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Do you have a vision of your future? Do you know where you want to be in five years or twenty-five years, or do you take one day or one year at a time?

In considering a path to financial freedom it is helpful to have a vision of reaching that destination. It is useful to believe that you can reach that destination. This can help to provide the motivation needed to make the commitment that is necessary to get there. Your vision could include the idea of the prize being sought. This could mean being able to live and pay your bills without going out to work. It could encompass owning a property you live in and other possessions to satisfy your desired lifestyle.

Your vision could be created incrementally, piece by piece. It could begin with the idea of an emergency cash fund to cover a job loss or similar crisis, that could sustain you for a few months. It could grow to the idea of paying down or even paying off your mortgage debt. It could involve creating an investment portfolio that could provide passive income equal to a slice of your employment income. This portfolio could grow to become something that replaces all of your employment income.

Negative thinking such as thinking that this is all a pipedream is not helpful. If you have read any newspaper reports of how people have achieved these things in the past, then this is helpful to your vision. Sometime such newspaper reports emerge after someone has died and they have left a large bequest and yet those who knew them did not imagine them to be wealthy.

I remember reading just such a report back when I was still at school. As a sixth form student I delivered the Sunday papers and I stopped to read some of them including this story. It said that someone who had been assumed by those who knew him to be poor, because of his frugal ways and his old clothes, had died and left over £1 million. This money was invested in shares and it was thought that he had been very careful to save money and to invest it in shares. This showed me what could be possible.

A similar case was reported in the USA in 2015, when Ronald Read who had worked as a gas station attendant and as a store janitor died aged 92 and left an estate of $8 million mostly to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Brooks Memorial Library. It was reported that he invested in dividend-producing stocks, avoided the stocks of companies he did not understand such as technology companies, and was a buy and hold investor in a diversified portfolio of 95 holdings in mostly blue-chip stocks.

Closer to home in the UK in 2014, Vincent Evans who had served in the Royal Navy died aged 90 and left nearly £2 million entirely to Sherborne Abbey. It was said that “He was sociable and had a lot of friends. He lived very simply in a modest bungalow and drove a fairly elderly car. The money was in investments.”

These reports show the possibility of building a significant investment portfolio over a lifetime of saving and investing. This can be a part of your vision.

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