Money very well may not be able to buy you happiness, but as Woody Alan once quipped “Money is (definitely) better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”
I really knew I was rich when I had $10,000. I knew along time ago that I was going to be doing something I loved doing with people that I loved doing it with. In 1958, I had my dad take me out of the will, as I knew I would be rich anyway. I let my two sisters have all the estate.I bet we all in this room live about the same. We eat about the same and sleep about the same. We pretty much drive a car for 10 years. All this stuff doesn’t make it any different. I will watch the Super Bowl on a big screen television just like you. We are living the same life. I have two luxuries: I get to do what I want to do every day and I get to travel a lot faster than you.You should do the job you love whether or not you are getting paid for it. Do the job you love. Know that the money will follow. I travel distances better than you do. The plane is nicer. But that is about the only thing that I do a whole lot different.I didn’t know my salary when I went to work for Graham until I got his first paycheck. Do what you love and don’t even think about the money. I will take a trip on Paul Allen’s Octopus ($400M yacht), but wouldn’t want one for myself. A 60 man crew is needed. They could be stealing, sleeping with each other, etc. Professional sports teams are a hassle, especially when you have as much money as him. Fans would complain that you aren’t spending enough when the team loses.If there is a place that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and you do what you love doing, you will do fine. You’re rich if you are working around people you like. You will make money if you are energetic and intelligent. This society lets smart people with drive earn a very good living. You will be no exception.
That answer is quite profound I think.
And at its core I would boil it down to two main lessons.
Lesson number one:
Money buys you the freedom to spend your time exactly as you want to. So if you are lucky (smart) enough to choose to make your money by doing what you love most to do, you’ve already achieved all that money could ever hope to buy you in the first place.
Lesson number two:
Traveling in style is the ultimate luxury. (Not champagne, fast cars, swimming pools, or jewelry.)
And I will admit that lesson number one is probably the most important nugget to remember here. But if there’s a small issue with lesson number one it is this: no matter what, you’re on your own with that one. I simply can’t help you figure out what it is that you most love to do since I have a hard enough time figuring out exactly which form bliss I wish to follow with the rest of my days here on earth.
So press on with lesson number one. We wish you luck in pursuing this goal. It’s really important.
But lesson number two? That we can help with.
There are so many ways to approach lesson number two.
- A: be the world’s greatest investor for 20 or 30 years.
- B. Invent something groundbreaking and preferably tech related.
- C. Start a disruptive company with a lot of growth ahead of it.
- D. Etc. (figure out some other way to make billions.)
- And then purchase your own private jet to zip around in, (or purchase a fractional ownership in Buffet’s own NetJets’ executive jet service). or…
- E. You could learn how to play the miles game.
By learning how to leverage credit card bonuses and smart spending, you can predictably earn enough miles to travel a family of four first class to a couple of different international destinations a year.
Which is why I value this skill set at a minimum of $10,000 a year after taxes.
I should also point out that once you have this skill, you can then take your ten thousand dollars a year in savings and invest it in wonderful companies at a fair price a la Warren Buffett. Talk about miracle of compounding returns…
As you may know by now, the miles game is simply not that hard to master, and it doesn’t take that much time, and frankly it can be a lot of fun.
But figuring out how to get started can be a bit of a barrier to entry.
Which is why Brad and I originally put together this free “zero to hero” Travel Miles 101 course to teach anyone interested everything they needed to know to be up and running and playing the miles game within 15 days.
Which is pretty empowering, we hope. After all, all you need to do to is to learn to execute the miles game and a commit yourself to a vocation that you love, and you’ll be functionally as rich as Warren Buffett is (just ask him).
Best of all you won’t even have to learn how to read a financial statement.
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