Category : Money


Lifestyle Determines Your Financial Future. Not How Much Money You Make.

How Much Money You Make

Photo by Ting Tse Wang on Unsplash

One guy can make $3000 a month and be financially secure. Another guy can make $30K a month and be on the brink of financial ruin. Your lifestyle is everything — @FSFmoney

Luxuries are a bear trap.

Once you buy them you’ve got to maintain them. They’re designed to be replaced, so you’ve got to work extra hard to stay ahead of the game. The luxury game is one many of us fall for.

I fell for it. I’m a sucker. I bought a big man’s willy (BMW).

She purred like a kitten, and drained all of my excess cash. Who knew electronics like sunroofs could break so much and require parts from Germany to be airfreighted on the royal family’s magic carpet to Australia for a small fortune? Not me. Like I said, I’m a sucker. Take my money.

Lifestyle design is crucial. If your lifestyle gets out of control, no salary will be enough to keep up with the game.

Sexy minimalism isn’t the point

Don’t use minimalist rules to become a better minimalist. Use them to focus your attention where it matters most. — Julia Horvath

Minimalism is a trend. We’re expected to live in caravans and take our cardboard boxes full of junk to our parent’s place for safe storage. I disagree. The point of financial minimalism isn’t to be cool and hang out with Mr Money Moustache and brag about how many lattes you didn’t buy this week.

I am a financial minimalist because it creates enormous focus. I spend money where it matters. That’s why I don’t do luxury. Luxury is a distraction. If I buy a silly jetski then I’ve got to think about it.

Luxury items occupy space in your brain. Few people understand this.

I want my brain to be full of interesting people and writing ideas. Not big man willie BMWs that need to be taken care of like an adult baby.

Don’t dismiss financial minimalism because it’s good to be a rebel. Don’t become one of those demotivation, anti-self help people so you can get the likes on Twitter and sound like a super-smart contrarian who has all of life figured out.

Embrace financial minimalism because it makes sense. Where focus goes energy flows (as the saying goes).

The house upgrader nightmare reality

People will upgrade their house and increase their mortgage by 20% of their income, just for a small marginal lifestyle improvement. Yet, many find it hard to give up 20% of their income to work less and live more — a radical lifestyle improvement. — Daniel Vassallo

The biggest lifestyle creep comes from shelter. Homes and renovations drain the most money out of our wallets. Do extra bedrooms or a patio really make you happy? I doubt it.

Time is the ultimate freedom.

When you have time you can simply leech off other people’s structural indulgences. Friends and family have nice homes. The cafe is a nice building. Go hang out in these places instead of your own giant home that will take a lifetime to pay off.

The tragedy of buying bigger homes than you need or doing renovations is that most rooms will never be used. Underutilized homes are a financial natural disaster.

Formal living and dining rooms, according to research, top the list of underutilized rooms. 68% of our time is spent in the kitchen and family room. The rest of the home is used far less.

Consider this: Half the rooms in a home are never used. Yet we spend our hard-earned dollars to buy extra walls, plaster, and door handles for nothing. That enormous amount of money could buy you a whole year off work. That will give you far more joy.

The problem isn’t just you

Even if you want to live like a financial minimalist it’s going to be tough. Your partner, family, and friends are used to a certain lifestyle. They won’t admit it. But try and change expenses.

Like I double dare you to attempt to cancel Netflix. It will end up in a hostage negotiation. The police will probably be called. Babies may be thrown in front of tv screens as human shields.

People we love kick and scream if you suggest changing the comforts they’re already used to. That’s why you’ve got to bring them on the journey. Explain why you’re doing it. Reframe the benefits from their perspective.

“If we get rid of all these dumb expenses, I can actually spend time with you and do those walks in the park you love so much.”

It won’t be easy. But once you explain the ‘why’ behind lifestyle change, things will start to shift. Make the change to a financial minimalism with a death by a thousand paper cuts strategy.

Slowly dissolve dumb stuff. Start with small expenses. Then work your way up to the Mt Everest ones, like an oversized home or costly renovations to keep the grandparents happy.


A side hustle can help you make more money, although it’s pointless if your lifestyle creeps to the new dollar amount. Use financial minimalism to laser point your focus on a handful of things that matter to you.

When you work less and live more, you’ll never look back on those dumb purchases that keep you in a life of possession poverty.

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I Will Never Sell My Bitcoin and Ethereum. Ever.

Money Tips

Image Credit–GettyImages

Bitcoin and ethereum will be with me until death do us part.

It was love at first sight. Now we’re married without a prenup. We will never get a divorce. This undying love might sound crazy or even over the top. Let me explain. My thoughts will help you rethink crypto.

When you never sell crypto you make a lot more money

This might not make sense. How do you realize crypto profits if you never sell? Sounds stupid. Hear me out.

I stole the idea from the real estate investing world. When a person buys a property and it goes up in value, they unlock the profit by using the equity in the loan to borrow more money for a second property. The biggest reason property investors do this is to avoid having to pay capital gains tax right now. Makes sense.

The same works in crypto. I can unlock my gains by using my crypto as collateral (security) to borrow money and buy whatever I want. But crypto is more sophisticated than old school analog real estate.

The power of magic internet money

Nat Eliason is a Defi expert. In his Almanack newsletter he claims he can live tax-free off crypto using Defi. While the strategy he shared is too complicated for most, including me, it shows us the potential for crypto’s future.

With traditional money like US dollars, you can save and earn interest. Crypto allows you to earn interest, too, but at a much higher rate. Nat figured out you can go a step further with decentralized finance and earn a return on your crypto assets, but also borrow against them at the same time. This isn’t possible in the traditional world of money.

To reduce risk Nat uses US dollar crypto which is backed one for one with real US dollars. He then uses a product called “Magical Internet Money” (a hilariously satirical name) to borrow against his crypto.

He calls this debt stacking and on $10,000 he’s currently earning 29.7%, without having to sell his crypto and create a taxable event (find all the steps here). This sort of clever strategy is possible with crypto and is only limited by your imagination. Now you can see why I’m never selling my crypto.

Best performing asset in history

Yahoo Finance reported that bitcoin is the best performing asset in history. The analysis was done by finance expert Charlie Bilello. Bitcoin made investors more than ten times the returns of the top 100 companies listed on the technology-focused US Nasdaq. Read that again.

No point arguing with the facts. The data makes the conclusion obvious. To deny it is moronic at this stage of the game.

The UK banking giant Standard Chartered sees bitcoin going to $175,000 per coin and ethereum reaching $35,000 per coin. That’s a 3X on bitcoin and a 10x on ethereum. Even if prices go that high I’m not selling. Here’s why.

When you sell bitcoin and ethereum it ends up in the hands of Wall Street. They will buy what is sold, now that the asset is proven.

Wall Street is getting none of my crypto. They’ve had an unfair advantage for decades. Holding onto my bitcoin and ethereum is a silent protest. Sorry suits. Hoodies for the win.

Adoption of ethereum is faster than the internet

Well-known investor Raoul Pal analyzed the network adoption of the internet versus the ethereum network. Ethereum is growing at twice the rate that the internet did through its growth spurt.

Raoul says “it will grow 200x from here. I have never seen anything like this because nothing like this has ever happened in human history in such a short space of time.”

Network effects have a lot to do with value. When a technology is being adopted at an incredibly fast speed it would be stupid to sell out. Ethereum and bitcoin are still in the early adopter phase, yet they have the traction to show what the crypto future will look like.

Call me stupid … but it seems dumb to sell bitcoin and ethereum when the network effects that made companies like Google and Facebook household names are only just getting started.

You have to be patient to unlock the value of the fastest network effects of any technology in human history. Worth the wait, I say.

The mental model that’s not worth interrupting

My mental model is don’t stop doing what works. What doesn’t work for me is a savings account that earns 0.3% interest when inflation is 5%, if you trust the official numbers.

Investing royalty Charlie Munger says, “The first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily.” I agree. Crypto has been around since 2008. That’s 13 years of data.

The data clearly gives us one message: don’t interrupt the compounding nature of crypto. There is no need to jump in and out of the market with bitcoin and ethereum. Buy and hold. Let the blockchain revolution do the rest of the work for you.

You have to have strong belief in what you invest in

My belief in bitcoin and ethereum is based on 8 years of daily research — not blind belief. When you have belief backed up by your own research, it’s easy to have heavy conviction and not want to sell.

I worked with one of the first-ever crypto companies. I’ve endured years of online critics telling me bitcoin and ethereum is a stupid little dream. Many of my finance colleagues publicly made me look stupid in front of senior leaders — and even customers — for believing in crypto.

I’ve given up too much to get this far. Bitcoin and ethereum will be a big part of our technological future. $2.2 trillion worth of money so far backs up how big the idea has become. I’m not selling, ever.

No ban in the US is going to happen

The threat of the largest economy in the world — America — banning crypto has been a huge problem for a long time.

The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, has made it clear recently, as reported by Bloomberg, that bitcoin and ethereum won’t be banned. The US has always been a hub for innovation and this decision is a clear vote to keep things that way.

What will likely be banned in the US are stable coins like Tether that act as digital US dollars. Gary Gensler and other important decision-makers have made that clear. When the decision is made I expect crypto markets to panic and go down in the short term. Obviously when that happens I’ll be buying the discounted ethereum and bitcoin like I always do.

Dips are for buyers who like discounts. That mental resilience to see huge drops in price that way comes from being part of the ups and downs of crypto over the last few years.

You could say bitcoin and ethereum make you mentally tougher.


The basics of supply and demand show the shortages in both bitcoin and ethereum. I see it as a mathematical certainty that we will see much higher prices in both investments over the next year.

There’s no way I’m selling when the crypto industry is in its infancy and digital scarcity that can be proven by public records is obvious, even to people like me who are mathematically handicapped.

I am not selling my bitcoin or ethereum to Wall Street. Ever. I will borrow against both, though, to unlock the enormous gains. You do you.

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.

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From Broke to Time Billionaire: How to Upgrade Your Financial Psychology

Tim Denning Time Billionaire

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

A broke person isn’t a person who has $0 to their name.

No. A broke person is trapped by the temptations money can buy, even if they earn 6-figures a year. A time billionaire on the other hand isn’t some high-fiving bro that quit their job.

A time billionaire is a person who has the currency of time in abundance, instead of $100 bills. They may have a boss at their job, but they wear the pants in the relationship. They call the shots. A time billionaire has divorced their income from their time, according to productivity expert Jack Butcher.

How’s this possible? It’s a matter of financial psychology. How you program your mind to understand what money is, determines the way you’ll use it. Let’s add a few money ideas to your mind to interrupt the programming.

A 20 year old with $0 is richer than a 60 year old with $100 million. Time is the ultimate form of wealth.

— @writingtoriches

Relearn what an asset is

Many people do not understand what assets are. They think assets are investments or things that go up in value or pay dividends. Not quite.

Assets are future consumption. We buy the S&P 500 stock market index because we want to sell it in the future to live off. — Raoul Pal

This is an important concept because it forces us to consider what the future value of an asset might be. When you think of an asset as something that will buy you food and clothes in 20 years it shifts your psychology.

If the value of an asset goes up and the price of stuff you need to buy in 20 years goes up even more, then you’re falling behind. Assets force you to consider the future. When you do, you don’t buy a dumb meme crypto like Dogecoin.

Fads won’t pay your bills in 20 years. In fact, many companies will be bankrupt in 20 years because of technology. Now your psychology has shifted. You will now future-proof the assets you buy by doing proper research (or paying for it).

Traditional billionaires are trapped in a matrix

Ever wondered why an individual needs so much money? Like the 60 year old with $100 million in the bank, do they really need more money? Of course not. Money billionaires, as opposed to time billionaires, are stuck in the financial matrix and they don’t even realize it. Why?

Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end — Bob Marley

No single number ever makes you whole. The financial mind game tells your brain, “when I earn xyz amount of money it will be enough.”

But numbers don’t end, and neither does the game of money. So if you play the game of money you’ll end up giving your life away to a useless pursuit that has no end, and worst of all, won’t make you happy.

That’s why your mind needs to understand money and its purpose. You can join the path of money billionaires or time billionaires. The purpose of money is a decision you make which sets you off on either path.

The formula time billionaires follow

Invest 75% of what you earn & retire at 30 years
Invest 50% of what you earn & retire at 40 years
Invest 30% of what you earn & retire at 50 years
Invest less than 30% probably you wont ever retire.

— Sandeep Kochhar [edited]

You have to program your mind to buy back time.

Time is bought through investing — not spending or saving. The more you invest upfront the quicker you become a time billionaire. The tough part about this formula is more than 47% of Americans have zero investments. That’s what keeps them stuck in the rat race.

Once you shift from consumption to investment the magical power of compounding starts to work in your favor. Money begins to work for you rather than the typical fistfight most people endure.

Stocks and crypto don’t give you the maximum psychological benefit

Making your own coffee to save $5 isn’t going to make you [a time billionaire]. Instead of cutting basic things from your life, focus on starting a side-hustle instead. — Shreya Pattar

Stocks and crypto are popular investments. I like them too. There’s one thing they don’t give you, though: skills and experience. You’ll get a slight mindset upgrade when you ride out recessions, endure bull and bear markets, and survive the inevitable 50% crypto dips.

But stocks and crypto can make you extremely lazy if you make a tonne of money from them. Why work when you don’t need money thanks to your investments? Now you see the problem.

The best financial psychology comes from making money out of your side hustle. In the process you learn skills, hire people, build an audience online, get used to sending invoices, cop a lot of rejection, and make new friends. As opposed to stocks and crypto where you sit in your bedroom in your undies and click mouse buttons.

When you can buy back your time and work on a side hustle you love, it’s the psychological formula for financial success. It doesn’t even feel like work, so you already feel your schedule is free to do what you want and that you’re a time billionaire.


Mental models don’t just apply to self-improvement. When you change the way you think about how money works, it bleeds into every area of your life. It allows you to make smarter decisions.

Transform from spend and save, to invest and side hustle. That’s how you upgrade your financial psychology and become a time billionaire.

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.

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Here’s How to Do Salary Negotiation like a World-Class Negotiator

Salary Negotiation

Photo by Charles Collingwood on Unsplash

I am the worst employee in history.

If you hire me I’m guaranteed to be lazy and daydream the day away. Why? All I want to do is write. Business puts me to sleep. Spreadsheet rots my mind. Meetings ignite my rage and make me a nasty little boy.

Despite all of this, I got good over the years at salary negotiation. In my first big promotion I thought I was a master salesman for getting a $20,000 pay rise. I learned later that all the other people in my team with that title actually made $20,000 more than me. 

The manager I negotiated with for the job laughed about it often. I vowed never to negotiate like a pussy ever again. So I read everything on the subject of negotiation.

Steal these simple tactics to get paid what you’re worth.

Get this through your head right now

There is no salary number. There is no budget. It’s all a mind game. The salary you earn is entirely subjective. Every salary package is customizable. HR intentionally tells managers not to let anybody know this. HR pretends there are set rates to keep things fair.

The truth: any manager can override a salary range. Here’s why.

The best employees are worth 10x more than the average employee. So paying them 2x is a steal — Matthew Kobach

Matt sums it up beautifully. Talent isn’t equal. In one job I worked at I dealt with 160 requests per day. The guy who trained me dealt with 120. Everybody else in the team did about 30 requests per day. My colleagues refused to do more. They threatened to call the union. Me and my buddy? We didn’t care. So we earned twice as much as them. Nobody told them.

Companies will hand out gold bars to people who help them generate revenue and have figured out systems and ways to make customers scream with excitement. Oh, and when you have an extremely happy customer, they can help with your salary negotiation. Get them to put their positive feedback into an email. Then show it to your boss. Then, during a salary negotiation, you open your folder of customer testimonials as evidence. It makes sense to pay you more now, doesn’t it?

Find your point of difference so your employer can’t afford to lose you.

Utilize this non-financial superpower

When you think of salary from now on, move past the idea of money. Money is time. Use the salary negotiation to buy back time.

In one job I couldn’t get the money I wanted. I convinced them to let me work four days per week. In the next job I repeated the same pony trick, thinking it wouldn’t work twice. It did. One friend asked his new employer for six weeks of holidays per year instead of four. They didn’t blink an eye. He was only joking but they said yes so he took it. Genius.

Companies don’t value time as much as money. Whereas humans value time a lot. Use this paradox to negotiate an easier win.

The #1 thing that stuffs up salary negotiations

This one makes steam come out of my orifices like a boiling teapot.

When you go into a salary negotiation never give the first number. When they ask your expectations act like a dumb dog. “It’s too early to price myself. I don’t know enough about the job.”

Then when you do know enough you say “I look forward to your remuneration proposal.” A company only wants to know your salary range so they can lowball you. They’re dying to pay you less than you’re worth. And guess what? Most suckers fall straight into their trap and light a bucketload of money on fire. DON’T. DO. IT.

Never give out a number first.

The first number is a practical joke

Every salary you’re offered is negotiable. They will always start low. Your job is to always start high. Slowly, you work together to find a middle point. They know that and pretend it’s not the case. It is.

Ask for the salary range to get a rough idea. Then like an old man from the 1900s puffing a pipe and leaning back in his leather office chair, say with your most confident voice, “I’m assuming this is negotiable, right?”

That one line lets the other side understand you know the game.

Don’t be a wise-ass

I’ve seen plenty of candidates as a hiring manager turn into a giant wise-ass when the salary negotiation happens. They start making demands and being rude. This will get you nowhere. Leave your ego at the door.

Use these positive psychology sentences in your negotiation.

  • “Could we perhaps do…?”
  • “I was thinking more…?”
  • “ Your thoughts?”
  • “How does that work for you?”
  • “Would that give you what you need?”
  • Could we make … happen?”

Many people head into negotiations like a General ready for war. That’s amateur hour. Think of your employer as a partner. With a partner there are compromises. You’re not there to screw them. No. When they win you win.

Write your own pitch script

“No doubt you’ll have to take this proposal back internally. I respect that. Is there anything I can do to help make the internal conversation easier?”

This sentence you can steal is key. One trick I’ve used is to write down a few dot points for the recruiter, hiring manager, or HR person to use internally. When you start to customize your remuneration it can require approvals.

Write the script for the person pitching you internally to get more money. This hack is overlooked, but it bloody works miracles. Trust me.

Reconfigure the incentives with logic

There are other ways to get more money without getting a higher salary. In my last job I got them to change their incentive structure.

I told them “Look, your base salary is extremely low, but I can produce results. Make the bonus uncapped just for me. If I suck then it won’t cost you a dollar. If I’m good then you’ll make a lot more money than my measly bonus.”

See what I did there? I used logic. I explained their downside was tiny and their upside was enormous. They found my proposal irresistible. I got a fully customized salary and bonus from a Fortune 500 company. People asked me “how did you do that?”

My stupidly simple answer: “I asked.”

My grandma used to say if you don’t ask you don’t get. Granny’s timeless advice can work for you too.

They have more negotiation experience than you

I’m the exception. I’ve been in business a long time and learned to negotiate at 19-years-old. Most of you don’t have that sort of experience.

Picture the person who will negotiate your salary. They do this every day. If it’s a recruiter then they’ve likely done the salary dance thousands of times. You on the other hand? You only negotiate a salary occasionally when you shift jobs.

Read over articles like this before you negotiate. Have the negotiation game fresh in your mind before you sit down.

Don’t make decisions in the moment

My rule is never to make a salary decision in the moment. If an offer is made I always say “let me sleep on it.” This is your career we’re talking about. It’s too much pressure to give an answer to an offer as soon as you hear it.

Sleep on it because you’ll feel different about the offer tomorrow. Talk to your mentors and get their advice on your offer. Speak to the other companies that are making you offers too. Talk to current employees who work for the company in question.

Check the salary stats on LinkedIn and Glassdoor to give you a rough idea of the highest amount of money for that job. Don’t let the data limit you, though. Even if they have never paid someone $200K for that job before, doesn’t mean you won’t be the first. Big companies, especially, don’t care about a few thousand dollars, or even a few hundred thousand extra — it’s pocket change to them, even though it’s not for you.

Dance between the phone and email

Email is official. The phone is unofficial. Dance between both. Email is great because it’s harder for an offer to be disputed. The phone is where I fish for information.

Often, the person doing the salary negotiation can act like your ally and tell you things they shouldn’t. After all, they just want this over. On email they’ll act all smart and official. On the phone they’ll be more of a cowboy and shoot their mouth off. This is good for you. When they let facts slip it helps you know if the negotiation will end in your proposal being accepted.

I had one salary negotiation last three months because of certain people leaving the company. I would have given up and taken one of the other offers if the hiring manager didn’t say “this is only a formality, we’re definitely hiring you.” So I held on … and got the offer of a lifetime. Worth every minute.

Accept a rock bottom salary

Wait, what? Hear me out. Even if the salary negotiation fails and you faceplant, there’s an upside to a low salary.

With a lower salary you don’t buy dumb sh*t — Gary Vee

When I worked in a call center on minimum wage I had barely enough money to pay my bills. I learned about minimalism and had to watch every dollar. I had 99 cent tin soup every day to save money. Those frugal habits allowed me to invest money later in life and do pretty well.


A salary negotiation determines how much money you will have. Money buys back your time. Money can help give you options, and lets you make weird decisions your colleagues don’t understand.

Never mention the first salary number. Be humble. Don’t decide on an offer as soon as you hear it. Treat the other side like a partner. Most of all, decide your life has enormous value and don’t be afraid to charge for it.

A salary is fully customizable. Negotiate your way to the right one.

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Seven Bizarre Money Lessons I’m Glad I Learned Before It’s Too Late

Bizarre Money Lessons

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

Money is a mind game for Harry Houdinis.

It’s a great illusion. How do we get it? How do we keep it? How does it grow? How is it taken away? How do we work out the value of money?

Most people learn the important lessons about money when it’s too late. My grandparents taught me to die with $0 in the bank. That’s how you know you’ve lived. But money lessons aren’t always what they seem. There are many paradoxes in the finance world. Let’s explore.

Money can’t replace many things

Today I switched on a hearing aid, and switched off my former life.

I told you I was a 35-year-old grandpa and my hearing aid proves it. What was that sonny Jim? Just joking. I can hear you, sorta, over the high-pitched noises created by my hearing loss.

The new hearing aid has an odd setting. It’s called Zen. The Zen setting plays quiet fractal sounds (sounds like a wind chime) to my ears all day. The patented technology from the manufacturer is supposed to use neuroplasticity to reprogram my brain not to hear the high-pitched sounds caused by my tinnitus. Who knows if it will work. But I live in hope.

No amount of money can rebuild my hearing. You get one set of ears and if you stuff them up like I did, with loud music played through headphones all day, then you’ve got to face this reality that money can’t replace.

There’s another thing money can’t replace.

No amount of money can buy back missed time with your parents — Lawrence King

That’s why I take time off my side hustles and social media to see mine. When you move out of your parent’s home as a young adult, most of the time you’ll spend with your parents before they die has expired. Think about that fact next time you ditch them for a stupid work meeting about nothing.

Money determines which games you have to play

Independence is the best financial goal. Control your schedule, don’t have to play anyone else’s games.

— Morgan Housel

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Lambos and mansions. If my tiny tinpot business ever makes me the big bucks, a Lambo isn’t making it into the car space of my student apartment. The game of luxury isn’t one I want to play.

Life is full of games. There’s the get-an-education game. There’s the corporate rat race game I played. There are the mind games your boss forces you to play. There’s your family’s game that comes from tradition — those with Chinese families, for example, like me, will know what I mean.

The goal with money should be to avoid these games. If you learn to be smart financially, you can simply opt-out of these games. Or you can head down the minimalist path and buy less stuff to get there, too.

Luxury enslaves us. Financial independence sets us free.

The Million Dollar Question from Japan

Financial freedom is rarely reached. There are plenty of things we can do to get there if we choose. Why don’t we? Blogger Sebastian Marshall says it comes down to the million dollar question.

On a trip to Japan Sebastian took the train and got off at the wrong station. He found himself stuck in the middle of suburbia, observing the way everyday people went about their lives.

He wondered why many of them caught the train and gave up so much time to be at work. The million dollar question is why don’t people take the large opportunities in front of them? Why don’t they allow their dreams to become realities?

We don’t succeed or live our dreams because then we escape ‘normal’ and people think we’re weird. We want to be accepted. We want to be social. We want to be understood. So we stay trapped to fit in.

This insight caused him to burst into tears when he discovered it.“The further ahead you go (financially), the less people understand you.”

To be understood by everybody, you must stay in mediocrity. Let that sink in. It’s not too late to change.

The doomsdayers never correctly predict recessions

The fanboys and fangirls love Robert Kiyosaki. They think his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is the bible. Not me. The guy is a virus that eats away at our financial health. Here’s proof.

Image Credit: Dr Parik Patel via Twitter

See what I’m saying? Guys like Robert make a living off of selling financial fear. Youtube is full of them — Mike Maloney, Peter Schiff, Harry Dent. They all have one thing in common: a love of gold.

They spread financial doomsday scenarios so that we will buy gold, ideally through their firm. Even if we don’t decide to haul a chunk of metal around with us like a ball and chain, out of fear, they still win. If people buy gold the price goes up and they get rich.

It’s never too late to understand that nobody has any idea when the financial markets will crash. Doomsday predictions and pessimism is a highly profitable business. Look at incentives before accepting opinions. Invest money based on solid research — not whether or not a recession is about to happen.

There’s a financial ladder we all have to climb

Level 1: Judging
Level 2: Gossiping
Level 3: Giving feedback
Level 4: Giving deep feedback
Level 5: Collaborating
Level 6: Driving
Level 7: Owning

Angel investor Julie Zhuo calls it the ladder of ownership. This ladder determines a lot of financial success. Many people get stuck on level one and two. It’s easy to throw stones and take zero action, of course. As you move up the ladder you start to influence outcomes.

Ownership is the highest level. It’s where you go from complaining about a problem to owning it.

Owning a problem is where you become action-focused to solve it. When you do, you unlock all the value. That value gets shared with you. Took me years to learn nobody gives a damn about our sob story. Own your story and all its problems, and enough money will enter your life.

A $150 umbrella isn’t necessarily as cyclone-proof as a $10 one

On day one of my first ever call center job, I walked 40 minutes from a car space in the outer city to the office. I had a see-through plastic bag in one hand with a 99 cent can of soup and a fork from home.

My colleagues thought I was nuts to walk all that way during the middle of winter. They were right. Cyclone winds and heavy rain were common. By day three I had to take an umbrella. The only one I had cost $10. Within minutes of opening the umbrella, a gust of wind tore the top of it.

That night I bought another one. The next day the same thing happened. The cycle of destroyed umbrellas continued, so I decided to get creative. I went and blew $150 on a cyclone-proof umbrella. The Youtube Ads were incredible. This bad boy was supposed to be indestructible even when standing next to a jumbo jet.

It came by courier. I carried it for a few minutes in the rain. Take that umbrella gods! Minutes later another gust of wind ripped through and started a fistfight with my umbrella.

It was so strong the umbrella didn’t just turn upside down. No, the strong metal pole in the middle snapped in half. I took it back to the manufacturer. The lady who served me became skeptical of my story.

“We have Uber drivers on scooters who carry these umbrellas at 80 mph when it rains to stay dry. Theirs have never broken like this. How come yours did?” The story seems far-fetched. How do you ride a scooter and hold an umbrella? Perhaps they had an umbrella stand but I doubt it. With great hesitation she gave me a full refund.

More expensive isn’t always better.

The meaning of retirement needs to change

The plan isn’t to retire. It’s to retire from working for other people — Finance Hipster

My friends think I live some sexy laptop life. Hardly. They joke that I’m a retired, 35-year-old grandpa ready for the nursing home (a hearing aid doesn’t help my cause). But I’m not retired. I’m just retired from working for adult babies and cleaning up their poop … daily.

Maybe work without a boss to report to should be the real retirement goal. It doesn’t have to be sexy entrepreneurship either. Freelancing and consulting is an underrated way to retire from the grind and live before it’s too late.

Final Thought

The pursuit of money has taught me a lot. Most of what we think matters, doesn’t. And what we easily forget — our family, our gift of a body — matter more than we realize while we’re out there hustling our face off for the man.

Stick it to the man.

Reengineer your life to think about money differently, so you don’t have to play somebody else’s games. That’s what a basic financial education you can’t get from books on Amazon can teach you before it’s too late.

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.

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Seven Uncommon Facts About Money They Don’t Teach You at a 9-5 Job

Financial lessons

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

Money is the most misunderstood subject on Earth.

We’re misled by money because it’s hard to understand (by design). There’s a reason the finance industry exists. It’s to unpack the complexity of money for you for a nice fee.

I like to challenge my thoughts about money. It helps me get to the next level of my life. The problem is my 9-5 job didn’t teach me the hard truth about money. Only from the outside looking in does it all make sense now.

Don’t be misguided the way I’ve been. Here are the brutal facts on money.

Investing money is what sets you free. The rest is a mind virus.

Don’t save money by investing time, save time by investing money — Wisdom Theory

If there’s a great secret about money it’s investing. You should be obsessed with investing. You should take a course on it. You should understand every type of asset and why you need each one.

With the costs of everything rising at a record rate, the only way to stay ahead is to invest money that grows faster than the number of US dollars created out of thin air and the rate of inflation. Inflation is hard to calculate. When you play with the calculation, you quickly realize it’s either invest in assets or be torn apart financially by a legacy financial system that is currently being rebuilt.

My investing philosophy: Earn once, get paid twice.

Make money from the price of assets going up. Make money from any interest or financial return some assets offer. Combine the earnings with your regular income, and you’ve got a simple formula for basic, non-Lambo, freedom.

“The world rewards you for value provided, not time spent.”

Author James Clear said this. Time is how the factory worker age measured success. It’s not like that anymore.

If you’ve ever wondered how some Twitter gurus work 4 hours a day and make 6-figures, it’s because they’ve worked out how to create value. Once your own source of value is unlocked, you can use leverage to increase the returns without dumping more time into it.

For example, my online school has done well this year. I have a company running Facebook Ads to show the same product to more people. No more time from my side is required.

Build once + Use leverage to amplify + Add in other people = More money

Some people wait for a raise. Others give themselves one.

My favorite part of having a business: The ability to give myself a raise instead of waiting for someone else to do it. — Josh George

A job takes forever to get a pay rise. Data shows pay rises hardly happen. The reason is it’s not a management priority to pay you more money for the same work. So what do you do?

Not all of you want to be entrepreneurs. I get it. That’s why I love side hustles. A side hustle means you can give yourself a pay rise. You can simply put in more effort. But my favorite technique is to use creativity to boost my earnings.

You control your income based on your willingness or unwillingness to join the side hustle economy. There’s no limiter on magic internet money.

Meaning drives you further than $100 bills

Stop treating your purpose like a side hustle — M.IAMÖUR

A lot of people in their jobs work their faces off. The trouble is they don’t know why. They’re so removed from the problem their employer solves that it feels like stacking boxes one on top of another for a lifetime.

What’s in the boxes? Who do the boxes help? What if the boxes were full of food for homeless people?

I recently found a neat way to add more meaning. I sold a course. A few people contacted me and said they were unable to afford it. That got me thinking. I could let them go because they came from a third-world country.

I lose. They lose. Or I could just give them the thing they can never afford and receive payment through their gratitude and appreciation. The payment would be a sense that my life lessons actually have meaning.

Get paid from opportunities to extract meaning, especially when money isn’t an option for payment.

Time is tragically not replenishable

Money can be made back. Time is lost forever. Invest your time wisely. — Jose Rosado

People live like they’ve got all the time in the world. They get hung up on silly little debates on Twitter. The time you waste on BS can’t be recouped. You can’t ask the universe for a refund on all the time you pissed up against the wall.

Track where your time goes. Take note of the time you spend doing things you’d rather murder with a samurai sword. Time is wealth, not money.

Money will never be the same

If your idea of money is what it was yesterday, you will lose it to the people who know what money will be tomorrow

— Naval Ravikant

The idea of money is changing. A system of money that can be infinitely manipulated isn’t sustainable. Technology brought transparency. The current cash-in-your-pocket system has little transparency.

Some resist the advances of new forms of internet money like ethereum and bitcoin. This is foolish. Every country will one day have a digital currency. China did it. USA is going to do it. El Salvador really did it with bitcoin.

Old forms of wealth storage like bonds and gold are failing their base use case. The return on a bond is painfully low. Gold has been down 5% over the last 10 years. If you stay stuck in the financial past, you’ll miss the booming 2020s built on Web 3.0. You don’t have to agree, yet.

It’s enough to do the research and stay dialed in to what is happening. When the maturity of Web 3.0 is reached, maybe then it becomes a class of asset you want to be a part of. But don’t put your head in the sand and think the last thing to be disrupted by the internet — money — won’t happen. It will. Nobody knows how, yet. Although bitcoin and ethereum will definitely be part of the new financial system.

Ignorance equals poverty.

Retirement catfishes you

Imagine enduring a grueling 30-year career (counting the days until retirement), only to find retirement even more boring than your career.

We like to think this is the low-risk path, but that sounds pretty risky to me. You won’t get a 2nd chance. — Daniel Vassallo

A 9-5 job teaches you to cherish the fantasy of a future retirement. The real risk is to wait and see what retirement is like. Sabbaticals, months off, buying extra vacation time — these are all ways to play with the idea of retirement now. I don’t ever want to retire, though.

Tony Robbins says “to retire is to die.” I agree. I want to work for the rest of my life. The difference is I want to do work that has meaning. I want to forget about the dollar value so I can focus on the enjoyment value. This isn’t taught in jobs.

Jobs teach you that today is about what it will give you tomorrow.

Sounds nice. But what if there are no tomorrows left one day? Look at all the health scare stories on LinkedIn. Cancer can end your pretty retirement delusion faster than you can say “hold o-n-n-n, just one more day!”

Don’t be a delusional psychopath. Don’t wait for retirement.

Final Thought

Some of these money concepts are counterintuitive. It’s easy to dismiss them and say “but my life isn’t fair.” No life is far. Fairness is an idea that either holds you back or gives you the best form of motivation there is.

Take these facts about money and make your life fair. You now have an unfair information advantage to build off. No 9-5 job will tell you that.

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.

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