Lion of the Blogosphere

How to become rich

I previously wrote about how to become rich through entrepreneurship. That topic needed its own post because it’s the most complicated and confusing.

In addition to entrepreneurship (which I described as finding and exploiting hidden monopolies), here are the other ways.

Inherit wealth
Marry into wealth

Libertarians hate hate hate when people mention those two ways of becoming rich, because it so directly contradicts their belief that the amount of money people have is exactly equal to the amount of value that they created. They have to explain it as the “right” of rich people to do whatever they want with the money they righteously earned through value creation.

Rise to the top in a winner-take-all field

J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, is a billionaire, and so is Oprah Winfrey. And there are many wealthy athletes and sports stars.

The important thing to remember is that these people didn’t become rich because they personally created all of that value, but rather because they work in a field that is structured so that all of the profits go to a very small number of people. There are many rich football players, but how much money did Walter Camp, the guy who actually invented the game, make from it? The answer, as far as I can tell, is nothing. He did it for free.

Remember the book that J.K. Rowling wrote pseudonymously? Hardly anyone bought the book at all, until it was revealed who the real author was, and the next day it was at the top of the bestseller list. This proves that an author can be just as good as Rowling but not sell any books.

There is some overlap between winner-take all and entrepreneurship. I cited the developers of WhatsApp as entrepreneurs, but where is the dividing line between trying to create a cool iPhone app or writing a novel? Tens of thousands have tried to write iPhone apps (there are hundreds of thousands of apps at the app store), but only a tiny percentage succeed and become rich from it.

Like entrepreneurs, the people at the top of a winner-take-all field also have an element monopoly power about them. J.K. Rowling has a monopoly on Harry Potter, and Oprah Winfrey has a monopoly on being Oprah Winfrey.

Career tracks

Going to an elite college, and then getting hired into a good career track like BIGLAW or investment banking can lead to wealth. Or a good corporate job can lead to a high level executive position such a CEO where you can make ungodly amounts of money.

The career tracks mentioned above have a large element of winner-take-all about them. The number of CEOs is tiny compared to the much larger number of corporate workers hoping to climb the ladder to the top. The thing to remember about CEOs is they are not rich because they personally create so much value, but because the corporation is structured so that the CEO can extract the most money from it.

A career track that’s NOT winner-take-all is medicine. Go to medical school, become a specialist, and make lots of money. Some readers may not consider an income of a mere $500,000/year to be rich, but it’s a darn good salary for a field that’s not winner-take-all.

Theft and other criminal activities

The guys who stole half a billion dollars of bitcoin are rich.

Crime is very much a winner-take-all profession. A lot of criminals are in prison, or barely making much more than minimum wage, but a few super-criminals like the bitcoin hackers are rich.

How NOT to become rich:

Value creation as an engineer.

You don’t want to do this. The value you create will be transferred to people higher up in the corporation, the investors, the investment bankers, the BIGLAW partner on retainer, etc.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Posted in Economics, Wealth

123 Responses

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  1. I predict that as medicine becomes government controlled, it will actually become a winner take all field, with many losers, and a few winners at the top.

    Similar to the military or other large government bureaucracies, those who know their way around can do very well (think- Halliburton/Xe/Blackwater), with the others being ham and eggers who get by (yet still doing better off than the chumps in the private sector).

    Modern medicine will become a land of connections and golden toilet-seats costing 10,000 dollars…if you know where to look…

    anon

    February 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    • “I predict that as medicine becomes government controlled, it will actually become a winner take all field, with many losers, and a few winners at the top.”

      This is already the case in Europe; the best way for a doctor to guarantee himself a stable and high income is to gravitate in either highly regulated fields with artificial scarcity of skill (cardiology, radiology…), or as close as possible to the State: public hospitals, public foundations, etc. These doctors also usually capitalize on the prestige of their profession to seek a rent in politics or in tribunals as “experts”.

      “Liberal” doctors, as they are called here (I guess they would be called libertarian doctors over here), sometimes make less than 2000 euros a month. They have roughly the same skill as a State-hospital cardiologist, but make 1/5th of their salary.

      Thomas

      February 28, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    • There are many economic reasons why medicine cannot become like law. First, the single biggest payer for healthcare in Medicare and they pay the same for all physicians. Medicare does not care that some went to Harvard Medical School and Memorial Sloan-Kettering for a residency. Second, the customers in healthcare are the patients but maybe not payer. The insurance companies are not going to pay a million dollars for the best oncologist. There are not a equivalent to hedge funds and investment bankers who need the work product of BIGLAW. Third, the number of customers is huge and each individual customer is not worth that much to a radiologist.

      superdestroyer

      February 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      • Another thing: far more people have the ability to make it through law school compared to medical school. Anyone with a reasonable I.Q. score can succeed in law school. Medical school requires math and science skills that very few possess.

        Peter

        ironrailsironweights

        March 1, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      • Even ghetto kids can learn calculus. It’s not that big of a deal.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      • Even ghetto kids can learn calculus. It’s not that big of a deal.

        Sorry Lion, but passing high school calculus is harder than getting a law degree

        Mama

        March 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      • I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic or not.

        If you aren’t, then read about Jaime Escalante http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime_Escalante who was able to train ghetto youth to pass the AP Calculus exam.

        Calculus may be BORING for most people but it’s not the hardest part of medical school, not by a long shot.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 1, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      • lion says that medicine is not value transference, but it may be more nuanced than that. americans spend more on healthcare than they do on food. i, for one, am convinced that almost all of the maladies doctors treat in the developed world are almost entirely avoidable. the endocrinologist who treats mostly type ii diabetics is not creating value. he is rather like the prisoners picking up garbage on the side of the road, but paid much more.

        jorge videla

        March 1, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      • A rare gifted teacher may be able to get dumbish kids to learn calculus, but typically even smart kids (IQ 115) struggle to pass calculus.

        Mama

        March 1, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      • @mama “but typically even smart kids (IQ 115) struggle to pass calculus.” ——————- So we are speaking of public school smart here not private school smart? BTW – if struggling is correlated with boredom, then calculus was nothing compared to my law school class in Secured Transactions. That class was my personal Waterloo of boredom. But, I was 24 and had never taken out a loan except for college, so I went in having no familiarity with the subject matter.

        Curle

        March 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      • Nonsense. Calculus isn’t that hard, sorry. Maybe a proof-based Calculus course, then yeah I’d say you’d have to be pretty smart to do well.

        The Logic Games section of the LSAT is all deductive logic problems. Which is typically why Physics/Math/Philosophy majors do so well on it. Biology/Chemistry majors do a lot worse on average.

        Kant

        March 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      • Re: Calculus Learning and Teaching

        The truth about math, up to and including AP calculus, is that it is not that hard.

        The other truth is that the majority of kids have a hard time with it.

        Why the disparity between difficulty and achievement in even “good” schools?

        The reason is that the vast majority of math teachers are HORRIBLE at teaching math.

        I struggled with math throughout high school and college, but did well in most other academic areas. I went to a high school that allowed for very little free time in the day, even after school. The schedule was classes>sports> dinner, homework> bed – for nine months of the year. Often, lunch periods were spent completing homework and studying. The point is that I had very little time to re-teach myself the math that I wasn’t learning in class in what was supposedly a great school (it was). However, even in a great school, good math teachers are difficult to come-by. I thought I was bad at math.

        15 years after high school graduation, I applied to graduate school and needed to take the GRE. So, I bought a book on amazon (not a GRE specific book) that was supposed to cover all of high school math through advanced algebra. I learned the math better than I had learned it in high school in just five eight hour days studying with this book that was vetted through amazon reviews. I had to start with the basics, as I had forgotten almost everything past long division.

        It opened my eyes as to how important the correct teaching approach (or resource for self-teaching) was for math learning. I was flabbergasted as I learned an entire semesters worth of math often in a few hours. I subsequently purchased more advanced math books to continue my progress, even though the more advanced math would not be seen on the GRE. After 5 days of studying, I scored 2 percentile points above the average in the quantitative section for the pool of aspiring professional school students taking the test. This did, indeed, confirm that my math aptitude is not stellar on the scale that high IQ persons share. However, it also proved that my high school’s attempt at educating me in math was sub-optimal and that students that excelled in math at my school likely enjoyed a combination of higher aptitude but also more time to teach themselves the science in spite of their teacher’s efforts. Looking back, I should have also probably played one less sport.

        Michael

        March 3, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    • It will be a tiny minority of top physicians working in boutique practices serving the wealthy and a lumpen majority working directly or indirectly for Uncle Sam.

      Dave Pinsen

      March 1, 2014 at 3:56 AM

      • The boutique physicians work more in optional medicine such as cosmetic surgery, OB/GYN Endocrinology, or psychiatry. It would be very hard for an oncologist to get super wealthy trying to serve rich people with cancer.

        superdestroyer

        March 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      • ” It would be very hard for an oncologist to get super wealthy trying to serve rich people with cancer.”

        Sloan Kettering already has a special floor for rich patients. I guess you could consider that a boutique hospital within a hospital.

        Dave Pinsen

        March 1, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      • Many name brand hospitals for VIPs but most of the VIPs are foreign nationals who come to the U.S. for better care along with privacy but who pay full retail for everything. It is not like a Saudi sheikh has Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

        superdestroyer

        March 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    • I predict that as medicine becomes government controlled…

      Been hearing this for thirty years. I would conclude, however, that government is the biggest (or nearly the biggest) buyer (and employer) of health care services.

      E. Rekshun

      March 1, 2014 at 1:38 PM

  2. it may depend on what one means by rich, but there’s also the miser’s way. given that the 1% in individual wealth is only a little more than 2m in the us, a trucker who lived in his truck could accumulate that much in 20 years.

    the most important ingredient is loving what it takes to get there. future time orientation and hard work (in all contexts) are values of the petite bourgeoisie and high proles, classes which were very small or didn’t exist a few hundred years ago. however ambitious, however oriented toward the future and willing to sacrifice one is, if he hates the work he’ll never go very far.

    jorge videla

    February 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    • The trucker’s children will never go to Harvard or other valuable Ivy, will never meet powerful friends who will cover whatever transgressions, etc. They will most likely marry other proles and begin a downward spiral.

      Tomorrow’s economy means death to the petite bourgeoisie and high proles, who will lose their little niche to robots and minorities.

      Colmainen

      February 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      • right. my bigger point was that the time has, in fact, arrived in the developed world when someone who makes not very much can save and be a member of the 1% in wealth, and that part of the poor’s problem is they spend like drunken sailors and have no appreciation of compounding. and it’s not only the poor. there are doctors who brag about their salaries but not about their passive income.

        jorge videla

        February 28, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      • With value transference industries such as Wall St and BIGLAW drying up, we expect SWPLs to cannabilize the industries that were considered prole and less prestigious. So yes, this a form of downward spiral, where the upper middle class descends into middle class, and every else not wealthy is in the lower class. The good thing I see it is that higher IQ individuals and more alpha personalities, will replace their less intelligent and/or beta counterparts, in certain industries that they would have not thought of entering in the first place.

        I don’t expect minorities to replace SWPLs and High proles, unless more of these guys come into the forefront:

        https://www.princeton.edu/pub/mc/perspectives/padilla-peralta/

        JS

        February 28, 2014 at 11:50 PM

  3. Let’s be honest. 90% of the people who are actually ‘rich’ are either born into it or are married to it.

    Many of these so-called self made people are not really rich since they do not have too much power to do whatever they want because they don’t have the right people to buy politicians to do their bidding.

    The professor type whose great-granddad owned a huge mill 100 years ago and whose relatives are all over in the realms of power is more powerful than a self-made billionaire whose great-granddad was a butcher at Lviv.

    Self-made wealth rarely lasts over a generation. That’s why Vanderbilt and Rockefeller tried so hard to marry their children into blue-blood families and why the gilded age millionaires raced against one another to pack their daughters to a European nobleman after another.

    James Duke’s fortune died after one single generation. Ditto to Hetty Green. Ditto to Daniel Ludwig, the richest guy in 1980 whose name very few people remembers now. They all failed to marry into toos.

    Self-made wealth without a connection to toos is just a huge number in a bank account.

    Colmainen

    February 28, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    • “Self-made wealth rarely lasts over a generation. That’s why Vanderbilt and Rockefeller tried so hard to marry their children into blue-blood families and why the gilded age millionaires raced against one another to pack their daughters to a European nobleman after another.”

      Actually the issue is even simpler:

      Wealth!=power

      and

      Wealth<power

      Thomas

      February 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      • I think wealth > power. I’d much rather be a member of the Forbes 400 than a member of congress. And any politically savvy billionaire can buy power by buying media and buying politicians. That’s easier than ever with the supreme court ruling.

        Mama

        March 1, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    • Pfft, it feels good while you have it I’m sure. What’s the point?

      XVO

      February 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM

  4. I’m surprised why you never mentioned Accounting. I pocket 250K before taxes and make sure Uncle Sam never takes more than he deserves. I do however, have to restructure my pay in a way that my housing management doesn’t jack my rent, as part of the sacrifice of living in a subsidize housing unit, located in a very desirable area of Manhattan.

    JS

    February 28, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    • Lotb has recommended accounting as a profitable, solid career (though, not necessarily, a career that would make one “rich.”). I say, as the language of business, an accounting background can propel a sharp person into the senior management ranks of corporate America. And partners in large CPA firms do quite well.

      E. Rekshun

      March 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM

  5. I’m glad you elaborated on how prestigious jobs at the top are very exclusive. Before that, you told everyone to attend an Ivy school and go into Investment Banking.

    JS

    February 28, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    • lion is pointing at rot at the heart of free market capitalism, to wit, branding and marketing.

      jorge videla

      February 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    • supposing he tells the truth js must be a white latin american who trades latin american sovereign debt?

      jorge videla

      February 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      • I take money from bobos.

        JS

        March 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      • I’m really curious how you arrived at that conclusion based on his comment above?

        Curle

        March 1, 2014 at 9:13 PM

  6. “How NOT to become rich:

    Value creation as an engineer.

    You don’t want to do this. The value you create will be transferred to people higher up in the corporation, the investors, the investment bankers, the BIGLAW partner on retainer, etc.”

    Actually it can be even worse: your genius invention will get stolen, or you will begin to commercialize your genius invention, but encounter the competition of someone with more money or industrial acumen and a talent for copy.

    Thomas

    February 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    • And I’ve not even mentioned the case where the value of your invention is discovered after your death.

      It happened for the train.

      Thomas

      February 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    • but if one looks at the self made 1% in wealth from all schools, not just penn and higher, one will find that an engineering degree (or perhaps a geology degree) is the most overrepresented.

      jorge videla

      February 28, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    • Philo T. Farnsworth

      Rifleman

      March 1, 2014 at 4:11 AM

    • Not to mention the huge change in the patent laws, where the patent office will release the plans to all patent applications 18 months after submission.

      Fail to get a patent, and the patent office does not give you back your plans. It releases them t the public after a delay.

      map

      March 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM

  7. “Inherit wealth, Marry into wealth. Libertarians hate hate hate when people mention those two ways of becoming rich, because it so directly contradicts their belief that the amount of money people have is exactly equal to the amount of value that they created.” —————- Having grown up with several scions of very wealthy families I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion that the descendents aren’t creating value. From my vantage point, few people end up as miserably unhappy as the children of the rich. A lot of rich people are miserable SOBs, particularly to their children. The mothers are status obsessed and neurotic, the dad’s distant and drunk and both are greedy, narcissistic, domineering and unforgiving. Someone has to associate with these pricks and the children have no choice (see Menendez) . . . they are forced to do so. I don’t begrudge them getting something out of the exercise. They lived their lives as a status symbol for their parents. That’s value of a kind.

    Curle

    February 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    • They are toos. They are immune from virtually any responsibility. And even after all that they have power and their descendants will continue to thrive from the rents collected.

      The children will eventually become like their parents and reproduce more of them since it is the only life they will ever know. And they will not give a crap about you or me.

      colmainen

      March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

  8. This questions was answered pretty well in The Millionaire Next Door. Although I’m not sure $1,000,000.00 is considered rich on the coasts anymore.

    Shawn

    February 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    • It’s all relative. Some millionaires in NYC voted for de Blasio because they felt disenfranchised by the influx of billionaires who have been putting down their roots ever since Bloomberg took office. They felt their wealthier counterparts get all the tax breaks and fun while they watch from the sidelines. It’s the same kind of irrationality coming from NAMs and our new mayor, that way too many have too little and a few with way too many.

      JS

      March 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

  9. “Libertarians hate hate hate when people mention those two ways of becoming rich, because it so directly contradicts their belief that the amount of money people have is exactly equal to the amount of value that they created.”

    Lion, why do you hate your readers so much? You are always beating on libertarians, but not many people even libertarians actually are as stereotypical as you think. Also getting rich through marriage aka salaried prostitution and through childhood aka genetic proliferation, are perfectly acceptable to libertarians. We know that if the rich have children who don’t deserve their wealth the children will just squander it away on sex and women. But you and I both know that the children of the rich are generally better off than the general population. Providing services to people with more money is more valuable than providing services to people with less money. What is more valuable economically, waiting hand and foot on an ex con, or waiting hand and foot on a rich person?

    XVO

    February 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    • lion is just mad that he isnt part of the WASPy elite. he wants into that club so bad. but he is just a older upper middle class guy working in the tech industry. Dont worry bro most of us arent the elite upper class. besides as the economic situation of the western world gets worse and worse i.e the real unemployment rate is over 30% more the of elite will be push down into upper middle class and middle class levels. there has always been flux in economic status. usually in 3 generations people go from poor-rich-and poor again. the chinese have a saying for it.

      ericcartman

      March 1, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      • Also move out of NY. you wont worry about the endless treadmill of status climbing that’s in your face everyday. There is more to the world then Manhattan and LA.

        ericcartman

        March 1, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      • Not if you study the history of upper classes. The only way a truly upper class family falls down is when it fails to reproduce. And there are quite a few noble families in England who were powerful for 500+ years.

        colmainen

        March 1, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      • He can’t move out of NY, because for an upper middle class who’s been living in the city for so long, one takes the amenities and conveniences for granted. Relocating to another American city sucks, because you need a car and greater America is a hell of a boring place for a New Yorker. Why do you think many people move to NYC every year from podunk towns of America? This proves my point that America is overall a sh*tty place.

        The only city that would be suitable for a hardcore New Yorker would be Chicago, which has similar value transference industries and status whoring, but albeit less pronounced.

        JS

        March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      • “Why do you think many people move to NYC every year from podunk towns of America?” ——– Because they are striving and NYC is where the opportunities are. Having said that, people leave NYC every year for nicer, or what they perceive to be nicer, climes. Most of America has ‘amenities.’ And, many have amenities of a different sort and class than does NYC. One simply needs the flexibility to adapt to different things and get pleasure from different experiences. That should be easy enough for high IQ types. Honolulu is a very nice city. So is Portland, Boise, Miami, San Fran, Seattle, Charleston, and San Diego just to name a few. They all have downsides, but all places do. I’m shortly going to go for a 1.5 hour walk in forest with a high and old tree canopy located only a few minutes from my house as I do every weekend. That is an amenity.

        Curle

        March 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      • – Because they are striving and NYC is where the opportunities are.

        Tell that to the Hipsters and also the trust fund – privileged youths, who flood the city to do all kinds of BS work; what we have been calling as self actualization. They could have stay in their little towns making artisanal food, designing artwork, selling vintage clothing, creating startups and walking other people’s dogs.

        JS

        March 1, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    • Nope. Nowdays the rich brats are protected by a gazillion trusts and other elaborate schemes to protect them from their responsibilities. Even if they do not deserve their wealth they will still keep it aith the blessing of the ‘hands and feet’ who depend on them.

      colmainen

      March 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    • I know what you mean, JS. I visited Chicago some years back and loved it. But Chicago is too cold in the winter, and I don’t know anyone there, so I doubt I’d ever move there.

      I’ve been thinking about Philadelphia because I’d like to leave New York City but want a place where I can live without a car. You can get a decent two bedroom house there for 200K or less. South Philadelphia still has some Italian-Americans from what I hear, which is great for me. And it’s only two hours by Amtrak from this city to Manhattan. I’d thought of Jersey City, but I hear it isn’t safe anymore, so I don’t know if it pays to invest in a house there. I’m a woman living on my own, so safety is a big factor for me. I’d really prefer a blue-collar neighborhood rather than a hipster area, but it’s hard to find cities with neighborhoods like this that aren’t on the verge of becoming “NAMville” in a few years.. White urban blue-collar areas are becoming a thing of the past. What I’d really like is an area that resembles what Bensonhurst/Dyker Heights was in the 1970s and 1980’s (can’t take the prole out of the old girl, I guess!). Now that I can afford a house this area of Brooklyn is way too expensive to buy in. I feel like someone who’s arrived at a party late and realizes that the party will be over in about 20 mintues. Bayonne or Hacksensack would be a better fit culturally, but they’re suburban and I don’t know how to drive.

      What a dilemma.

      MaryK

      March 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      • Chicago has several outlying prole neighborhoods that are affordable and similar to Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge Brooklyn, with a substantial amount of working class Whites or lower tier White collar Whites.

        I’m beginning to dislike NYC very much, because I grew up here and knows the ins and outs of the city, and it’s becomes dull after awhile. It’s dull because the complete gentrification sucked the life out of the city from its edginess during the Guiliani era, when NYC was definitely the most Alpha city in America. Now’s it’s some glorified Disneyland with many big box stores and uncultured transplants looking to settle here because of the cool factor of having a Whole Foods right next to their apartment complex. Further, just talking to most of these SWPL types becomes a mighty chore, as their primary motive is frivolous consumption, where they bounce around like pinballs between the different stores and eating establishments.

        Speaking of real Italians, it never amazes me how immensely talented Southern Europeans are, when it comes to the arts and creativity.

        Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wildside” which is about NYC’s edginess, was covered by the famous Italian Rock Musician – Marco Castoldi back in the day. Despite his bad english, it’s still a great version of the song. Beautifully crafted with Lucio Dalla on Saxophone.

        Of course, Lou Reed being a prole from NYC, is no match to talent of these guys, even when it comes to his own songs. LOL…

        JS

        March 1, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      • Even San Diego has a transit system. http://www.sdmts.com/map_timetable.asp

        No reason to stay in the dreary Northeast when sunny San Diego awaits. Plus, learning to drive is easy.

        Curle

        March 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      • Curle, the mere existence of a transit system doesn’t make up for all the small things in non-metropolis America that were designed around the presupposition of automobile ownership — houses all have garages (and if you convert your garage to living space, because you have no car to fill it with, your property taxes will go up); traffic patterns that ignore pedestrians; being asked for your “driver’s license” at various times; a vast car-oriented infrastructure paid for by taxes; ubiquitous free parking. Try opening a business — you will be obliged to provide your patrons with free parking spaces, which you yourself can never make use of unless someone drives you to work.

        Live in this environment and you will receive daily reminders that you are second-class and that society was designed for people who have something that you never will.

        Mary, I know just how you feel. I’m convinced that American society discriminates against people who can’t drive automobiles as much as any ethnic/racial/gender group you can name.

        Kyo

        March 2, 2014 at 1:53 AM

      • Kyo – Greater America is generally boring and much of it is an urban sprawl. Many transplants to NYC have hopes of living in the city long term, and those with high paying jobs, wanting to buy an apartment. People become dependent of public transportation and don’t want to deal with driving, once they get acclimated to the mass transit of the Big Apple.

        JS

        March 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      • No reason to stay in the dreary Northeast when sunny San Diego awaits. Plus, learning to drive is easy.

        I once met a guy from California who came to NYC to work on Wall St. He thought the women in NYC are way hotter, and are in better shape than ones in his hometown.

        JS

        March 2, 2014 at 9:38 PM

  10. Payment and reserved copyright are at bottom the ruin of literature. Only he who writes entirely for the sake of what he has to say writes anything worth writing. The greatest works of the greatest men all belong to a time when they had to write them for nothing or a very small payment.

    Schopenhauer

    Twain

    February 28, 2014 at 11:07 PM

  11. In addition to entrepreneurship (which I described as finding and exploiting hidden monopolies), here are the other ways.

    Inherit wealth
    Marry into wealth

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Also, winning the lottery is another method.

    Oswald Spengler

    February 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM

  12. You’ve heard the joke, How do you make a small fortune in ________?

    …Start with a big fortune.

    Oswald Spengler

    February 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM

  13. Remember the book that J.K. Rowling wrote pseudonymously? Hardly anyone bought the book at all, until it was revealed who the real author was, and the next day it was at the top of the bestseller list. This proves that an author can be just as good as Rowling but not sell any books.

    Duh. Creating a product is not enough to get super rich, you also have to know how to market it. I don’t think anyone disputes that. So what the heck is your point?

    Like entrepreneurs, the people at the top of a winner-take-all field also have an element monopoly power about them. J.K. Rowling has a monopoly on Harry Potter, and Oprah Winfrey has a monopoly on being Oprah Winfrey.

    In other words, they have a monopoly on creating value.

    The important thing to remember is that these people didn’t become rich because they personally created all of that value, but rather because they work in a field that is structured so that all of the profits go to a very small number of people

    Circular reasoning. You’re just arbitrarily categorizing all gazillionaires as being in winner take all fields without any independent criteria for doing so. That’s post-hoc sophistry. Saying the field was structured to make them rich is just a rationalization that explains nothing.

    Inherit wealth
    Marry into wealth

    Libertarians hate hate hate when people mention those two ways of becoming rich, because it so directly contradicts their belief that the amount of money people have is exactly equal to the amount of value that they created.

    No, I think libertarians are just Darwinists who want the economy to look like nature. In the jungle, the litter of the fastest cheetah will inherit the food their mother caught, but that’s okay because they also inherited their mother’s fast genes so it’s still a meritocracy and survival of the fittest prevails.

    Mama

    March 1, 2014 at 1:32 AM

  14. You elide the point I made in your previous post on this. Successful entrepreneurs and authors don’t “find hidden monopolies”. They create them. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is creating stuff that lots of people want to pay for.

    You could use the same IP laws J.K. Rowling uses to protect your own novel and its characters. So you’d have monopoly on them too.

    Same thing with anything else. You could trademark Lion of the Blogosphere attire. You’d have monopoly on it. The hard part is getting people to pay you for it.

    Dave Pinsen

    March 1, 2014 at 3:39 AM

  15. You can get rich as an engineer, btw. You just have to own the tech. If you work for a company, the company owns the tech. Here’s an example of a guy who got rich as an engineer: Gene Kostecki, founder of Alloy Steel International (AYSI). He invented a metallurgical process for making protective wear plates for mining equipment. If he invented it while working for Caterpillar, he wouldn’t be rich. But he didn’t, so now companies like BHP Billiton pay him millions of dollars per year for it.

    Dave Pinsen

    March 1, 2014 at 3:52 AM

  16. “Libertarians hate hate hate when people mention those two ways of becoming rich, because it so directly contradicts their belief that the amount of money people have is exactly equal to the amount of value that they created.”

    Data? Pro-Libertarian thinkers make a point that a) money doesn’t measure all wealth and certainly not general moral worth, b) intergenerational wealth is fine–family social capital ( and is why they attack wealth and inheritance taxes), and c) socialism is fine so long as voluntary, as in socialist communes. I would add that thanks to libertarian-direction policies that cut tax rates ( and also ended communism in many countries), made learning entrepreneurship sexy, and brought us IRA’S, there’re more millionaire families and less poverty than ever.

    Entrepreneurs who make a bit are a) savers and hard workers who often also invest in hard goods such as real estate, and b) often high-IQ. Statistics get confused because dumbo academics ask if all the high-IQ have a lot of money. No, since not all seek a lot of money. The reverse question has much better correlation: people who make a lot of money ( or do well in any endeavor) have typically high IQ’s.

    rob

    March 1, 2014 at 5:11 AM

  17. “How to become rich” (to most of my coworkers) – Step 1: Sell yourself to some sucker for what you think you’re worth. Step 2: Buy yourself back for what you’re really worth.

    E. Rekshun

    March 1, 2014 at 7:08 AM

  18. According to the Millionaire Next Door 50% of millionaires own a business.

    If you want to have a 10 million dollar net worth best offs (risk-adjusted) is finance work however (not stated in TMND).

    Shawn

    March 1, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    • Most of the people in TMND are high proles the people who truly matter will not bother, although some of them might be powerful locally.

      colmainen

      March 1, 2014 at 10:31 AM

  19. If it’s true that most of our money, above a certain level, is spent to maintain/compete for status in our our class group, then the desire to “be rich” is nothing more than a desire to be in a different class group. Who the hell should really want to waste his life striving to attain and maintain status in an elite or swpl class?

    Prole

    March 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    • “Who the hell should really want to waste his life striving to attain and maintain status in an elite or swpl class?”

      Social status brings many advantages, much more than money, in fact. If you want to be active in society rather than passive, or in any social group/community of interest for that matter, you need status.

      Nobody listens to losers, even if they are right.

      Thomas

      March 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      • Social status brings many advantages, much more than money, in fact.

        No it doesn’t. Not even close.

        If you want to be active in society rather than passive, or in any social group/community of interest for that matter, you need status.

        No you don’t. A billionaire can get their message out infinitely more efficiently than a high status person can, they can buy the NY Times, purchase Fox News, or just flood the major networks with advertising.

        Nobody listens to losers, even if they are right.

        People who have status without billions ARE losers, and their status vanishes overnight the second they challenge political correctness. Look what happened to James Watson.

        Mama

        March 1, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      • I didn’t ask “why be active in society” or “why strive for position in your social class”, just “why strive to be a member of the dysfunctional classes the blog post implies that we should. Here in flyover country, all those loser career fields identified by the blogger can get you a nice life and position you well in flyover country social circles.

        Prole

        March 1, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      • Flyover country (with the exception of Chicago) has no significance in the grander scheme of things, especially when it comes to things like status. Many of the more ambitious and attractive women from the Midwest flyover to NYC for school and work.

        Lion would do better in a place like Chicago; there is less of an emphasis on high finance and BIGLAW, yet there are enough value transference jobs for him to have a peace of mind from falling into proledom, as with the rest of the Midwest. Further, Chicago is no Kansas City or Detroit, it still has a place as an important metropolis.

        JS

        March 1, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      • “No you don’t. A billionaire can get their message out infinitely more efficiently than a high status person can, they can buy the NY Times, purchase Fox News, or just flood the major networks with advertising.”

        That’s where you are wrong.

        The Pope can get a message out far more efficiently than ads running in the NYT for a year.

        Thomas

        March 1, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      • @JS, people who grow up in NYC become oversensitive to status, to the extent they have a hard time living in objectively pleasant places like Chicago. I have two friends who tried to make a go of it in Chicago, and both ended up back in NYC even though they had nicer apartments and more interesting jobs in Chicago. Something in the back of a New Yorker’s brain consistently whispers “loser” if he lives anywhere other than a major power center like New York, Washington or LA. This is why you should never raise children anywhere near New York.

        Petr Akuleyev

        March 2, 2014 at 4:26 AM

      • That’s where you are wrong.

        The Pope can get a message out far more efficiently than ads running in the NYT for a year.

        But a billionaire who owns the NY Times or Fox news will just cherry pick what the pope says and only report on it when it supports their ideological agenda. That is in fact exactly what the media has been doing to the pope.

        Mama

        March 2, 2014 at 5:56 AM

      • “Flyover country (with the exception of Chicago) has no significance in the grander scheme of things, especially when it comes to things like status.”

        If your goal is to have significance in the grander scheme of things then at least 99.9 percent of the people following the advice of this blogger are plain losers.

        Another definition of loser: giving up a solid chance at a fulfilling life to spend your life sticking your finger in the air each morning to determine what the day’s truth is and spending your life’s energy overcoming the ensuing cognitive dissonance and telling yourself you really matter, not because of your lowly position within the swpl community, but because at least you’re not one of those ignorant rednecks who didn’t get up this morning and stick his finger in the air.

        Prole

        March 2, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      • I have two friends who tried to make a go of it in Chicago, and both ended up back in NYC even though they had nicer apartments and more interesting jobs in Chicago.

        It’s very interesting how you brought this up, as one of my friends relocated to Chicago due to cost of living issues, and felt downgraded when she moved there. Even though she is actually from flyover country, her dream was to make it in NYC and hopefully settle down here. To this day, I could sense that she is somewhat unhappy with herself to leave this beastly city for another one that is less alpha in character, basically a place with a lower rung status and prestige that one cannot brag about, especially for women, who rate cities as with men.

        Something in the back of a New Yorker’s brain consistently whispers “loser” if he lives anywhere other than a major power center like New York, Washington or LA. This is why you should never raise children anywhere near New York.

        I guess to rectify this problem is to own an apartment in NYC. The #1 problem with most people living in NYC is housing. People are willing to put up with lower standard living conditions in Manhattan than to live in some place more comfortable, where they fear being tormented by the fact that their neighborhood/city is not as cool.

        JS

        March 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      • Prole – I did mention in some of my posts that America is a sh*tty place overall, and cities such as NYC are overrated and overly expensive because the rest of America sucks (of course this is an opinion, but could be a general consensus, as there is a sheer amount of transplants who want to live in the Big Apple long term). It would be great, if Midwestern and Southern cities would have a race for urban supremacy, basically, trying to give places such as NYC, Washington, SF or LA, a run for their money. But of course this would never happen, because Americans are generally lazy and a stupid lot!

        JS

        March 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    • Many billionaires try to hide their wealth from everyone, thus I don’t think it’s mostly about class or status. Money allows you to have everything you want and make all your dreams come true. That’s the appeal.

      Mama

      March 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      • The billionaires hide the wealth from you and me since in their world you and me do not exist. They do show the wealth to those who do matter.

        colmainen

        March 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      • I highly doubt there are any hidden billionaires. There are people with $10 million+ you might not realize have that much money, but it’s kind of hard to stay under the radar as a billionaire, partly because it usually took something noteworthy to get that much money in the first place.

        Dave Pinsen

        March 1, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      • There are virtually no hidden billionaires, but that doesn’t mean they don’t TRY to hide. But Forbes exposes virtually all of them, especially in the U.S.

        Mama

        March 1, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      • and richard cohen: “…and then in 1974, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in accounting.”

        was penn a lot less elite then? or does it still grant degrees in accounting? or is wikipedia wrong here?

        jorge videla

        March 1, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      • I’m not sure these folks started out with all that much in the way of dreams that could be fulfilled with money. I think, as a friend of mine says, they just wanted to see if they could make it. It was a contest they could win for guys with a competitive streak but no chance to be the star quarterback. Perhaps it is women who are filled with dreams that can be fulfilled with money.

        Curle

        March 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      • swiss banks know lots of hidden billionaires.

        jorge videla

        March 3, 2014 at 4:35 AM

    • To get the girls who are beyond the reaches of ordinary men.

      colmainen

      March 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    • “Search Google”

      If you’re reading about them on Google, they’re not hidden.

      Dave Pinsen

      March 1, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      • Not any more, but they WERE hidden, and there are undoubtedly many still-hidden billionaires.

      • “Not any more, but they WERE hidden, and there are undoubtedly many still-hidden billionaires.”

        They weren’t hidden, they just weren’t widely known. One of the examples in that search was someone you’ve written about, the In-And-Out Burger heiress. She wasn’t hiding.

        Dave Pinsen

        March 2, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      • They are “hidden” in the sense that they are not celebrities, and they stay out of the spotlight. They don’t even come up in public discussions of wealth and inequality. Most Americans think of Donald Trump when they think “rich”. Sure, people who really care about such things, like those who read this blog, can find “hidden” billionaires pretty easily, but we are a tiny minority.

        Petr Akuleyev

        March 2, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      • They are so hidden that they don’t even come up on lists like “The world’s 500 richest people”

        The hidden billionaires are disproportionately people who inherited their money, because it’s hard to develop a business that goes from zero to a billion dollars without someone noticing that.

      • It seems these “hidden billionaires” are not actually billionaires. For example Bloomberg News identified Lynsi Torres (heiress to In-N-Out Burgers) as a hidden billionaire, but Forbes found the company to be worth “only” $800 million and that she only owned 72.4% of it. She will likely become a billionaire in the future, but she hasn’t crossed the threshold yet. The notion of secret wealth is a romantic idea that sells papers so a lot of these net worths get wildly exaggerated by credulous journalists who are not skilled at appraising assets and are easily fooled by status seekers trying to look as rich as possible.

        Mama

        March 2, 2014 at 6:32 AM

  20. Where do the rich live:

    http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=1&from=en-us_msnhp#/video/07d95fc5-54ec-4868-ad56-f7dacd21042b

    America is proleland, an unhealthy obsession with money.

    JS

    March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

  21. A career track that’s NOT winner-take-all is medicine. Go to medical school, become a specialist, and make lots of money. Some readers may not consider an income of a mere $500,000/year to be rich, but it’s a darn good salary for a field that’s not winner-take-all.

    Yep. A family member went to Osteopath school, then practiced medicine in a small family practice throughout the ’90s, earning an annual salary of between $110K – $130K. After ten years of practicing medicine, out of the blue, he got recruited by a large health insurance company to work as an Associate Medical Director. Now, after ten years of that, he’s earning $500K per year and doesn’t have to deal with patients, malpractice, medicare, or claims, and is worth $5 million before age 50! I’d define that as rich.

    E. Rekshun

    March 1, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    • Your family member is now making his money as an insurance company executive, not a practicing doctor. There are very few medical specialties that offer a $500k income after practice expenses, and that situation will only get worse in the future with health care reform and reimbursement cuts.

      nebbish

      March 1, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    • The D.O. is not working as a physician but it acting as upper management that requires a physician credential. That is a very different job and many physicians are not cut out to be upper management. However, I do know radiologist, radiation oncologist, and neurosurgeons who make north of $400K with no real management responsibilities.

      superdestroyer

      March 1, 2014 at 5:40 PM

  22. But my high school guidance counselor and my college humanities professor told me to, “just do what you love, the money will follow!”

    E. Rekshun

    March 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    • There have been lots of studies that showed that people went to college and majored in something that they did not like such as nursing, accounting, or engineering because they though they could get a higher paying job. However, since they did not enhoy the topic and were not personally interested, many of them fail. Even the top tier schools have many students change their major. At second and third tier schools, the students just drop out.

      superdestroyer

      March 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      • Yes, which goes to show you that the 95%+ graduation rates that Harvard, et al, are so proud of are really red herrings. If you start out majoring in physics, mathematics, engineering, econometrics, or some other hard (quantitative) field and you are in danger of failing out, Harvard will politely suggest you transfer to an easier major (such as English literature, anthropology, social work, education, or some other non-quantitative field – even accounting is not very quantitative compared to engineering and hard science). If those students simply transferred elsewhere or failed out, they wouldn’t have their high 4-year graduation rate, therefore, I would argue that the graduation rates of “lesser” institutions more reflect reality. When I was in engineering school, changing to an easier major if one wasn’t doing well was not an option. We only had three majors – engineering (with all the usual engineering specialties such as electrical, civil, mechanical, chemical, etc.), physical science, and technological management – all of which required the same rigorous calculus, physics, chemistry, economics, etc., core. If you didn’t want to take them, you did not continue in my school. I would posit that even Harvard has “head” majors that have no rigorous quantitative core (shouldn’t “liberal arts” also include mathematics and hard sciences?). I read an article that Brooke Shields took no math or science courses – not even “physics for poets, etc” when she attended Princeton (not that it mattered, she didn’t have to actually use her degree to attempt to earn a living). These assertions support Lion’s and others’ comments that Ivy League schools are (not surprisingly) more about networking between rich people than about transferring knowledge, which should really be the purpose of higher education. I still would hire a STEM graduate of the state university for example over an Ivy League liberal arts major any day (not that the liberal arts major would be able to do engineering work – requiring an engineering degree – anyway).

        Michael

        March 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      • Obama’s half-brother has a degree in math from an Ivy League school. I guess he must be really smart. And Obama shares some genes with him.

      • Obama’s half brother is Jewish (his mom was Jewish).

        JS

        March 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      • Michael,

        The ultimate in anti-Ivy League is Cal-Poly where one is admitted to a specfic program and if one wants to change major, one has to trasnfer to another university. I also know that Johns Hopkins has undergraduates apply to specific programs.

        For everyone who claims something like economics or some social science is hard, how many people decide that the so-called hard major is too difficult and change their major to chemical engineering or physics. The door for engineering majors only has a out after the first semester, there is no in.

        superdestroyer

        March 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      • SuperD – In my school when I was an undergraduate (late 1970s), you couldn’t apply as an “Undecided” major. You had to (and still have to) apply as either an engineering, science, or management major. You don’t have to declare a specific engineering specialty or science (that is, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, math, physics, economics, chemistry, etc.) when you apply, but you do have to be decided between science and engineering. The curricula are very specific once past the first year, and if you want to change majors you may incur some credits that will be disallowed – similar to the Cal Poly example you cited I would imagine. If you want an easy major with no calculus, physics, math, chemistry, etc, then you would pick another school (many of the folks who couldn’t hack the rigor of the curricula transferred to places such as Rutgers, Penn State, NYU, Fairleigh Dickenson, and others). Economics and technological business there still require calculus, stochastic calculus/processes, and econometrics courses for example (econometrics uses highly quantitative and theoretical decision theory/stochastic decision processes, which is far beyond most non-quantitative general economics courses).

        Michael

        March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    • How much money was your high school guidance counselor making?

      Petr Akuleyev

      March 2, 2014 at 4:31 AM

  23. but a few super-criminals like the bitcoin hackers are rich.

    You mean to tell us wiring money to Colombian drug warlords is both illegal and an act of value transference?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    March 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM

  24. Ann Coulter – Lion reader,

    RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $14 AN HOUR USING THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK!

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-02-26.html

    The Undiscovered Jew

    March 1, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    • It’s a really good column. Although she really means raise the median free-market salary for unskilled labor to $14.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 1, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      • Keep in mind although Australia and New Zealand have $15 (USD equivalent) minimum wages, their cost of living is higher than America’s. Adjusted for PPP (which admittedly is a dicey statistic as it’s hard to compare earning power even across first world nations) their minimum wage would translate to $11-13 in the US.

        Her basic point is, of course, correct because above all the Lion supports a higher minimum. And the Lion is never wrong.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

  25. A family member earns >$500K annually as a general surgeon , mostly taking care of poor patients on the unemployed side of town.
    His (accidental) business model is to stay general rather than specialize. The hospital pays him a per diem to take call for $X for trauma care, 1/2$X for vascular , 2$X for emergency dept. care, 1/4$X for pediatrics backup, and 1/2$X for noncardiac thoracic. He simultaneously takes call for trauma/peds/vascular or ER/vasuclar/peds , so his per diem is additive.

    The newer generation of general surgeons will not be able to replicate this experience for a variety of reasons. Most new graduates followup with a specialty fellowship because after the current 5 years of training, they are not prepared for real practice.

    In essence , the family member has maintained a wide breadth of skills during an era of specialization. The hospital ultimately collects the $ from state funds designated for trauma care and the heavy load of Medicaid patients. Both our state (IL) and the hospital are deep deep deep in debt, so this is unsustainable , but has worked well for the past 25 years.

    The ideal payer mix for medicine includes mostly insured patients, but neither insurance companies nor Medicare pay more for care of the rich than the middle class.

    jz

    March 1, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    • A lot of the jobs for new residency graduates in surgery and other fields require specialization, especially if they are in large cities or are academic positiosn. Perhaps some people who complete 5 years of surgical training couldn’t function in a general surgery environment, but it is also the case that there are fewer available positions for generalists than there used to be.

      nebbish

      March 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

  26. […] Lion of the Blogosphere is looking at how to become rich. […]

  27. It’s not complicated. Just grow high-grade marijuana and sell it to bobos at ridiculous prices.

    driveallnight

    March 1, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    • If I knew six months ago what I know now, I would have rented warehouse space and bought as many bags of rock salt as possible. Today I’d be selling it at roadside stands for several times what I paid for it. People are desperate for rock salt but it’s nearly unobtainable on the normal market. It would be like selling drugs, but completely legal.

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      March 2, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      • In California, what they were saying in 2007: “Medical marijuana?? You’re going to federal prison!”

        What they say now: “Medical marijuana! Can I have a job??”

        driveallnight

        March 2, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      • Global warming deniers could have made a bundle this winter.

        Dave Pinsen

        March 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

  28. the way the world really is:

    jorge videla

    March 2, 2014 at 2:17 AM

  29. Well..My plan was to earn enough street cred to jump start a successful rapping career and possibly marry a ho with lotsa sugar. My financial advisor, rashid; tells me my lotto investments are bound to pay off and that I have to think long term about this kind of thing. On a side note, Ann Coulter is one fine looking lady..fine looking right she is..Lion..I got your back if your into her bro. Ill be your wingman. Us brothas gotta stick together.

    On side note 2, I’ve been binge watching Downton Abbey and it’s pretty awesome.

    L

    March 2, 2014 at 3:55 AM

    • You have a good financial adviser, and you should continue to listen to his advice. BTW, have you been in prison? You need to commit some crimes to become incarcerated you can get some more street cred.

      Latias

      March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

  30. Steve Martin knew what to do:

    You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes!

    You say.. “Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars…

    peterike

    March 2, 2014 at 9:45 AM

  31. “Remember the book that J.K. Rowling wrote pseudonymously? Hardly anyone bought the book at all….”

    Didn’t Stephen King do something similar, after being challenged that his popular name was selling his books, with opposite results, proving his point (to whatever extent) that it was his content that sold. The explanation for Rowling’s lack of success under a pseudonym may have something to do with the genre she writes in.

    aandrews

    March 2, 2014 at 12:53 PM

  32. This question is somewhat on topic. If a person were to come into an inheritance of about 700-720K in real estate and cash combined and wanted to live modesty in order to grow this money into a million or more, what would be his/her best bet? Would it be real estate, investing, or a combination of the two? I’m just beginning to learn about financial matters and am a low wage earner (and probably will remain this way since I’m in my early 50’s now.) I’m less interested in making a real killing financially than in reducing the possibility of losing big sums of money. Slow and steady growth is really all I’m after. Fortunately I can live on very little and have enough patience to let the money grow. I have no debts now thanks to the advice of Dave Ramsey. And a much great awareness of future time orientation thanks to both Lion’s blog and books I’ve been reading about the culture of poverty (and the present-orientedness that causes and sustains it.) Honestly, I have reached the point where I have trouble spending any money on pure enjoyment anymore. I want all my non-essential purchases to be investments of some kind. I look at any item or service through this lens: Does purchasing this indicate that I’m SWPL, high prole, white trash prole, or NAM? Only the first two get me to spend. I’m starting to feel like Snooki from the “Jersey Shore” whenever I even consider a “white trash prole” purchase. JS and Lion, I guess all your posts have had an effect on me! I can’t even spend $7 at McDonalds or buy a real leather handbag anymore. Thanks……..I think!

    MaryK

    March 2, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    • If investing, don’t put it all in one place. Do not invest in something that you do not understand. Talk to people who you trust and have your best interest in mind.

      L

      March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM


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