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A friend of mine is really into investing. He’s always checking his portfolio and calculating his net worth.

What’s this have to do with outsourcing?

Well, it was actually something he told me:

“Investing lets me delegate all the hard work to millions of employees scattered across the world… and I don’t even need to hire a VA to manage them!”

Investing as Outsourcing?

I’d never really thought of investing in that light before, but it’s true. I invest in my own businesses, but I also invest in much larger companies through mutual funds, stocks, and lately a service called Betterment.

With each dollar I invest, I’m essentially “hiring” thousands of workers — and getting to share in the fruits of their labor.

Someone else is doing all the screening, interviewing, managing, strategizing, and executing, and yet these “outsourced” workers still historically return 7-10% to silent investors like me.

Put that way, it’s a pretty cool way to delegate.

Now of course those rewards usually aren’t as lucrative as investing in your own business (it may not be as risky either), but I wanted to share the concept of investing as outsourcing because I thought it was an interesting illustration of how delegation is all around us.

In practice, Betterment adds another automated layer of outsourcing in addition to the funds and companies it invests in on your behalf. It automatically allocates, rebalances, and tax-loss harvests your funds based on the goals you set, and charges a fraction of what a traditional financial advisor does. (For arguably better performance.)

I’ve been on the platform around 24 months and think it’s pretty slick so far.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried it (or another robo-advisor service)? Do you think of buying stock in a company as hiring a virtual assistant? I never did before, but I do now!

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