Do you want to live to invest or invest to live.
He meant it as a question and I think it is a great question for people to ask themselves about their investing and also how they choose to live their lives.
On an investing level, just how involved should anyone be? This is of course very subjective. Obviously I've put in many years as an investment advisor actively managing portfolios for people (our firm's clients). There is clearly a large demand for investment help by the very existence of the industry. Of course there are many who choose to do it themselves.
I've been very consistent in saying that many people, provided they have the interest and are willing and able to commit the time can do it themselves. Obviously a lot of people prefer not to do it themselves and realistically there is some portion (probably small) that should never manage their own investments--sorry but it is true.
Often people who hire a firm like ours also manage some on their own. One thread I've picked up on over the years is that some people will hire a manager in anticipation of the possibility of no longer being able to do it for themselves; the 85 year old you may not have the interest or ability that the 60 year old you has.
On a different level is the idea of how to remain active and engaged as we get older. We've all read something in our lives about the importance of keeping the mind sharp as we get older to stave off all sorts of things. In this context I've referred to my father who is 87 and still works.
To clarify, he lives in southern Spain and runs a non-profit golf school for sight impaired people and people with other physical impairments. He is constantly scrambling for contributions, donations of course time, golf pros to donate their time, he puts on a couple of tournaments per year and he is out on the course almost every day for each of the lessons given (ranges from 3-9 holes per lesson depending on the student).
He doesn't make any money from this but it is work. It is hard to imagine someone being more engaged in something at 87 than that.
His work, like investing requires several different kinds of problem solving all of which can go a long way to keeping your mind sharp and hopefully promoting successful and healthy aging.
To the original reader question, investing may not be your lifetime passion like some other things you have in your life but for some people reading this, they love markets and investing such that they do indeed live to invest. There is no wrong answer as to what someone will enjoy doing. Of course if you choose to invest on your own you take the risk of poor execution while you are enjoying yourself. But then of course an investment advisor may also execute poorly.
The picture is my dad and yours truly this past September in New York City. We are at my father's best friend's apartment. They are both 87 and have been friends since they were 14. Think about that one for a minute.