Blog Post
Are you an asset or liability?
Yomi Toba
January 16, 2020

2019 was a great year for the stock market with the S&P 500 surging 29% (its best return since 2013).

While some people argue that the majority of that wealth is sprinkled on the top percent of the population, and believe that the growth highlights underlining inequalities in capitalism, I say this:

Regardless of where you stand on the political isle, the resilience of this economy and the merits of the free market should be applauded.

Even if you don’t actively participate in the stock market it is important to realize that we all trade goods and services every day.

We live in a barter system.  If you’re a money manager and trade stocks for a living, bartering is your daily job, but for the rest of us, trade happens less obviously.

  • We trade our daily work hours for pay.
  • We trade the money we accumulate from working for products or services.
  • We even trade the promise of future payment (credit, loans, or personal guarantees) for products and services.

While these trades continue throughout our entire lives like a constant stream of activity, at some point before any exchange or trade has even begun, an agreement  or consensus about value must be made between the participants .

The value and price of all goods and services you provide are determined by the demand of others.

  • You have an hourly / monthly rate for your work decided by employers
  •  Products and services have a price assigned by the market of consumers willing to pay for them.
  • Loans, and credit are valued by the likelihood of repayment.

With this is mind, why do we encourage children not to care about other’s opinions?  We are taught at an early age to be independent minded and that our self worth should not be determined by what other people think of us.  However, if we’re honest with ourselves, it is other people who determine the value of every service or product we will ever provide.

Instead, I encourage everyone to become an asset and not a liability.  Care about other’s opinions in so much as you provide them with things of value, whether it be good relationships they will never trade, or good service they will always depend on.