Money is a bizarre story we tell ourselves.
If we think money is evil, it is. If we think money is hard to get, it is. If we think everyone should have the same amount of money, well, that’s an impossible version of equality. I used to believe money was everything.
I gave away my soul for money.
I did dumb things I’m not proud of to get it, like telling employees to kiss my feet. My exposure to money lessons is abnormally high as I’ve been a career banker. As I get older, I’m realizing most of my money beliefs are stupid.
See through my past (and flimsy) money beliefs to re-evaluate yours.
Get a good job with a high salary
I used to believe in jobs.
I even thought doing an MBA was a good idea if I wanted to get paid the big bucks and roll up to the office in a dirty little Porsche.
Now that I’ve been exposed to many people with high salaries, I’ve realized they’re not what they appear. Most of the time a high salary means you’ll get worked into the ground.
You carry loads more responsibility. With that responsibility comes a giant increase in meetings.
Your nice little calendar with a comfortable 1-hour lunch break and plenty of nice chats in the hallway gets destroyed. A new class of leaders enters your life and sh*ts all over your gorgeous Outlook calendar.
Then on a regular basis the business sheds its snakeskin and puts on a new one in the form of downsizing or restructures. If a global bat virus hits, that too can take away your hard-working high salary.
If you’re someone who wants more responsibility or to own outcomes then you’re better off starting an online business.
High salaries are overrated paths to burnout and lead to a schedule that feels like a prison sentence.
Those sexy political bills don’t get paid for with taxes
I was on a call last week.
I spoke to the nice lady about student loan forgiveness. “Ohhh it’s such a brilliant idea. So many students need help with debt.” (I used to believe this stupid lie.)
I shook my head.
Let me lay down how this clown show works.
- Government forgives student loans.
- The rich people who go to college and have these loans get a nice break from the debt. Inequality goes up.
- Universities take the piss and increase their fees because the government just became the backstop for students who can’t pay their rip-off fees.
- Education continues to get more expensive.
What upsets me about these so-called good samaritan bills to “help those in need” is they come with a bear trap.
Many new political bills get funded by money created out of thin air. I’ve written about this many times. When the government creates new money from nothing it devalues all the existing money slushing around the economy.
5th grader summary: printing money out of nowhere is a hidden tax.
Rich people know this scam so they buy insurance from all the fake money created by these hero bills by buying assets. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. No one gets saved by the student loan forgiveness.
Ohhh … and when you hear the word ‘inflation’ it just means the percentage the money in your wallet got devalued this year. In other words, it’s the extra tax you’re paying if you don’t own the insurance of assets.
Index funds are the greatest investment on earth
Jump on social media and there’ll always be a hero in jumpsuit preaching the gospel of index funds.
I used to believe this is how you get wealthy and quit working for d*ckhead bosses. Now, not so much. (I still own a few index funds though.)
When you hear people crap on about the annual returns of index funds they don’t take into account all the fake money created out of thin air that blurs the true price of the index fund.
They also don’t talk about the return of an index fund after taxes — and the extra tax of inflation. This gets forgotten.
Index funds are fine if you want to get wealthy in your 70s and 80s when you need a walker and can hardly hear the television. For the rest of us normies, waiting a lifetime for an index fund to maybe create financial freedom is an illusion.
It doesn’t mean index funds are terrible. I own a few. The difference is I don’t think they’ll make me rich. I invest in index funds for risk diversification. And I understand that after taxes and inflation the average index fund doesn’t pay as much as the online spruikers make out they do.
Ways to get wealthy faster before hitting your 80s:
- Start a business
- Make money online
- Buy an existing business off someone
- Blend in higher-risk assets such as crypto and individual stocks
The idea you’ll live the easy life by buying index funds is mostly a p*rn fantasy.
The global world order can screw up ya investments
The other challenge with investing in an index fund in a popular country like America is it assumes the existing empires will always have the same power and not change.
I always thought I only needed to buy US investments. Then I came across one of the smartest guys in finance, Ray Dalio, who has written many times about the changing world order.
If you dump all your cash into the American stock market because it’s historically had good returns (not considering inflation), you run the risk of getting wiped out if their trillions in debt ever bites them in the ass.
America is a superpower in investing because most things worldwide are priced in US dollars (also known as the global reserve currency).
This privilege pisses off other countries who have their countries ruined whenever the US dollar gets strong (like now). This is highly likely to change at some point, and so the dominance of America could weaken or at least change. If all your money is invested there then you’re screwed.
Think it can’t happen?
The best case study in history is the Lost Decade in Japan. Japan was a superpower until it made many of the same decisions as America is making right now and created irreversible damage to its economy and currency.
Japan has never fully recovered from the Lost Decade.
Lesson: Invest in human ingenuity, not individual countries.
Saving money is good
Your savings account with the bank is their investment fund to gamble on the markets.
And the money in your bank account isn’t yours — read the terms and conditions. Most of the time your good ol’ fashion bank won’t steal your money — except in a crisis similar to what happened in Greece when they did.
If another 2008-style recession happens, a bank can go down and the amount of money lost could be too great for any government to bail out if several fail at once. Doesn’t mean you put your money under a mattress.
It just means you’ve got to understand who controls your money and where the exit door is if sh*t hits the fan.
The biggest money mistake I ever made
The chance you could lose money causes many people to do nothing.
They don’t invest. They don’t get a financial education. They pretend those in power will protect them if another recession gets 2008-bad.
Oddly, not investing is the real risk.
Without risk we don’t learn lessons that make us wealthy. We don’t protect ourselves from the monster tax of inflation.
The good life requires a healthy level of risk.
The key isn’t to make massive bets that could go bad. It’s to understand asymmetric risk.
It’s to limit the downside when you invest money in case you’re wrong or a bat virus slaps you in your pretty face and locks us in our homes for a few years. I learned this lesson late. I put my head in the sand.
“La La La I can’t hear you.”
Millions of people don’t take risks with money and that’s why they’ll always be working for money. Money will be their main focus for the rest of their lives as a result. And all of this will lead to huge regrets.
They’ll wish they took more risks.
Don’t be fooled. Learn about money so you have the confidence to invest and take a few calculated risks.
That’s how you work less, earn money while you sleep, and use money to make more money.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.