When we bring up the question of inheritance for the first time with new planning clients, their answers usually range from 'nothing, we want to use it up' to 'they get whatever's left.' Most share without reservation that it is a subject on which they have spent little or no time considering. Understandably so, the subject of death is morbid, and talking about an amount at the end of our lives seems silly given all the unknowables ahead of us.

When we shop for a bottle of wine on our own we invariably look to price and shelf location for guidance. Similarly when judging mutual funds for our 401K's on our own, our only guides are return and how they are presented by the fund providers. Return serves as a shortcut grading system of how the fund has fared over the market's recent past.

One of the great secrets of success in investing is that of persistence; defined as "firm or obstinate continuance on a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." In this age of information overload, particularly in the area of investing, persistence has become considerably more difficult than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Throw into the mix an ever-expanding supply of 'financial advisors' backed by sophisticated marketing machines designing products to address today's 'opportunities' and its easy to see why staying the course is more difficult than ever.

As you consider the question, do you compare yourself to others specifically, like say to the Joneses, or do you take a more general approach? Do you address wealth on a scale of ability to buy and do the things you want or do you dwell on security? Perhaps you consider friendships, connections, health, talents, shelter and provision as great wealth. Or maybe you don't ever think about it. Imagine that.