This idea that somehow you can get rich quick without much skill, effort, or time and without taking any risk is just plain bunk! I have witnessed some pretty creative “crazy thinking” by some seemingly smart folks. Here are a few of the most common “get rich quick” ideas I hear from people.
I’ll win the lottery/at the casino! I see scores of folks buying lottery tickets that don’t have the money to pay their bills. I hear of friends and clients with big winnings at the casino who give it all back the next week. The reality is that the odds are very, very low that you will win the lottery. The casino is a MONEY-MAKING OPERATION. They are large and luxurious because they are in the business of making money for the house. Their house! In the meantime, you may be spending money you don’t have on this crazy pie-in-the-sky win instead of focusing on reducing your debt and paying your bills.
I’ll just sue somebody! This is one get-rich-quick idea that really bugs me. Not only is it trying to become rich without having to work for it, but it is also at the expense of someone else. This is not to mention the pain, stress, and energy of such an endeavor that could be channeled into a much more positive direction of learning a skill and making efforts to personally improve you. (Now don’t start hating on me. I am well aware that there are times that it is appropriate and necessary to take legal action. That is not what I am talking about here.)
I’ll do a work-from-home business that promises overnight success! Internet and network marketing scams abound. These game plans usually make claims that you will be rich within a few months. Often you are told that getting others signed up under you for the program will further your cause without you having to work for it. I have to say that in the last 27 years, we have gotten bitten by this snake a couple of times ourselves. Watch out for things that sound too good to be true. They probably are. (Once again, don’t start hating. There are some really great network marketing companies out there. It is possible to be successful doing them but you can’t omit the work part.)
I’ll inherit it! When I have prospective clients come in to do their financial and retirement planning and their primary strategy for having enough money to retire is based on waiting for someone to die (usually their parents), it always makes me want to drag out the embalming fluid. You are responsible for earning and saving enough money to retire. Do not find yourself working until you are 75 because your 95-year-old mother is still out there boot scootin’ around.
I’ll invest in Penny Stocks/IPOs/Obscure Investments and make millions! At least once a month, I have someone call about a penny stock they want to buy, an IPO they want to get ahead of, or some other obscure “Iraqi Dinar currency” or other strange investment idea. Most of the time, the caller is looking to put in very little capital and take large risk in the hope that they will make millions overnight. This is not an investment strategy; this is more like the casino strategy that I spoke about earlier.
In the end, there is no substitute for hard work, controlling your spending, saving early and regularly, and making good investment decisions. These are personal choices over which we all have control. Remember that wealth preservation is more important than just accumulation so choose your advisor and your investments wisely. For more information, visit www.waterstonewealth.com.
Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management