Everyone will have their day to become a sheep. Sheep usually gets eaten up by predators like Lion.
I have a skin problem for the past 23 years of my life and since 18 years ago I been searching for some imaginary cure to my problems.
And I spent shit tons of money that would otherwise be put to much productive use in wealth building, or other areas of my life.
Why do We Spend so Much On Things & Services that Others can Easily Tell are Scams
Thinking back to why I might have done what I did, I realize that I was such a Lamb because I was not very stable.
I wasn’t comfortable with my identity, having this skin problem.
I was rather afraid of the greatest fear that what if this lesion spread to 90% of my body and how this would affect every aspect of my life.
The second issue was that I couldn’t separate what are some of the fundamental truths on wellness.
In fact today, I still cannot discern this as well as the wealth aspects.
When you have a problem, and you do not have a clear idea about the subject that is a problem. When this problem becomes a large part of your identity, then it becomes a real problem.
You start expanding money at the problem, hoping you finally hit the jackpot.
Most people who provides their wellness solution to me are well meaning, but that doesn’t mean they are fundamentally sound solutions.
I do get incredulous why people would believe that there are products that can consistently give you 3% per month on a large capital base.
However, I get passed that shock and understand that they do have a problem that is close to heart.
Many of the people happens to be in the age group of 35 to 50 years old.
They realize that they are severely inadequate in their wealth for retirement.
Either that, or that they are undergoing some tremendous pressure in their personal and corporate life.
Your career is not turning out the way you want. it is stagnating. The company culture has changed and they are outsourcing many business functions or that they are bringing in works that are younger and cheaper.
You feel vulnerable in terms of the stability of the job, but you still need the cash flow.
However, you do not have a good way to look for a new job.
You suddenly realize that for some reason, after working for 10-20 years, you have nothing to show for the work that you have done.
And the worse part is, you realize you do not have much more time, and that cognitively you are getting weaker and weaker.
This problem became a large part of your identity and your confidence.
Why the persuasion techniques of sales copy and preview seminar works is because you have not build any fundamental competencies in wealth management to allow you to sensibly evaluate things.
In other words, you do not have a stable wealth foundation.
If you have one, your posture would be that
- You know what are the factors that determines your result greatly
- You know some of the fundamental truths to wealth building, investing
- You have the wealth foundations set up and you have sound investing vehicles set up
In this posture, whenever you encounter such a seminar or copy, you would know who are the thought leaders to consult, you would know how to go about doing the research to prevent yourself from getting duped.
Building a Fundamentally Sound Wealth Baseline
The truth is building a stable wealth foundation needs some commitment from yourself.
Do not keep looking for short cuts.
The first commodity that you need to overcome is time.
Find the time.
Weed off the stuff that should be lower in priority but you are making them high priority. This can be mobile games, reading Instagram on the commute, going out with friends, extra special dinners.
Find the time to get yourself strong on the subject.
If you don’t wish to get financially scam, spend 1 month just consume financial content. I suggest you watch enough videos on the subject and read good books from the library.
What you are doing is surrounding 1 month of your world in an area that you are highly concerned about.
Don’t just read, listen or see. Reflect.
When you reflect, you are piece together your wealth system. The machine that adds everything together.
It will be good to speak to some mentor about it, or someone that you can discuss this with. You might have a friend who is more financially savvy or your spouse if he/she wishes to help.
You will be confused, but let the truth guide you.
You are not going to get your wealth system correct at the start, so just keep reading, reflecting, executing to create it, then reflect more.
Every time you have some worry, figure it out.
You realize to do this, you need time, and the marketers know that many of you DO NOT HAVE the time. So that is why they say throw the money to them, and they will save you the time.
The moment you get into their world, you get into their sales funnel.
They just keep milking you more and more.
I cannot repeat enough. All these stuff that you buy are just primers. You still need to spend enough time.
A lot of us spend on courses or learn on our own. But most of us, at some point, will spend 70% of our entire world be consumed by building wealth.
Doing that starts the engine in our body, and continue doing it keeps the engine running.
Here are some Fundamental Truths of Wealth
Build that stable wealth baseline.
Often, it has less to do with money. I have a section on Building your Wealth Foundation that covers this.
And let me pick out some of the ones that I think are applicable.
The fundamentals of wealth building always boil down to:
- Your ability to earn
- Your propensity to optimize your spending
- Once you widen that gap between your earning and spending, what do you do with that net cash flow. Are you able to build wealth well?
This is the wealthy formula. The ones that build great wealth usually does OK in 2 areas but extremely well in the third area. There is no running away from this.
It is important to invest. It important to invest early. However, don’t make that your whole world. There is a time to focus on investing, there is a time to focus on widening the gap between earning and spending. (Read this)
The table above shows how long it takes for you to accumulate $100,000 given the different contribution to saving, and the different annual rate of return of what you put your money into.
You would realize that if you contribute very little, you need to take excessive risk, and hope that your returns compounds very well, in order to end up with $100,000. The result is not a given.
However, if you have contributed more, the rate of return matter much less.
Sometimes, you have to look within the current life that you live and see what you can optimize. That might create more happiness, and greater wealth then looking for these financial holy grail.
Many of us get scammed by great deals due to our greed. However, it is also we have a poor understand of risk. The above chart is what the great investor Howard Marks used to explain risks.
The basic financial syllabus would say different products have low risk, low reward, high risk, high reward.
That is a simple way of looking at things.
In truth, the way to look at it is that, an investment have risk, and you hope that it has asymmetric reward (meaning low risk high reward). You can seldom find investment like that. Unless you look hard (again, this requires work)
Most of the time an investment gives medium risk and you hope that for the risk you take, the reward adequately compensates for it.
The outcome can vary. For a product that is low risk, the range of outcome is smaller. You are likely to still have positive returns. However, there are investments that are high risk.
The likely way to look at them is that the range of outcome can vary widely. Some of those outcome involves you losing a large chunk of your capital! Some of those outcomes involves you making ALOT of money.
Given this, if a company ask you to invest in a Crab Farm (my friends tell me at one of the invest seminar this is happening), the project returns are visible, but the range of outcomes may not be easily visible (it might be visible to the marketers, just not to you, since you lack competency in this area). The negative risk might have a higher probability of occurring than you think. The magnitude in that event might be much higher than you think.
If you are looking at the ways to make money, you can choose between passive investing, active investing. You could also create a business.
The table above shows that for a lot of things, you need a certain level of competence. That usually link to time to learn (again). Most of them are volatile in asset value. A way to overcome that is not to adopt short term thinking.
To manage that, you need a good grasp of human behavioral psychology. To master that, you need time to learn about the tricks your brain will play on you (again you need time)
We often get scammed when we have an immediate problem that we do not have a good idea how to solve.
When someone presents a possible solution to you for a sum of money, you think that you have found the holy grail to your problems. Even if you have been let down a lot of time, you would feel that this time you may have found the solution.
A lot of the times, the solution to your woes might be some high risk, entrepreneurship efforts. Learning to trade or invest well, is an active proposition, or a second job.
If you failed to find stability in wealth building, you are going to be let down repeatedly.