THE FISHERMAN AND THE INVESTMENT
An investment banker was vacationing
in a quaint coastal town when he decided to take a walk down by
the pier. As he was walking along, a small boat with just one
fisherman docked. Though a tiny craft, he could see several
large yellow fin tuna inside the boat. Impressed, the banker
approached and complimented the fisherman on the quality of his
catch, asking how long it took to get them.
“Only a little while,” the fisherman replied cheerfully.
“Then why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” the banker
asked in surprise. The fisherman smiled and said he had caught
enough to support his family’s immediate needs, so he was able
to head back home.
“But what do you do with the rest of your time?” the banker
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and spend
time with my wife. Each evening I stroll into town, where I sip
wine and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy
life,” the fisherman explained.
The banker scoffed and shook his head. “I have a master’s degree
in business and I could help you make a lot more money,” he
said. “You should spend more time fishing, and with the
proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger
boat you could buy several boats and eventually you’ll have an
entire fishing fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a
middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually
opening your own cannery. You would control the product,
processing, and distribution.
You’d get to leave this small coastal fishing town and move to
bigger cities, where you could run your expanding enterprise.”
The fisherman thought for a moment, then asked, “How long will
this all take?”
“About 15 to 20 years,” the banker replied.
“And then what?” The banker laughed and grinned.
“That’s the best part! When the time is right you would go
public and sell your company stock, becoming very rich. You
would make millions!”
“Millions,” mused the fisherman. “And then what?”
“Then you would retire,” the banker concluded, “move to a small
coastal fishing town where you would sleep late, fish a little,
play with your children, spend time with your wife, and stroll
into town each evening and sip wine while you play guitar with