One of the benefits of our Q&As is that is creates an opportunity for us to come up with new post ideas. After we realized we were complaining about repetitive questions, we decided we’d go ahead and make a post that gets rid of them. In essence, most questions don’t really matter. What we mean by this is there are really 1) only a handful of decisions that really matter, 2) questions with direct answers that are useful and impactful immediately and 3) a whole host of questions surrounding “fear and worry” that don’t even need to be addressed. Think like you’re in the 1% is certainly a rude title and that’s the point, much like the content and audience we intend to focus on. The good news is that most questions will typically fall into category 2 which makes the Q&As a lot easier as there is an immediate and definitive answer.
Common Questions That Won’t Help Change Your Life
“Jobs and Careers”: Think about it like this. If you take a job making $100K or a higher risk job making $70K with $40K in illiquid private stock… this really isn’t a question. Why? Well both of these mean that you’re going to be worth about the same in 1-5 years. Unless the stock somehow goes up 10x (unlikely) you will be in the exact same position as the guy who takes cash up front and simply buys some higher risk stocks. It’s interesting because people ask these questions all the time and yet the choice between the two rarely makes a difference. $10,000 differences for 5 years is $50K… That’s not going to change your actual lifestyle.
Why are we starting with this example? It’s because rich people think about time. Sure you “could” work a lot harder and make an extra 10% in one of those positions but is 10% really going to change the *value of your time*? No. This is why we always respond with the following which has come up at least 30-40 times in Q&As. “Always choose the option that gives you more free time”. This only sticks with people who will eventually get rich. If people don’t understand this sentence we’ll bet against them 97% of the time. The entire point of this blog is to get rich while you still have time to enjoy it. If you’re happy with being a millionaire at 55 years of age (in today’s dollars to keep it simple), it’s best to leave. It’s best to leave because this is just not how rich people think. Rich people don’t care about 401Ks, an extra 3-4% increase in net worth or earning hourly wages. The only time they care about these massively long time-horizon investment vehicles is when their accountant rings them up and tells them there is a more tax efficient way to set his money up for 1) inheritance in the future and 2) lowering his total taxes being paid.
This should now shine a light on why we don’t really put much effort into responses that don’t deal with anything life changing. It’s because we know it doesn’t really matter. Also. It is very likely that the person asking the question already knows what he or she is going to do and just wants affirmation. So we type out the same old answer “Sure go with A or B. Make sure you don’t lose time”. The only time it gets difficult is if someone is already close to becoming rich… then you can make small tweaks to make sure the person gets over the finish line safely. But. If they are already close to the finish line they would always choose the risk off option… which then… by definition… means they are looking for affirmation. They already know the right answer.
This brings us to the final point on this subsection which is that rich people have clear thoughts because they don’t waste their brain power on questions that don’t make a big deal. You don’t see rich people wondering if they should buy a coffee, upgrade to business class or buy a new laptop. These aren’t meaningful changes since they don’t generate any equity (fancy name for ownership). Unless there is an opportunity to make large amounts of money, they are not spending their time worrying about the bread crumbs. This sounds terrible as we realize that a laptop purchase could ruin a normal person’s budget. But. That’s the way it is. If you’re not rich yet, the rich people who end up making it don’t have time to even think about buying a laptop. When you’re killing yourself trying to get a product to sell, getting clients and holding down a job (if you need to keep the lights on)… None of these questions ever come up. That’s right. What we’re saying is if a question is about two different jobs we know the person hasn’t bothered even trying with a business… otherwise they wouldn’t have asked the question. They would know the answer and wouldn’t bother jumping in the Q&A. Anyway. Most people waste their time talking about prestige, a new opportunity for 10-15% and other such nonsense which is good for the people who actually want to get rich (lowers the competition!).
Most “Personal Finance”: The funny thing about personal finance is that the vast majority of the “big disaster” decisions can be avoided as follows: 1) don’t get legally married – minimum pre-nup if you absolutely must, 2) never have 100% allocation into a single asset class, 3) don’t take stock tips from anyone and 4) don’t follow the markets. Funny how these four points are exactly what the masses try to do. A large number of smart people get divorced and are forced to start over. People try to go “all in” to somehow make it in one shot… doesn’t work. They try to follow someone else for investment advice instead of thinking for themselves. They try to follow day to day price moves on everything.
Pausing for a second. Yes hedge fund managers and other investment professionals do track markets and all of these things like hawks. But. They underperform the market. Every. Single. Year. So it’s really just a testament to how useless it really is. Even blind squirrels find nuts and some random guy is always getting rich off of some lucky break. We’ve been blogging and tweeting for years and not once can you find a tweet or post “complaining” about price movements. Feel free to look them all up and even the archived ones of our older lower quality deleted tweets. This is because it just won’t make a difference yet again. Long-term, assets go up in value and anyone who wants to create the ultra doomsday case of “deflation long-term” can go ahead and put on a tin-foil hat. If that really occurred, you’re still going to be rich because you’re one of the only producers in the world while everyone else is begging to “work for someone else” to pay their bills.
So what kind of personal finance questions are legitimate? Not many. The only ones that are legitimate are related to 1) leverage, 2) asset allocation relative to long-term plans, 3) structural trends and 4) tax structures, inheritance, and other huge one time tax items. In fact, if someone is really rich, they usually ask about item #4. It’s funny we’re laughing about it as we type it out because we think about all the rich people we’re close with and it’s never about “buying the dip” or “interest rates”, it’s always about “how do i lower the biggest *lifetime* expense i have called Uncle Sam”. When you realize that Uncle Sam receives more money for your work than you spend in a year… that’s when the light bulb really goes off that it’s a disaster out there.
For those that are interested, people who are successful millionaires rarely ask about a specific stock or a specific investment. Instead they focus intensely on trends, i.e. where is the money going to go. Is it going to go into this sector or that sector… so on and so forth. This is more important because you just want to be on the right side of the trend. If people don’t believe us, check out all the major presentations made by ultra rich people. Rarely does it talk about a single item to buy and it’s typically a presentation about “here is where we are today, here is what the world is going to look like tomorrow”.
So there you have it. We have no problems answering personal finance questions in Q&As. That said, always ask yourself “does it really matter” and you’re going to be surprised at how many of the questions really don’t matter… At all. Personal finance questions become “real” once a person is rich. If the person isn’t rich then the focus is on same old same old… getting a biz up and running and working a high paying career until that’s possible.
Dating: We really stopped talking about this topic a long time ago (seems like 2-3 years or so). It honestly feels like a different planet. This is because we no longer relate to “dating improvements”. The days of trying to maximize dating are long gone and aren’t even on the list of priorities. The reasons why? Well here we go: 1) most people won’t listen and will end up getting married with no prenup and roll the dice, 2) only 0.1% of people in the world have personalities that are so horrendous they cannot get dates once they make good money and are in shape and 3) it’s just boring.
We used to actually respond to questions related to dating but now it’s not even something we can help with. What we’ve noticed is that the entire “getting girls” community is essentially faking being rich. Rich people travel a lot to international destinations, they don’t care if a girl responds to their messages or not and they don’t have any sort of anxiety because they legitimately don’t care if the girl converts or not. Oddly enough once you stop caring about the entire dating scene it actually gets easier. Much like everything else in life. When you look back at how the “dating advice” industry evolved… all it did was slowly mirror what rich people do. First was act aloof (rich people actually don’t care), second was joke with them (rich people do this by nature because they are bored), third live close to the night life (nice areas usually require a more expensive apartment), fourth travel the world (rich people are usually the ones with the luxury of time and money to travel) and finally fifth, become a “figure head” (when you’re ultra rich people know who you are).
With this backdrop, one fun thing about dating we did learn is the ability to tell the fake guys who are “running game” from the rich guys who actually don’t care. The difference? “Aren’t you worried she wants you for your money”. This is the official giveaway of a poser. If a guy cares why the girl likes him he’s officially a tadpole/scrub, insert any low totem pole phrase in there. Rich guys don’t care. They really don’t. Any smart rich guy is just going to make sure he doesn’t make any major mistakes: 1) accidental kid and 2) massive loss of assets through divorce. This is the last thread that will always separate the real winners from the fake winners. It’s also why the pick up community will always defend this to death. They know they don’t actually “have it” so it’s best to assume every attractive girl is a gold digger. It makes sense this way since a person who’s willing to fake their status to this level needs to protect their ego in some way. This is the way to do it. Also. As a final big “ah ha” moment, the guys who end up getting the girl who doesn’t want money typically ends up getting a divorce. Why? Well financial troubles are the 2nd most common reason for divorce. Funny how that works… sort of. Sad actually.
Anyway, this is a long winded update on our philosophy surrounding “dating”. You simply walk up to anyone you find attractive and start talking to them. If it works it works. If it doesn’t oh well. No need to analyze each interaction since you’re going to be living close, making good money and living an awesome life anyway. Unless you’re considering having kids, there shouldn’t be any dating questions. Instead of dating questions the only real question is if you believe the person will be a good mother. If you don’t plan on having kids or getting married, then the entire topic isn’t really relevant (hence why it isn’t relevant for us).
Conclusion: So take a look at the big three categories: Jobs, Investing, Dating. This is quite literally the three most common items you’ll hear people gossip about at the work place. They talk about politics and so and so. “what the next hot stock is” and of course… Who is dating who. Since we know those three topics are the most common for people who end up going nowhere in life, we can conclude that those three topics don’t really make a difference long-term. Pause. Now to make things crystal clear we’ll still talk about these topics for fun (except dating because that’s officially too easy and boring to even talk about anymore). But. What we’re hoping to do is eliminate wasted thoughts. If you’re not rich yet, you shouldn’t use any brain cells worried about any of the things listed above. That job offer you got for 10% extra? Just decide within 15 minutes. That Christmas bonus you just got? Toss it into stocks/bonds/RE/crypto and forget about it (after biz expense of course!). If you start doing these things, making faster decisions on things that don’t matter… you’re going to be forced to think like a rich person. That’s always the ideal situation isn’t it!
Important Note: While we don’t expect a change in the Q&As as most questions are rarely life changing we do want to point out that if someone has life changing questions we actually respond outside of Q&As (these people know who they are). The goal of this post was to attempt to delete “clutter” and remove “jugglers” (people who run too many ideas at once). Having less thoughts is a good thing in many situations (less items to worry about).
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