http://revach.net/article.php?id=3987

Section: Stories   Category: Mashal
Tripling Your Investment But Losing All Your Money
Imagine entering the stock market with $1 million and purchasing a large portfolio of stocks.  The earnings will be all you will have for your retirement.  You spread your money over your favorite 100 stocks investing $10,000 in each.  Turns out you are a very bad investor and 99 of your picks go belly up.  One of your stocks is a real winner and triples.  Let's say it goes up even 50 times.  Are you a genius stock picker?  Hardly!  I don't think you will walk around in you modest retirement bragging how your brilliant choice of stocks is funding your less than lavish lifestyle.  You don't even have the money you had when you first started, although you are lucky to have enough to get by.

"Hayom Laasosum U'Machar Likabel Schar" (Eiruvin 22a). In this world we are here to work.  In the world to come we enjoy the fruits of our labor when we will live on the earnings of what we invested during our lifetime.  Every moment is an investment opportunity.  If we throw away 99% of our time doing things that we enjoy here it is akin to the investor who takes his investment money and doesn't buy stocks but he uses it to buy himself things that give him instant gratification.  The money is gone.

If we choose to enjoy ourselves here and only spend a small portion of our time learning torah and doing mitzvos in preparation for our eternal retirement, there are two things we should realize.  First, even if we invest very wisely, our portion of Olam Haba will be minuscule compared to what it could have been.  This will leave us with a place in Olam Haba but still very unhappy and full of regret over what could have been, for eternity.  Second, we better invest that little time wisely and choose something worthwhile.  More often than not since we are not serious investors, we end up buying into scams and not real mitzvos.  We tend to invest in things that make us feel good, look good, or sound good.  Woe is unto us when we get up to shamayim and realize that we are completely bankrupt and barely have enough money to buy an entrance ticket.