Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC, is a 30-year old Congresswoman from New York’s 14th district. As of 2020, AOC is 30 years old self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist and is one of the most popular politicians in America.
Despite her position as a Congresswoman, many have wondered whether AOC is smart, or downright dumb. First of all, you can’t be dumb if you’ve managed to land one of the most powerful jobs in the world! However, you can make dumb decisions.
For example, in early 2019, AOC rejected Amazon’s desire to locate a second headquarters site in Long Island City, Queens due to their desire for $3 billion in tax incentives. Due to the rejection, tens of thousands of jobs were lost.
Many people wondered whether AOC understood basic economics. Even if New York offered $3 billion in tax breaks, if New York could gain back $20 billion in tax revenue over 10 years, many would view the exchange as a win.
At least in December 2019, Amazon decided to lease 335,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan and employee 1,500 employees in the consumer and advertising departments. Although not the 25,000 jobs Amazon would have provided in Long Island City, 1,500 jobs is better than a poke in the eye.
And then in February 2020, AOC claimed to be an expert in economics, yet confused two economics by calling them, Milton Keynes. See here. People again started to question whether AOC was dumb or simply misinformed.
Given AOC’s popularity in Congress and her potential to achieve greater power in the government, many people are concerned whether AOC has the intellectual capacity to lead and make the right economic decisions for the greater good of the country.
Is AOC Dumb?
It is my opinion that AOC is not dumb, she just made an honest mistake by saying Milton Keynes in her video. Regarding the Amazon issue, I think she was just too stubborn and proud to make any concessions, despite the long-term benefits.
At the end of the day, AOC is only 30-years-old and only has one year of political experience. She’s not dumb, she’s just inexperienced. AOC will learn from her mistakes.
After all, AOC was smart enough to go from $70,000 a year Boston University to bartender to Congresswoman by the age of 29. Practically nobody can follow that type of success.
AOC also makes an annual congressional salary of $174,000 a year. If she is smart with her money and actively saves and invests for her future, she will likely be a millionaire by the time she is 40 years old.
If AOC ever wants to write a book, she will probably be able to negotiate a $1,000,000+ book advance as well. I know, because I was able to negotiate a six-figure book advance and AOC has at least 50X Financial Samurai’s following.
AOC has ample opportunity to grow her net worth.
AOC Is Smart
Although it may seem like AOC is dumb sometimes, rest assured, she is smart and is surrounded by some of the top advisors. She will continue to rise in the Democratic party and build wealth for herself and her family.
AOC also is a fan of democratizing access to investments that were once only available to the very wealthy. For example, investing in real estate crowdfunding enables you to buy buying a piece of commercial real estate. In the past, you’d have to spend millions to buy an office building or student housing complex.
It’s hard to come up with a 20% downpayment in places like Washington D.C. and New York City, where AOC is based. Instead, she can invest in real estate across the country with lower valuations and higher net rental yields through crowdfunding.
Fundrise, for example, is free and easy to sign up and explore. All savvy investors have a diversified real estate portfolio. Real estate is one of the most tried and true ways to build great wealth in America.
Achieve Financial Freedom
Growing your net worth is all about widening the gap between income and expenses. The more you can save and invest, the higher your net worth will grow as your money compounds over time.
Where people get in trouble is inflating their lifestyles faster than their income inflates. We all know people with high incomes who never seem to be able to get ahead. Hopefully Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t let her newfound power, income, and fame disrupt her frugal ways.
If you want to grow your net worth, you must diligently track your finances. Use a free financial tool like Personal Capital to track your cash flow, analyze your investments for excessive fees, manage your net worth, and plan for your retirement future all for free.
The younger generation like Ocasia-Cortez have leveraged technology to their advantage, so should everybody else.
Don’t be like the typical American who doesn’t pay attention to their finances and wakes up 20 years later wondering where their money went. Take charge of your finances because nobody cares more about your money than you.
About the Author: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 as a way to make sense of the financial crisis. He proceeded to spend the next 13 years after attending The College of William & Mary and UC Berkeley for b-school working at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He owns properties in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Honolulu.
In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $300,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, taking care of family, and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.