Where do Good Investors come from?

A natural instinct or is it a learned behavior?

The other day my wife and I went to a department store to pick up our new clothing for our daughter’s wedding. We had found it a few weeks earlier and after alterations, both outfits were ready for pick up.

While we were in the store that was beautifully attired with marble-looking floors, nice, bright lights, friendly service personnel, and a calm, inviting attractive environment, we decided to stroll around a little with our garment bags hanging over the shoulders.

The first thing we realized was the fact that the inventory of clothing on display was totally different than two weeks ago when we first came and found our clothes.

Wow, it looks like they have changed all the inventory since last time we were here

my wife said. I had to agree. It was expected that it was all new but not all different.

We wondered if they had gotten the new clothes because they had sold all the ones we had seen last time or if they had gotten a new set because seasons had changed. We quickly determined that the clothes were pretty much the same style, so not a seasonal change.

Could it really be that they sold all the stuff we saw last time?

We decided to take a closer look by strolling from rack to rack looking at dresses and skirts and blouses, and pants for my wife.

A few items were particularly pretty and my wife took them off the rack and held them in front of herself standing by a mirror.

I liked almost all of them for the way they looked, the color patterns, the designs, etc. It felt like they were special and unique.

Several times my wife had reactions to the selections. It’s hard for me to put in words but let me try:

  • Imagine a person blowing up a balloon with cheek filled with air and eyes wide open — that was one of the reactions.
  • Visualize a person who has just seen a naked person crossing the street in the middle of traffic and violently shaking her head. Can you see it? That was another reaction.
  • Remember a time when you bit into something you expected to be sweet and juicy and instead it was excruciatingly sour. Remember that face? That was another reaction
Photo by Raamin ka on Unsplash

There were a few more that I can’t really describe well.

I did not say anything about the first one and the second one and even the third one but as they were coming without fail each time a new nice dress or pair of pants was chosen, I finally asked:

What the heck is with these faces? I can imagine those selections looking really good on you.

My wife pulled me closer and showed me the price tag for a pair of jeans — really nice ones. It read $598.00

I stopped, took a deep breath myself, and said:

Now I get it. Wow, that’s amazing.

And she said:

I could never spend that much money for a pair of pants. I would feel guilty all the time thinking what I could have done with all this money. And I would be afraid that I damage and ruin them, so I would probably never wear them. All this stuff here is hundreds and thousands of Dollars.

Out of curiosity, we asked one of the friendly service people if one of the dresses we particularly liked would be available in the right size. She looked it up on the computer and told us that they had one of these dresses in one other store in the correct size. When I asked her if that article was such a strong seller she said:

No, we only have very few of each size of these designer clothes because people don’t want to run into people with the same dress or skirt or pants.

My wife and I discussed for a little while on the way leaving the store if it could be possible that all that inventory we had seen a few weeks ago could have been sold. My wife was pretty sure it was.

I had to think about it some more and then decided to do some research.

Why would my wife and I have such a hard time spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a dress?

It also made me wonder if there could be a similar reason why I never in all my life bought a brand new car and always felt a certain level of unease when I suspected that something was expensive?

Investopedia and other sources unearthed an interesting connection between upbringing and spending habits. Here is what their research discovered:


  • It may be useful to understand the various money personalities when finding the right approach to investing, spending, saving, and the overall management of your finances.
  • Five common money personalities are investors, savers, big spenders, debtors, and shoppers.
  • Debtors and shoppers may tend to spend more money than is advisable.
  • Investors and savers may overlap in personality traits when it comes to managing household money.
  • Big spenders and shoppers often have similar habits, but big spenders tend not to worry about debt, and shoppers may spend more time hunting for bargains.

I discovered that I used to be mostly a saver personality.

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

My parents had taught me and shown in their behaviors that saving money to be able to buy something was a good and safe way to live life.

They made me use a savings account and put any money I made from jobs or birthdays, communion, etc. to accumulate the necessary amounts to purchase what I wanted. That’s how I paid for my driver’s license, a first moped, and ultimately my first car — a used 1969 beetle (in orange color).

My wife was brought up the same way.

In the second half of my life, I learned that there is saving for consumables and investing for returns.

That’s why I became a real estate investor. I want to make sure that my investment has a great return and generates passive income.

After purchasing 10 properties I was encouraged to share what I learned and am now mentoring people who like to follow down the same path I am taking.

Back to the department store. I think my wife is right when she said that people probably bought the majority of the expensive clothing we had seen during our first visit.

I get a huge amount of satisfaction, joy, and pride out of each purchase of another investment property and that’s renewed when I collect my monthly rent and add it to my accumulation account in preparation for the next investment.

I am sure big spenders, shoppers, and debtors get a big rush each time they buy something.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

There is no right or wrong about these personalities and habits as long as you are aware of what you are and what you are doing.

The only thing I would suggest is this:

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish in life and what your goals are. If your spending personality aligns with those goals you are doing fine. If you find that it will be hard or impossible to accomplish your goals because your spending personality does not match, maybe I can help you and mentor you so you can adopt a new way of using, spending, and saving money.

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