Hi There! I have a dear friend, who happens to also be a talented investor. Over the past few months, he got really very interested in how EA works, and he is asking me more and more difficult questions. This one came in today morning, and I wanted to ask EA community to help me solve it. :) Here it goes:

"Let's have two scenarios. We have a person X. 
A) X pays 10 000 euros right now in 2022. 
B) X has a good chance to pay 25 000 in N years. 
Which one would be preferable? 

Let's say that X invests thousands of euros every month to a business or stock market and X is relatively confident in his investments. Even if there is uncertainty we can assume in this specific case that the odds are on his side (doesn't mean that he can't fail). Then after N, say 5-10 years he donates his investments."

If you need to simplify the case for the sake of the equation to determine if an instant donation is better than a delayed but bigger one - please do.

Thank you in advance for any help!




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I would be interested to know what cause your friend hopes to donate to? There are slightly different considerations for established fields like global health compared to newer fields like AI safety

I'd refer your friend to information about "patient philanthropy" that cover some of the arguments for waiting https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/phil-trammell-patient-philanthropy/ https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/tag/patient-altruism

Thank you kindly, this was very helpful, and my friend is already studying the subject too! :)

As for the causes - I don't know yet, because we are discussing in metaphors and on quite a high level for now. But he and his wife are vegans, I know animal welfare is crucial to them, so I would risk saying that this area will be his main focus. 
However, they might be interested in mitigating poverty/healthcare risk areas too, as they became parents recently, and that changes everything as we know. ;)
AI safety, not sure, we didn't discuss existential risks yet. I'm not pushing, just responding to questions for now.

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