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Getting Rich Slowly Is the Worst Way to Get Wealthy

by | Sep 11, 2023 | Financial Freedom, Money

The money gurus offer the worst advice in history: get rich slow.

They argue we can only get rich slow and everything else is delusional. Whenever any finfluencer says to “shut up and wait,” the masses cheer loudly — like the person is Batman saving Gotham City from the Joker — and the social media post goes viral.

Here’s an example:

Image credit-Brian Feroldi via a social post

1M views. Holy crap.

Wealthy people all laugh at this advice. They know it’s not true at all. We can get rich as fast as we want.

The big problem with slow wealth (that no one talks about)

The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) & FatFire movements have become popular over the last few years.

Gurus like Mr Money Moustache have peddled the wisdom that if you just work a job you hate for a long time, and invest in index funds, one day you’ll be rich enough to retire.

At the same time you should be frugal and act like a tightarse to your friends. I don’t buy this crap.

Trading happiness and freedom today for some future tomorrow is what the American Dream is built on.

It forces people to make bad decisions and ignore their short term happiness and desires. I prefer to live for now.

If you follow the slow way to building wealth, then you may become a millionaire on paper at 65 like Dave Ramsay preaches.

The trouble is your best days and highest levels of energy will be behind you. You might be rich but it’s getting too late to enjoy.

The question is: why wait?

Contrary to popular belief you can make money fast.

Index funds may *NOT* make you rich

I love to question every popular idea.

Often these ideas are shared by influential people with hidden incentives they get by sharing them.

I once saw someone I admired peddle Wealthfront as a way to get rich slowly. Behind the scenes I found out they were an investor in the company and didn’t use this technology to get rich themselves.

Index funds sound smart.

You invest a regular amount of money into a Wall Street managed index fund run by someone like Fidelity, Vanguard, or Blackrock.

They then take your money and invest it across a large number of companies. This supposedly limits risk in case one goes bad or bankrupt.

Over a long period of time your stock portfolio should grow on average by ~8%. That annual growth will eventually make you a millionaire. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? It also sounds way too easy.

The index fund advice misses a lot of nuances:

1. You pay tax on the 8%.

I pay 50% on my income, so the returns need to take that into account.

2. You buy and sell index funds in government-issued currency like US dollars.

The true value of this currency goes down over time through money printing and inflation. On paper your return can look enormous. When you factor in hidden inflation … that changes.

3. If you buy an index fund you’ll likely rely on Wall Street.

Most of the time they’re fine, except in situations like the 2008 recession. Blindly trusting Wall Street has had its downsides throughout history.

4. The most common index funds invest the money in America.

(Or at least a large percentage of the cash.)

America is fine and most investors are bullish on the region. But Ray Dalio wrote in his book “The Changing World Order” that the paradigm of empires can change.

We saw it with Japan. In the 70s and 80s they were a superpower. Then the economy collapsed and they experienced the famous “Lost Decade.”

Their economy has never truly recovered.

The US’s relevance can change, therefore the value of your US investments can be altered to the downside if paradigms shift. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future returns.

I still like index funds, but the idea they’ll make you rich and are a bet that can never go wrong is dangerous. Index funds have risks. And their returns are lower than what most people think.

Your wealth is only limited by the quality of your mental health

There is no limiting valve on wealth creation.

Plenty of people get rich fast. A friend of mine bought Nvidia stock right before the recent pump and retired from his banking job.

A colleague of my wife’s bought Tesla stock at $1.50 and retired from their General Manager job within a few years.

What determines our wealth is the way we think. And if our mental health is all messed up we’ll never believe financial freedom is even possible. Trust me, I suffered dire mental health issues for years and accepted minimum wage in a call center job.

The strategies to get wealthy faster are all over the internet. You don’t need to be a genius or “come from money” to read about them.

You simply have to understand it’s possible.

The paths for you to get wealthy faster

So if you’re like me and CBF waiting until you’re 65 and crusty to get wealthy, then consider a few of these paths.

Start a taboo business

A business is the one wealth creation tool people skip over.

They assume it’s too hard, doesn’t work, needs an MBA, or requires you to be this mythical entrepreneur prancing around on a rainbow unicorn.

Not quite.

The smartest way to start a business is on the side. It’s to build one in public online around a community you create. Ask the members what their biggest problems are then build products/services.

With that approach it’s hard to fail.

Just listen, build, iterate and keep going. It might take a year or two but it’s faster than working a job you hate until 65, then maybe cashing in a million that by then will barely buy you a rusty old Ford pickup truck.

Find a way to generate naughty passive income

If you say passive income strangers will shout at you.

“It’s a scam you bald-headed eagle!” Trust me I’ve copped my fair share of abuse on this topic. It’s not a scam though, it’s misunderstood. Passive income requires active work to get it started.

But once passive income gets going, then it becomes money you make while you sleep. The typical paths to making passive income are created by building leverage.

  • Code leverage (software)
  • Labor leverage (hire people to do the work)
  • Capital leverage (lend money in return for interest)
  • Digital leverage (websites, copywriting, sales pages, social)
  • Productization leverage (turn your knowledge into a product that makes money where it’s 1-to-many)

If you can master one leverage strategy, you can make passive income. If you master many, you’ll likely get extremely wealthy in a couple of years.

Good ol’ real estate

Average people get rich from real estate every day.

If you use the wrong strategy, though, then you’ll be the hotel owner for a bunch of pain in the ass millennials & get rich at 65 or later.

If you get into property development and other strategies then you can 100% get wealthy faster.

Sometimes the most boring strategies are the best. But do your research.

Become a millionaire’s apprentice

I love this strategy the most.

You can spend years guessing and experimenting, or you can just become an apprentice for someone who has already got wealthy fast. Maybe you manage their LinkedIn profile, or become their virtual assistant, or babysit their kids.

The bottom line is wealth isn’t an information problem, it’s one of resourcefulness.

And those who get resourceful can always figure out ways to get rich faster than buying an index fund, betting on America, trusting Wall Street, and hoping the US dollar remains strong and dominant for eternity.

Wealth is a mindset. Fast or slow is your choice.

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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