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I’ve Spent 9 Years Being Obsessed with Personal Finance. Here Are the 10 Most Important Takeaways.

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Money, Personal Finance

The story of the carpenter to the stars is mind-blowing.

In 1964 a young man moved to Hollywood with big dreams of being a successful actor. The trouble was every other young person had a similar goal. It was a saturated market.

As he spent more time with other actors, he had an aha moment: they were all in a mad hurry to get rich and famous.

They had to make a lot of cash to prove they had made it and show anyone who didn’t believe in their dream that they were wrong. While everyone had an impending deadline, the young man had a much longer timeline.

He thought in decades, not months.

The only way to act and pay the bills was to get a second job. There were many options but he chose carpentry. Building stuff felt like meditation. He also thought that everyone in Hollywood would need stuff built at some point. He didn’t have to be brilliant to get these building jobs.

He got jobs with all the stars. They referred him to more stars.

In the 1970s Francis Ford Coppola hired him to build a portico entrance at his place of business. At the same time a relatively unknown director named George Lucas was doing casting meetings for his movie Star Wars.

By sheer fact he was doing building work so close, he got asked if he would do a read with the other actors. No one knew he was an actor.

The read was only done to be helpful. It wasn’t an official audition. The young man went on to do more reads with 300+ other actors over the next few weeks.

At the end of the process they asked the carpenter if he wanted to play Hans Solo. The man’s name was Harrison Ford.

Making money your main goal is stupid. If you can transcend the desire to make money and focus on being around the right people, the impossible can happen. You can have a career others can only dream of.

These narratives exist no matter how well the economy does

“The US dollar is dead.”

“Central banks are evil.”

“Inflation is going to destroy everything.”

“Tech stocks are too high and it won’t last.”

“Early next year a deep recession will come.”

“Real estate is a bubble. It can’t go up forever. 2008 is coming.”

“If interest rates go up any further, we’ll have a Great Depression again.”

As the author of the best finance book of the last decade, Morgan Housel, says, “Been like that for 100+ years.” Ignore the fear. Invest for the long term. Good times and bad times will never go away.

But opportunities exist in all markets.

The time when fortunes are made (that most people miss)

Following on from the last point, finance podcaster Jason Calacanis says “Fortunes are made in the down market, and collected in the up market.”

When the narratives are the worst it’s the best time to invest.

Back at the start of the 2020 bat virus it felt like the world was going to end. Our worst fears came true and made the 2011 (fictional) Contagion movie look like a documentary with predictions that were 100% accurate.

But three years on it was one of the greatest times in history to invest. I’ve never made so much money in my life as I did in 2020 and 2021.

Once you get market cycles and understand that fear is when the most amount of money is created out of nowhere by central banks/governments, you can’t help but smile.

More liquidity equals higher stock/crypto prices.

There’s a direct correlation that’s hard to ignore.

The key to happiness you’ve never heard

Cartoonist Lynda Barry once said “The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.”

Author Austin Kleon upgraded the idea with this:

Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life.

Thinking about money is damn stressful. The aim of a good life is to think about money hardly ever. Yet most spend their entire day focused on money and what they can do to make more of it.

It creates transactions instead of relationships. And relationships are what lead to wealth and make one feel connected to something bigger than themselves, which transforms into happiness.

Money can buy happiness

Wait, what?!

When money is given to you without putting in any effort it’s worthless. You’ll piss it up against the wall and spend it on drugs and strippers.

But when money is earned through hard work, struggles, and doing work you enjoy it leads to happiness.

Looking at the clock is lighting your earning potential on fire

I hired a VA three years ago.

They kept talking about hours worked. Frankly, I didn’t care. All I wanted to know was what value was created. They didn’t get it.

If you want to buy things without looking at the price, work without looking at the clock — Aaron Will

Trading time for money is stupid. It’s more like serving a prison sentence than it is living a life. Don’t be a prisoner. Divorce how much you earn from the hours spent. How?

Do work where you are paid based on outcomes. That work will have to be more than a job. It’ll likely be a side hustle, startup, or a one-person business.

Making money is one thing. Keeping it is another.

Justin Welsh makes $2.5M USD a year with zero employees.

He gave me this money advice:

You make a lot of money by doing one thing really well. You keep your money by diversifying how you make it.

One income source is a nightmare. It’s sure to end in tears. It did for me in 2019. My dumb boss fired me for no reason. I sat in the gutter and cried. I was damaged goods after that.

“You’ve got a career gap. Computer says no.”

“You got fired after 6 months. You must be sh*t.”

That’s when I learned to make money from a lot of different places. Many people build a career based on one hack/arbitrage/person.

Then when the market shifts or they get laid off everything they’ve worked for gets lit on fire. Savings quickly dwindle. Depression sets in. Rock bottom becomes the new norm. Don’t do it.

Lesson: Multiple bank deposits every month from different customers.

Learn the 10X Rule

Alex Hormozi pointed out that “The more money you make other people, the more money you make.”

This means you’ll likely get to keep 10% of the money you make for others.

The founder of Papa John’s said “To be a billionaire make 10,000 millionaires.” This is the 10X rule in action.

I meet creators all the time who complain they’re broke. They don’t know how to make more money. They overthink it. They blame platforms and algorithms. So I ask them…

“How can you make people more money?”

This question never lets us down. Everyone wants to make more money. Find out how to help them do it if you want to be wealthy.

The best three-word one-line money tips I’ve ever heard

1. Rent until 35
2. Invest for long
3. Only buy assets
4. Rich isn’t wealth
5. Wealth is freedom
6. Invest every month
7. Read Atomic Habits
8. FOMO isn’t investing
9. Freedom is privilege
10. Don’t do fixed deposits
12. Read about compounding

Ankur Warikoo

The best money advice is simple.

Wealth isn’t the goal

Charlie Munger is a 99 year old investing legend. He sounds 40 years old rather than almost a century old.

Many people think it was his life dream to become stinking rich. But Charlie says “I did not intend to get rich. I just wanted to get independent.”

That’s the real goal of mastering your money game.

  • Money buys freedom.
  • Money creates options.
  • Money can pay to solve problems.
  • Money can let you hire other people.
  • Money can be used to make more money.
  • Money can create leverage.

The purpose of life is to be free. Money creates freedom.

What it takes to make a million dollars courtesy of a tech god

Let’s finish here.

The founder of Y-Combinator is often thought of as a tech god. Many unicorn startups wouldn’t exist without him. He said something that is the opposite of any other money advice I’ve heard:

If you want to make a million dollars, you have to endure a million dollars worth of pain.

This advice resonated with me because I lost $1.2M in a single day a few years back. It hurt like hell. I had to struggle so hard to make that money. Then what Paul said made sense to me.

Those who refuse to struggle don’t get wealthy because they haven’t paid the price of freedom. There is no wealth without adversity and a bulldog nature to keep going no matter what.

This is by far my most important takeaway of the last 9 years.

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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