Every penny we have ever received in our lives has taken exactly one of three paths.
Some pennies were exchanged in ways that did not increase our material possessions. Rent. Utilities. Food. Gifts and entertainment and trips. This money was distributed to the vast ocean of society.
Some pennies were exchanged in ways that did increase our material possessions. A house. Car. TV. Furniture and clothes and books. These might be redeemable for cash if needed in the future, and can be a way to increase net worth. In any case, this money expanded our possessions, our lifestyle, our footprint in this world.
Some pennies were not exchanged for services or goods. Bonds. Retirement plans. Stocks. Pockets and junk drawers and bank accounts. This money didn’t increase our material footprint, but did increase our net worth.
The Independent Penguin has a stable iceberg to live on because of the distribution of money and the decisions made in the past. Much more is submerged (in net worth) than is visible (in possessions). If the resource distribution of the iceberg was off, money could be redistributed along the three paths to restore the balance.
Let me check the distribution of my iceberg. What about yours? Does it need adjustment?
One thing is certain:
Every penny we will ever receive for the rest of our lives will follow exactly one of three paths.