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The Story of Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up and Mr. Wait Longer

This is the story of three friends who were born on the same year.

Their names are Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up and Mr. Wait Longer.

On their 30th birthday, they went drinking in a bar.

silhouette of three people standing on tall grass during nighttime

Towards the end of the night, Mr. Invest Now said, “I want to start investing now. I’ll invest P20,000 every year until our 40th birthday. Do you want to join me?”

“Not now, I’ll invest and catch up with you later,” said Mr. Catch Up.

“Not now, I’ll wait a little longer, and invest when my salary’s higher,” said Mr. Wait Longer.

On their 34th birthday, the three friends met again at the same bar.

“I’m ready to invest,” announced Mr. Catch Up. “I’ll invest P20,000 every year but I won’t stop on our 40th birthday. I’ll invest until we’re 60!”

“Great to hear that! How about you?” Mr. Invest Now asked Mr. Wait Longer.

“Now now, I’ll wait a little longer, when I have more money,” answered Mr. Wait Longer.

On their 40th birthday, the three friends were in their favorite bar once more.

“This is my final year of investing! I’ll no longer invest starting next year,” announced Mr. Invest Now.

“I’m not stopping,” said Mr. Catch Up. “I’ll continue investing until we’re 60 years old.”

“Finally, I will start investing!” said Mr. Wait Longer. “And I will invest P50,000 every year until we’re 50 years old.”

On their 61st birthday, the three friends decided that they will go to Munich to attend the Octoberfest.

They took out their investments, which they all placed in the same mutual fund.

If the compounded annual growth rate of the investment is 10%, who do you think made the most money?

Mr. Invest Now


Mr. Catch up


Mr. Wait Longer


The Clear Winner


Time to answer a question…

Are you going to invest now, catch up later, or choose to wait longer?

This story is based on one of the topics discussed in the Practical Money Management Strategies seminar of the IMG Wealth Academy. Visit this page to learn how you can attend this seminar for FREE.

About the author

Bitshares Labs contributes content pertaining to various topics and development updates about the Bitshares Ecosystem and Blockchain Technology.


  1. interesting way to bring out a point of why we should invest NOW and reap the benefits later!! So many are caught up in the instant gratification idea that they lack the patience to act now and benefit later…

  2. Thanks for the teaching
    As they day the BEST time to invest was 10 years ago (thinking Bitcoin)

  3. This is a great article with a powerful visual. This education was not taught in much detail when I was first starting my career. I plan to share this with a nephew graduating this year. Our conversation will focus on investing in Bitcoin for his future! Thanks for posting.

  4. I think the graphs and seeing the difference between the 3 scenarios speak a lot louder than words do,I wish I had had the knowledge and the means to follow this example many years ago,but hopefully we can try and get ahead of the game very shortly

  5. I have always liked compounding it is a amazing concept and great way to save. funny how it works out when you do it the right way, kind of like double a penny everyday and see how it adds up to a substantial amount in a years time.

  6. This post has interesting information and even practical, for Generation Z and Millennials. But for myself (a Baby Boomer), I am going to be “Mr. Come From Behind” with Compumatrix and cryptocurrency fueling my rocket ride. LOL

  7. Well three persons: Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up and Mr. Wait Longer, had their own preferences. My point is why should I identify myself with any of these three: Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up and Mr. Wait Longer. It is not always correct to Invest Now. Suppose market is high, I mean prices are above normal price, it is not wise to Invest Now, but preference will be Wait Longer. From collapsed market, when prices start rising, then Catching Up becomes necessary. So, there is no hard and fast rule that we should always: 1. Invest Now, 2. Catch Up and 3. Wait Longer. It all depends on market trends. The crux of the whole scenario is to get good Return On Investment (ROI).

    1. Fifty-four years ago a young couple were faced with making a decision as to who they would be/follow. The choice of being like Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up, or Mr.Wait Longer was discussed at length. They opped to follow Mr. Invest Now. That decision is the best decision they ever made. There were times when the investments couldn’t be as high as they would have liked but each month no matter what something went into their account. Today they are enjoying the fruits of that choice. Using common-sense and adjusting when necessary are key to a full successful savings plan.

  8. Well, currently I am investing. I have never been a procrastinator and as good as that may sound, sometimes it worked against me. I was too impatient and found myself investing without doing any research and I landed up making huge mistakes. I learned the hard way and now when I invest, I make sure I have done research and due diligence before I jump in. I also do not put all my eggs in one basket any more. That was a huge investment mistake. Looking forward to the future that my investments will bring me now.

  9. My 16 year old is going to love this. Compound interest is her passion. This should be posted on every young persons wall.

  10. Excellent story and great advice for someone who is young to consider. Take this advice while you have the chance to be the an “Invest Now” person. I wish i had done that back when I started my first full time job as a teacher. If I could go back in time, I would start investing from my very first paycheck! As we can see in those 3 examples above, it makes a huge different when you start.

  11. Its easier said then done , do it now or do it later. When it’s not the best time to invest That means you should only be investing cash you know you won’t need for the foreseeable future. If money is tight right now and there’s a chance you might have to withdraw your cash soon after you invest it, it’s best to avoid investing altogether for the moment.

  12. Looking at all these comments gives me some food for thought. I have to side with Santosh as I would prefer not identify with any of these three. The overall article is GREAT ADVICE however, the mere mention of mutual funds sent shivers up my spine. I will never understand why there are more mutual funds than stocks that make up those mutual funds. (That’s me!) The market is high now but what happened to those people that were retiring in 2008-10? Your financial advisor will tell you the market always comes back but will it when you need it. I would rather invest in my Cryptocurrencies. (That’s me!)

  13. I am not sure if its still the #1 rule to investing is : “Never Invest more than you can Afford to Lose” !
    With that concept I started “ Investing Now” with a very small amount,compounding until I was able to
    withdraw my initial principal . For me, thats a rule I plan to always follow.

  14. Investing as soon as you are able is key. No matter the amount, look how that coffee you buy every day can add up…save that instead! Wish I would of started in my 20s, would make such a difference now in my 60s.

  15. I enjoyed that piece. Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up or Mr. Wait Longer, everybody has to do what they can do when they can do it. Some people don’t have any of those options. Some people work all their lives and have commitments to their families and don’t have spare money to invest. I did know a lady a long time ago she invested in her kids and invested in many IRA’s, she did good. She invested in her kids so they would have a trade so later in life she wouldn’t have to support them, I’m thinking. Sometimes people make the wrong investments, you never know. I would have liked to see this when I was younger. I am glad I found Compumatrix!

  16. I love the style and the story of Mr. Invest Now, Mr. Catch Up and Mr. Wait Longer! It was fun. I was actually rather surprised that in the graphs, there wasn’t a bigger difference in how much each had. I knew the ‘moral’ of the story would be to Invest Now. But I figured the differences would be much greater. As long as one has that much to invest, obviously doing it now makes sense. But if one waits, and puts a larger amount in, it still works out pretty well! For me, there would have been no way I could have put that much aside in my early years, or my later years either. Unfortunately, the majority of those who read this probably have already lived through the years that they might have chosen differently. Still, a very cute story.

  17. I read about the 72 Rule, which is basically compounding based on a 10% annual interest rate. Compounding if done continually over the years is the best long term way to invest your money. At the beginning seems like a long shot, but done with discipline, it will eventually show its rewards with time.

  18. This is an excellent way of explaining how investing works. I will be showing this to my kids who are 20, 19, and 18 some are in college but at least they can open an account and start early so they can see the potential that it can make later in life.

  19. I wish I had learned about investing early on in my employment. Some of my friends at work had invested in real property but, looking back now, I wonder why it did not interest me at all. Most of them are accountants so I guess their educational background gave them an edge in knowing where to put their money. I really hope the subject on savings and investment will be part of the high school curriculum.

  20. It was always drilled into my brain when investing money to act NOW. Money grows quickly. The problem has always been that I don’t have money now. The answer to your problem is to FIND THE MONEY NOW !!! Whatever it takes and however painful it might be.It will pay off at the end of the road!

  21. Clearly, Mr. Invest Now, did the best. Invested less and ended up with a great portfolio with the most value and the least investment. So, the lesson, invest NOW. But, it also encouraging that you can catch up and you can invest later and still end up with resources. So, bottom line, don’t think its too late. It is not too late!! I have definitely, felt that — we waited too long, we should have, could have, wish we had……. It’s not a positive place to be. Now, we are here. Investing now. Learning and growing a portfolio, excited for the future. It is not too late.

  22. Excellent example of these 3 masters for learning! Unfortunately, I was not created with the culture of investment and today, at 56, I believe I could have a much better situation if I had learned so. But, what was done is done …
    What I feel I must do now is take care of my Compumatrix assets to have a more peaceful future, and pass this teaching on to my daughters, aged 28 and 31, so that they can have this opportunity for a more promising future.

  23. This is an interesting article. It is always a good decision to invest, WHATEVER ONE CAN and WHENEVER ONE CAN.
    Meaning that, one could invest wisely, a part of one’s income. Later, reinvest the capital plus the earnings. Everyone’s income brackets and expenses are not the same.
    But, to keep money growing, would certainly help in future.

  24. oh so creative a way to discuss and teach on investing and how to go about life in general and at 60+ it is fun to imagine what might have been back in my younger days but since we are past that point –I am having fun now trying to research and learn about how to today — great article and great replies —

  25. Yes a good story line which should start with the parents getting the kids to get into the habit of saving and investing.
    That good habit no matter how small will be standard practice just like eating for a kid that is thought early.
    We can spend on frivolous things without thinking which most times are bad for our health and not good choices.
    Kind of reminds me of life ticking by. You are always getting older by the second and if you don’t counteract that with good saving strategies and good healthy lifestyle practices then eventually the face in the mirror says, oh oh, should a, would a, could a. Did ya.?
    Laughing at Kevin’s plan of coming from behind as in my early running days I always had a killer finish and did come from behind to win or place on many occasions and I believe that is still going to be the case in my financial run with Compumatrix giving us all our killer finish.
    Great food for thought to get young minds in the habit of thinking early when it is easier. To be ready later for the harder knocks in life that usually come when we are less able to produce like in our prime. Good article and good ideas from all.
    Ps. A little like these blog comments really, some will do it now, some will catch up and some will wait a little longer. I choose to invest in these points now. Don’t know what the value will be but I could never catch up as it takes a little time and to wait longer you will not have the time lol.
    In addition to that you learn a great deal from the blog and from the intelligent comments of all.

  26. This article tickles and empowers me. As a younger person, I know I have the time on my hands to grow my money exponentially because of my favorite two words – compound interest. This article shows too well how not investing sooner rather than later can massively affect someone’s bank account in the long run. My favorite site is, here you can see just how much money you could have 20, 30, 50 years from now. I also really enjoyed watching the videos on the concept of the “Magic Penny” to fully understand the concept of compound interest. Here is a YouTube video that explains the concept of the “Magic Penny” in simple terms – I try to get my friends to understand the power of compound interest all the time – I say invest young and your older self will thank you. Personally, as a young adult, I will fully contribute to my 401K or 403B, my Roth IRA, my HSA, my employer match, and invest in an index and mutual funds. I think if people invest young, using a diversified buy and hold strategy, there is no way one will not be wealthy when they are older.

  27. so agree with the fact that anytime you start is better than waiting for “Perfect” time — there really is no such time as Perfect but there is that nagging thought that if I can make more then it will be perfect time but Not — in all honesty when You have the opportunity to move forward THEN Please do — you will be thankful sooner than later — numbers like truth tell the real story —

  28. Love this article. I personally have lived with these men over the years.
    Mr. “Catch Up” didn’t invest with Bill Gates in 1989 and didn’t attend the hotel meeting. He also turned down the opportunity to build models for a film called, “Star Wars”.
    Mr. Wait Longer turned down Walt Disney when he offered him the chance to be the lead contractor for Disneyland. “The only thing in Anaheim is orange trees,” he told Mr. Disney. He also neglected to buy plots of land for $50.00; now they sell for $10 million.
    After suffering for years from these men I have become Miss. Invest Now. I have learned not to listen to “they”. “They know everything, especially what they know nothing about”.
    So here I am and I’m ready, ready to do this now!

  29. Love this article. I personally have lived with these men over the years.
    Mr. “Catch Up” didn’t invest with Bill Gates in 1989 and didn’t attend the hotel meeting. He also turned down the opportunity to build models for a film called, “Star Wars”.
    Mr. Wait Longer turned down Walt Disney when he offered him the chance to be the lead contractor for Disneyland. “The only thing in Anaheim is orange trees,” he told Mr. Disney. He also neglected to buy plots of land for $50.00; now they sell for $10 million.
    After suffering for years from these men I have become Miss. Invest Now.
    So here I am and I’m ready, ready to do this now!

  30. If every young child read and understood this story, the world would be much richer. I think one reason why some people are wealthy and some people are poor is because of the access to knowledge and the lack of knowledge an individual has. If people read this article at a young age, they would have the exposure on how to get wealthy. If someone is a young person reading this article, there is no excuse on why they cannot be wealthy! Anyone can do it!

  31. I would just like to leave another comment saying that this may have changed the trajectory of some of my friend’s entire lives. I have this group chat with a few of my close friends called “Compound Interest” where I send finance-related stuff to them. I decided I was going to show them this article and when I showed it to them I think something clicked. My friends and I are fairly young so we have our entire lives in front of us to compound our money. Because of this article, my friends and I decided we are going to try and save more when we are younger so we can live financially free as older people. Thank you!

  32. the sooner you start MRN just in thought process the sooner you can look back and smile — take Correct Action do your research and you also have to hope that the world doesn’t change all that drastically over the next set of years and markets stay free and viable — but make your plan and start your plan — love coming back and reading some of these older blogs and just keep putting this info in the good spots — learn learn learn —

  33. Read the article Mr Invest now Mr catch up and Mr Wait longer.Also did read all the interesting comments.Santosh and Catherine are i disagreement with the suggestion given and advantage of investing earliest you can[Now].Erline wrote about a couple making early investment decision and reaping the rewards monthly on a regular basis.Overall investment should be made when it is financially comfortable as Gitta points out.I think I did wait long investing except joining Compumatrix and am glad.

  34. this is once again a good piece of overall info in the mix of Compu Biz — the sooner in almost anything you start and and stay consistent in that path the greater the rewards turn out to be and in Biz 101 you do research and planning but still You have to Start that Biz — get wise and get started —

  35. What great charts Bitsharelabs. These kind of stats truly motivate me to want to put my money to work right away, and not just let it sit there and devalue itself. Compound interest is something to behold when it is given many years to mature. My only regret is that I didn’t figure this our earlier in life. Can you imagine just starting to invest those few dollars we had at age 10 or so and what they would have become now ?

  36. Very nice reading because if I had a choice I would invest what I have now. Being able to invest now instead of waiting to catch up later or wait longer shows that you lose out on what you could have been paid in the long run. So if you have a chance to invest do it now. I have learned a lot from this reading.

  37. Great idea about investing! I think we should invest part of our income that we can afford,for a better future,we want to know where we are investing our assets,you have to have full confidence in your investment,after investing your assets you should stay there for a long time for a very good return.

  38. Compounding is amazing and it does pay off. I had a chance to invest in cell phones before they were out, the guy told me to trust him everyone will be walking around with one of these in their hand and he wanted 5k I had the money on a credit card but I was so strapped at the time I did not want to take the chance. He told me I would be a millionaire twice over but I did not go through with it. I thought at the time it could be a possibility but was not convinced I could kick myself now of course.

  39. coming back and looking over the past 30 years and wondering out loud — i myself can spend pretty much every moment looking back — well you can’t do that either because then all you do spin wheels — it is seriously a true story — do your research with Real True Facts and make a Choice — and live with that Fact — so many times thru life would could should but Didnt — great read here !! thanks

  40. Yes we should always avail the opportunity at it’s right time,and not miss the boat at the time.
    Thank you for the great blog post Bitshares Lab to enlighten us about availing the chance to grab the opportunity when it is offered.

  41. Thank you for the great blog. This really makes you want to get moving, and do not be Mr wait longer. We can’t control some things, but others we can, so I Know I don’t want to be Mr wait longer. Time is money.

  42. I keep coming back to this great blog and re-reading and learning — and do see myself thru time as each one of these 3 peeps — and now at my stage know now that mostly will have to accept what my earlier person was and now enjoy more each day and do as I see truth each day — it is mostly good feeling with a bit of wonderings ever so often — keep sharing Bitlabs

  43. Thanks Bitshares; took awhile to figure the outcomes for such a fine story and one all should start learning in grade school for the rest of their lives, why? Because all of us human are procrastinators and like Mr. Catch Up, and we put it off far too long and if I had truly understood and knew what Bitcoin was going to do 10 yrs. ago when i was told about it I would have bought that $1000 worth at $174… I could have managed the small debt at the time, but then look at the profit I would/could have made. Thanks so much for the story and lesson!!

  44. Life as a whole is a special spot of this great blog posting and reading and studying through this whole blog area is so beneficial and reading here keeps the action moving in the right direction imho — and take action truly and also enjoy the knowledge of starting early and having Time help you win —

  45. If you haven’t got it going, NOW is the time to start. Pick a portfolio and add a little bit every month. Forget about it. If you are young, best to get it done, before you build a family. As a good book I read states.. Build your business before you build your family. Young and single means less bills. Sacrifice one weekend a month of going out. Put that money toward your future. You won’t be sorry.

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