More Evidence Making Money Today Has Never Been Easier

Drugs Make You MoneyAnybody can make a lot of money in the richest country in the world and this post will prove it. I realize despite all my articles showing folks how to save, invest, persevere and flourish, there are still a lot of financial freedom doubters in the midst.

Most of us live in America for goodness sake. The median household income of $50,000 by default puts us in the top 1% of all the world’s income earners. But alas, in order to gain perspective, we must have actually traveled the world. Is it our fault we don’t appreciate what we have when 65% of Americans don’t own a passport? Of course not. The world comes to us. That is how it should be.

I’m a logical fella. I recognize that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is crazy. Given I can’t convince some of you that achieving financial freedom is achievable, I’m going to try a different route.

DON’T LISTEN TO ME, LISTEN TO THEM

The following examples should prove that if you’re not making lots of money, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

1) The Southern Diet: A PhD researcher from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented results on Feb 7, 2013 that people who regularly ate foods traditionally found in the “Southern Diet” had a whopping 41% increased risk of stroke. A Southern Diet can consist of chicken-friend steak, deep-fried gizzards, and candy-sweet tea. Furthermore, the study says that folks on the Southern Diet are more likely to be obese and suffer from heart disease. Well shit be damned! That is an amazing study and ABC news is all over it. I had no idea eating tons of deep fried foods could be so bad. Somebody is going to win the Nobel Prize.

Point: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) actually put up funds to allow for such a study to be conducted across 20,000 participants. That’s a lot of funding for something we already know the results to. The Southern Diet study shows that anybody can find grant money if they want. I’d like to do a 10,000 person study to see how many folks will have enough in retirement if they spend all their money. The study should take one year and cost $100,000. Anybody?

2) Car Prices: The average transaction price for cars hit a record $31,228 at the end of 2012, up $542 from 2011 according to the February issue of Kiplinger’s Magazine. TrueCar.com corroborates this figure by coming out with a study today saying the average is about $30,500. That’s right folks, Americans are spending more than 60% of their gross income on a car.

Point: Contrast spending 60% of your income on a car to spending 10% of your income based on my 1/10th rule for car buying. I can’t imagine most people would be that crazy to spend 60% of their annual gross income on a car. Hence, I postulate that plenty of folks actually earn more than $300,000 a year to afford a $30,000+ car. If that’s not the case, people are feeling extremely bullish about their jobs and their income growth prospects.

3) 16 Year Old Day Trader: Rachel Fox, actress, and 16 year old returned over 30% in 2012. It would be one thing if she made just 5-10 trades and returned 30%+, but she made 338 trades! That is a statistically significant amount. She tells CNBC, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing and so easy.” Furthermore, she recommends traders/investors just buy “oversold” stocks and sell “overbought” stocks. Sounds good to me.

Point: If a 16 year old actress can make money day trading and beat 99% of investors out there, why can’t you? When I was 16, I couldn’t even figure out the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle, let alone make money in stocks. With so much information readily available, and so many free money management tools out there, it’s now easier than ever to crush it. Her long term success in picking stocks remains to be seen, but at least open up Fox Capital Management and strike while the iron is hot.

4) Congressmen: Jesse Jackson Jr. is an American politician who represented Illinois’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives until his resignation in 2012. Jesse is the son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and was once one of the brightest stars in the Democratic party. He recently plead guilty to misusing $750,000 worth of campaign funds for his personal use. Here are some of the things he bought: 1) $43,000 gold plated Rolex watch, 2) $17,000 in tobacco, 3) $14,513 in dry cleaning, 4) $5,814 in alcohol, 5) $10,000 in his kid’s furniture, 6) $4,600 Michael Jackson Fedora, and 7) $11,130 Bruce Lee Memorabilia. He faces 4 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, but his lawyer claims mental illness for being prosecuted. Brilliant.

Point: Jesse Jackson Jr. convinced thousands of Illinois citizens to donate money to support him. He then violated their trust by spending extravagantly on himself. I can understand how maybe $25,000 of funds were spent in a gray matter, but $750,000 is just way overboard. The only logical explanation for why there continues to be support for big government is because people love big government. If you want to become rich and powerful, just become a politician. During the 2008-2010 crisis, government employees actually got pay raises while the private sector got slaughtered.

 5) Athletes On Drugs: Lance won the Tour de France a record breaking seven times, on drugs. Despite using drugs, Lance amassed an estimated $125 million net worth while cheating. During this time, he went after anybody who dared to reveal the truth. It remains to be seen what happens to his wealth after his Oprah confession, but chances are high he will remain a multi-millionaire. Major league ball players are allowed to use steroids (if they are not caught) to enhance their batting performance. Once they’ve got their batting performances up, they can then sign mega-million long term contracts. If they are found guilty of using steroids, they are not required to pay back the money they earned during their drug using days.

Point: Do drugs and cheat, just don’t get caught. If you get caught, just admit that you cheated to avoid financial reimbursement penalties. If you lie to a jury and get caught, you open yourself up to tremendous risk. America loves athletes. Michael Vick is earning eight figures a year again despite the dog abuse. President Obama just played a round of golf with Tiger Woods in Florida, despite Tiger cheating on his wife multiple times over. Sequester be damned.

Bonus!

The Bankrupt City Of San Bernardino: San Bernardino hired a new city manager, who according to court filings, has twice declared personal bankruptcy (most recent in 2011) and was recently ousted from the board of a small community’s water company after being sued by shareholders. The city council voted unanimously to hire Allen J. Parker, 71 as its city manager on an annual salary of $222,000. Pat Morris, the major of San Bernardino praised Parker’s “wealth of city management experience.”

Point: You don’t have to know how to manage your own finances to get a terrific salary managing an entire city’s finances. We see this phenomenon from Washington DC down to municipalities. We also see this phenomenon online where we write things we do not understand. San Bernardino is situated 65 miles east of Los Angeles and is a national test case on whether pensions from government workers take precedence over other payments. It’s entirely logical that the council members and unions would vote for a man to serve their best interests. If your finances are messed up, keep the faith. A multiple six figure job awaits!

NEVER STOP BELIEVING

Don’t take my word that making money is easy, take the six examples above as proof anybody who wants to be rich, can be rich in America. You can even pull an AIG and sue the federal government for bailing your company out. Plenty of AIG executives made over $1 million dollars during the financial crisis. Clearly, that is not enough. You’re welcome guys!

Readers, with so many money success stories every day, why do some people still think it’s so hard to get rich in the richest nation on Earth? What are some other good ways to get rich today?

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Ashley says

    FS, people spending 60% of their annual income on a car isn’t a terrible thing IF they are spending retirement or investment income only. I agree, if you still have debt or need to work for a living, it is extremely foolish.

    But lots of people who are “retired” (living off investments) and wealthy enjoy driving 30-60k cars, myself included. The difference is, I don’t have to work for a living and have a paid off home and car. The only payments I need to make monthly are basic living expenses such as groceries, utilities, etc., which are very low to begin with. My passive income easily covers this many times over. My partner and I are currently saving at the rate of approximately 30-40k per year.

    Buying a new 30-60k car every 10 years in that price range has very little financial impact whatsoever to our lifestyle and doesn’t take away money from any other goals we have. I also know I’ll never wind up with a car someone else has abused.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Ashley, I don’t think my rule applies to you given your car is paid off, you’re saving lots of money, and your passive income covers your expenses many times over.

      If one is still working bc they need to, and spends $30,000 on a car while only earning $60,000, I really think this is absurd. One of the biggest financial mistakes pertainable to a large number of people.

      That said, I don’t think people are absurd. Hence, I will choose to believe $30k car buyers make at least $150,000 a year, which is a bullish sign!

      Sam

  2. Untemplater says

    That is pretty nuts that people would fund a grant today to show that fried food causes obesity and heart desease. That’s so obvious. And that teenage trader obviously wasn’t investing when the markets got slaughtered in 2008. Everything seems easy when the markets are going up as you wrote about recently. I can’t believe Jackson Jr’s lawyer is using mental illness as a defense. Shameful is what it is. I didn’t realize that baseball players don’t have to pay back any money they earned while using drugs if they are later caught. Nuts.

  3. Julie Pierce says

    I enjoyed your post! One correction, however, not all government workers got raises….at my agency we have not had raises. But I know there are differences in from agency to agency and also the different levels (federal vs state vs local). Thanks for your blog! I really enjoy itand learn a lot from it.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hi Julie,

      Very nice of you not to cut my head off as a government employee! Perhaps I should specify federal workers instead? I remember them getting 2% annual raises during the meltdown. But I’m sure there is a case by case situation as well.

      Sam

  4. krantcents says

    I agree there is a lot to learn from these “success” stories! It reminds me of those infomercials that tout no down real estate. I realize there are suckers out there that will bite at anything, but I have to be proud of how I made my money.

    Perhaps I can write a federal grant to pay me a lot of money to do absolutely nothing! It could be an experiment in boredom. :)

  5. Jay says

    Despite economic times, this is still the land of opportunities but not many see it that way. I am in the military (the part that still got raises) and so many hate their job but will not leave. When someone chooses to leave, everybody asks “why? what are you going to do on the outside”” as if working for the government is the only option. I agree its safer and provides some stability but it definitely is not the only way to make a living and damn well not a job you will get rich of.

    The car buying is an epidemic that affects so many of us especially in more popular cities. I lived a few years in Miami and the end goal of many is to lease the nicest car you can and rent the nicest place possible. I knew people that drove a mercedes but also was on food stamps. I know that nice cars make you feel “good” but I THINK most drive it to impress people they don’t even know.

    Makes no sense.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Not bad getting a raise during the economic meltdown Jay. Seriously, it was fugly out here in the private sector. Hang on for that pension. You guy deserve it, and it is fast becoming a pipe dream for many!

  6. Ross says

    Haha, you make a great point. If you throw up your hands and say it’s too hard to get rich, that’s like saying that all these folks (like Paris Hilton) are smarter than you.
    Whenever I tutor children at math and they complain about it being too hard, I’d like to say “Just figure it out, because that’s how the world works. No one’s going to coddle you” (but I don’t, because I’m not mean to children…). Anyone can get rich, you just have to figure out how. Thanks for another post to put things in perspective.

  7. PK says

    Maybe we can combine the ideas?

    Let’s get our 16 year old day trader, give her $750,000 in campaign funds, hop her up on steroids, feed her fried food, and make her buy a $75,000 car from a car-lot in San Bernardino (1/10 rule). Do you think I can get approval to run such an experiment, perhaps from funds in the next stimulus?

    • Financial Samurai says

      Might as well. $750k won’t event be noticed if you draw from the next stimulus fund. Somehow, I wonder if Jesse Jr confused the size of his campaign fund with the one we have on a federal scale.

  8. Mike says

    The thing I realized is that it takes a lot of hard work as well as being intelligent enough to figure it out as you go. But most people don’t want to take that investment to get there nor do they want to take the chance that they can be able to create side hustles that could easily lift them out of poverty.

  9. HappyFund says

    I think you might need a PhD at the end of your name to get some street cred no matter how ridiculous the study is.

    Cars nowadays are also far more advanced than what they used to be with a lot of built-in luxuries and conveniences.

    I’ve spent half of my life outside of America in a third-world turned developing country, and it’s true. This is the land of opportunity. I chuckle every time I hear someone complain that “the man is bringing us down”. I’ll take this “man” any day of the week. At least here, I have the opportunity to be the “man”.

    • Sojourner00 says

      Not saying there are no opportunities in the US, but actually there are often more opportunities to get rich in developing countries. People like Rockefeller and Carnegie became some of the richest men in history partially because they lived in a rapidly developing country (ie. the US at their time) and participated in the industries a developing country needed. And developing countries like Russia, Brazil and China create noveau riches every day.

  10. Justin@TheFrugalPath says

    I’m going to apply for a grant to show that those candy sweet ice teas may also lead to diabetes later in life. Wish me luck.
    Seriously though, if the government thought about what they were spending money on they could cut the budget by 20%, not just 10.

  11. Jeremy Johnson says

    You make me laugh as usual Sam. This is the land of opportunity still if one chooses to focus on that and make choices that way.

    I have you to thank for getting me to look at Dividend Stocks, Prosper Lending, and real estate. I’ve got 2 out of 3 there and am making about $150 a month in passive income. Not bad for month # 2. I’ll keep pumping money in them and working on other projects to take advantage of this great freedom the U.S.A. provides.

    I wonder, is it really just a matter of perspective and focus. I’ve seen people crying end of the world, debt, and civil war and here on your website, the tone is abundance, freedom, and prosperity. I find that both perspectives about the same country to be fascinating.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Not bad at all Jeremy. I do encourage you to clamp down on the real estate hunt as I’ve been in the weeds and things are really heating up. Good luck on your latest new project too! Sounds like it could be a lot of fun!

      I really like focusing on the bright side here. There are a lot of things that make me scratch my head, but once we look at the bright side, all is good!

  12. Mike Hunt says

    I think you are building up some good material for your 2nd book, sir!

    Just note that right angles have a hypotenuse, while isosceles triangles do not.

    -Mike

  13. Leslie says

    Came to your site for some good financial info. Instead I got a good laugh! But, that was just what I needed today. Thanks! Of course, being from the South, I’m offended that you didn’t include the good stuff: collard greens, ham hocks, and Little Debbie snack cakes for dessert. Now, off to find a grant to fund my run for congress.

  14. Carrie Smith says

    I am totally a believer now! At least in your point that making money is easy. Although making money the right way is not so easy.

    Also, you’ve shattered my southern world with the fact that I can’t continue to drink sweet tea and get away with it! :) Thanks for putting this into perspective.

  15. Bucksprout says

    What a great post. It’s refreshing to read about some brilliant yet wacky people who made a large income despite the economy. Maybe I should apply for a city job in Vallejo, CA.

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