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  • Writer's picturePeter

The Fisherman and the Banker

Updated: Jun 4

Paradise Palms
Paradise Palms Golf Course, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

This is a photo of my backyard where I now live in Cairns. Yes it's on a golf course, but I don't play golf....yet! However I would like to share with you a story about my inspiration to slow down, reassess, and get real about how to live life.

An investment banker was at holidaying up here in Port Douglas and ventured down to the pier when a small boat with a fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large coral trout and crayfish.  The banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and crayfish and asked how long it took to catch them.

“Only a little while" said the fisherman. The banker asked him “Why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more?”

The fisherman replied saying that he had enough to support himself and his family’s immediate needs.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?” quizzed the banker.

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a rest with my wife, stroll into the town, play a little golf, go do 4WD in the Daintree, play guitar, stroll around the markets here on Sunday’s and have a drink/BBQ some evenings with my mates and their families. I have a full and busy life.” said the fisherman.

Seeing an opportunity to help the banker said “I hold an Institute of Management MBA and could help you".

"You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat". The banker said.

"With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several more boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Then instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own crayfish and seafood cannery".

The banker went on. "You would control the product, processing, and distribution. However you would need to leave here and move to the city then probably multiple cities around the globe from where you will run your expanding enterprise for both tax and cots reasons.”

The fisherman asked, “How long will this all take?”

To which the now enthusiastic banker replied, “About 15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.

The banker laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and list your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The banker said, “Then you would retire!". "Move to a place like here at Port Douglas where you can sleep late, fish a little, play a little golf and your kids, rest in the afternoons with your wife, stroll into town in the evenings, or walk the local markets, play with your guitar, go 4WD, have time for a drink/BBQ during the evenings with your mates and their families.

And the fisher man smiled back at the banker and wished the him a good day and all the best on his holiday here in paradise!

Here are some tips I apply in my life!

  1. As much as I can I do the activities that give me the most direct benefit back for my time investment. For example, physical exercise, spending quality time with friends and loved ones, self refection, helping others etc.

  2. I’ve automated most of my repetitive tasks i.e. bill payments, savings, cash accounts, investment management etc.

  3. I regularly purge or declutter my life. Be it my wardrobe, storage, electronics, email subscriptions, etc. Doing so I experience freedom whilst appreciating even more of what I’ve chosen to keep.

  4. I rest. There are times for work and times for resting. I rest well so I can maximise my performance when I work.

  5. I focus on being better not bigger and sharing this value. Doing so ensures I consistently focus on delivering more value than I receive.

  6. I live within my means. This involves living on a maximum of 50% of my income (after tax) and investing the rest, across the community, entrepreneurship and institutional investments.

  7. I research how to do things better. Laws and the market place are constantly changing, therefore keeping abreast of best strategies and proactively taking advantage of these changes is both a prudent and rewarding investment of time.

  8. I am an optimistic realist. Doing so allows me to seize the opportunities in situations, whilst assessing this opportunity in light of the foundations of wealth creation i.e. preservation of one’s capital.

  9. I enjoy what I do. This way when times get tough I have a higher probability to see them through. When others thank me I am motivated to help them even more.

  10. I know where I am going and my why i.e. my values. This motivates me to stick with the things I need to do in order to achieve my goals, even when I don’t feel like doing them.

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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