I am writing this in a large but dreary hotel room in Orlando, Florida. I’m about to give a speech to a large group of retired people. These are well-to-do retired persons. That means they are smart. They have the ability to learn and to absorb what they have seen in their lives. I would like to swim in their pond and offer them some of what I have absorbed mostly for them to tell their children and grandchildren.
First of all, it is vitally important to have capital. Financial capital as in cash and stocks and real estate is a very good form of capital. If you have money in the bank, if you have a meaningful amount of stock, you have independence. You have shelter from the storm. If you have a meaningful amount of money in your jeans, you don’t have to cower if your boss is mean-spirited or if your landlord is torturing you. You can literally breathe easier, sleep better, run farther and faster.
A famous Asian philosopher said simply, “No money, no life.” To which I add, the more money you have, the more life you have.
Closely related, the more skills, the more education you have, especially in a well-paid field, the more of a life you have. I have seen it over and over again, an intelligent, even a very intelligent man or woman with no special skills makes $10 or $14 an hour. A really mediocre, barely literate lawyer or accountant makes $500 an hour.
Skills that help the rich stay rich make money. Even big money.
Next, be entrepreneurial. A man in my neighborhood who used to make $10 an hour gradually hired 50 homeless people to wash windows for him. They still make $10 an hour. Farming them out, he’s making $60 an hour, and he’s on his way to making a million a year and still growing.
Be thrifty. There is no natural disaster worse than insane extravagance. Don’t do it.
Okay, I have many more of these to offer, but I’m getting tired.
I’ll just end by saying God bless America, and God bless all of you.