Wise(ass) Sayings on Money, Investing, and Life

At the request of a reader Ryan, here is a post that’s been on the back burner (see I do eventually read my emails).
These are my own wise(ass) sayings about money, investing, and life that I’ve sort of developed over the years. Some of these came from observations about people and money after working in the investment world for 16 years, some are just random thoughts that stuck in my head.

1. The only person who cares about your money is you

If you are relying on someone else to take care of your money, prepare to either get screwed or pay a lot of money over time. Nobody should care about your money more than you. Nobody.

2. Being told “No” should motivate you

I get it, being rejected sucks. But it’s not the end of the world. I’ve been told I can’t do things, rejected, or “that’s impossible” countless times. But being able to say “I told you I could” to the naysayers feels real good. Don’t let anyone tell you what your limits are. If I let others tell me what my limits are I wouldn’t be sitting in the 7 digit club able to do whatever I want.

3. Don’t sweat the details

I’ve seen (mostly older) guys come up with elaborate spreadsheets trying to take into account every possible outcome for their money. The details were mind numbing. Most of the time passive investing was the answer for them. It would have saved them time and money. Sometimes simple is better.

4. But know just enough detail

How much do you spend, what’s your net worth, how much should you be investing each month to get to your financial goals.

5. You don’t know what (1+r)^t means

The full formula is Future Value=Present Value(1+r)^t
Invest on a regular basis and start as early as possible.

6. I’ve never had someone complain “I have too much money”

Most of my older clients always said they wish they started earlier in saving and investing. See #5 above.

7. Don’t trip over dollars to pick up pennies.

Ever hear someone talk about driving 5 miles to save 5 cents on a gallon of gas. How much time and gas did they burn and did they actually save money?

8. Your neighbors last name is Jones. Avoid hanging out with them.

The fancy new cars, the giant house and the European vacations…all a lie of an image built on a mountain of debt. I used to live in Dallas, home of many $30,000 millionaires. Hang out with people working towards a similar goal as you, others will bring you down.

9. Are you in physical pain from setting aside money…

Of course not. People come up with multitudes of reasons to not save…the budget is tight right now, I have time, I’ll start tomorrow. Side hustles are easy to pick up. I worked 2 jobs, 7 days a week for a couple years after college to have extra money to pay down bills and sock away money, knowing that in the short term, not having much free time would pay off later on in life. If it doesn’t hurt you, then you haven’t reached your limits.

10. Don’t be afraid of Risk (calculated risk)

Every time I’ve heard someone say I’m afraid of losing my principal, I would say I’m not the guy for you then.  Your bank is down the street.  If you are afraid to take risk with your money, that also means you’re afraid of making money, serious money.  This doesn’t mean be wasteful and chase after whatever the hottest performing asset is, but take calculated risk that can put the odds in your favor.  Besides, if your cash is just parked in a bank account earning 2 basis points, you’re losing money due to inflation and lost purchasing power.  Risk and reward go hand in hand.  No risk…no payoff.

11. You can’t take it with you

One that I struggle with you.  If building it up is half the equation, enjoying it is the second half.

12. If you can’t write the check, then you probably can’t afford it

Self explanatory.  Debt is the modern day form of slavery.  If you need to finance a purchase, maybe it’s time to step back and think if you really need that fancy widget right now.  Sleep on it for a little while before you pull the trigger.

If you enjoyed this, I invite you to check out Napkin Finance, basically what I would teach you about finance crammed into a napkin.

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