Haven’t done a list post in ages. Also took a hiatus the last two weeks to organize for next steps. Luckily, we’re back at it so it’s business as usual going forward. That said. We noticed we’ve moved on from the prior “audience” so this is going to be focused a bit more on the new audience going forward. Just under a decade ago it seemed this website resonated with people in the mid-20s and we’ve now moved into around late 20s/early 30s in terms of engagement. This is naturally where the separation between the winners vs. losers in life *typically* occurs and we’ll highlight the signs below.
#1 Low Stress: People who haven’t made it will claim that rich people are “stressed” all the time. No they are not. There are two reasons for this: 1) making $200-250K a year in a corporate job with a family is not stress free, it is extremely stressful and 2) people claim they know “rich” people when the people they are speaking of have never talked to them and are unlikely rich. This is as clean cut as it gets. If someone is in a low 6-figure position they are not rich, they are just “earning more money”… That goes into more bills as lifestyle inflation kicks in for the vast majority. Also. Rich needs to have a definition to it and we use $3-7M in your “thirties” as a good proxy for this.
If someone reaches this quick financial definition of rich and they are still stressed out? Well they are simply *choosing* to be stressed out. Outside of a health issue, having $150-350K coming in without lifting a finger (5% annual return), is more than enough to live a stress free life since you can always work part time to add some additional income. Factually, to get to $3-7M you were likely earning mid-6 figures at minimum so working 20-30 hours a week is not a big deal.
#2 Care Free Attitude: This is a different type of care free from the usual “free spirited” attitude that hippies have in college. When we’re referring to care free it is in respect to social issues. If a friend makes more money than you do because he sold something or got a new product up and running, you should be thrilled jumping for joy and offering to buy him dinner/drinks. This compares to your typical average bloke who will complain and say “he should be more humble”. Or worse. Complain and make passive aggressive remarks suggesting he didn’t deserve it in some way.
Care free also relates to personal life as well. If someone decides to live life as a lothario or with a large family, it shouldn’t be of importance to you. At the end of the day, as long as they are set financially, what they do with their own life shouldn’t bother you at all. Sure you might not hang out with them as much based on different lifestyles. But. The lifestyle choice shouldn’t bother you in any way. Long gone are the days of making sure everyone around you is going down the right path. Once you’ve made it the decision tree is less relevant as the direction is already correct.
#3 Low Body Fat: We were going to put in “muscular and low-body fat” but the problem is a lot of people who make it go into different types of sports. Skiing is popular. Snowboarding is popular. Surfing is popular. So on and so forth. So we’ll go with low body fat percentage. As long as you aren’t running marathons with next to no muscle, you’re probably good enough with the “low body fat rule”. This is a good status symbol particularly once you’re over the age of 35 or so. At that point practically no one is in shape.
As a note a good way to have low body fat and maintain solid cardio fitness is through swimming. Swimming is probably one of the best options as it is easy on the joints as well. Two other alternatives are mountain biking and tennis. Anything that requires high amounts of energy expenditure with lower impact (no jumping).
#4 Rich People Problems: Naturally, your friends/close contacts will evolve into having the same “rich people problems”. They include: 1) going out and drinking too much wine at dinner every day, 2) too much travel, 3) dealing with real estate issues for rentals, 4) taxes and 5) some sort of time consuming activity they are trying to outsource. Generally, you can figure out what type of person someone is by their closest contacts as well. Essentially, if their friends have “rich people problems” then you’re likely talking to a rich person.
Another fun one. Anyone who makes it will have an immediate disdain for customer service. This is probably the worst business in the world and we have no idea how people run hotels. Imagine running a full service product entirely around human interactions based on complaints. These days walking into a hotel to check in makes you think “this poor person has been yelled at 15 times at minimum today”.
#5 People Get “Stuck”: There seems to be a hurdle around age 30 where most people stop improving. This is due to changing responsibilities stacked upon one another. Not a pretty picture. The easy tell is when they are still talking about the same topics at age 30 as they were when they were in their mid-20s. There is no change across the board. Still talking about making “an extra $15-20K”… Still talking about the “best place to go out”… Still talking about travelling the world. Just stuck in the same circular reference they were in five-seven years ago.
Naturally, the people who are stuck in this range end up becoming bitter. They lash out and claim that everyone else is a liar since their lives are going down the drain. They eventually fade off the radar. The rare ones that make it realize they are in a downward spiral and double or triple down on working out of the ditch while abandoning their current set of friends and lifestyle.
#6 Physical Attention: The smart ones realize their bodies need a lot more attention. If you’ve been taking care of your body for the last 30+ years you’ll notice the physical slowdown at around 30-35 or so. Please don’t message about “drug use” to offset this. If it were possible to beat father time, professional athletes would be playing well past their 40s. This doesn’t happen. Athletes are forced to retire.
Physical attention changes commonly include: 1) skin care, 2) massage therapy, 3) laser treatments, 4) creams/serums, 5) botox injections etc. There are many ways to fight the clock and most will be using at least two of the mentioned items here. This doesn’t even include the more extreme hormone replacement therapy that is becoming increasingly popular.
#7 Avoid Unhappy People: This is the only “superstitious” item we’re involved in. If anyone is throwing negativity your way or appears to be negative (life going in the wrong direction). Run away. Don’t try to throw a life saver out there, simply jump out of the way and move on. There is something strange about momentum in the sense that negative energy can certainly cancel your positive energy.
The only difference here (when a life saver is worth it), is if someone is moving in the *right* direction but just can’t get over some hurdle you can help with. This might be worth your time. So go ahead and help in these situations as the person is in purgatory. If it goes negative in a big way or positive in a big way you’ll know within a few short months anyway. Newton’s first law of motion applies to life: “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.” Do not use your energy and time to change the motion, simply help the motion that is already going in the right direction.
#8 Net Worth Loses Its Meaning: At a certain cash flow threshold, net worth becomes a game of “greed and prestige” and less about your day to day life. This is why being stressed out and unhappy is a choice if you’re able to get rich. Sounds crazy but it really does happen. You end up being more focused on your cash flows as the “digits” on the screen are not usable unless you sell. You’ll also have several investments that are not immediately liquid (like private company investments) so you’re going to focus more on your cash flow. If we could do it all over again, we would have focused entirely on cash flow generating investments until a number was hit then worked on private investments after that. Live and learn.
#9 Smiling and Nodding Increases: If you already know this trick, it’s going to become more and more common as you get older. Arguing with people is just not worth your time. Simply smile, nod agree and delete. This is something that will happen more and more. In fact, we’d say it increases at an exponential rate. After you’re 30 or so the amount of useful “information” decreases substantially. People are set in their ways so you’re better off finding interesting people that don’t reiterate the same talking points you already know (or worse… information you’re sure is false).
#10 Emotional Stability: Not sure how else to describe this. By this point you should have already seen a wide range of emotions from immense failure to immense success. Since you’ve already gone through the wild swings nothing really changes your mood. People can be rude or nice to you and neither of them really change your day. At the end of every night you wake up knowing that everyone else has to go to work for a living and suffer in a position they don’t want to be in. This alone makes it difficult to ever be upset when people are mean to you specifically. The war is *already over* (you’re on the right side) so no reason to give these people the joy of seeing your emotions change. Simply laugh at the pettiness and leave.
#11 Dating Gossip: This is probably specific to this side of the web. We just don’t have any interest. If some guy or girl is struggling in the dating category we think it’s laughably sad (like a 10 year old trying to arm wrestle a professional football player). Something happens here. There is an *enormous* chasm between the rich people with solid social skills and the ones that legitimately struggle with women despite being wealthy. It has reached a point where we really can’t offer solutions. If a guy/girl was able to become a multi-millionaire but still struggles with the opposite sex… we have to bow out. They became successful the hard way (trial, error and effort) but think there is some special formula for dating/social skills. There isn’t and there never will be. Lift heavy things, dress extremely sharp, go out frequently and talk to everyone in a fun and exciting manner.
For those that haven’t noticed, we actively delete all dating related questions now. We find them repulsive and sad at this point. In a rare twist of fate we have the same reaction that women do to guys who struggle with this stuff! Funny how that one turned out. Women’s intuition was correct, if the guy is desperate enough to ask the same questions all the time he’s just not a good person to date anyway. Yes we know, you have to learn and ask at some point (everyone is a beginner). But. At 30+? No thanks.
#12 Interest in Food and Drinks: As you get older your taste buds will evolve. You’re not going to look at menu prices for dinner since the $5-10 difference is not important. What will happen is a change in your quality of food. Going to lower quality places is just not going to be worth it. Better to go to a nice place or eat at home. The middle of the range places are just a waste of money and time. They are a waste of time as they unlikely open doors (wrong clientele) and it’s a waste of money as high quality food at home is certainly better. To wrap up the topic, when you do go out to drink you’re not going to order “well” drinks. It’s going to be a specific brand you like that is going to cost a few bucks more. Also, more champagne vs. wine.
#13 Outsourcing Everything: As noted in the prior points a key move is outsourcing. Moving from doing things yourself to increase returns to becoming more hands off to increase free time. This is a natural transition as no one wants to spend more of their time dealing with “back office” type responsibilities. Anything that can be outsourced will be outsourced as long as it is cash flow positive. For the nit-pickers, no this does not mean you make your returns go to single digits, it means you take a ball park estimate of the cost to outsource and divide this by the amount of time you waste on the activity.
#14 Focus on Sleep: While we’ve mentioned the physical strength/speed decreases in your 30s, the sleep impact is significant. When you’re in your 20s you can take multiple red eye flights in a year and come out unscathed. Try to take poorly timed flights in your 30s and they can ruin your entire day or more. Not a pretty look. Getting into a rhythm becomes more important as it has a meaningful impact on your productivity. We’re not obsessed with the exact time you wake up or sleep, just make sure it is consistent.
#15 Significant Change in Travel: Ideally you’ll have a lot more flexibility with your schedule. If you’re still forced to travel a bunch one thing you’ll have is a “list” of cities where you’ll purposely adjust your schedule to spend more or less time in. You won’t be spending your time “asking around” for the best places to go. You’ll have the “go to spot” list and you’ll have the “get out of here as fast as possible” list. Not much beyond these two since your “exploration” years will be largely complete by this time. In the rare case that you’re going to a brand new city that might be fun, go ahead and assume it’ll be a “go to spot” so it gets the attention it deserves.
#16 The Peak? Unsure if this is the case but there are a lot of benefits to being in your 30s. Ideally you’re rich, in shape and have the time to enjoy both of those two items. The guys in their mid-40s who made the right decisions also say that this can continue for quite a long time. Not sure if this is true and will have an answer on the topic at age 49 (if this blog exists – unlikely). What we can say with certainty is that your 30s are 100x better than your 20s assuming you made the right decisions. And. Your 20s were 100x better than college so you get the idea already. Exponential “parabolic” growth.
#17 Edge of Technology: One significant thing to be careful of… do not fall behind the times in terms of technology. This is going to be a large wealth accelerator for you. In this age bracket you’ll now have enough “funny money” to throw sizable amounts into higher risk higher return investments. Most people in this bracket end up ignoring new tech and stick with boring stable investments. We’re doing the opposite. Once your cash flows are well above your standard of living we’d go ahead and swing on the high tech items. Also. It makes you more competitive long-term with your current business/profession.
#18 Avoid Politics: They are not worth the hassle. Unless you’re going to directly make money off of it, there is no reason to get involved. Seriously. The only good thing about politics is that it can be leveraged to make friends. If someone leans left, lean your social views slightly left without saying your position. If someone leans right, lean other views right without revealing your position. People are incredibly emotional when it comes to politics. We know what that means. It is a colossal waste of time. Just like television.
#19 Increase in “Standard” Entertainment: Since your time frees up a bit, you’ll likely pick up a small entertainment habit. It could be as simple as a Netflix show or operas. Who knows. Ours has been sporting events for the fun of it (Games, fights etc.). This actually helps interactions on a day to day basis as you have a pulse on something that is more commonly talked about.
#20 Table Setting to Get to the Next Level: This last one is really for the people who have made it already and is a bit of an inside joke. If you make it and you’re going to go out and meet people “above your wealth range” the immediate thought in your head is “how to i bring something to this table”. Since they are richer than you anything that can be bought with money at any public venue carry no value (champagne, bottles etc.). You’re really left with the two age old bartering tools: ___ or ___. If you know you know.
(No longer approving answers to the blanks you either know or don’t, some of the answers were so off it was painfully hilarious though!)