$10,000, $100,000, a million? They are much, much cheaper. In fact, you could well live up to ninety, with very little effort. An investment deal paying this dividend would probably be a fraud.
What Could Kill Us?
If you are like me, you have a roof over your head, are warm in winter, get enough food and have clothes to dress your body with. Neither are you in immediate danger of becoming a victim of war, an outbreak of Ebola or a volcanic eruption.
Of course, when it comes to dying, we also live with the risks of the “civilized world”: a car accident, a plane crash, an armed robbery. But all that is still very unlikely, despite television making us believe that cars potentially explode when a butterfly lands on them and that in some neighborhoods you better carry an AK-47 to pick up the groceries. In 2009 and in the US, for example, only 11 people in 100,000 died through a traffic accident, making it a 0.0001% chance.
So what the heck could kill us? How about I give you a different number? In 2008, 5.8 million people in the world died from physical inactivity, making simply sitting around and doing nothing the fourth most common cause of death. Laziness comes out ahead of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and the above traffic accidents.
Life Is Cheap
This is especially staggering when we consider how easily this could be taken care of. Overweight or obese people dread a visitor to their doctor, fearing that in order to get their diabetes or heart problems under control, they will hear that they should lose some weight and pick up a fitness activity. Then they envision themselves panting along a running track for hours or being the ridicule of all those slim and healthy people at the gym.
But it may be much, much easier, according to scientists in Taiwan. They found evidence that only fifteen minutes of physical activity per day can potentially lower your risk of prematurely dying by 14%. That is fifteen minutes of moderate physical activity – a swift walk around the block may already suffice. Extrapolating those 14%, they equal around three years more life.
Let’s calculate this a bit: A year has 365 days and each day consists of 24 hours. Therefore a year has 8,760 hours. If you exercise for fifteen minutes each day, you spend 91 hours and 15 minutes a year doing it. If you do it for twenty years, the total will be 1,825 hours, but you will have gained 26,280 hours from the three extra years you will get. You return of investment would be 1,400% – show me a stock that offers that kind of dividend.
It’s Not Even Exercise
It doesn’t even need to be 15 minutes of exercise per day, as any physical activity qualifies: getting off the bus a stop earlier when you are on your way to work and then walk the rest, taking a bike to go to the supermarket, using stairs instead of escalators. It is not that difficult to get some exercise without actually exercising.
If at the age of 70 you don’t smoke, aren’t morbidly obese, don’t have high blood pressure and put in that bit of physical activity, you even have a good chance of reaching 90. A 90 that probably won’t be marked with years of heavy medication, a walking frame and an oxygen mask.
If a healthy and long life requires an investment, it’s an awfully small one and maybe the best deal you will ever encounter.
Picture courtesy of “FBellon“.