RICH MAN, POOR MAN: In the investment world the wealthy investor has one major advantage over the little guy, the stock market amateur and the neophyte trader. The advantage that the wealthy investor enjoys is that HE DOESN’T NEED THE MARKETS. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference that makes, both in one’s mental attitude and in the way one actually handles one’s money.
The wealthy investor doesn’t need the markets, because he already has all the income he needs. He has money coming in via bonds, T-bills, money market funds, stocks and real estate. In other words, the wealthy investor never feels pressured to “make money” in the market.
The wealthy investor tends to be an expert on values. When bonds are cheap and bond yields are irresistibly high, he buys bonds. When stocks are on the bargain table and stock yields are attractive, he buys stocks. When real estate is a great value, he buys real estate. When great art or fine jewelry or gold is on the “give away” table, he buys art or diamonds or gold. In other words, the wealthy investor puts his money where the great values are.
And if no outstanding values are available, the wealthy investors waits. He can afford to wait. He has money coming in daily, weekly, monthly. The wealthy investor knows what he is looking for, and he doesn’t mind waiting months or even years for his next investment (they call that patience).
But what about the little guy? This fellow always feels pressured to “make money.” And in return he’s always pressuring the market to “do something” for him. But sadly, the market isn’t interested. When the little guy isn’t buying stocks offering 1% or 2% yields, he’s off to Las Vegas or Atlantic City trying to beat the house at roulette. Or he’s spending 20 bucks a week on lottery tickets, or he’s “investing” in some crackpot scheme that his neighbor told him about (in strictest confidence, of course).
And because the little guy is trying to force the market to do something for him, he’s a guaranteed loser. The little guy doesn’t understand values so he constantly overpays. He doesn’t comprehend the power of compounding, and he doesn’t understand money. He’s never heard the adage, “He who understands interest — earns it. He who doesn’t understand interest — pays it.” The little guy is the typical American, and he’s deeply in debt.
The little guy is in hock up to his ears. As a result, he’s always sweating — sweating to make payments on his house, his refrigerator, his car or his lawn mower. He’s impatient, and he feels perpetually put upon. He tells himself that he has to make money — fast. And he dreams of those “big, juicy mega-bucks.” In the end, the little guy wastes his money in the market, or he loses his money gambling, or he dribbles it away on senseless schemes. In short, this “money-nerd” spends his life dashing up the financial down-escalator.
But here’s the ironic part of it. If, from the beginning, the little guy had adopted a strict policy of never spending more than he made, if he had taken his extra savings and compounded it in intelligent, income-producing securities, then in due time he’d have money coming in daily, weekly, monthly, just like the rich man. The little guy would have become a financial winner, instead of a pathetic loser.
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E.J. Smith is Founder of YourSurvivalGuy.com, Managing Director at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., a Managing Editor of Richardcyoung.com, and Editor-in-Chief of Youngresearch.com. E.J. graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with a B.S. in finance and investments. In 1995, E.J. began his investment career at Fidelity Investments in Boston before joining Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. in 1998. E.J. has trained at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, NH. His first drum set was a 5-piece Slingerland with Zilldjians. He grew-up worshiping Neil Peart of the band Rush, and loves the song Tom Sawyer—the name of his family’s boat, a Grady-White Canyon 306. He grew up in Mattapoisett, MA, an idyllic small town on the water near Cape Cod. He spends time in Newport, RI and Bartlett, NH—both as far away from Wall Street as one could mentally get. The Newport office is on a quiet, tree lined street not far from the harbor and the log cabin in Bartlett, NH, the “Live Free or Die” state, sits on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. He enjoys spending time in Key West and Paris. Please get in touch with E.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org.