Education

I’m always in search of good books to read and a few people recommended Michael Lewis’ new bestseller The Big Short. I put off reading it because I didn’t really want to read yet another book about the subprime mortgage meltdown. However, I finally got the kindle version to read on my new iPad and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Actually, I wish I had read it earlier – the book was rather amazing. It was as fast paced and entertaining as his first book, Liar’s Poker.

Lewis describes the financial industry collapse induced by subprime mortgage bond derivative market from the point of view of a couple of hedge fund managers who shorted them. Not very large hedge funds either. Instead of focusing on well known managers like John Paulson, he focuses on relatively unknown and minor investors, with interesting personalities.

There’s Steve Eisman, the most pedigreed of the bunch with actual wall street experience, who’s abrasive personality insists on telling the truth even if it rubs everyone the wrong way. Running a fund that was owned by Morgan Stanley, Eisman desperately wanted to short his parent company but was prohibited by his lawyers. At one point in the book his partner asks “Who takes out a home loan and doesn’t make the the first payment?” to which Steve Eisman responds “Who the #$%^ lends money to people who can’t make the first payment?”  But that’s what happens when you lend $700,000 to a strawberry picker who makes $14,000 a year.

Dr Mark Burry, a one-eyed doctor with Aspergers syndrome,who quits his medical career to start a hedge fund with his own money and makes nearly $750 million for his investors.  And an almost comical garage-band hedge fund called Cornwall Capital that starts out with $110,000 and ends up with a whopping $135 million.

The book explains in great detail exactly how the great investment banks were creating junk bond securities with AAA ratings and selling them to institutional investors.  Companies like Bear Stearns, Lehman and Goldman Sachs blatantly lied about the quality of investment-grade bond products they were selling. The ratings agencies weren’t competent enough to properly rate these securities and they got hoodwinked like everyone else. In the end, everyone wins (except the US taxpayer) and no one goes to jail!

In all it’s a fascinating read on the excesses of wall street, the complexities of the financial derivative markets, and the crooks who run the show.

As someone who’s struggled with finding meaning in life, I can understand the frustration young high schoolers feel when they ask me what they should be doing with their life. Unfortunately, I never have a good answer.

But now thanks to Penelope Trunk, I can direct them to this page and get them off my back:

There is no other way to figure out where you belong than to make time to do it and give yourself space to fail, give yourself time to be lost. If you think you have to get it right the first time, you won’t have the space really to investigate, and you’ll convince yourself that something is right when it’s not. And then you’ll have a quarterlife crisis when you realize that you lied to yourself so you could feel stable instead of investigating. Here’s how to avoid that outcome.

1. Take time to figure out what you love to do.

When I graduated from college, I was shocked to find out that I just spent 18 years getting an education and the only jobs offered to me sucked. Everything was some version of creating a new filing system for someone who is important.

Often bad situations bring on our most creative solutions. And this was one of those times: I asked myself, “What do I want to do most in the world, if I could do anything?” I decided it was to play volleyball, so I went to Los Angeles to figure out how to play on the professional beach circuit.

I spent my days on the courts, and late nights at the gym, and in between, I worked odd jobs in bookstores. And then I realized that the other thing I wanted to do was read. I had been so stifled in school being told what to read all the time. It was thrilling to be able to read whatever I wanted.

I wasn’t making very much money. Sometimes I couldn’t pay rent, and my landlord hated me. And sometimes I couldn’t afford to wash my clothes and I pretended that bikinis never get dirty. But, in fact, you really don’t need much money to figure out what you love to do, you just need time and space and a willingness to keep yourself busy until something sticks.

2. Take time to figure out what you can get paid for.

It took me a few years to navigate the arcane hierarchy of Southern California beach volleyball, but I finally played on the professional tour. For a summer. And what I found was that I am not nearly as competitive as the top players. I was, at one point, ranked 17, but I can tell you that I never cared as much about my rank as the other women.

What I did excel at, though, was winning sponsors, which, on some level, is what professional sports is all about anyway. I always had better sponsors even than women higher than me in the ranks, and I won partners and trainers by dint of my ability to attract sponsors.

But the truth about professional volleyball is that it is a really tough life. The eight hours a day on the beach starts getting old, and so do the Budweiser commercials I did (totally not fun) to manage to scrape together enough money to support myself.

So I thought to myself: Who is using the skills I have to make money? And I landed on marketing. And I had this boyfriend who was going to hire someone to do marketing at his Internet startup, so I volunteered to do it for free, to get something on my resume. And then I got a job.

3. Watch people around you to figure out who is happy.

I ended up having a pretty big job at a Fortune 500 company running their web site. Don’t get me wrong. It was the earliest days of the Internet, and it actually took more people to redesign my blog recently than it did to launch that Fortune 500 site in the early 90’s.

But anyway, I started climbing the ladder and tons of people wanted to mentor me, to help me get to where they were. And they told me they were happy, but when I watched them, day in and day out, I realized that the people at the top of the ladder were not nearly as happy as I had expected them to be. They tucked their kids into bed from their phones at their desk. They were overdressed constantly and they had hair-trigger tempers for topics that seemed inconsequential to me.

So I went to where coolness seemed to be: At startups.

Now that I’m on my third startup, I can tell you with certainty that if you looked at my life you would not see that I am happy. Running a startup is really high risk and really difficult, and entrepreneurs work longer hours than anyone else. But I’m almost always there to eat diner with my kids, because I control my own hours.

So the final step of finding out where you should be is looking at everyone’s life with a clear lens. Adult life is really hard. Finding out who we are, and finding someone to share our life with, and having kids and still having a life, and being able to pay for all of that: Impossible, really.

So you look around and see who is doing what part of that well. And you pick the sacrifices that they made. Because no life is perfect, but all lives have some things to offer. Be clear on what you’re choosing and what you’re giving up, and don’t pick anyone’s life if they tell you they have everything: they’re lying.

But if you’re already out of college and still don’t know what you want to me, may I suggest considering an MBA at top Business School? 😉

Addison Wiggin at Agora Financial sat down with Warren Buffett for an interview. He published that interview in his brand new book, I.O.U.S.A – One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt. On the whole, Buffett seems pretty optimistic. Here’s an excerpt:

On our national debt problems…

We’re transferring small bits of the country – ownership of the country, or IOUs – to the rest of the world. But our national pie is still growing.

We’re like a very, very, very, rich family that owns a farm the size of Texas, and we have all this output coming from the farm. Now, because we consume a little more than we produce, we’re selling bits of that farm daily, a couple billion worth. Or we’re giving a small mortgage on it which we don’t even notice, but it builds up over time.

So even though we own a little less of the farm, or we create these IOUs against it, our equity in the farm actually increases somewhat. That’s why people will benefit over time. But they won’t benefit as much as if they hadn’t given the IOUs or sold off little pieces of the farm.

On gold…

Over time, people have dug up gold from the ground in far remote areas and then they’ve shipped it thousands and thousands of miles. And they’ve put it in the ground over here and hired guards to stand over it. So the real utility of gold is not that high. It’s been something that people turn to, but it has not been a very good investment.

On China and globalization…

In 1790, there were about 4 million people in the U.S. and about 290 million in China. They were just as smart as we were. They had a climate that was about the same as ours. And yet we did enormously well over the next 217 years… as compared to China.

Now, why did we do that? Well, we had a market system, a rule of law, and equality of opportunity… and that system unleashed the potential of citizens in the United States to an extent far greater than in many countries including, up until recently, China.

About the risk of default of U.S. government bonds…

The U.S. government bond is absolutely certain to be paid. It’s just total nonsense when people talk about the U.S. going bankrupt. I mean, the U.S. government will always pay its debts. The purchasing power of the dollar you receive is likely to be less than the dollar you invested, so you have purchasing power risk… But you should not be afraid of government bonds in terms of being paid.

The unique situation in the U.S. now…

Many years ago, when we lent a lot of money to various emerging countries and were having trouble getting paid back, somebody said that they found it very hard to imagine some Philippine or Thailand worker spending a couple of extra hours every week in the hot sun merely so Citicorp could increase its dividend twice a year. At a point, people say, “To hell with it.”

It’s much easier just to inflate your way out of it. If you’re a South American or Asian country that owes money in dollars, it gets very binding to pay back in dollars. But if you owe it in your own currency, you just print more currency. And we have the ability to print currency. We can denominate debt in our own currency, whereas many countries can’t because people don’t trust them.

On government economic policies and crises…

We came fairly close to the whole system imploding in the 1930s because of economic conditions. People became very responsive to communism… When people are scared about economics, they’ll listen to whoever is the most persuasive… One thing I don’t like about the consequences of sustained large trade deficits is I think it makes the potential for demagoguery and really foolish policies more likely over time.

When you think about the history of this country, our economic policies have been pretty darn good. I mean, any country that delivers a seven-for-one increase in per capita living in a century has done an awful lot of things right. It’s never happened before in the history of mankind.

What the right policies are…

You want a system where Mike Tyson is fighting for the heavyweight championship and Jack Welch is running General Electric. But you don’t want Mike Tyson to be running General Electric and Jack Welch in the heavyweight championship. Government allocation of resources has tended, too often, to misallocate, and I think a market system does a pretty good job of allocating.

Wrapping up…

It’s been a marvelous time to be alive. It wasn’t really a whole lot better to live in the fourth century BC than the fourth century AD. But it’s been a lot better to live in the year 2007 than it was in the year 1807.

…Even those on the low end are doing far better than people on the high end were doing 100 years ago. There’re many, many things that a person earning a normal wage in this country can do and enjoy that John D. Rockefeller couldn’t do and enjoy. So a rising tide has lifted all the boats… The average American is going to live better 10 years from now, 20 years from now, and 50 years from now.

As I mentioned 5 weeks ago when oil breached $115/barrel, demand for the black gold will cause the price to keep on rising. On Wednesday, I drove to USC where I had an interview at the Marshall School of Business for the full-time MBA program. While driving there, I heard that Oil had exceeded $133 per barrel. I had a great interview (where I spoke about my background, my interests, the state of the economy, what a moron George W. Bush is, and the current elections) and then proceeded to a friends’ place to spend the night.

I later heard that oil prices hit $135/barrel. That news was broadcast incessantly on all the news channels and I kind of felt that it was being overdone. Whenever everyones saying that the price of something is breaking all records, it usually pulls back. I think thats why the US Dollar had shown some strength this year. I woke up on Thursday and bought the ULTRASHORT OIL & GAS ETF (AMEX: DUG), it went up a dollar and I exited my position, happy to have made enough money to pay for my gasoline bill for this month.

After that I went to UCLA for a class visit. I attended a class on Risk Management. One of the case studies they discussed was a deal between Amoco (American Oil Company, which is now part of British Petroleum) and Apache (APA) involving the sale of an oil producing property. Amoco sold the property with a guarantee to pay Apache a certain amount of dollars if the price of oil dropped below a certain amount. On the other hand, they would participate in some of the profits if the price of oil exceeded a certain amount. This was managed through the use of Put and Call Options.

It was interesting to see how large companies managed to hedge the price of oil through options, and especially ironic since oil was all over the news that day. Its not too different from how you can hedge your own expenditures on gasoline and heating oil. If you’re bullish on the price of oil and are willing to bet on this movement, you can buy the United States Oil ETF (USO). You can also buy options on this too.

Similarly, if you’re bearish you can buy the ULTRASHORT OIL & GAS ETF (DUG). You can also invest in Oil Futures contracts, however, if you’re that brilliant I doubt you’d be reading this blog!

But making directional bets in any asset class requires a certain amount of knowledge, homework and commitment. Its much easier to invest in high-yield Canadian Income Trusts like ERF, PGH, AAV, HTE, PEY-UN.TO, etc. They pay out a pretty good dividend (over 8% for most of them) and that should theoretically go up as the price of oil & gas goes up. (I say theoretically since there is some uncertainty regarding the Canadian Governments’ taxation of these trusts, so there is a black cloud hanging over them).

So far I’ve been pretty happy with my investments. I had been buying more on dips. For those of you lucky enough to have bought AAV under $9 back in January, in addition to the monthly dividends, you’ve already seen a 40%+ appreciation in the stock price! (unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky ones!)

But there are many ways to profit from the economic news if you keep your eyes open. By the way, USC called me on Friday. I got admitted to their MBA program with a Fellowship (tuition remmission)! So now it’s time to decide between UCLA, USC and UCSD!

I managed to get accepted in the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since I applied in the third round I think thats quite an achievement. Of course, applying so late virtually guarantees no funding or fellowships. This kind of sucks since I did get a 740 on my GMAT which typically helps in getting MBA fellowships (unless you’re going to the top 5 schools). But on the other hand UCLA is ranked #12 for the full-time MBA program.

I was looking forward to not having any student loans when I graduate, especially after receiving a fellowship from UCSD. But UCLA’s program is much more highly ranked so the question is whether its worth spending the extra $60,000.

Of course, if we go through a period of hyperinflation (which I think we’re already in the beginning stages of) then in 10 years, $60,000 might only seem like $10,000! In which case, going to even the most expensive school will look like a good investment in hindsight.

In the worst case, I’ll take out a tax-deductible student loan to cover the costs of my education. Well actually thats not the worst-case scenario. Having to sell off my investments and gold & silver coin collection would be the worst case! But I’m hoping the passive income generated by my investments will help provide me with living expenses for the duration of the MBA program. Or maybe someone will buy my blog for $50,000! 😉

Today I got a letter from the University of California, San Diego’s Business School. They’ve offered me a full fellowship for the MBA program! I think it was based on my GMAT score.

It consists of a complete waiver of all tuition and professional fees for both the years of the course. Getting this means I won’t need any student aid, nor will I have to sell any of my investments to fund my education. Considering that I have a very pessimistic outlook on the direction of the US economy, I believe the unemployment rate will be a lot higher when I graduate in 2 years time. I’d rather save up my money for the rainy days ahead (which means they’ll be more opportunity for good investments at that time). Not having to sell my investments also means I’ll be able to use the income they generate for living expenses.

Not having to worry about student loans or money when I’m going to school will be a great relief. The last time I went to school, lack of money caused me a lot of stress. I’d rather not have to worry about my finances and solely focus on maximizing my experience and enjoying the whole process.

I read an article in Businessweek about a Harvard MBA student who had dreams of working on Wall Street. With the current layoff and poor economic outlook (and with huge student loans looming) he prudently settled for a job working at Mattel. But I can’t help think that he must be very disappointed that the best job he could get after spending $150,000 on a Harvard MBA was working for the makers of Barbie dolls.

I also have an interview with UCLA’s Anderson School of Business lined up. I’ll give it my best shot since its an awesome school. But unless I get some sort of financial scholarships/fellowships, it’s going to be tough to beat the financial attractiveness of UCSD’s offer. In fact, the fellowship makes this MBA the cheapest possible way to get a business education, putting its cost on par with that of the Personal MBA program which costs $1,267.

If I go to any other good school, the education is likely to cost me around $100,000. Since my wife might be in another city, thats twice the living expenses plus traveling to meet each other. If I go to a private school, the cost might escalate to over $125,000. By living in San Diego, I might be able to work part-time after the first semester, so that’ll further decrease the loss of income during that time. Instead of working part-time, if I want to set my own venture, being local will again help since I have a lot of contacts here. Of course, a less expensive route is to enroll in the online MBA programs, although the quality of education is not the same as the traditional programs.

However it plays out, my desire to go to Business school will be fulfilled in September!

I just took the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) today. Its an entrance test for admission to MBA programs at business schools. I’d been studying for it for the past month and it really paid off. I scored a whopping 740 which puts in the 97th percentile and incidentally also makes me directly eligible for membership into Mensa!

I was hoping to score a 700 which would make admission into the top MBA programs seem feasible. But with a great score like this, I’m hoping it’ll become a reality. But I’m already pretty late getting my application together for next fall. The early round’s and the first round’s are over and I have less than 4 weeks for the second round of applications. After that, its incredibly difficult to get in, so my best bet is applying in the 2nd round.

And this period unfortunately coincides with my vacation to Thailand and India (and possibly Zimbabwe) which starts next week. While in Thailand I’m hoping to look at some property. Southern Thailand is truly a paradise on Earth. You can buy houses there for $30,000, which sounds unreasonably cheap to me. And while in India, I’ll be attending a wedding and negotiating the sale of some property with a builder (which could get very ugly). Not exactly an environment conducive to writing B-school admission essays. Oh well, c’est la vie. Looks like its crunch-time again.

UPDATE: Since several people have asked me which books I used, here’s a list of Books To Help You Score a 700 On Your Gmat

And if any of you already have an MBA I’d love to hear your experiences and how its helped you.

Welcome to the 35th edition of the Carnival of Money Stories. This edition is pretty big with 50 entries, so pour yourself an extra-large cup of hot cocoa and sit down for some serious reading.

Debt

Reggie presents Why Money is Debt – Part 1 posted at Reggie, the black kid with good credit.

Millionaire Mommy Next Door presents What Would You Do? saying “Sleepless in Seattle” and her husband have acquired a substantial debt load and are considering whether or not to sell their home, pay off their debt and rent. They love their house, but they are tired of living on the edge financially. She asks, “what would you do?” .

Ted at Campus Grotto provides a Student Loan Consolidation FAQ saying I just recently consolidated my student loans. Here is what you need to know to ensure you don’t get scammed.
Eric at A Penny Closer laments Ahh, How I’ve Missed Consumerism…

James at Payday Loan Cheapskate presents How to Escape the Payday Loan Debt Cycle.

Linsey Knerl presents Confessions of a Former Payday Loan Junkie posted at Wise Bread.

Investing

Living Off Dividends presents Why Low Interest Rates Are Bad For You, while wondering If Its A Good Time To Invest In Milk!

Thomas Humes presents Simple Habits That Lead To Wealth posted at Wealth Building World saying Wealth creation is a combination of rules and habits. Here’s the number one rule, if you want to be wealthy, its not how much money you earn, its not how many cars you drive, it is how much you can save and invest and that’s the key.

The Dividend Guy presents 5 Things Dividend Investors Should Do To Make It Through Volatile Markets posted at The Dividend Guy Blog.

Matthew Paulson presents How to Plan for Retirement If You Don’t Get a 401(k) or a 403(b) at Work posted at American Consumer News.

Market Poetry presents Ode to All Struggling Value Investors posted at Market Poetry.

The Skilled Investor presents Where’s Waldo? – The illusion of superior professional mutual fund manager performance, saying The effort to find those few supposedly superior money managers willing to sell their services sufficiently cheaply is a costly, time consuming, and futile, “Where’s Waldo?,” searching exercise for the individual investor. Many money managers will claim to be superior and few or none actually will be. If such superior money managers did exist, then there should be dozens or hundreds of them who prove their superiority year after year after year. Unfortunately, the scientific finance literature indicates that this is not the case. This year’s star money manager tends to be next year’s average or laggard money manager.

Living Off Dividends wonders whether the fact that Even Supermodels Don’t Want Dollars is an indicator that The US’s Economic Strength Is In Permanent Decline?

Retirement

Phil presents I moved to Indianapolis for the money! posted at Queercents, saying One day, Phil and his partner went to Indianapolis to look at some properties and it dawned on them. Indy was a lot less expensive than Chicago. Could they live here? .

My Wealth Builder presents Our Journey To Financial Freedom #7 – How Luck Played A Role.

General

Christine presents GoogleAds, Keywords and Website Content: Making Money Online Using Web Content, Keywords and GoogleAds posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France.

Mr Credit Card presents Digital SLR Camera Shopping with Reward Points (Ask Mr Credit Card’s Blog) posted at Ask Mr Credit Card’s Blog.

Doris Chua presents Are Loans Good or Bad? posted at Home Office Women.

Kyle James presents Frugal or Cheap? – When To Spend The Extra Money posted at Rather-Be-Shopping.com Blog discussing the things in life that are worth spending a little extra money on in order to save money and time in the long run.

Wealthy_1 presents Bill Me Later posted at collectingmycash.

FIRE Finance presents FREE Land & Handsome Living Allowances! posted at FIRE Finance.

Pinyo presents I Just Saved A Bunch Of Money On My Insurance posted at Moolanomy explaining how he saved money on my home and car insurance by switching.

Paidtwice presents Experiments in Frugality: Disaster Number 2 posted at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already….

FMF presents Internships are Great for Your Career/Life posted at Free Money Finance.

Nivek presents FSA End Of The Year Spending Spree posted at Money Clipped.

Ashley presents Graduating Without a Full-time Job Lined Up posted at College of Cash.

Mark Runta presents Open A Door posted at Smart Investing & Money Management saying Switch off the TV, get off the couch and do it.

The BagLady presents My First Holiday with a Huge Family posted at the baglady.

Stephanie presents They’re Out to Sabotage My Plan posted at Stop the Ride!.

Glblguy presents 1 Year Ago Today – 10 things we’ve done to regain financial control posted at Gather Little By Little.

Cashmoneylife presents I Bought a New Car, and Why it Was Good Idea For Me posted at Cash Money Life.

Kevin at Satellite TV Guru presents How to Get Satellite TV if You Have Bad Credit.

The Digerati Life presents The Financial Task I Dread The Most.

Raymond at Money Blue Book warns about How I Got Scammed By a Seller On Alibaba.

The Happy Rock wonders when Do We Earn The Right Not To Budget?

Becoming & Staying Debt Free presents How to Become a Stress-Free Shopper, saying Have you ever gone into a store with the intention of only buying one (1) item and you walked out with several bags full of stuff? I can remember one time back in about 1990, I carried a cart load of groceries for a customer. Her husband and kids were waiting in the car. The first comment that was made when the door was opened was, “I was going to say, if you had to milk that cow.” It is a comment I have heard my own dad say when I was younger to. I knew instantly, that she had said she was just going to grab a gallon of milk. Instead she did her weekly grocery shopping.

Christine at Me, My Kid and Life presents Film vs TV, Why We Opted to Turn the TV Off, plus Frugal Tips for Movie Buffs, France on the Cheap: Traveling in France for less than $200 per day for Two – Traveling Cheap in Europe, and The Exchange Rate – The Euro vs The Dollar – The Declining Dollar.

The Dough Roller presents How To Find Healing From A Deep Financial Wound, saying Many of us have been hurt over money. Here’s my story and how I’ve coped for the past 30 years.

Jason at A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Blog presents Five Top Alternatives To Personal Bankruptcy, saying If you are considering filing for personal bankruptcy, stop, think and consider the following.

Allen at Investing World Today presents Business Investment Strategies That Work Every Time : The secret to investment success is the consistent application of time-proven strategies, not the use of complex, hard-to-understand investment vehicles created by investment bankers out to take your money!

Madison at My Dollar Plan presents My Personal Story: Background, Taxes, First IRA : My introduction to money, working, taxes, and retirement accounts has all influenced where we are today and how I handle money.

Thomas at Wealth Building World presents Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees, saying How is your money flowing? How are you feeling about money? What do want in relation to money? Do you think about how much you have, or don’t have, often? What kind of statements were made about money while you were growing up? Why is it that people who have a lot of money can make it so easily and those who don’t have it, continue to go without?

Matt at How I Will Be Rich offers advice for increasing your pay at Make More Money at Your Day Job.

The Frugal Duchess presents How I’m Conquering My Bag Lady Fears: My 10-Step Program saying, What keeps me up late at night? In addition to worrying about past mistakes and my kids and my work, I worry about becoming a bag lady. And I have plenty of company; a lot of women (and I imagine some men also) have secret fears about living on the streets without money or sanity. Even Oprah and other successful women have ‘fessed up to bag lady fears.

According to this interesting article,an MBA isn’t all its cut out to be.

While having that M.B.A. might give you a boost, the reality is that the degree generally isn’t a guarantee or indicator of your future success. Business success has more to do with leadership, talent and a drive for excellence than it does with having a degree from a prestigious university. An M.B.A. can help you get your foot in the door, but according to Peter D. Crist, chairman of Crist Associates executive search firm, “it’s instinct, it’s hard work, and it’s raw intelligence” that will really help you get ahead.

It references this article in Businessweek, which is also worth checking out.

How you think about saving, spending and investing [about money in general] affects where you end up financially. If you think wealth is limited and you’ll never make any, you’re absolutely right. If you think wealth is unlimited and you just have to figure out how to get your share, you’ll be right too!

Its a self-fulfilling prophecy where your actions follow your beliefs. Either spend time learning how to make money and eventually start making a lot of it, or you give up, figure you’ll always be poor and you never figure out how get ahead in life.

Hanging out with like-minded people also has a big affect. Do you spend most of your time with people who complain about how unfair life is, how they’re always broke and how they can never catch a break? Lose them! Their negativity will drag you down too!

Always try to surround yourself with successful people, who have achieved a lot in life and are constantly looking for the next opportunity. These people usually think there’s ample opportunity in life for everyone and rarely complain about getting the short end of the stick. They take responsibility for their failures and don’t waste time blaming others for their misfortunes. A lot of them are more than willing to give you insight into how to achieve wealth yourself and usually for the price of a lunch or dinner will spend a few hours with you. Thats much cheaper than spending $5k on mentoring courses that seem so popular nowadays!

Anyway, if you’re starting out I recommend you read books that will change your thinking and get you into the mindset of becoming rich. After that you can figure out how you want to actually make money be it through stocks, commodities, real estate, a business or working longer hours.

Here are some basic investing books and when you’re done with those, you can read my favorite selection.

Getting wealthy isn’t easy. Its takes time, effort and dedication but its not impossible. Remember, no one ever got wealthy sitting at home on their couch!

On the other extreme, here’s some personal philosophy from Gene Simmons, the front man for KISS


“Be clear, be truthful.
Stand there proudly,
unapologetically,
unabashed, and say,
‘I love cash.
It will get me
everything
I want in life!'”