By Jerry Fetta
Finances are a topic that are so simple, yet seem to allude more than 90% of the U.S. Population in correct application.
Only about 1% of the nation has a personal net worth of more than $10 million.
Only about 10% of the nation has a personal net worth of more than $1 million.
80% of the nation lives paycheck to paycheck.
About 60% of the nation has less than $1,000 in savings.
If finances are so simple, why are so few of us winning with them?
In this article I aim to introduce a topic that brings everything back down to a level of application and true simplicity. Because I believe so many fail with finances because of three main reasons:
- They don’t have the knowledge at all
- They have “knowledge” but it is wrong
- They have the right knowledge, but do not apply it
Finances boil down to this thing I like to call The Triangle of Wealth.
The first point of the triangle is to earn income. We all must earn income and as long as it is ethical and moral, any way of doing so is valid.
The second point is to save the income we earn. This is as simple as removing a sum of money from our income as soon as it comes in, and before we spend any of it, and then putting it somewhere that is not easy to access.
The third point is to invest for more income. Initially, this may look like investing to increase our skillsets so we can earn more active income. It may also look like investing by paying off our consumer debt so that we can keep more of the income we earn. And ultimately, it should look like investing in passive income producing assets that incrementally replace our active income.
That’s really it. Sure there are ways to enhance progress and make things more effective and efficient. But if someone just does those 3 things over and over they will do better than 90% of American with their finances.
So why don’t people do this?
With income? I think the average person has been falsely convinced of two things.
#1 is that money is scarce.
#2 is that earning income is complicated or hard to do.
The notion that the Wealthy are evil and that there isn’t enough money to go around for everyone and that if one person has lots of money it means there is less left for others is not only false, but to be frank, idiotic. Idiotic means something is senselessly foolish or stupid. The way our currency system in the U.S. works, new dollars are being created out of thin air everyday. Right now, about $20.37 Trillion dollars worth of currency are in existence via normal economic spending and earning and in bank deposits and money markets in the United States. $20.37 Trillion.
1 Trillion = 1,000 billions. Think about that.
And? Those in charge of creating our U.S. Dollar continue to create more which means that number is only going to rise. Which is why I say the idea that money is scarce is idiotic. Nobody is taking anyone else’s share and anyone who thinks that is the case is either lazy and needs someone to blame for their own lack of value in the marketplace or they don’t know how to go earn income because of the reason I am about to address next.
What about this idea that earning income is complicated and hard to do? Well, it’s not. I got my first job when I was 7 or 8 years old helping my dad paint. At 8 years old I hadn’t gone to college. I was on in like 1st or 2nd grade. I didn’t have many skills, but I knew someone who needed my help (my Dad) and I knew I could help him and did. My point? If I can figure out how to earn income at 8 years old, there is no reason why any person who is as smart and as able as an 8 year old can’t do the same thing.
I believe people major in minors when it comes to earning income. They focus on the wrong things. Want to go earn income? Go work. That’s it.
But instead, we are convinced we have to build this really long runway leading up to the actual doing of the work. We have to get a higher education first, and then we need to experience life and decide what we like, and then we need to secure good benefits and vacation time, and negotiate the right wage. The result? 90% of us fail with finances.
There is no runway to earning more income. You don’t need a higher education. You don’t need to secure benefits first or any of that stuff. Secure the paycheck first and worry about the rest later.
Do you want my honest opinion on this? I think the education system has intentionally marketed in a way to make us think earning money is hard and difficult so that they don’t lose our business. If earning income is easy, we don’t need higher education. Then they lose their income. So they make sure we are indoctrinated to think there are these magic secrets to earning lots of income and that we need them in order to learn it all and be successful.
Income comes down to having knowledge, value, and outward exchange.
Want more income? Do more of those 3 things.
What about saving?
This one is easy. Earn the paycheck. Take a percentage out of the paycheck as soon as you get it and before you spend even a cent, and place it in a Sacred Account. This is an account you don’t touch and isn’t easy for you to access. If you do this, you will magically save more money.
Why don’t people do this?
#1 They aren’t earning enough income (earn is a verb and is something you either DO or DON’T do)
#2 They spend first and save later
If you correct these two points, you will save money. And the hard truth is, someone who doesn’t do these things doesn’t do them because they don’t want to. They’re fine living paycheck to paycheck. They’re fine feeling like they’re fake rich and buying whatever they want whenever they want and working just enough to afford to do so.
You have to want to save and have a purpose for it before it will happen successfully.
My last point in investing.
People fail miserably at investing and this is why:
#1 They think buying financial products and services is investing
#2 They think speculating is investing
#3 They never get to the point of having enough money to invest in the first place
Let’s handle #1 first. A mutual fund is not an investment. It is a retail financial product created by a board of directors on Wall Street in order to get the most amount of money from you with the least amount of return back to you. Same with virtually every other financial product and service out there. Bank accounts, annuities, most life insurance, stocks & bonds, mortgages…the list goes on and on. If the Bank or Wall Street are the ones selling it, you can almost guarantee it is better for them than it is for you and that what you may call investing is just Retail Financial Consumerism.
If I buy all of these products and services I will soon find out that Banks and Wall Street now have all of my money and that I do not. They’re building wealth and I am not.
Real investing isn’t easy. It does have a learning curve and a financial barrier to entry to be able to sit at the table. Anyone selling you different only wants you at the table because they know you’ll be the dumbest one there and the easiest payday.
What about speculating? Speculating means I buy something and hope it goes up in value so I can sell it to someone else for more than I paid for it. That’s not investing. It’s also not usually passive (meaning I end up trading a great deal of my time when speculating). Speculators often spend copious hours (that they don’t get paid for) researching the thing they’re going to speculate. Then they lose money for a while. Then they might make a little bit of money. Then they lose a whole bunch. And if they stick with it long enough, a very small percentage of them win a whole bunch on the back end. But if you total up the time invested, the money lost, and the duration it takes to win big, the average speculator isn’t profitable and is essentially working a job where they trade time for money finding things to buy and sell for a higher price. It isn’t investing.
Investing means I buy an asset that:
a. Has a long track record (for me 5 years straight of profitability is my minimum)
b. Has has either earnings or intrinsic value (to justify the price being paid)
c. Has extrinsic value (meaning others would be willing to buy it too)
d. It is something I like
e. It is something I fully understand (meaning I could draw it on a napkin & explain to a 5 year old)
f. It fits me as an investor
g. It fits what I intend to use it for (goals and purposes)
f. It is not overpriced (Extrinsic value is not higher than Intrinsic value)
If the thing I am buying does not meet the majority of these, I am either speculating or I am simply a Retail Financial Consumer who thinks he is investing, but isn’t.
Why wouldn’t someone follow these?
The only answer is because they are failing at point #1 of the Triangle of Wealth. They don’t earn (verb) enough income and so instead of earning (verb) more income they are looking for a shortcut.
If they can just buy the right crypto. If they can just buy right meme stock. If they can just buy the right house to flip. If they can just buy the right tech stock. Speculating is not new and it has gone on since the beginning of time. There will always be a new thing to speculate on and there will always be someone looking to get rich quick and that person will always think they’re right and they will always neglect the to look at the long history of speculating and the percentage of those who actually do it successfully.
I’d rather just add more value to others and earn more income, save more of it, and invest it for more income.
Look, you may read this and not agree with it all. And that’s fine. But what I can tell you is that at the time I’m writing this I’m 29 years old and I’m in the 10% of the nation that is winning with money. If you’re not, it probably isn’t the time to decide what you do and don’t agree with.
If I agree with something that ultimately doesn’t lead me to success, I need to find new agreements.
In closing, finances aren’t hard. Earning income isn’t hard. Saving isn’t hard. Investing isn’t hard.
What can be hard is accepting just how simple it all really is, getting to work, and avoiding distractions and nonsense.
If while reading this, you learned something or felt helped, and you’d like more then I would like to offer you a copy of my book The Blueprint To Financial Freedom.
To get a copy click here!
To Purpose, Wealth, and Freedom.
Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. He is a nationally recognized financial expert featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fox, Chicago Weekly News, New York Finance, interviewed on over 45 podcasts with world renowned experts, earning endorsements and affiliations throughout his career with names like Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Pamela Yellen.
Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and solvent families achieving greater financial freedom and sharing the truth about money with those around them.
Learn more at www.WealthDynamX.com
(DISCLAIMER: The information in this content should not be considered tax, financial, investment, or any kind of professional advice. Only a professional diagnosis of your specific situation can determine which strategies are appropriate for your needs. Wealth DynamX can and does not provide advice unless/until engaged by you.)