Sunday , 2 October 2022

Wealth: Don’t Get Discouraged (Chapter 1)

Wealth provides independence and security. For our purposes, wealth is a relative thing; something you define, in reasonable terms, for your situation. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos define wealth in terms most of us cannot comprehend. Their level of wealth is not the subject or aim of this book. I approach wealth in terms you can understand and achieve. Words: 572

Before reading the following please read (here) the Preface and Overview of the book WEALTH IF YOU WANT IT on wealth creation by “Monty Pelerin” (a pseudonym) of EconomicNoise.com.

A SIMPLE APPROACH

I graduated high school with a friend who defined his goals early, simply and intelligently. He identified three levels of independence and, while I didn’t appreciate his brilliance back then, it represented a meaningful approach to a wealth plan for all.

  1. His first goal was to achieve savings that would allow him to live without income for a month.
  2. The second expanded this safety fund to protect him for three months.
  3. Goal three increased the period to one year.

He never intended to use these funds, and I don’t know whether he ever had to, nor do I know whether he continued to add to these goals. I suspect he did, as he is well off today.

His approach is flexible enough that it works for a high school dropout or a newly minted MBA. The risk of interrupted income or unforeseen circumstances is real and constant. That is true for Mr. Nobody or Mr. Buffett.

Whether you envision your starting plan as an emergency fund or the beginning of a lifetime savings-wealth plan is irrelevant. The principles are the same. Successful people, unless they inherited their wealth, started, implicitly or explicitly, with a similar approach.

ARE YOU BEING HELD BACK?

There are barriers to independence. While it is in your interest to pursue independence, others may want to deny it to you. H. L. Mencken, renowned scholar (and world-class curmudgeon), claimed:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man
who is able to think things out for himself, without regard
to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.

Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government
he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable …”

Mencken made his claim about 100 years ago. Was it true then? Is it true now? Sadly, the answer to both questions appears to be “Yes.”…

Barriers exist for everyone. Life is not fair, yet nothing is predetermined. We make choices, and choices have consequences. Regarding that reality, the late Prime Minister Nehru provided one of my favorite quotes:

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.”

Dependence is a choice. You can escape if you have the desire. This country does not have a caste system where your parents determine your opportunities or options. (At least not yet!)

Two characteristics are reasonable predictors of dependency: Knowledge and Wealth. The more of either you possess, the less likely you are of becoming a dependent…

  1. Knowledge is more than formal education, especially what formal education represents today. A better definition of knowledge might be what used to be called “plain old common sense.” Unfortunately, that is neither definable nor measurable directly…
  2. Wealth does not mean “rich” in terms that Warren Buffett would appreciate. It is a relative term.

A “rainy-day” fund provides options unavailable to those without one. The ability to sustain oneself without income for a week or a month provides some independence. One need not measure wealth in millions or billions of dollars to escape dependence.

Lorimer Wilson, Managing Editor of munKNEE.com, slightly edited (…) Chapter 1 above from a book entitled Wealth If You Want It by “Monty Pelerin” (a pseudonym) of EconomicNoise.com.

Pelerin has a doctorate degree in Finance from Syracuse University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in economics from Duke University. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions (put HELP in the subject line to attract my attention). Permission is granted to copy this post for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution.

Editor’s Note:

Please donate what you can towards the costs involved in providing this article and those to come. Contribute by Paypal or credit card.

Thank you Dom for your recent $50 donation!

Additional chapters from Wealth If You Want It
Understanding the creation of wealth is easier than achieving it. Achieving it also requires commitment, behavioral change, and sacrifice. If you are interested in success, regardless of how you define it, take charge of your life. Planning is essential. Happiness, regardless of what that implies, requires commitment and planning. Do not depend on luck! Do not think that you may win the lottery. Words: 1362

Wealth: Requirements To Succeed (Chapter 3)

If you are unwilling to save, save some time by ignoring this book. Stop reading right here! Savings are an absolute prerequisite for wealth creation. Without savings, there can be no wealth. Read that sentence a few times. It is an immutable fact. Words: 800

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