30 Non-money Investment Activities

Random Observation/Comment #748: Investments in time and relationships are more valuable than money.

Why this List?

Everyone’s looking for some type of financial freedom where the money they’ve saved can be investments that give them passive streams of income. For my personal philosophy, I invest in what I know (which often rules out real estate), and I prioritize time optimization (addictions to checking market prices are real and not healthy).

For those reading, consider some of these activities for long term setup and maintenance. The simplified “algebra of happiness” is creating long term investments with time (enjoying relationships), knowledge (building smart systems), and money (with minimal Intraday trading).

  1. Review your family treasury and reliable revenue sources – How much money do you make from paychecks or side hustles? Make a spreadsheet.
  2. Review your recurring costs and spending habits – Monitor your credit cards and common accounts. I wrote a list of 30 recurring bills: https://seelemons.com/2020/01/04/30-recurring-bills/
  3. Calculate your cash reserves – I estimate around 3-6 months of total expenses and then start investing the rest across your investment strategy. I usually rotate each paycheck into specific stocks or interesting crypto projects.
  4. Be purposeful in mapping your investment strategy – My investment strategy has changed slightly from a year ago, but I’ve outlined it here: https://seelemons.com/2021/01/12/strategic-investing-and-portfolio-management/
  5. For health purposes, avoid checking prices Intraday – It’s so easy to get obsessed with the market and make it into a gambling addiction.
  6. Make sure you’ve mapped out your estate planning – So many people put this off, but I think the best investment in building wealth is making sure you plan for the unexpected.
  7. Contribute towards your digital legacy – This is a broad set of things we pass on, which can include your influence, reputation, and sentiment: https://seelemons.com/2021/01/27/wills-trusts-and-digital-legacy/
  8. Be clear on delegation and what your time is worth – Since time is limited, I have always put a $$$ value on my hourly rate as well as how much I could really muck it up without the right tools and experience. I’ve often “thrown money at” things involving the house.
  9. Study tax codes and tax loopholes – I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay our fair share of taxes, but simple concepts like short vs long term capital gains and limits on losses will change the way you trade.
  10. Study macro economics and foreign relations – I’ve taken the broader global impacts much more seriously. Everything is connected and sentiment is important.
  11. Map out your professional network – This is actually a very useful thought process. Consider the 30 important contacts: https://seelemons.com/2020/11/09/30-important-contacts/
  12. Write to your contacts thoughtful updates and praise their life events – I have a system of contacting 2-3 different friends once a day. It means I rotate through my web of peeps every 2 weeks or so.
  13. Join communities providing insight on long term growth sectors – Analysts providing high level trading movement is freely available on YouTube and discord communities. If you’re going to take investment seriously, consider learning these technical trading terms: https://seelemons.com/2021/02/22/30-technical-trading-terms/
  14. Practice speed reading and speed listening – I try to summarize articles quickly and listen to news-based podcasts at 1.5x speed. It’s not about the words, but the sentiment. Absorb facts and update your opinions.
  15. Upgrade your Work From Home (WFH) setup – Investing in your posture and tools are super valuable. I wrote about my remote working tips pre-pandemic: https://seelemons.com/2019/04/01/30-remote-working-tips/
  16. Anonymously Experiment with new projects in the crypto Web3/Metaverse space – Specifically doing this anonymously because you don’t want to dox your emails or wallet addresses. I’ve made a surprising amount of money just from airdrops and playing on platforms. There’s also a lot of alpha leaks from lurking on discords.
  17. Eat less processed food and learn to cook healthier – Cooking is always a good skill to have and gives me those parental feelings of usefulness. Investing in this core skill just gives me warm fuzzy feelings.
  18. Workout 3 times a week – Get a sweat going and do some push-ups. I personally love elevenVR table tennis as it cuts down on my commute time.
  19. Prioritize sleep – Your body needs to recover in order to have energy for all activities. I follow an optimized morning routine and sleep habits: https://seelemons.com/2021/05/11/30-ways-to-improve-your-morning/
  20. Build a reputation on a platform or in a number of group chats – Followers and influencing is a social currency that’s undervalued and already a big part of the connected world. Even if you’re not trying to get to 10,000 followers and become an affiliate with a side business, I think having a few chatrooms for specific purposes of sharing and learning is super valuable.
  21. Be an expert in a niche and build a brand around it – Not my favorite brand, but after moving to Colorado, the neighborhood families tend to ask me about investments and crypto.
  22. Make friends and ask questions – Befriend an expert that improves your collective knowledge and challenges ideas. I definitely need more people that are handy with home improvement.
  23. Practice meditation and appreciation – I sometimes just stare at a wall and daydream, which seems unproductive, but totally let’s me explore my creativity. Mental health is a solid investment.
  24. Brainstorm ways to do less and work smarter – This always comes up in my “stare at the wall” moments. If I get frustrated with doing certain tasks or feel like I’m disconnected in doing them, then I’ll find ways to make sure it gets done faster.
  25. Spend a few hours a month to just book things in the calendar – This could be planning a date night, neighborhood dinner, show, or trip. Even better, set up a recurring time (Sunday morning) with your significant other on planning the week and month. Getting something on the calendar is the best way to ensure you’re still doing fun stuff every once in a while. I like the idea of doing one “cool thing” or “triumph moment” every month.
  26. Enjoy the little things – Do a family group hug, play with the cats, do a puzzle, treat yourself to an Italian cookie, or just watch the snow fall. It’s the little things.
  27. Limit time sinks – Social network and games are big ones that are great for an hour, but have diminishing returns after 2 hours. I am guilty in watching everything on YouTube and listening to all the podcasts.
  28. Write your personal mission, vision, and OKRs – Maybe it’s the start-of-year self-reflections talking, but we don’t spend enough time holding ourselves accountable working towards goals. If you want to start a company then take the steps towards doing it. Breaking down goals to reasonable chunks is good project management. Adulting requires this discipline and self-guided responsibility.
  29. Invest in relationships and family – Truly keep connected with friends through photos and life updates. Celebrate successes together.
  30. Write lists of 30 – Try it yourself! Not as easy as it looks. It’s the thought process that counts. Principles for writing lists of 30: https://seelemons.com/2019/10/14/30-principles-for-writing-lists-of-30/

~See Lemons Invest in Lemons