Tuesday 2 August 2011

Money and the Queen Bee

How do you think about money? Take a few seconds to sum up your thoughts on money. Thought comes before action and the way we visualise money will surely have a fundamental impact on our approach to saving and investing.

I was struggling recently to describe my approach and what popped into my head was...bees!

What bees remind me of is ceaseless activity: locating likely sources of nectar, collecting it and bringing it back to the hive to produce honey - to grow more baby bees.

Do you see where I am going with this? Well, 'honey' does rhyme with 'money' doesn't it, so it is probably not an entirely original comparison. That would make 'nectar' equivalent to the daily interest or income. (Yes, we do have a Nectar card to collect points from some of our shopping.)

Well my basic idea is that my money should be working hard - like the bees - to produce more money: my savings and investments should be buzzing with activity!

But there are some further parallels. First, the location of the hive is important. Bee-keepers will move their hives to better locations - even renting out their hives to orchards, to pollinate the fruit trees. The queen bee will move to a new location if necessary. Similarly, you need to find the best location for your different 'hives' of money-producing savings.

Second, a hive has a hierarchy of functions, not just nectar collectors: some to protect the hive, some to look after the young bees, etc. In a similar way, your savings need to perform different tasks: emergency fund, security, supply of income, etc. In particular, the hive needs to be protected, particularly from wasps (= the Taxman, who has a particularly nasty sting).

Finally, the hive is constantly exploring its surroundings for better sources of nectar. Just like we need to regularly monitor our investing/saving environment.

So next time you are sitting outside, watching the bees at work, ask yourself whether you - as the figurative apiarist - are making sure that your money is still working as hard as it should be.

I am not a financial advisor and the information provided does not constitute financial advice. You should always do your own research on top of what you learn here to ensure that it's right for your specific circumstances.

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