The Last Safe Investment is…

“If it wasn’t for my parents, I would have killed myself,” Michael Ellsberg was telling me.

I hadn’t seen him in four years. But then he sent a random text and by coincidence he was just a block away.

The sun was out. I had nothing to do but wander. I was looking for a new place to live so I either had no time or all the time in the world.

I walked over to where he was and we continued the conversation we started four years earlier.

“I got divorced from Jen, then I grieved, and when I got out of that, I partied, but too much.”

“The drugs from the partying put me into a bipolar depression I couldn’t get out of.”

We were sitting on the roof of the building he was staying in. Friends of his were letting him stay in one of their rooms.

I felt bad I hadn’t reached out to him a year earlier when it seemed he had disappeared.

“Only thinking of my parents got me to get out of bed and figure out how to live.”

“What’s that book?” I said about the book he was holding.

“It’s the latest book I wrote – The Last Safe Investment.

I was embarrassed to tell him I hadn’t read it.

“What’s the last safe investment?” I asked.

Michael pointed at me, “You.”

He pointed at himself, “Me.”


“We think of investments as stocks. Stocks are just speculations. Richness can be found in so many ways other than money:

1. Our relationships.

Having good friends not just for financial benefit but because they enrich our lives.

2. Health.

When I was sick with depression I couldn’t do anything. I had to invest in my health to live

3. Leadership.

If you learn public speaking, if you learn to be accountable, etc , you will always beat out the employees or entrepreneurs who aren’t.

4. Creativity.

Invest in One art that you want to get good at. The more creative employee or entrepreneur will succeed.

5. Persuasion.

Get good at find common ground with others when you are trying to persuade. Find a common goal”


Did this work for you? I asked.

He said: I’m sitting here talking to one of my favorite people in the world, in the penthouse of a good friend who is letting me stay for free. Looking out over this beautiful skyline. Holding the book I just wrote.

He said: you tell me.

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