🌼Ten Money Lessons I’m Only Learning Now at Age 36 (That Blew My Mind)
## “The worthless land he got gifted is now worth more than the $350,000 he had stolen from him”
When a big payday approaches life can look glorious.
Until it blows up in your face.
That’s what happened to a friend of mine. Outside of his office job, he did some property investments on the side. One day it came time for the investments to be sold and for him to get his $350,000 cut.
Unfortunately, a family member of his business partner changed the name on the property deed to his own. The property slipped away from my friend’s hands. Everything he’d worked for, gone.
No savings. A business partner gone forever.
This story has stayed with me for years. I never quite understood how someone could recover from that until a similar situation happened to me and I lost $1.2M.
But I didn’t lose my sh*t. This story from a friend gave me the blueprint of what to do. **_There’s a cool ending to this story …_**
I recently learned my friend has been in a legal battle over this property theft for 6+ years. He’d already considered the money gone forever.
Eventually the criminal who stole his real estate from him had his day in court. It wasn’t pretty. He was headed straight for prison.
To avoid jail he offered my friend some random piece of land. The location was in the middle of nowhere and was worthless.
It didn’t even have roads, water, electricity or any basic services. But my friend took the land anyway and made peace with the situation (smart).
He later finds out that a resort is being built next to his small patch of land. He doesn’t think much of it. To open the resort they build all the services needed. When the resort opens it’s a hit.
All the land around it goes up in value.
Here’s the kicker: the worthless land my friend got gifted is now worth more than the $350,000 he had stolen from him.
The lesson here is it’s not about how much money you lose. It’s what you do with the huge hidden opportunity that can either make or break you.
Here are a few more killer money lessons.
# 2. There’s only one main bank
I spent half a lifetime working in banking.
Only after I left the industry did I learn that banks are a mirage. The 2023 banking crisis has shown us that if any size bank falls over the central bank will step in and save the day.
So a 2008 bank run that collapses the economy is near-impossible to happen in any of the established economies.
The normies will cheer and say that’s a good thing. The counterargument is it’s bad because it encourages banks like Silicon Valley Bank to be reckless, knowing they can’t [go bankrupt](https://timdenning.com/a-bankruptcy-expert-taught-me-these-15-things-about-what-keeps-people-broke/).
This nanny state assistance means free market dynamics in most major economies are non-existent. Think about that for a minute. Scary, right?
# 3. What keeps poverty alive
I hate the rich versus poor debate.
It misses a lot of nuance. What’s skipped over, though, is that we are paid less than we are worth and live in struggle town when we undervalue ourselves.
I see it all the time in my [online business](https://medium.com/better-marketing/heres-how-to-become-a-profitable-writer-and-trade-your-job-for-an-online-business-in-1-2-years-be885c7f6b27). Customers will approach me and think their lifelong careers aren’t valuable and that no one cares.
The reality I teach them is it’s the opposite. So many of us are walking around with huge value inside our heads. Nobody knows it exists because most people are a ghost and refuse to talk about what they do online.
So they settle for the unfair salary and keep their mouth shut. It’s not that society screwed them. No. **It’s that they can’t see their own value.**
# 4. Repetition is the key to making a lot of money
The first time you get a big check it feels like a risk.
After a year of repetition the money starts to feel normal. When you cross this threshold it’s easier to invest and you make better decisions.
You’re not living in financial fear. You’ve found your value and seen it make bank for enough time. So now you simply trust the process and invest in stuff that’s better than a term deposit.
Learn how to make money on auto-pilot.
# 5. A lack of in-built online monetization is a huge opportunity
The internet, in some ways, has made us ungrateful.
There are a lot of apps and websites where you can get paid through direct monetization. Youtube is perhaps the most famous example.
Post videos, let ads run, get paid some of the ad money.
People miss the point. If the money comes directly from a platform it’s easy money. I prefer in-direct monetization.
It’s where you have to take people from a place on the internet into your [email list](https://medium.com/entrepreneur-s-handbook/the-exact-system-i-used-to-build-my-email-list-to-140-000-subscribers-7b3c656aba73), then apply enormous creativity to monetize what you’ve built. **Because it’s hard … most don’t try.**
That’s one of the biggest financial opportunities there is.
Most people think Elon’s tweet app is the worst platform because there’s no inbuilt monetization. It’s the opposite.
# 6. Economics makes more sense when you use cows
I’ve always struggled to understand the complex world of economics.
There are a lot of BS terms designed to confuse the average person so they won’t see all the secret taxes they get hit with, like inflation. I saw a great LinkedIn [carousel](https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bogdanmajewski_2-cows-explain-everything-activity-7032739930795569152-yr1u/) that uses cows.
I love the Venture Capital cow the best.
It shows the hypocrisy of the modern [financial system](https://medium.com/the-ascent/most-people-just-dont-get-it-there-are-now-two-financial-systems-2e718d81c3e). A system where nobody knows who owns what and everyone is up to their ass crack in debt that they’ll likely never pay off before they die.
Use cows to learn about economics.
# 7. Lie: your network equals your net worth
This trite advice drives me bananas.
It leads nice people to think they need to network the crap out of people. So they show up to networking events, feel you up the wrong way, then send you a random LinkedIn message afterward when you didn’t ask them to.
It is true that you need other people to make money. But you don’t find them by being a networking playboy.
Instead, post on the internet and let people be naturally attracted to you. Great content does the relationship-building for you. Those opportunities will eventually [make you wealthy](https://medium.com/swlh/money-behaviors-to-make-you-stupidly-time-wealthy-1eb12521fcf8).
# 8. The pension system isn’t what you think
It’s supposed to be a safety net.
The problem is pensions have become a business. And smart money managers took people’s retirement assets & rolled them up into a joint and smoked it.
They repackaged all these investments into something unrecognizable (like what happened to home mortgages in 2008).
Several books have been written on the topic. One day many major countries will learn the truth about where their pension money went.
Until then we live with the lie that pensions will save us in retirement.
In Australia, where I live, the end game for the pension system is to help the government hand out less money to retirees. During the 2020 bat virus disaster, we let people withdraw money from their own pension to save themselves from not being able to work.
It seemed smart … but it also showed the government had zero backup plan if another random disaster strikes. There’s a high chance if another crisis strikes we will use our pension money (if it’s still there).
The only thing you can rely on is to save yourself through investing done off the back of a financial education.
# 9. Inflation isn’t a problem thanks to artificial intelligence
A lot of money got handed out from governments and central banks over the last 3 years. It led to awesome inflation.
The inflation has been sticky and hasn’t gone back down to the usual 2%. Financial expert Raoul Pal taught me that now artificial intelligence has gone mainstream via ChatGPT, it’ll create enormous economic efficiencies.
Knowledge workers with their glorious “expert” status no longer will have the upper hand. ChatGPT will make the information in their heads less valuable. Raoul calls this a deflation nuclear bomb.
It’s nothing to be scared of, but it’s worth understanding.
Poorer countries will rise up from the ashes. Those with average IQ but high EQ will find themselves in high demand. And those who can turn AI into their white-collar assistant will thrive.
Think of AI like a reset on the entire money system.
We’re living through it. Pay close attention. Hire an AI to work for you — or end up working for the AI.
# 10. The whole saving money when you’re young advice makes no sense
My buddy Jack Raines is a smart cookie.
He said something recently about money that really blew my mind. When we’re young and fresh out of college we have little money. 20 years later we’re deep into our career and likely have made some decent money.
– As you get older your net worth goes up but the time you have left alive goes down.
– When you’re young your net worth is low but the time you have left is high.
What we often do by default when we’re young is save and be frugal with money. The challenge is we miss a lot of cool experiences we can never try again. So the counter-intuitive approach is if you’re confident you’ll make money later, then why not spend on age-dependent experiences today?
At the end of your life it’s experiences that’ll be remembered — not bank account balances that are meaningless in the after-life.
Contributed by Tim Denning
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