You may find that, although you’re far ahead of your neighbors financially –
- you own precious metals,
- you’ve diversified internationally and
- you don’t believe much of what you hear from official sources
that you’re still not as prepared as you’d like.
I think a good plan would be to approach the problem in four steps: Liquidate, Consolidate, Create and Speculate.
Step 1: Liquidate
Chances are high that you have too much “stuff.” Your garage, basement and attic are so full of possessions that you may be renting a storage unit for the overflow. That stuff is costing you money in storage fees, in depreciation and in the weight of psychological baggage and, right now, it has a market value….Get rid of it. Sell it in a yard sale or sell it on eBay.
Liquidate whatever you don’t actually need — clothes, furniture, tools, cars, bikes, collections, electronics, properties, you name it…The cash it generates will be helpful for the rest of the plan.
Just as important, you’ll feel light and mobile. Unburdened by a bunch of possessions that own you and weigh you down. It will definitely improve your psychology, which is critical to the next stage.
Step 2: Consolidate
Now you have less junk but a lot more cash. You should already feel more in control and empowered – and definitely richer – but your main assets aren’t money or things. It’s the knowledge, skills and connections you possess. Take stock of them. What do you know? What can you do? Who do you know? Make lists and think about these things, with an eye to maximizing their value.
If you’re light on knowledge, skills and connections, then do something about it — although if you’re reading this, you probably already live life in a way that builds all of those assets daily but there’s always room for improvement.
Part of this process is to look at what you’re now doing. The chances are excellent that there’s a better and more profitable allocation of your time. Even successful rock stars tend to reinvent themselves every few years. You don’t want to get stale.
Step 3: Create
Remember, the essence of becoming wealthy is to produce more than you consume and save the difference.
There is cause and there is effect. You don’t want to be the effect of somebody else’s cause. You want to be the cause for everything in your life. That implies working for yourself. At least turn your present employer into a partner or an associate.
Perhaps go through the Yellow Pages (while they still exist), page by page, line by line, and see what you can provide as a service for the businesses advertising there. I promise you, they’re all looking for someone to come along, kiss their world and make it better.
Think like an entrepreneur at all times. Remember that there is an infinite desire for goods and services…Find out how you can give them what they want, and the money will roll in.
Step 4: Speculate
Is it worth it to get more? Perhaps not, unless your interests in the rest of life are entirely too narrow. The point of money is to allow you freedom, not make you crazy with getting more – so that doesn’t rule out speculation as an avocation, however. More — everything else being equal — is still better.
You’ve got money. Now you have to keep it and make it grow, because staying in the same place amounts to going backward. That’s partially because the world at large will continue getting wealthier, even as the dollars you own lose value…
Saving with dollars will be foolish, as they dry up and blow away. Investing according to classic rules will be very tricky in a radically changing economy. Most people will try to outrun inflation by trading or gambling. The markets, which are the natural friend of productive people, will perversely prove very destructive to them in the years to come. You’ll know when the final bottom in the stock market has come: The average guy won’t want to hear about the stock market, if he even remembers it exists and, if he does, he’ll want it abolished.
Instead of becoming a victim of inflation and other politically caused distortions in the marketplace, you can profit from these things. Rational speculation is the optimum approach.
What to Do If You’re Already Wealthy?
Figure out your purpose in having money.
Sure, money makes life easier and it’s nice how it enables you to assist people you like with material things but I strongly suggest that you not take too short a view on this matter. Accelerating advances in medical science are not only lengthening human life expectancy, but new developments now in the works have the potential to vastly improve your capability and health as well. It would be tragic indeed if anyone frittered away his wealth, thinking he wouldn’t live very long, and then succumbed to a self-fulfilling prophecy, not because of medical difficulties, but because of financial difficulties.
What Am I Doing with My Money Now?
Very simple. Investing in:
- lesser amount of silver,
- a lot of productive agricultural real estate, especially beef and dairy cattle,
- a lot of speculations in resource stocks,
- the occasional flyer in a tech deal or a private business,
- a great deal of geographic and political diversification and
- patience for a time when I can again buy conventional investments with some confidence.
The Bottom Line
If you want serious money, you have to get serious about money. You need to understand the following fundamentals and never forget them:
- Don’t let all the garbage reported in the financial media you read, see or hear confuse you about what money really is.
- Don’t consume more than you make: save! Don’t spend: invest!
The comments above are edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) excerpts from the original article by Doug Casey
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