If I Had…


I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to be caught daydreaming about having better financial resources. I think even people who are well off, wonder what they could do if they had just a little bit more. Isn’t that what drives some of the most successful investors?

If you spent the majority of the 90’s in Canada, you’re probably familiar with the song “If I Had $1,000,000” by The Barenaked Ladies. They lay claim to some pretty outrageous items they would purchase.  I don’t know if they would have had much money left by the end. Even by 1993 standards, that wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of money. If you take into account inflation, you’d be sitting on $1,618,122.98 by 2013.

I suppose that’s still a lot. How far would it get you in all your lofty dreams and desires, though? As impractical as the exercise of daydreaming about money is, I think it’s far more practical to assume that you would win the lottery, or close some big account, to amass these untold riches. So what would I do if I stumbled upon the Cave of Wonders?

Well first off, let’s scratch off all the bluster that most people claim they would do:

  • Invest
  • Donate
  • Pay off Bills
  • Help Family
  • Buy a House
  • Travel

I’m not saying I wouldn’t do these things. I just think they’re pretty obvious. It’s like when you make a list of “The 5 Things You Couldn’t Live Without”.

At very least you’d want to contribute to an RRSP, or even store a big chunk in a GIC, savings bonds, etc. I have an unreasonable amount of student debt, so of course I’m going to give the government a big FU and pay it off in one shot. Helping my folks shouldn’t even be a question. Pay off their house, and let them retire with a little extra. The donation thing is a little trickier. I don’t think I would find a charity. I’d much rather open up a scholarship program with a university, or something of that nature. Travel and purchasing a house…come on. Nothing original there. Though, the house would be interesting. I’d definitely buy a nice piece of land and have it built (but that’s another post).  These things are all givens.

No, this is all about the frivolous spending I would embark upon…

Invest in a microbrewery – I’d want to find one that’s already established, that I like. Pump enough money into them so they could stay sustainable, without worrying about being absorbed by a bigger conglomerate. All I’d ask for in return is to be a minor consultant. Get to test new beers, share a little bit of input, but mostly I’d be hands off. What I love most about microbreweries is their sense of experimentation. Sure, they have flagship product, but they’re always the ones responsible for pushing the envelope when it comes to unique beers. I’m no brewmaster, but it would be fun being at ground zero for some fun new brewing projects.

Pimp out a BBQ set-up – I would build the most obnoxious, enormous, over-the-top, BBQ/Smoke Pit ever. There really isn’t much more to say. I would devote entire smokers, grills, and dehydrators to specific meats. Each area would have all the necessary implements for their designated meat. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Also, a waffle station…right beside the chicken fryer. Mmmmm.

Seasons tickets – This would actually fit in with donating as well. I’d buy seasons tickets to all my favourite teams. Since I would not have any hope of attending all the games, I would donate the tickets I wouldn’t/couldn’t use to various children’s charities. I’d buy at least 4-6 seats too. Sporting events are always best in larger groups, especially when you’re a kid.

Buy a sports team – Come to think of it, I’d just buy my own team. Maybe not some big major league team, just a minor league one. I doubt even the lottery would give me the assets, but let me dream for a second here. This would make season tickets automatic, and I could cordon off an entire section for youth groups.

Studio Apartment – Sure, everyone goes on and on about their dream home. I’ve honestly always wanted to own a studio apartment, and I would treat it as such. I could fly away there on a whim whenever I wanted to get work done. I find it really difficult sometimes to get the creative juices flowing. If I had the money, I could set up my own little space, and control all outside interference. Heck, even this blog post is entering a full hour of being completed.

Fund/Build Museums/Galleries – Again, this fits into the donation category. This is a little bit more precise though. Growing up, some of my best memories were going to museums and galleries with my mum and sissy. I think it’s really important for youth to be exposed to these things growing up. Whether it sticks or not is one thing, they don’t have a chance if it’s not given to them though. There’s something wholly different going with your family/friends versus going on a school trip. I’ve gone back to some of my favourite museums from my youth in my adulthood, they aren’t the same. They’ve been stripped down. You’d think with all the wonderful new discoveries and information we have in this modern age, we’d see the opposite…

Pizza Party – Guiness would have to come…it would be the BIGGEST. I would order from all over and turn it into a huge pizza contest/carnival.

John Merrick’s Remains – All them crazy Elephant Bones!

There’s tons more, that I’m sure if I spent more time, I could come up with. I obviously have friends I would want to share the wealth with. k would certainly get some property somewhere in New York she could travel to.

It’s fun to dream, it reminds me that there are things that I want to accomplish in life. I might not reach them all, but even if I can get part way on them, it’s an accomplishment. It makes the lazy days, where you don’t feel productive a lot easier to deal with.



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