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4 Types of Wealth

At my first job, a software engineer with Northrop Grumman, an older engineer said that life was about juggling a series of five or six balls. I don’t recall the exact names but it was things like your career, your health, etc. All of those balls are made of rubber, save one. The last one was made of glass and it represented your relationships.

You can drop the ball on your career and still recover. You can drop the ball on your health and still recover. Dropping the ball on your relationships, especially those closest to you, is much much harder. Sometimes impossible. That mental model has stayed with me for decades.

It’s very similar to what I’m sharing today, which are the types of wealth.

The first piece is an idea from James Clear in one of his 3-2-1 emails

“There are at least 4 types of wealth:

Financial wealth (money)
Social wealth (status)
Time wealth (freedom)
Physical wealth (health)
Be wary of jobs that lure you in with 1 and 2, but rob you of 3 and 4.”

And expanded on by Fritz:

The Five Types of Wealth [The Retirement Manifesto] – “When you think of “Wealth,” what comes to mind?

If you’re like most people, your first thought is of financial wealth. Money, houses, possessions, “stuff.”

If that was your first thought, today’s post is for you.

Yes, Financial Wealth is one of the five types of wealth. And yet, in our quest to live our best possible lives, is it the most important type of wealth? What are the other types of wealth, and what can we do to become truly “wealthy” in the broader sense of the word?

Today, I’m challenging you to become rich, in ways you’ve probably never imagined.”

While his fifth wealth, Eternal Wealth, focuses on religion, yours could be different. Either way, it’s definitely something to focus on, whatever form it takes.

At the risk of ending the week on too philosophical or heavy a note, I want to share this gem:

A Brief History of Time Travel [Sean McGowan on McSweeneys] – “The first successful instance of time travel occurred in 2306, when a group of Syracuse University researchers transported Tootsie, a chimpanzee, to the front lines of the War of 1812. The scientists were awarded a Nobel Prize, but despite deftly outmaneuvering the British Royal Navy in the Battle of New Orleans, Tootsie won no military decorations.”