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The Biggest Way You Make Life-Changing Money Is by *Not* Doing Dumb Stuff

by | Nov 15, 2021 | Money

When your hero slides into your DMs, your rules go out the window.

Recently I opened a DM. I saw the name. He is one of the biggest money influencers on the internet. I couldn’t believe it.

“Honey, this is it. We’ve made it. Pack your bags, we’re going to New York.”

The message started with a hi. He wanted to know what I was working on. I went for the subtle plug of my online academy to sound smart. I threw in a hint about my favorite financial asset. And of course, I told him how I watched his daily show every day, without sounding like a cheerleader.

The responses that came back were dry. No emotion. No acknowledgment of my love for his content.

“Do you trade? How’s your portfolio?”

The question seemed odd and direct. Moments later the knockout punch came.

“My investments went up $200K last month by trading.”

I knew what came next. A sales pitch. Sure enough I got given a link to a trading school. (Trading is just gambling for us normies.)

You’ll probably have more fun losing your money in Las Vegas than being a wannabe Wolf of Wall Street trader. Heroes often disappoint, especially when they’re already smoking rich and want even more money (from you!).

Becoming a trader is one way to be dumb with money.

Investing in accidental memes

Two memes have gone viral: 1) Dogecoin 2) Shiba Inu.

These are not assets. They have no utility. Social media pumps and dumps the price for fun. Memes are cool. But don’t bet your life savings on them. They are designed as a joke, not an investment.

I’m going to go against the grain here.

Both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are jokes to traditional investors. While they have zero value right now, there are loads of people all around the world who worship them more than the Marvel comic franchise.

Some smart cookie may decide to take this community and do something useful with it. At that point these meme coins could have value. Until then, be careful investing in memes. They count as dumb stuff.

A big part of being financially secure is not doing stupid sh*t with your money — EmpireEd

Risks can be smart or catastrophic

Dialing in a bit of risk into your investment portfolio can do wonders.

Putting as little as 1% of your money into bitcoin would have seen a 20% increase to your entire portfolio over the last year. Small risk. Decent gain.

On the other hand people take crazy risks. One of the reasons I am reluctant to talk about crypto is because people get it wrong. I told many of my close friends that if they wanted to dabble in crypto then bitcoin and ethereum would be sensible options.

You know what happened?

They bought Cum Rocket.

(Yes, it’s real crypto).

They took my advice and bought unknown cryptos that started two months ago. I told them until I was blue in the face not to touch anything else until they’ve been in the space a few years. They don’t listen. All they see is money. It drives me nuts.

If you take wild risks and don’t know what you’re doing, then expect to be heading back to a regular job real soon to pay off the debt from your dumb mistakes and suck up to your boss for a raise.

A lack of research is a huge risk many take.

Be self-aware with greed

The worst part about money is it’s addictive.

Even if you don’t want to own a yellow Lambo like me, greed can still get you. The idea of paying off your parent’s home or donating lots of money to your favorite charity is tempting as f*ck.

Over the last year my investment portfolio is up over 500%. The global health crisis created a paradigm shift. People have finally begun to understand inflation and money printing, hence the increase in investment opportunities.

To try to make more than 500% feels plain greedy to me. I could do it. I could invest some of the returns in a Defi account and get another 8%. But that’s greedy. When you act greedy you eventually make a mistake.

What I’m doing is taking a timeout. I’m not doing anymore investing for a while. I’m sitting on the sidelines and watching all the madness, looking for an alternative way to think. When everybody is acting greedy it’s best to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Greed makes us blind. Greed makes us execute terrible decisions.

Instead of greed try gratitude. Become self-aware of when you feel greedy and stop yourself.

Look at your money buckets

A money bucket is an investment type: cash bucket, gold/silver bucket, crypto bucket, real estate bucket, stocks bucket, bonds bucket.

A dumb mistake is to have all of your money in one thing. My partner knows this lady. She went all in on Tesla. She bet the house on YOLO Elon. That’s acting dumb.

No matter how sure you are of any investment it can still blow up in your face. Many people thought in the early 2000s that Enron was a sound company. They were wrong.

There are always things you can’t see about an investment — often, by design. That’s why it’s best to invest in multiple types of assets in case you’re wrong, or in case a black swan event like a global health crisis forces people to stay home for a few years.

Investing disguised as gambling

My worst nightmare is to become Chevy Chase in “Vegas Vacation.” I never want to become an innocent gambler like him in that movie.

I live in Australia. We love a punt. It’s part of our “give it a go mate” culture. And it leads to financial ruin. One tiny bad decision leads to many others. A lot of investing is simply betting in disguise.

All investing boils down to this: will the price of X go up or down?

It’s literally that dumb. You could argue the buildings on Wall Street are the casinos, and the weirdos in pinstripe suits who work there are the dealers, and their customers are the crack-addicted gamblers.

The way you know if you’re a gambler is when you’re actively looking at your investments every day and making changes.

One of the most successful investors in history, Warren Buffett, has only made a handful of investments and hardly ever makes any changes. That’s investing. Gambling is where you think you’re smarter and go in and out of investments all day.

Instead of being a highly active investor, the smart way to make life-changing amounts of money is to do this:

  • Improve your skills
  • Have a side hustle
  • Work after hours
  • Create multiple sources of income
  • Focus on passive income
  • Invest a portion of what you make slowly over time and forget about it

Don’t do dumb stuff with your money like a lot of people. Take it easy. Do your research. Diversify. Don’t become a trader. Be patient. Be calm. Be aware when you’re becoming greedy.

Most important: invest some of your gains back into your community. That’s how society prospers in the long term from the life-changing amounts of money you can make.

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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