Passionate about investing

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

15 January 2013

Making extreme amounts of money. For some people the ability to do this and become filthy rich has become an extreme obsession. People are paying hundreds of dollars to attend seminars of “millionaire guru’s” that should teach you anything you need to know to succeed in your mission to become a multi-millionaire.

These seminars range from investing advice to changing the mindset to a millionaire’s mindset. Although for most people making silly movements with your arms whilst out shouting “I am an excellent money manager, I have a millionaire mind” sounds rather ridiculous, there are many people willing to empty their pockets for this kind of advice (if one of those, please attend a seminar of T. Harv Eker).

Where does this insanity to become extremely rich come from? Of course the idea of being independent and not being forced to work to get food on the table appeals to everyone. Though this could not be the only thing.

Robin already wrote in his blog The Cost of Luxury about the increasing desire of people to distinguish themselves with luxury goods, even if they do not have the financial means to support this. Being rich is a way to stand above the rest, to feel special.

The desire to find a big money machine and reach insane amounts of wealth is thus a desire to be different, not just to be financially independent.

Although this crazy urge for people to become rich has brought a lot of money into pockets of some people (for example guru & author of “Rich Dad Poor DadRobert Kiyosaki and T. Harv Eker), it has paralyzed or even misguided a new group of (young) people.  Especially with their sight only on some of the biggest success stories ever recently, such as Facebook and Google, which have become multi billionaire businesses. Many hope that with some smart investing they can become the new Warren Buffet. This is also what these ridiculous seminars are helping them with: giving people the impression they can become rich without doing too much for it.

Although most people luckily still enjoy enough common sense to judge “how to become a millionaire” seminars as complete nonsense, it is also a general feeling I get from a lot of young people: the thought, against all odds, there might be an easy way out. About 20% of students like to become an entrepreneur in their future life (the students that really end up starting their own business is a lot less), while on average people in an ordinary job receive more wage and better work conditions. The overestimation of own capabilities and easiness to become successful, misguides people in their decision making. Much better is to remain sober, stop looking at and trying to imitate the success of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and focus on something smaller in your own field. Though this might not seem to generate the multibillion dollar revenues these three guys are seeing, it is a lot more realistic and, best, gives you the biggest probability you will be able to pay your bills. Stop trying to look for something which should imitate the success of these guys.

If we still want to learn something from these extreme multi billionaires: they all commenced their imperium on a very small scale. What an entrepreneur once told to me: “you do not need to be creative. Just find a successful business, copy it and do it a little better. You do not even have to do it better, just doing it just as good should be sufficient to guarantee its existence”.

Think and act small. For the one out of millions of us, this might lead to extreme decadency in the end.

In the meantime I keep on dreaming and standing before the mirror with my hands turning around my ears while saying “I am an excellent money manager”. One day I will be a multi-millionaire.

Nathan Koekoek
Support Officer