There’s one thing I’ve learned about money: it’s not intuitive.
If it made sense, we’d all be rich. My journey with money hasn’t been an easy one. I’ve been rich, poor, bankrupt multiple times.
Each wipeout has given me more wisdom.
Sometimes you have to lose a lot of money to get good at money. From $1.2M lit up in smoke to multiple businesses that collapsed, I’ve learned a few brutal money truths.
Nobody is coming to save you with a stack of cash
I was born a victim.
Bullied in school. Big ears. Weird smile. So when money doesn’t go my way I like to become a victim and blame people.
What I’ve learned about financial ruin is nobody cares. They might feel sympathy for you for a minute, but in the next hour they will forget. So sympathy isn’t a strategy.
Blaming billionaires or capitalism isn’t one either.
Hoping politicians or central banks will bail you out doesn’t work either, as the 2020 bat virus showed us. The only solution to the money game is to learn how it works and take personal responsibility.
Money is the one area education can actually fix. And there are many low-priced books that can teach you everything you need to know.
Start with the book “The Psychology of Money.”
Once someone gets paid they get lazy
I recently hired a landscaper to do my garden.
The job should have taken about 2–3 weeks. We set up payment terms. As he did the work he got paid. Once the job was two-thirds paid I’d already given him all the money I owed him.
What happened is he didn’t come and finish the job. He kept saying he would come and never did. He’ll likely still finish the job but it could take forever, and if the job isn’t perfect I have no recourse.
The lesson here is people are more motivated by money than you might think. Once they have your cash the motivation to work goes to zero.
So always have payment terms. Make the final payment after the job is done.
The gap between rich and poor will widen
This is a cold hard truth. Don’t shoot the messenger.
The gap between rich and poor will only widen. The reason is the central banks and countries around the world are going to continue to devalue their currencies through inflation and money printing.
The rich know to hold assets.
The middle-class and poorer parts of society don’t own assets. They try to save their money in a bank account. Or they have zero savings and are drowning in debt.
Money in a bank account is eroded away by inflation. People who have enormous debt will only get further behind as inflation pushes the cost of living higher.
So as you can see the default is an even wider gap between rich and poor.
This occurs because the financial system is so complex it’s near-impossible to explain to the masses how inflation and money printing work. Even if you try, like I do, the data is manipulated.
At this stage all you can do is own assets as an inflation hedge. This game isn’t going to stop because we’ve been addicted to it since 2008.
People hate these kind of discounts
In normal life when Walmart has a sale people go nuts.
They trample over each other to get to the mall and take advantage of the once-off prices. The same discount season happens in finance but it only occurs about every 7–9 years. It’s called a recession or bear market.
Right now we’re going through one. People are negative as hell.
They refuse to take advantage of the discounts and keep thinking we’re going to end up in a Great Depression. A guy named Arun stock market guru said it best:
The stock market is the only place where people leave when there’s a massive discount sale happening.
This will guarantee you work longer
Many people are destined to work hard for the rest of their life.
What causes this tragedy is lifestyle. They don’t understand that the cooler your lifestyle is the more hours you’ll need to work to maintain it.
You’re better off dialing back on all the luxury so you can get the ultimate luxury: time freedom.
People who have free time are the real billionaires in life.
The greatest trap of wealth
Getting wealthy isn’t all roses and rainbows.
Money and luxury items often make people think they are better than everyone else. They let status get in the way of being human. People who are rich and talk down to others are the poorest in the world.
Don’t become one. Be the same person you were before wealth as you are after some level of success.
Three skills to make sure you never go broke
Not all skills are equal.
If you want to make more money than you’re qualified for then the timeless skills of sales, copywriting, writing, and mastery of psychology will future-proof your bank account. Learn these skills above all else.
“Investing is risky”
People throw their bathrobes at me when I talk about investing.
Yet it’s them left standing there naked when they do. They’re angry because I buy Bitcoin and Ethereum. Or they think stocks are risky investments.
“They can go down dontcha know.”
But you need some level of risk to experience growth. That’s a law of the universe that’ll never die.
Here’s what’s really risky:
- No assets
- No savings
- Enormous debt
- No passive income
- One income stream
- A job you can be laid off from at any time without warning
- A boss who doesn’t give a damn about you or your career dreams
Why is no one talking about those things? They’ll ruin you much faster than an investment in a Nasdaq index fund ever will.
We can fix high gas prices with buy now, pay later
Gas for your car is expensive.
Ben Carlson said in a tweet that the best solution for high gas prices is buy now, pay later at the pump. He was joking when he said it but there’s a deeper truth here.
Our culture has become a buy now and pay for it one day in the future.
Governments, corporations, and individuals live this way and it’s bloody scary. One golden rule I have is to never use buy now, pay later. Those companies are the devil.
If I can’t pay for it, I don’t buy it. Just like grandma always said.
“When people learn from you, they promote you”
There’s a reason everyone is posting content on social media.
It’s not to become internet famous or achieve the dreaded influencer influenza status. No. It’s because when you teach what you know online it helps people.
They become inspired by you and help to form a community around you. With community you have eyeballs. With attention you have the opportunity to never work again.
Those who out-teach everyone else get paid disproportionately more. Become helpful to become wealthy.
How to approve your own pay rise
Tryna get a company to give you a raise is like tryna get blood out of a concrete patio. It ain’t gonna happen.
- “Take on more responsibility.”
- “Take on additional projects.”
- “Wait for HR to approve.”
- “Get feedback from manager.”
- “Help your colleagues after hours.”
That’s the dog and pony show circus hoops you’ve got to jump through. The alternative is you start a side hustle or side business and make extra money outside of a job. That’s how you get a pay rise.
The difference here is YOU make up the rules. The harder you work the more money you will make. After all, you only need 1666 people a month paying $5 for a product or service to get a raise of $100,000.
With access to billions of people online that’s achievable.
There is absolutely nothing more likely to dampen the prospects of becoming rich than a nice, fat, regular salary check — Felix Dennis
The fastest path to wealth everyone overlooks
It’s trendy to be a minimalist aka a tightarse.
People will tell you to make your coffee at home, walk instead of drive to work, sell your car for a cheaper one, save 0.0001% on banking fees.
My friend Andrew calls this the pleb mindset.
The answer to money problems or how to become wealthy is the same. Make more money. Learn about money and acquire skills that make you more money.
For example, right now if you became an expert in AI it’d be a license to print money. Go from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.
There’s only so far you can expense manage your way out of a low income with ripping inflation creating tidal waves in the street.
Make more money. It’s harder because it works. Do what others won’t.
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.