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The wealth building thread

Rassah

Well-Known Member
That's kinda what I'll be focusing on, Razzie, education and self improvement. That is literally the strategy. I'll just be pointing to what kind of each is needed. The strategy does work for everyone once you know it, the only question is whether you have enough self control and tolerance for risk. Personally I don't have enough of those to be at the top, but I reached a comfortable position, so don't have much of a drive or reason to go higher.
 

Gryphoneer

20 Quatloos on "disruptive"
Pfft, every funtional adult should know that "get rich" schemes are invariably either a bust (if you're lucky) or a scam (if you're not). Key buzzwords to look for are "self-improvement" and "self-control"; any third-rate self-help guru peddles these.

Well, let me donate my time to educate you in the only real way to get rich in this day and age. You ready? Here comes.

~~BIG GRYPH'S THREE-STEP PROGRAM FOR STRIKING IT RICH~~

Step 1: Become the scion of a moneyed dynasty.

Step 2: Wait.

Step 3: KA-CHING

What's that? You don't stand to inherit the millions or billions of a relative? TOO FUCKING BAD INNIT
 

Rassah

Well-Known Member
LOL! You think inheriting or otherwise just getting millions makes you rich! Hahahah!
What else you got in that deep well of wisdom of yours? Maybe you should start a thread titled "You can't get rich, so don't even try" and teach people how YOU have succeeded in that? :D
 

Byron

Moshi Moshi, Byron Desu~
So Randy, are you saying that millionaires don't teach their children to manage money like a rich person, and that their children can't manage money any better than a dirty poor who wins the lottery? Because I seem to remember you making exactly the fucking opposite argument multiple times.
 

Rassah

Well-Known Member
I have a big fat wad of savings of an amount that I am not going to disclose, and I've wanted to do something smart with it outside of doing something like getting a car.

Dunno where I'd start though. I'm not up for running a traditional brick-n-mortar business. The best idea I have is teaching myself programming and releasing dumb little £5 games on Steam.

I'll definitely help answer that, probably in third session. At the least I'll teach how to calculate what it could be worth over time in various investments, and what kind of investment options are there, plus asshole banker tricks to watch out for.


Brony, you're not suggesting that those same things millionaires teach their children can't be taught to anyone but millionaire's children, are you?
 
Brony, you're not suggesting that those same things millionaires teach their children can't be taught to anyone but millionaire's children, are you?
Ignoring the rest of the discussion:
Evading Lottery curse (~"staying rich") =/= Getting money (~"getting rich")
 

Byron

Moshi Moshi, Byron Desu~
Brony, you're not suggesting that those same things millionaires teach their children can't be taught to anyone but millionaire's children, are you?
You pulled that out from so far up your ass I don't even get why you would say it. I said one thing, and nothing else: You contradicted yourself in a spectacularly dumb way.

My nickname is getting to you, isn't it?
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
I'll definitely help answer that, probably in third session. At the least I'll teach how to calculate what it could be worth over time in various investments, and what kind of investment options are there, plus asshole banker tricks to watch out for.

PM me or whatever and I might come along, provided you're using text only, and its not at a bad time for me.

But I think I'll add you on Skype anyway just cos
 

Kosdu

Member
The point he is putting forward is how to best use what you can and turn it into more than you otherwise could have, not become a millionaire or otherwise have vast amounts of money magically appear.
 

Rassah

Well-Known Member
PM me or whatever and I might come along, provided you're using text only, and its not at a bad time for me.

But I think I'll add you on Skype anyway just cos

I'll have a video of it, but I can walk you through it in person over Skype whenever you're free if you want. Just poke me some time next week, since I'm not home right now.
 

Conker

Destroyer of Nazi Teddy Bears
I'll definitely help answer that, probably in third session. At the least I'll teach how to calculate what it could be worth over time in various investments, and what kind of investment options are there, plus asshole banker tricks to watch out for.
Also interested in this kind of info. Though from my end, me and my bro are thinking of dumping our jobs to work on our video game full time. It's a wise investment if we succeed :V
 

Deo

The hatred of FAF personified
This is something I am very interested in. I read a lot of investment books (though I am not a big fan of Kiyosaki, too much fluff and not enough details). My personal vehicles of wealth growth are investments in securities and real estate. My father was a labdlord, and my grandfather was a landlord so I have few generations of teachers. I so think that the mindset for growing wealth is taught to children in rich families and not poor families. Those less financially able are just not going to have the same breadth of knowledge to pass to their children. A quick example would be the 1031 real estate exchange, without having owned multiple properties and having the wealth to buy more you would not often know about this option to defer taxation on capital gains. I am especially interested to hear about your securities analysis. I have read many books on analysis, trading, metrics, strategy, etc and I still make costly mistakes. Last year my heavy industrial skewed portfolio did very well, I made 28%ROI but held it all too long into this year and lost all the gains. My biggest problem is being able to tell when to sell. Now I mostly stick to passive indexed funds like a Russell 2000 ETF. I think I added you on Skype, but there seem to be three listed Rassah so I hope I picked you.

And good to see some talk about FIRE. I am hoping to retire at the latest by 51. I am a big fan of Mr Money Mustache and Bigger Pockets.
 

WolfNightV4X1

King of Kawaii; That Token Femboy
I currently do not have Skype but would love to take part :c

Heck I've always found business to be a little boring but I think for it to be this free and extensive it'd be so worth it to even have learned a small portion of this stuff.

So I mean I guess I'll send a PM sometime
 

Rassah

Well-Known Member
I am especially interested to hear about your securities analysis. I have read many books on analysis, trading, metrics, strategy, etc and I still make costly mistakes. Last year my heavy industrial skewed portfolio did very well, I made 28%ROI but held it all too long into this year and lost all the gains. My biggest problem is being able to tell when to sell. Now I mostly stick to passive indexed funds like a Russell 2000 ETF. I think I added you on Skype, but there seem to be three listed Rassah so I hope I picked you.

Kiyosaki is fluffy, but he talks about the right mindset at least. That's mostly what I recommend him for. With regards to investing, you're definitely way ahead, and apparently learned your lesson with regards to active trading :D That's basically what I'll go over, plus some other basics. Btw, the key thing to keep an eye on in your case is the expense ratio. Not much else will differ if diversification is over 30 stocks, but that's the one thing that will make the most difference in the long run (which I'll also talk about)
 

Kinare

RAWR
Because of my work schedule and such I don't think I'd be able to participate, and I'm only really curious on some points, so maybe it's possible for you to just answer my few questions or give me a general direction?

In most every pretend economy I try to make profits in, I can do pretty decently. I make enough that I maintain about what you might equate to as "upper middle class", which is where I'd like to sit IRL if possible, I don't need to be rich to be content. In my time with the pretend economies, I have noticed many undesirable qualities of the rich end folks and I chose not to adopt those qualities. This of course meant I didn't make as much, but I feel better about what I made at least. Darn you, conscience.

What I seem to be pretty decent at in these fake economies is buying and selling. Sometimes I do make dumb choices, but I usually make enough good ones to supplement the dumb ones and allow for some profit. There's two things I figure that translates to IRL: buying/reselling collectible items or buying/selling stocks or some such. Problem is, I know little about either and because I don't have much money that I could put into it I'm not really sure it will get me anywhere. I don't mind putting in the effort to understand the patterns and such of these things, but even when you think you might have the pattern somewhat figured out and play it very safe you can still lose everything and I definitely don't need to be risking everything like that. However, because my job is scary unstable, it would be nice to have some extra something to lean on in the event work goes into famine mode.

If you think maybe you have advice for someone in my situation, I would appreciate any. I have a very limited amount of money I could risk on something if it seemed to be pretty solid at first, but might be enough to get the ball rolling if it turned out well. I do have Skype if you prefer I add you there for further discussion, I think I saw someone mention adding you, but you don't have that info posted, so meh. :p
 
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Rassah

Well-Known Member
OP post #2 updated with the following info:

Session 1 is scheduled for 11:00pm GMT (that's 7pm for you east coast yanks). The link is public and open for anyone to join https://plus.google.com/events/cmv9a40v2lgv8vjkpecotglgj0c
We will be discussing the key points of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book, including how rich people think, what is money, types of assets, money paths of rich vs poor/middle class, definition of wealth, education topics to focus on, and ten steps to getting started.
Time permitting, we will also cover the basics of economics, with Supply/Demand/Quantity/Price graph and price discovery.

Discussion notes will be posted before the video session. Video will be recorded live, and YouTube link posted after the session is done.
 

Yumacub

Member
This sounds very helpful! Being in a current situation​ myself, I'll take this offer!
 

ZaraphayxRedux

The Postmaster
"Self-made man" here; self-creation is a myth and "thinking like a rich person" is code for "be an opportunist, because failing repeatedly until you're in the right place at the right time is mathematically proven to yield better results than sitting on your couch doing nothing, eventually".
 
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Rassah

Well-Known Member
"thinking like a rich person" is code for "be an opportunist, because failing repeatedly until you're in the right place at the right time is mathematically proven to yield better results than sitting on your couch doing nothing, eventually".

Eh, almost. If you keep failing at having a good job, and keep trying to get a good job, all you'll ever accomplish is whatever a good job will get you, which isn't being rich. It's a combination of being an opportunist, AND knowing and thinking about those opportunities like rich people do. Others will likely not even notice the opportunity when it comes up, or even know that they exist. I'm a self-made man too, and much of what I made was simply knowledge and right state of mind, as opposed to just trying random stuff and hoping something sticks.
 

ZaraphayxRedux

The Postmaster
I don't know what your background is, but when you're born into poverty or even the lower echelons of the ever shrinking middle class the only thing you really CAN think about a lot of the time is getting a good job because wealth accumulation is a function of knowledge/experience and surplus resources. If you can't even keep the lights on chances are you don't have the luxury of investing or the time to spend doing the prerequisite research.

For some people getting a good job is the only practical first step to creating the surplus needed, and sometimes it just doesn't work out.

And frankly, some people are just have other priorities and don't mind working a shitty part time job, having roommates, or living at home if it lessens the financial burden.

If you have the desire and drive to increase your wealth you've already got like 90% of the work cut out for you, which is something I do agree with most libertarians on; a lot of people stay poor because they don't prioritize correctly for it - that isn't a judgment of their character; I'm just being descriptive.

As a guy who is all but psychologically compelled to be working, learning, and improving on something at all times I can say that it has been responsible for my successes in large measure, but the toll it's taken on other facets of my life is not something I imagine most people would be willing to pay. I don't have much of a social life these days and where most people would fill their leisure time with relaxation, socializing or hobbies I mostly spend my time working or researching, and it's something I've actually been trying to change about myself after losing two friends forever who I more or less put on the backburner, because I figured they'd always be there if I decided to take myself in a different direction.

I posted this long-winded bullshit because it never ceases to amaze me how people feel comfortable dismissing the hurdles others face in overcoming their shortcomings because "Well I did it, what's stopping you? You must just be misguided/stupid/lazy/etc!". It shows a deep lack of empathy and it's one of the reasons you libertarian types are often painted as self-centered robber-baron aspirants.

:effortpost:
 

Rassah

Well-Known Member
Yep, you are right. I would even add that when you are born into poverty or lower echelons, you probably don't even think, or believe, that you can get anywhere but the same place your parents were at. So people stay poor not only because they don't prioritize, or don't want to go through the difficulty required to change their situation, but many simply don't believe it is possible, or have too much fear to risk changing it. Fear is probably the biggest factor, after ignorance (by which I mean not knowing what to do or what to prioritize, not just being stupid). As my finance coach used to say, "you must step out of your comfort zone," and most people hate dong that. Much of my own journey involved me placing myself in situations where I was forced to confront things I was not comfortable with. But abandoning your relaxation, social life, and hobbies isn't really necessary. If you abandon those to the point of losing friends, it may be a work obsession problem, more than concentrating on gaining wealth problem. On the contrary, being financially independent actually requires you to build up a social support circle, and later involves you having the free time to be able to socialize or focus on hobbies. Hell, what I do for work is practically my hobby. The only thing you have to sacrifice at first is some material goods and a bit of time that you have to spend learning instead. But that gets easier with time. When I first started, it sucked having to forgo buying all the new gaming systems and games (especially when I used to collect every single Sonic thing that came out). I was jealous of my friends who kept eating out at restaurants, too. But I kept telling myself that my financial independence was more important, and put my money into my own investments instead. Now, when I browse Amazon, I feel like I really don't need anything. The want for material things kind of went away on it's own. It does make me difficult to buy gifts for, since when asked, I can't answer what I want.

You don't necessarily need a good job to have a surplus though, nor is a surplus or a good job a prerequisite for getting rich. Putting away a surplus into investments is the easiest way to get there, but it's also the longest, and not the only method. Nor is getting a good job a prerequisite for getting a better job. Sometimes just getting a lot of different low paying jobs that give you needed skills, or even working for free as an intern or an apprentice, is enough to move much higher in income, simply by combining those low income experiences into something much greater.

Since you asked about my background, I was born in Kiev, back when it was USSR, to two parents educated in microbiology, but who otherwise were quite poor. I have a little brother, four years younger than me, and my parents were having to support both of us on just $300 rubles a month (at the time about 1:1 exchange rate to the dollar). They had to supplement their income by growing tulips in wooden crates on the balcony, and sell them by the metro station in the evenings after work. This is on top of having to work all day, cook all food from scratch every evening (we didn't have premade meals in USSR), and raising two kids. Apparently at one point money got so tight that they even had to resort to eating a salad of grass clippings and raw eggs to make sure my brother and I were able to get normal food, but I didn't know or find out about it until much later. Needless to say, I didn't have much growing up, and neither did most of my friends.
When we got to USA, we lived in a poor apartment complex (Spring Hill Lake in Greenbelt), and my parents worked as janitors for a year or two, before learning the language enough to get jobs in biology. McDonald's was still considered a fancy dining out treat (I still actually remember my first Big Mac, and my second trip to McDonald's a few years later), mom still cooked everything from scratch for as cheap as possible, and my brother and I getting $5 action figures (Ghost Busters) for Christmas was a major deal for us, since we asked for them for months, and parents just couldn't afford them. To save money, we also moved constantly, changing apartments, and sometimes cities, every year from the time I was 10 until I was 16 (we also changed apartments 4 times before I was 10, which made making friends difficult). Eventually my parents managed to get jobs good enough to afford a house (they were both earning about $45k at the time), and bought a really run down townhouse "as is" in a fairly well off area, which they fixed up and restored themselves by hand over the years. For me it was good because the school was one of the better ones in the state. Maybe. I didn't really notice a difference. While I was in the last few years of high school, they decided that $45k pay ceiling that biotech industry had at the time wasn't enough, so, while continuing to work full time, raising two kids, and continuing to cook from scratch due to lack of money (house was still too expensive and they were sending a lot of money back to family in Ukraine), they both started taking evening classes in computer programming. Then, long after I moved out permanently, they ended up with great jobs, making six figures, and are doing pretty well now, considering they came from almost nothing. But this all happened much later, after my change too.

Anyway, that's the family I grew up in. For myself, I've been working since I was in school to make extra money. That's how I finally started being able to buy my own toys and games. I got my first job when I was 15 at a pet hotel, where I refilled food bowls and hosed out poop and urine out of large metal cages, which would run out the front of the cage, onto the floor, and drain into the ditch at the center of the long hallway where the cages were, before going down into a sewer drain at the end of the room. It was a really smelly, disgusting, and miserable job, since the hose water always inevitably splashed back at you with who knows what else in it. That job only lasted a few months (I got fired for playing with the cats too much, since they helped me deal with the misery there). Next job was in fast food for a year, making subs and pizzas, and washing dishes until almost midnight, even on school days. Again, hot, sweaty, dirty, miserable. After that it was working in the fish and small animals section at PetSmart. It was ok, but standing all day was painful, and I had two bosses who kept giving me conflicting orders, which, after a while, didn't end well for me. After that I worked in a PC repair store, assembling PCs and installing Windows. All these jobs were minimum wage. It was about this time that I started to realize things about my sexuality (after falling in love with a guy), and dealing with major depression issues, which caused major conflicts with my parents. I did go to a psychiatrist and was put on antidepressants, but by then my relationship with my parents was too strained. At this point in my life, I also had those same priorities you mentioned, figuring all I wanted and needed out of life was to get out on my own, have a shitty job, a tiny studio apartment or something with roommates, and a PC with internet so I can hang out with my friends online. This was especially so, because my depression made me lose all interest in school, and without doing any homework or studying in my last two and a half years, I ended up going from a GPA of 3.7+ to a GPA of 2.3, after which, unsurprisingly, all universities rejected me. So, as soon as I graduated high school, that's exactly what I did, moving out of my parent's house and into a tiny room sharing a tiny house with 5 other roommates. My room was a small bedroom that was divided with a wall made of panel board into two rooms, where I lived in one half of it, so it was literally like living in a long hallway. My small bed was wall to wall. My roommates were awful, too, never cleaning up, always drinking or smoking weed, and one even had a pet dog whom he allowed to use the vacant room next to mine, behind the panel board, as its personal bathroom which he never cleaned up. It was disgusting, and the smell there was terrible, but luckily it didn't get into my room much. I quit my minimum wage PC repair company job and got a slightly higher paying one, writing software for a biotech company. Problem was, it was a 2 hour commute (Towson, MD to Herndon, VA), most of which was stuck in stop-and-go traffic. I was always tired, sleep deprived, and under-productive, and I couldn't handle the commute, which was especially dangerous since being sleepy while the cars stop and go in summer heat makes you want to pass out. Plus this company was a startup, so my paychecks were often late. So, I had to quit. It was a mutual breakup, where company boss and I both agreed this wasn't a good fit for me, but if I hadn't agreed to quit, they would have fired me soon enough anyway.

For the next few months, I couldn't find any jobs. I was unemployed, not being able to pay my rent or bills. My parents didn't know I was unemployed, but knew I had money problems, so they gave me $20 for gas every few weeks so I can at least come visit them once in a while (I lived about an hour away). Instead of gas, I spent most of that little bit of money on food, typically subsisting on omelets with onions and green peppers, with an occasional sliced up hot dog mixed in, and not much more. As for rent and bills, all I could offer was apologetic excuses. After a few months of that misery, not being able to find a job, living in a filthy house where nothing was cleaned and everything stunk, and on the brink of being evicted and becoming homeless, my parents took me back in, so I moved back home with them.

At about that time I decided I didn't really want that kind of a life anymore. I had a realization similar to the one in my sig. A few months later I did find another programming job that paid a bit more, used whatever extra money I earned to pay for some community college classes, built up my confidence, moved in with my current bf/hubby, and moved up to an even better job as an IT manager at McDonald's Corp. I liked my new "success" earning $45k a year at the time, and dreamt about being able to help my first bf and some of my other friends who were still stuck in crappy jobs or were borderline homeless. Maybe saving up money, buying a large apartment building that we could share, and allowing them to live there for free, paying for the housing costs myself ($45k a year seemed like a ton of money to me). Of course, I had no idea how I would be able to do it, but I dreamt about it. Unfortunately, the Dot Com bubble popped, my job was outsourced, I was fired, and found myself with just a high school education in a market flooded with IT people looking for jobs, many with much better credentials than mine. I looked for an IT job for two years, sending out resumes at least once a week if not more, without finding anything. Luckily my severance check (about $6,000) was able to be stretched out for almost year, since I avoided spending on anything that wasn't absolutely necessary, and my bf was willing to continue to pay for the mortgage without my help. Eventually, getting desperate and facing being homeless again (rough times with bf), I stumbled on a multi-level marketing company called Primerica. Or, rather, I was invited for an "interview" after yet another weekly round of sending out my resumes. I was skeptical, but I was desperate, so what the hell. Nobody else wanted me. They taught me about very basic finance, basically "rule of thumb" stuff, and some sales techniques. What they taught me that was MOST valuable was the books, some of which I will be sharing here, also starting with "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," about how to think like a rich person, and taught me how investing, compound interest, and money in general works. Despite the awful salesy stuff, them teaching me how to change my mindset turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It also showed me that finances was the thing I was most interested in studying. Before then, I was just taking random classes, and couldn't decide on a major, bouncing from IT, to Graphic Design, to Psychology, to Creative Writing, to Politics. But the sales part of that Primerica job was INCREDIBLY awful. I am extremely shy and introverted, so having to come up to random strangers to sell them on the idea of a free financial consulting session, or "recruit" them into a "business opportunity" was hell. I think I earned somewhere between $400 and $600 a month off that. After about 6 month, I couldn't take it any more, BUT I now knew that I wanted to learn about finance. So I applied to a university that doesn't have restrictions on admittance. Instead they let everyone join, and then kick out everyone who couldn't handle the first year. I went for a Business Finance degree, a program which started out with three or four classes of 30 people each, and ended with just 15 of us in the last class, everyone else having dropped out or switched degrees. I never saw my graduation as an accomplishment, though. To me it was a simple task of take the class, do the work, answer questions on the test. But it was interesting stuff to learn. While in college I also took two semesters off for a Disney internship, where I worked part time as a water slide operator, and in exchange was allowed to take two business classes per semester that were transferable to my own university. I did that to save money on classes (I was paying for the university through loans, which I was paying off myself working summers and winters at a temp agency), and because I saw it as an opportunity to get over my shyness. At that Disney job I was forced to talk to thousands of random strangers from all over the world every day. Eventually it just became normal to me, and I got over my fear. Also while in university I got into SecondLife, where I learned (from another furry) how to trade and invest in game currencies, so I played the Linden exchange like a pretend stock market, and also practiced investing in some of the businesses and a fledgling stock market created in the game. That was a very useful experience, since when I actually got to the investment class at my university, most of it was just a review for me. After I graduated in 2007, I got a job as an accountant at Haribo, earning $30k a year, and put the skills I learned at Primerica and university to personal use, starting by saving $5 to $25 a month (I had A LOT of debts to pay off when I got out), then moving that money from savings into stocks and eventually mutual funds. I started to read money blogs that gave tips on how to save or make money, which credit cards to use and how to exploit credit card point systems, and other random finance "life hacks." Since I've been doing my own taxes since I was 16, using TurboTax, I now started to learn more tax tricks for how to maximize deductions and such. I also taught all these finance skills to my parents, helping them refinance their mortgage and debt the way I did for our house, having them read the same books, and teaching them about assets, investing, and general finance. It's thanks to that that they fixed their massive credit card debts, and got into investing into real estate properties, pretty much securing their retirement, despite starting at the late age of 45. My investments grew pretty quickly, I found other assets to invest in that I was actually interested in, eventually I switched jobs to a higher paying one, this time working as a Financial Analyst instead of an Accountant (Accountants do finance from past to present, Financial Analysts do finance from present to future and help steer the company), and eventually decided to go for a Master's in Finance while working, taking classes in the evening. That job was earning me $45k (less than the McD's one if adjusted for inflation), and I hoped a Master's would help me get a much higher paying one. While taking those university classes, some of my assets did well enough that I decided to focus on just them instead of work. After graduating with a Master's in Business with concentration in Global Finance and Economics (this time from an extremely picky Top-10 university that teaches Harvard classes), I worked two more years, mostly because of the fear of being unemployed without a steady paycheck. But, eventually, that fear was overcome with my fear of getting too comfortable at my job, so, after 5+ years there, I quit and retired. That was in April of a year ago. Since then I have been concentrating on growing my assets, looking for various opportunities here and there, and working on a job that I love doing so much, I've been doing it for 1.5 years, despite the pay being sporadic and often nonexistent. But I still make enough from my assets to get by, so I'm not worried. (Retirement isn't sitting around not doing anything any more, it's doing what you love without worrying about money, since your income is coming from elsewhere). And here I am now, going from a poor family and near homelessness (yes, I was lucky to have my parents give me a place to stay that time) to being retired at 35, entirely thanks to how I changed my thinking, and what I concentrated on learning. I'm still somewhat doubtful that that's all that it took, though, since it still seems a bit incredible and too simple to me, so I'm curious to see if me teaching these skills to others can help them out as well. I'm hoping it does, at least in some small part.
 
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Rassah

Well-Known Member
Op updated with the following info:

Session 1

We discussed the key points of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book, including how rich people think, what is money, types of assets, money paths of rich vs poor/middle class, definition of wealth, education topics to focus on, and ten steps to getting started.

Video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvS_xYWwCGI
Notes link https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qw1qJ9467oBgta80DhXTwPiiJdPHhfsK1h7RNWjlAtE/edit?usp=sharing


Session 2

We, scheduled for next weekend but time TBD, will cover the basics of economics, with Supply/Demand/Quantity/Price graph, profit and competition, surplus/shortfall, and things to look for in the economy.
We will also quickly go over the basics of market trading, such as market spread, market depth, volume, and how that whole thing works. You'll be given some play money to practice with.
 

Rayzr

New Member
Yep, you are right. I would even add that when you are born into poverty or lower echelons, you probably don't even think, or believe, that you can get anywhere but the same place your parents were at. So people stay poor not only because they don't prioritize, or don't want to go through the difficulty required to change their situation, but many simply don't believe it is possible, or have too much fear to risk changing it. Fear is probably the biggest factor, after ignorance (by which I mean not knowing what to do or what to prioritize, not just being stupid). As my finance coach used to say, "you must step out of your comfort zone," and most people hate dong that. Much of my own journey involved me placing myself in situations where I was forced to confront things I was not comfortable with. But abandoning your relaxation, social life, and hobbies isn't really necessary. If you abandon those to the point of losing friends, it may be a work obsession problem, more than concentrating on gaining wealth problem. On the contrary, being financially independent actually requires you to build up a social support circle, and later involves you having the free time to be able to socialize or focus on hobbies. Hell, what I do for work is practically my hobby. The only thing you have to sacrifice at first is some material goods and a bit of time that you have to spend learning instead. But that gets easier with time. When I first started, it sucked having to forgo buying all the new gaming systems and games (especially when I used to collect every single Sonic thing that came out). I was jealous of my friends who kept eating out at restaurants, too. But I kept telling myself that my financial independence was more important, and put my money into my own investments instead. Now, when I browse Amazon, I feel like I really don't need anything. The want for material things kind of went away on it's own. It does make me difficult to buy gifts for, since when asked, I can't answer what I want.

You don't necessarily need a good job to have a surplus though, nor is a surplus or a good job a prerequisite for getting rich. Putting away a surplus into investments is the easiest way to get there, but it's also the longest, and not the only method. Nor is getting a good job a prerequisite for getting a better job. Sometimes just getting a lot of different low paying jobs that give you needed skills, or even working for free as an intern or an apprentice, is enough to move much higher in income, simply by combining those low income experiences into something much greater.

Since you asked about my background, I was born in Kiev, back when it was USSR, to two parents educated in microbiology, but who otherwise were quite poor. I have a little brother, four years younger than me, and my parents were having to support both of us on just $300 rubles a month (at the time about 1:1 exchange rate to the dollar). They had to supplement their income by growing tulips in wooden crates on the balcony, and sell them by the metro station in the evenings after work. This is on top of having to work all day, cook all food from scratch every evening (we didn't have premade meals in USSR), and raising two kids. Apparently at one point money got so tight that they even had to resort to eating a salad of grass clippings and raw eggs to make sure my brother and I were able to get normal food, but I didn't know or find out about it until much later. Needless to say, I didn't have much growing up, and neither did most of my friends.
When we got to USA, we lived in a poor apartment complex (Spring Hill Lake in Greenbelt), and my parents worked as janitors for a year or two, before learning the language enough to get jobs in biology. McDonald's was still considered a fancy dining out treat (I still actually remember my first Big Mac, and my second trip to McDonald's a few years later), mom still cooked everything from scratch for as cheap as possible, and my brother and I getting $5 action figures (Ghost Busters) for Christmas was a major deal for us, since we asked for them for months, and parents just couldn't afford them. To save money, we also moved constantly, changing apartments, and sometimes cities, every year from the time I was 10 until I was 16 (we also changed apartments 4 times before I was 10, which made making friends difficult). Eventually my parents managed to get jobs good enough to afford a house (they were both earning about $45k at the time), and bought a really run down townhouse "as is" in a fairly well off area, which they fixed up and restored themselves by hand over the years. For me it was good because the school was one of the better ones in the state. Maybe. I didn't really notice a difference. Eventually, while I was in the last few years of high school, they decided that $45k pay ceiling that biotech industry had at the time wasn't enough, so, while continuing to work full time, raising two kids, and continuing to cook from scratch due to lack of money (house was still too expensive and they were sending a lot of money back to family in Ukraine), they both started taking evening classes in computer programming. Eventually, long after I moved out permanently, they ended up with great jobs, making six figures, and are doing pretty well now, considering they came from almost nothing. But this all happened much later, after my change too.

Anyway, that's the family I grew up in. For myself, I've been working since I was in school to make extra money. That's how I finally started being able to buy my own toys and games. I got my first job when I was 15 at a pet hotel, where I refilled food bowls and hosed out poop and urine out of large metal cages, which would run out the front of the cage, onto the floor, and drain into the ditch at the center of the long hallway where the cages were, before going down into a sewer drain at the end of the room. It was a really smelly, disgusting, and miserable job, since the hose water always inevitably splashed back at you whith who knows what else in it. That job only lasted a few months (I got fired for playing with the cats too much, since they helped me deal with the misery there). Next job was in fast food for a year, making subs and pizzas, and washing dishes until almost midnight, even on school days. Again, hot, sweaty, dirty, miserable. After that it was working in the fish and small animals section at PetSmart. It was ok, but standing all day was painful, and I had two bosses who kept giving me conflicting orders, which eventually didn't end well for me. After that I worked in a PC repair store, assembling PCs and installing Windows. All these jobs were minimum wage. It was about this time that I started to realize things about my sexuality (after falling in love with a guy), and dealing with major depression issues, which caused major conflicts with my parents. I did go to a psychiatrist and was put on antidepressants, but by then my relationship with my parents was too strained. At this point in my life, I also had those same priorities you mentioned, figuring all I wanted and needed in life was to get out on my own, have a shitty job, a tiny studio apartment or something with roommates, and a PC with internet so I can hang out with my friends online. This was especially so, because my depression made me lose all interest in school, and without doing any homework or studying in my last two and a half years I ended up going from a GPA of 3.7+ to a GPA of 2.3, after which, unsurprisingly, all universities rejected me. So, as soon as I graduated high school, that's exactly what I did, moving out of my parent's house and into a tiny room sharing a tiny house with 5 other roommates. My room was a small bedroom that was divided with a wall made of panel board into two rooms, where I lived in one half of it, so it was literally like living in a long hallway. My bed was wall to wall. My roommates were awful, too, never cleaning up, always drinking or smoking weed, and one even had a pet dog whom he allowed to use the vacant room next to mine, behind the panel board, as its personal bathroom which he never cleaned up. It was disgusting, and the smell there was terrible, but luckily it didn't get into my room much. I quit my minimum wage PC repair company job and got a slightly higher paying one, writing software for a biotech company. Problem was, it was a 2 hour commute (Towson, MD to Herndon, VA), most of which was stuck in stop-and-go traffic. I was always tired, sleep deprived, and under-productive, and I couldn't handle the commute, which was especially dangerous since being sleepy while the cars stop and go in summer heat makes you want to pass out. Plus this company was a startup, so my paychecks were often late. So, I had to quit. It was a mutual breakup, where company boss and I both agreed this wasn't a good fit for me (If I hadn't agreed to quit, they would have fired me soon enough anyway).

For the next few months, I couldn't find any jobs. I was unemployed, not being able to pay my rent or bills. My parents didn't know I was unemployed, but knew I had money problems, so they gave me $20 for gas every few weeks so I can at least come visit them once in a while (I lived about an hour away). Instead of gas, I spent most of that little bit of money on food, typically subsisting on omelets with onions and green peppers, with an occasional sliced up hot dog mixed in, and not much more. As for rent and bills, all I could offer was apologetic excuses. After a few months of that misery, not being able to find a job, living in a filthy house where nothing was cleaned and everything stunk, and on the brink of being evicted and becoming homeless, my parents took me back in, so I moved back home with them.

At about that time I decided I didn't really want that kind of a life anymore. I had a realization similar to the one in my sig. A few months later I did find another programming job that paid a bit more, used whatever extra money I earned to pay for some community college classes, built up my confidence, moved in with my current bf/hubby, and moved up to an even better job as an IT manager at McDonald's Corp. I liked my new "success" earning $45k a year at the time, and dreamt about being able to help my first bf and some of my other friends who were still stuck in crappy jobs or were borderline homeless. Maybe saving up money, buying a large apartment building that we could share, and allowing them to live there for free, paying for the housing costs myself ($45k a year seemed like a ton of money to me). Of course, I had no idea how I would be able to do it, but I dreamt about it. Unfortunately, the Dot Com bubble popped, my job was outsourced, I was fired, and found myself with just a high school education in a market flooded with IT people looking for jobs, many with much better credentials than mine. I looked for an IT job for two years, sending out resumes at least once a week if not more, without finding anything. Luckily my severance check (about $6,000) was able to be stretched out for almost year, since I avoided spending on anything that wasn't absolutely necessary, and my bf was willing to continue to pay for the mortgage without my help. Eventually, getting desperate and facing being homeless again (rough times with bf), I stumbled on a multi-level marketing company called Primerica. Or, rather, I was invited for an "interview" after yet another weekly round of sending out my resumes. I was skeptical, but I was desperate, so what the hell. Nobody else wanted me. They taught me about very basic finance, basically "rule of thumb" stuff, and some sales techniques. What they taught me that was MOST valuable was the books, some of which I will be sharing here, also starting with "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," about how to think like a rich person, and taught me how investing, compound interest, and money in general works. Despite the awful salesy stuff, them teaching me how to change my mindset turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It also showed me that finances was the thing I was most interested in studying. Before then, I was just taking random classes, and couldn't decide on a major, bouncing from IT, to Graphic Design, to Psychology, to Creative Writing, to Politics. But the sales part of that Primerica job was INCREDIBLY awful. I am extremely shy and introverted, so having to come up to random strangers to sell them on the idea of a free financial consulting session, or "recruit" them into a business opportunity, was hell. I think I earned somewhere between $400 and $600 a month off that. After about 6 month, I couldn't take it any more, BUT I now knew that I wanted to learn about finance. So I applied to a university that doesn't have restrictions on admittance. Instead they let everyone join, and then kick out everyone who couldn't handle the first year. I went for a Business Finance degree, a program which started out with three or four classes of 30 people each, and ended with just 15 of us in the last class, everyone else having dropped out or switched degrees. I never saw my graduation as an accomplishment, though. To me it was a simple task of take the class, do the work, answer questions on the test. But it was interesting stuff to learn. While in college I also took two semesters off for a Disney internship, where I worked part time as a water slide operator, and in exchange was allowed to take two business classes that were transferable to my own university. I did that to save money on classes (I was paying for the university through loans, which I was paying off myself working summers and winters at a temp agency), and because I saw it as an opportunity to get over my shyness. At that Disney job I was forced to talk to thousands of random strangers from all over the world every day. Eventually it just became normal to me, and I got over my fear. Also while in university I got into SecondLife, where I learned (from another furry) how to trade and invest in-game currencies, so I played the Linden exchange like a pretend stock market, and also practiced investing in some of the businesses and a fledgling stock market created in-game. That was a very useful experience, since when I actually got to the investment class at my university, most of it was just a review for me. After I graduated in 2007, I got a job as an accountant at Haribo, earning $30,000 a year, and put the skills I learned at Primerica and university to personal use, starting by saving $5 to $25 a month (I had A LOT of debts to pay off when I got out), then moving that money from savings into stocks and eventually mutual funds. I started to read money blogs that gave tips on how to save or make money, which credit cards to use and how to exploit credit card point systems, and other random finance "life hacks." Since I've been doing my own taxes since I was 16, using TurboTax, I now started to learn more tax tricks for how to maximize deductions and such. I also taught all these finance skills to my parents, helping them refinance their mortgage and debt the way I did for our house, having them read the same books, and teaching them about assets, investing, and general finance. It's thanks to that that they fixed their massive credit card debts, and got into investing into real estate properties, pretty much securing their retirement, despite starting at the late age of 45. My investments grew pretty quickly, I found other assets to invest in that I was actually interested in, eventually I switched jobs to a higher paying one, this time working as a Financial Analyst instead of an Accountant (Accountants do finance from past to present, Financial Analysts do finance from present to future and help steer the company), and eventually decided to go for a Master's in Finance while working, taking classes in the evening. That job was earning me $45k (less than the McD's one if adjusted for inflation), and I hoped a Master's would help me get a much higher paying one. While taking those university classes, some of my assets did well enough that I decided to focus on just them instead of work. After graduating with a Master's in Business with concentration in Global Finance and Economics (this time from an extremely picky Top-10 university that teaches Harvard classes), I worked two more years, mostly because of the fear of being unemployed without a steady paycheck. But, eventually, that fear was overcome with my fear of getting too comfortable at my job, so, after 5+ years there, I quit and retired. That was in April of a year ago. Since then I have been concentrating on growing my assets, looking for various opportunities here and there, and working on a job that I love doing so much, I've been doing it for 1.5 years, despite the pay being sporadic and often nonexistent. But I still make enough from my assets to get by, so I'm not worried. (Retirement isn't sitting around not doing anything any more, it's doing what you love without worrying about money, since your income is coming from elsewhere). And here I am now, going from a poor family and near homelessness (yes, I was lucky to have my parents give me a place to stay that time) to being retired at 35, entirely thanks to how I changed my thinking, and what I concentrated on learning. I'm still somewhat doubtful that that's all that it took, though, since it still seems a bit incredible and too simple to me, so I'm curious to see if me teaching these skills to others can help them out as well. I'm hoping it does, at least in some small part.
Damn quite the story you got there. I respect that.
 

Rayzr

New Member
Op updated with the following info:

Session 1

We discussed the key points of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book, including how rich people think, what is money, types of assets, money paths of rich vs poor/middle class, definition of wealth, education topics to focus on, and ten steps to getting started.

Video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvS_xYWwCGI
Notes link https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qw1qJ9467oBgta80DhXTwPiiJdPHhfsK1h7RNWjlAtE/edit?usp=sharing


My Dad was really into that book. Ha! I even remember playing the board game Cashflow with him. But I was too young to care about it back then. I wish I would have paid closer attention to what he was saying sometimes. I want to thank you for putting this together Rassah. Very interesting.
 
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