Random Musings and a Stream of Consciousness

***As noted in our Start Here section we are no longer answering any questions, only during sporadic Q&A’s for subscribers and once every quarter or so on Twitter***

We held a Twitter Q&A relatively recently and came up with roughly 10-15 topics to discuss. Instead of inefficiently talking about each one in separate blog posts we are going to address them all in one post so we can move on to more interesting topics in the future.

1) Don’t Blog for Money: We have covered this already in a long post and people continue to pester us asking why we don’t start selling products and why we don’t recommend it as a source of income. In short? It is a colossal waste of time. We’ve contacted many top tier bloggers and have even met with a few personally (we draw the line at $150K+/year in net income as a good blog). Why is this a waste of time? Everyone seems to ignore the *time* it takes to get to $150K in income. In short, it takes roughly 3-5 years to get close to $150K in income. This is not worth it. We reiterate. This is not worth it at all.

Digging deeper, once you get to a good income ($150K+ as the line) you end up being forced to do *exactly* what affiliate marketers do in the first place. Create content for the masses and click bait type posts. “Top X reasons for XX”, “How this high schooler makes $100K+ year and you can too”, “Two obvious reasons XYZ company will go bust!”, “How this college campus janitor day traded to $XM net worth!”.

Again. We have no problem with blogging for money or affiliate marketing for money, just make a decision on what you are doing it for. If you’re actually blogging for fun and realize you’ll be forced to address larger audiences in the future. Go for it! Making $150K+ for something you *enjoy* is absolutely a success. Making $150K+ doing something solely for the *money* is an atrocious failure of a project. A good affiliate marketer will make $300K+ by year 2 if he’s got a knack for sales.

2) Multiple Forms of Income: When the market “tanked” ~4% in a day, everyone believed this was the “end of the cycle”. In short? Who cares. We’ve said over and over again we do not care what happens to the stock market. Even if our careers are put in jeopardy, we have multiple forms of income anyway so we don’t care one bit. No one with a high net worth cares about the S&P 500 daily movements and yes a 3% move is just a basic anomaly that should be ignored.

For those that are not following along, this is *not* talking out of two mouths. We have said this over a hundred times on the blog. You take any extra income you have and you just dollar cost average into index funds, bond funds and continue focusing on 1) your business, 2) your career and ideally 3) another business. In our view, by the time you are 30 you need to have at least *three* forms of income. To put a definition around this… it means that all three forms of income could cover *all* of your living expenses. Simple math? If you live on $2,500 a month then you need to have $7,500 of income per month by the time you are 30ish. Therefore if your career goes away for a few months or a year… You don’t care. If your business starts to go cash flow negative then you shut it down and move on. In short, you’re not putting your livelihood solely in the hands of another person. Anyone who does this deserves to fail.

3) A Million Dollars is *Easily Achievable*: Here are two fun facts. Roughly 17% of Singapore’s population has a net worth of over $1M USD and there are only ~10M millionaires in the USA or roughly 3% of the population. Insane.

The United States has the best economy in the world, yet people spend their money trying to impress the masses (people who don’t matter) and cannot see the 7 figure marker until they are well into their 60s (dead).

Knowing these two facts, there is literally no excuse for someone to not be a millionaire by the time they are roughly 35 years old. If they are not worth 7 figures by this time they made some bad life decisions or they didn’t want to be well off in the first place. No other real explanation. If someone is middle aged and explains that they never had the chance you know they are lying to you and if they explain that they made some mistakes then they are telling you the truth. It really is that simple. The math doesn’t lie. Assuming a person is smart enough to generate 6 figures per year for roughly 15 years, the investment returns will get them there very quickly.

4) People Want Feelings Not the Truth: Once you realize that people don’t want the truth and they just want to feel better about themselves, you’ll become a much better sales person. Many people will read the three paragraphs above and become upset because they think it is talking directly “about them”. Being triggered by the truth is a tell-tale sign that someone has made bad decisions and is not willing to admit to them. Blaming anyone but ourselves for our problems is a coward’s way out and that’s why successful people are incredibly competitive… with themselves.

When it comes to speaking with the masses be sure to massage their feelings and when you’re looking to hire someone on your team become direct and to the point. There is no need for feelings when you’re trying to get something done and it is only used as a tool during social events.

5) Donald Trump for President: No question this is the only person we would ever vote for and ties very well with point number 4. People are politically correct because they are afraid of offending the lowest common denominator. The haters and losers in life that no one cares about.

The pitch for Donald Trump is really quite simple.

– Do we want a President who has self funded his campaign and has no ties to other entities?

– Do we want a President who is results oriented and doesn’t care about being politically correct?

– Do we want a President who is willing to stand up to a notorious Mexican Drug Cartel?

– Do we want a President who has built a multi-billion dollar enterprise by negotiating multiple red-tape transactions?

– Do we want a President who doesn’t apologize for his opinions if it hurts a person’s feelings?

The answer to all of these questions is Yes.

We realize this recommendation made us lose 10-20 followers. Oh well. Here’s an additional music video solely for the laughs.


6) If You’re Associated with Them… Drag Them Up: A lot of mediocre people have a hard time understanding this concept and think that this website is about “screwing people over” and “burning people”. This is what you call an imbecile.

Instead the message is that you need to have an *extremely* hard filter when deciding who you link up with and after that it is on you to drag them to the top of the mountain with you.

A good example is hiring a person for a job. If you spend 2 months searching for the best candidate and you hire them it is *your* responsibility to make them look as good as possible. That is called being a good manager/leader or whatever word you so choose.

If you hire candidate A and you think he’s going to be an A+ person and find out he’s only a B+… Too bad. You signed off on it. You approved the hire. You are responsible. You have to find a way to turn that B+ person into an A+ person over time and you have absolutely no right to complain because you were the decision maker.

If you can understand the paragraph above you’re going to add a “turbo boost” to your career and your business. Why? You’re forcing everyone in your pool to gain responsibility as fast as humanly possible. If everyone you hire ends up going up the food chain or gaining responsibility faster than his or her peers… Guess who gets credit? You both do. You look like a fantastic leader and the junior hires all look like rock stars.

7) People Aren’t Going to Like You: A lot of people worry about *some* successful people not liking them. They should stop it right this instant. You’re not going to get along with everyone and as long as your rolodex is *improving* you’re doing it right.

Lets assume you have 10 people in a room. By default 5 of them are not going to like you too much and the other 5 will give you a shot (hint hint even presidents generally have ~50% approval ratings).

Of those 5 people who will give you a shot the *only* people who matter are the successful ones. The key to getting ahead in life is not keeping in contact with all 5 of the people but only keeping in contact with the one you think is going to be a winner (later) or is a winner (now). That is the only way you’re going to get better in life. No one gets better by keeping in contact with the same old people doing the same old stuff year after year after year.

8) Don’t Try to Win People Over: This is a classic lesson learned in sales. Don’t bother trying to win people over who don’t like you! Move on! There are millions of people in the world and you’re better off going after that blank canvass than trying to clean off the mess that’s already in front of you.

We really should do a full post on this but it really would be boiled down to two sentences.

“Once someone does not like you it takes 3x as much effort to turn it around. That means you could have three more contacts instead of one fixed contact.”

A great example is our Twitter page, we’ll give people a chance once in a while even if we think they are idiots. But. Once they cross the line, we just block them and move on. Eventually when your life gets busy enough you’ll do the same and… what happens? You obtain even more friends!

Whenever you find out that someone doesn’t like you, simply remove them from their life. Even if you can “fix” the relationship it won’t be worth it. You could have built 3 new ones anyway.

The *only* time you should be concerned is if the relationships you’re winning are from average people while the relationships that are ending are from successful people. Other than that this is how you should operate. Remember the 3:1 rule and you won’t worry about a person disliking you.

9) Free Speech is Reserved for the Financially Independent: If you care about your freedom of speech then you better get your finances together. You do not have free speech if your entire livelihood could be taken away from a Facebook post (hint: have zero personal ties to social media until financially independent).

In our current “politically correct environment” you’re better off keeping your mouth shut until you’re rocking and rolling. After that you’re free to say whatever you like because no one can touch you.

The key to happiness really lies at that sweet spot. Where you can work alone, live alone and say whatever you like without a care in the world. If you’re in this situation, you’re only going to work with people you enjoy and that will make the project or business operate even better.

10) Wall Street Compensation Update: We got a lot of questions here, and again it looks like the bonus pool will be flat to slightly up depending on your bank (assuming Q4 is not a debacle). All in compensation levels are around the same level as 2006.

Analyst – Base $80-100K (100% targeted bonus) 160-200K (age 22-25)

Associate – Base $120-160K (100% targeted bonus minimum) $350-400K if you are promoted to VP (age 26-33, wide range due to young talent and MBAs)

VP – Base $175-225K (100%+, call it 125% targeted bonus due to revenue generation) (age 30+)

Director – Base $225-275K (Variable call it 1.5x base salary target due to revenue generation) (age 32+)

Managing Director – Base $300-400K (Variable, call it 2x base salary as a target due to revenue generation) (age 32+)

The only material difference over the past decade is that the mix of income has changed a bit. More and more banks are offering higher salaries and lower bonuses. But. Again. The all in number is roughly the same as it was back in 2005/2006.


  1. Sean says

    I can help confirm that bonuses are near 2006 levels if you’re an analyst. For anyone who is on the street, they will know that the information here is 100% accurate. In 2006 a top tier first year was getting about $160K and that is the same this year for the BBs and EBs as well (probably $145-175K is the range).

    That Singapore fact is depressing, we live in the best economy in the world, our percentage should be at least 10%! Not my problem I guess, onward to $1M over ten!

    • Joe says

      If you want a more accurate comparison with Singapore, you should:
      * Be comparing NY or SF with Singapore, not all of the USA. And exclude the ghettos, there are no real ghettos in Singapore.
      * See how many millionaries are left after you take out the value of their primary residence. Singapore is a high rent place.

      Singapore is a bit of a Switzerland, the wealthy like living / parking there because of the world class city and the low taxes. The US a 1st world country with a third world country inside it.

      • LCather says

        Coming from Singapore I’ll like to add that the harsh education system played a fundamental role in developing our focus and efficiency, which perhaps lead to this staggering statistic.

        Almost all my friends are studying in the US right now and it’s a breeze in comparison. Not that academics matters that much of course!

  2. Mid20s says

    Killer post once again. You nailed a lot of hot topics in this one.

    Funny, after reading 9 I realized why I am not posting that much on social media the past months.

    Looking forward to the next post.

  3. KRK says

    A little sad that the posts will continue to be sporadic, but it’s since prompted me to reread all of the older posts. Learning new things that I didn’t catch the first time until I applied the knowledge from the initial readings. This is the most important blog on the internet for me. Thanks guys.

  4. William says

    Great points about Trump. He’s a man of results! His critics tend to turn a blind eye to his accomplishments and what he’d bring to the table. Funny how it doesn’t bother him in the slightest…

  5. says

    Rule 7 & 8 can be applied for starters in College / University. Don’t focus on everyone but…

    Look for the following people and befriend them:
    1) Good looking girls: gives you the potential to meet other good looking girls and improve your social skills.

    2) Good looks / High intelligence / Potential winners: That combination is a killer to be befriended with. They have the ability to present themself well while having the intelligence to back it up and the drive to succeed.

    3) Very good scoring persons: Befriend them to get results and notes from class.

    Focus on those and you will succeed. Make sure that you apply the rule of “for every 1 person who dislikes you 3 new contacts” to not waste time in these categories.

    • says

      Also: smile and nod technique for the rest. You want to secretly blend in with the masses. If they complain: smile, nod and agree and continue.

  6. RE Guy says

    Donald Trump is a role model for young American men, and they need them.

    Without splitting hairs on what qualifies as “self-made” the man multiplied his family fortune many times over because he took risks, failed, took bigger risks again, the whole point of the capitalist system.

    When his detractors talk about his liberal use of bankruptcy they fail to understand that’s the point in capitalism. We want to encourage people to role the dice on a big idea or project by providing a safety net. Our country benefits from smart people being confident enough to take risks.

    He’s got a smoking hot wife. Let’s call a spade a spade, if a man has a hot wife 20 years his junior, he’s doing it right (A. respecting others’ views on marriage here and B. he’s 69, it’s generational, they simply got married more as a default than us.).

    Anyone who has (competently) tried to lay a 9 or 10 or close a major real estate deal will see the similarities immediately. And the charisma, the “people skills” (the real kind, not the bs you hear about in HR), that is necessary to accomplish what he has is apparent for anyone who watches him and knows what to look for. Which by the way, makes him a great current study for rhetoric.

    One of his favorite figures is the “paralipsis” or “leaving aside” which is funny to see him do. He mentions something by not mentioning it i.e. “I’m not going to call Pres. Obama incompetent, because that would be rude” , “A study by a station that I’m not going to name, I won’t say CNN, but another station that I won’t mention by name.”

    And he always re-frames, never apologizes. If you’re offended, you didn’t understand him, let him clarify. It’s always a miscommunication that he is happy to clear up.

  7. JumpinJackFash says

    Thank you for this blog, a very interesting peek into the 1%.

    The main takeaway I have gotten is to able to SCALE your venture. This is, of course, articles from a few months back, and it took me a while to ponder it but now I understand about trading time for money vs scales of economy. For a blue collar guy like me, that means perfecting my craft and starting my own contracting business.

    Also very helpful; your emphasis on focus. I probably won’t be a millionaire in 10 years because I am also working on an engineering degree, but I accept that as a choice of my own, not bad luck or lack of opportunity.

    I am quite surprised with your endorsement of Mr. Trump (my choice too). Does it concern you guys that he wants to tax hedge funds and close down the borders?

  8. Singapore says

    I’m from Singapore and frankly I’m insulted with this 17% ratio you mentioned. The next time you get a chance to visit, please go to the CBD/Marina Bay/ Sentosa Cove areas and you will find that this 17% ratio that you mentioned is more like 60%. There are more $400k porsches (yes, cars cost this much) than toyotas and kias combined. Best selling cars by volume, on an annual basis, are mercedes and bmws. Go figure. Not uncommon to find penthouses $50m gets snapped up like hotcakes. We are the 1% of your 1%.

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