On Planting Trees and Enjoying The Leaves

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Autumn. My parents are thinking of taking a special tour to watch the leaves fall in New England. You can even pay someone to ship you a bundle of leaves for 20 bucks. I recently came across a piece of inspirational art with the following quote on it:

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years go. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb

I know I’m weird, but falling leaves make me think of dividends and interest. The leaves arrive, you “spend” them, and then more grow back. During my last site redesign, I was very close to switching the logo of this site to the image below.


The tree and leaves would symbolize saving now and reaping the rewards in the future. Plant a seed now, and someday you’ll have a sapling. The leaves falling from tree could be seen as a replenishing stream of dividend, rental, or interest income. Every year, you’ll have a slightly larger pile of leaves. I suppose a better example would be picking fruit in the same manner. Either way, I figured not enough people would get the reference immediately.

The timing of the quote was fitting as I am coming on up on my 20th high school reunion. I’ve had some sort of job every year since high school, so that means I’ve also had 20 years to grow my tree. I’m still working on it, but my tree is already producing significant “dividend leaves”. Looking back, planting those seeds has been worth the time and effort.

If you haven’t started your tree yet, now is the best time available to start.

Image credit: Fall Colors by Flickr user ashokbo.

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  1. The best time to switch to that logo was when you redesigned your site, the second best time is now! I think it’s a cool logo and you should make the switch.

    • Agree with Tyler … love the logo and all it implies. To me, your writings are about building something meaningful, not just the pursuit of money or wealth. My vote is to change the logo, FWIW.

  2. I’m still in the process of planting my seeds and it will be several years until my leaves pile up in any substantial manner. I like the analogy. It takes a long time to see the fruit (or leaves) of my investing, but it will be well worth the effort in the end.

  3. As someone who lives with a lot of trees, leaves remind me that I’m supposed to be out raking or blowing them. 🙂

    More to your point, I always marvel at Warren Buffet’s annual letters when it gets to the part about the dividends from their big four investments. The dividends he gets each year from them is absolutely massive, both nominally and percentage-wise.

  4. Honesty, the leaf logo looks better. I would vote for switching now.

  5. I like the tree and leaves logo. I’m working on my tree!

  6. As someone who lives on several wooded acres the leaves at this time of year have a much more negative sentiment for me! Anyone interested in ordering for $20 from me is welcome. I probably have over a million to remove from our lawn each year.

  7. Nice article. As someone who likes planting trees and growing my portfolio, I never made the connection.

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