This post was prompted by a post by Ed Latimore entitled “30 for 30: Lessons from 30 years of life” , which got me thinking about how the actions and choices I made in my teens and twenties are affecting me in my thirties. Furthermore, if I could go back, what would be my primary focus for each decade, and what advice would I give to a son who just entered his teens.
Einstein is quoted as saying that the most powerful force in the Universe is compound interest. The concept can be explained in a fairly intuitive manner as earning interest on your interest year after year. What this means is that every year, the interest is added to your principal, and the amount of money you earn from interest will increase. In the short term the amount of money will seem to be minuscule, but compounding rewards those who are patient and who continue to contribute to their principal on a fixed basis.
Many retirement funds are focused on this perspective as they are accounts often started in a person’s thirties, with the goal of enjoying the results when that person retires 20 – 40 years later. Perhaps one of the things that has not been talked much about in terms of male sexual market value is how it is affected by compounding and investments that are made prior to the SMV peak. The classic SMV graph merely shows that a man’s value starts to increase in his early to mid thirties and the continues to increase as he nears his mid to late thirties. However, as I cover in the upcoming Gendernomics book (read a sample here), and have on this blog before as well, male SMV and female SMV are different. Female’s are born with their reproductive value “built in“, males build theirs with little of it being gifted by nature.
This means that a male who wants to realize his maximum possible sexual market value has to make contributions to it over many years prior to realizing it fully. Naturally, some men are able to realize an above average sexual market value prior to their mid-thirties. High School athletes, wealthy heirs and those who find celebrity young for instance, however, what is unique about them as examples is their attainment of the societal merit required for high SMV at an age that represents a statistical outlier. The high school quarterback attains high sexual market value early, due to demonstrating a combination of genetics, leadership ability and gaining a massive amount of social proof very early in life. In addition, his success at a competitive endeavor will translate into much increased confidence in other areas. The wealthy heir will be born into an advantageous social position, that permits him to gain experience at a faster level, for instance through travel, partaking in business deals well above his weight, and the social proof that goes with it. The celebrity, will gain the massive social proof that comes with fame, in addition to a demonstration of high ability compared to his peer group.
This essay is not written as a foolproof guide, but as a series of reflections on how one ideally should dedicate time across 3 decades of life, ages 10 – 20, 20 – 30 and 30 – 40. Continue reading