d be able to do just about anything you wanted to do.