Monday, June 8, 2009

creative wealth growth

Thank you to all who submitted questions for The Personal Finance Clinic. We received several questions and we hope to answer most of them over the next few months. Please visit Canadian Capitalist and Triaging My Way to Financial Success to view the balance of the Q&A.

Jessica asked,
I'm a regular reader of themoneygardener and since graduating from university debt-free, I've been trying to find resources for people like me who are not dealing with debt, but just a lack of education in what else to do with the rest of my paycheques. I already know about different investment vehicles and have money invested in a mix of GICs, mutual funds and stocks, but it would be good to get more opinions on what other wealth-building strategies are available to someone who is in their late 20s and has time and money on their side.

Like Frugal Bachelor has already written in one of his recent posts, most personal finance blogs aren't challenging enough for their readers. Think about it: if you're using your free time to enhance your personal wealth, you probably have a handle on your finances already. So maybe it's time to get creative and see what else is available to the budget-and-personal-finance conscious crowd.

Thanks for the interesting question Jessica. It is a great thing to have time and money on your side. Personally I would add debt as a tool for your toolbelt as well, and I wouldn't shy away from using other people's money as leverage.

Even though I do not have a direct answer to your question, I thought I'd publish it anyway just because I found it thought provoking. It also did not hurt that you mentioned your 'regular reader' status. The reason why you'll find that most personal finance blogs discuss the same strategies, is that they are indeed personal finance blogs. The bloggers tend to write about what they know, and in most cases that happens to be investing, saving, and other personal finance topics.

Getting Creative
I am of the opinion that the greatest way for an individual to grow wealth quickly is by starting a business. I'm fairly certain that there are a plethora of blogs that would discuss this area. In the personal finance blog space, I know that Thicken My Wallet as well as Four Pillars have discussed entrepreneurship at length.

The 80 hour work week just isn't all it is cracked up to be. Most wealth building strategies really would centre around investing. Try starting your own business, earning rental income, or building wealth in any other way without at some point making an investment. You can serve other people to earn a living, but true wealth can usually only be built by putting your hard earned capital at risk. Good luck!



the reason personal finance blogs are all the same is because amateurs are led into poor asset allocations. they make average to poor long-term decisions because they are largely following a mainstream ideology that is based on propaganda (aka public relations) and not real world experiences and returns.

far from being the only way to build wealth, putting your capital at risk is something only the naive, arrogant and greedy do.

if you're young, debt-free and able-bodied, the only thing you should do to go about creating wealth (which is not just monetary) is working hard and committing yourself to something, anything, that you are passionate about. In the real world, there are no short cuts and you have put in serious time and effort to get involved- that means sacrifice.

read my blog if you want to know how to avoid the stock market, earn an above market-average return, all while not risking any of your hard earned capital.

Thicken My Wallet said...

Thanks for the link. There are only certain legal ways to make money:

1. Employment income
2. Investment income (stocks, bonds etc.)
3. Business income (owing your own business)

Some people like to add intellectual property income (royalties from creative works, websites etc) as a 4th but I tend to lump it as a sub-set of #3.

I would agree with MG that if you really want to know how money works, run a business: even a part-time one. You learn to move away from relying on paper gains to understanding that cash flow underpins every successful business.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for taking the time to respond to a question that I was perhaps too afraid to ask my friends who are in no way the same situation as I am in. And the conclusion to much thought from these responses is that I should start my own business.

I'm not sure what it is I'm going to do yet, but having read 4-Hour Workweek, The Magic of Thinking Big, and now reading The 80/20 Principle since sending in my question, I know that I can't be an employee all my life.

So thanks for the advice, I already have the links bookmarked and hopefully, I'll see you guys very soon on the sidelines watching the rat race rather than being in it.