[Memory Dividends]


Bill Perkins is a long-time hedge fund manager and author of the bestselling book Die With Zero.

He came up with this brilliant concept of “memory dividends.” And I can’t stop thinking about it. 🔥

Let me explain…

When you experience something extraordinary (like a vacation), you get joy from it in the moment… But it doesn’t stop there, right?

You keep feeling a little bit of joy every time you remember it or tell someone about it.

That extra joy afterwards = the “memory dividends.” It’s the ongoing “payout” you get after experiencing something meaningful.

So how do you earn them?

Invest in experiences that you’ll be likely to recall as a priceless memory thousands of times in the future.

Here’s a 3-step exercise. It’s probably the best thing you could do with the next 10 minutes of your day. Just saying.


Step 1:

Grab a pen and paper (or open up a blank document on your screen).

Write down at least 20 experiences that you want to have in your lifetime (e.g., places you want to travel to, skills you want to learn, ways you want to give back to your loved ones and community, personal growth goals, etc).

Think of the things you’d really regret not doing at least once.

Step 2:

Next to each of those 20 things, write down at what age you’ll probably no longer be able to do each of those things.

For example, I really want to ski the Swiss Alps in Zermatt. (This is one of many travel examples from my list. ⛷️) But I’m guessing by the time I’m 60, I’ll no longer want to take the physical risk of skiing double blacks.

Step 3:

Here’s the important part. Decide exactly when (in the next few years) you will prioritize those. Literally, write down the month and year you plan to do it.

Most people put off the planning, assuming that they can “always do it next year.”

But there will come a year when you can’t…

Maybe you want to take your aging parents on a vacation? At some point, they won’t be comfortable sitting on a long flight or walking long distances.

Maybe you want to backpack through Europe for 3 months straight? At some point, you might have too many responsibilities at home to take that much time off.

And if you do it earlier, it will serve you for years to come. In this New York Times article, David Brooks refers to this as building “identity capital.” He writes, “In your 20s, do three fascinating things that dinner companions will want to ask you about for the rest of your life.”


Memory dividends aren’t just about the experiences themselves.

Consider the importance of:

1). The people you share them with. Don’t get me wrong— I’m a huge fan of solo travel. But when you share an experience with a loved one, you both get higher memory dividends every time you reflect on it together.

2). The right timing. Perkins argues that you should invest in memories early in life (to earn the highest dividends).

“Yes, you need money to survive in retirement, but the main thing you’ll be retiring on will be your memories—so make sure you invest enough in those.” –Bill Perkins

(Btw— if you don’t have time to read the entire book but still want to dive deeper, I highly recommend Peter Attia’s podcast episode with Bill Perkins. They go through most of my favorite parts of the book.)

Until next week,


P.S. Thanks to everyone who shared such kind comments and DMs about this post last week. (I’m so proud of this client for growing from 8k to 61k LinkedIn followers in four months!) If you’ve been thinking about growing your personal brand, there has never been a better time to start.

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Sending a warm welcome to everyone who joined since last week! If you’re new here, check out the 7 values of The Quiet Rich. 🎉