Monday, March 20, 2023

Big hat, no cattle

Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that a breakaway Russian Republic will be transferring a nuclear warhead to the United Nations in a few days. Here's the plan: We get the warhead, and we hold the world ransom for ... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

When Austin Powers came out in 1997, one million dollars wasn't what it used to be. So now in 2023, it's not that bonkers either, but it still is — pinkie on the lip — ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

The fact that The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko came out in 1996 made it a long shot that I'd actually read it. The fact that it I highly, highly recommend it also is surprising because, well, I prefer books from this century.

But my god, the book deserves the accolades and hype it attracts because of how clearly it explains what true wealth is and how to obtain it.

"Big hat, no cattle."

That's a phrase that sticks with me from The Millionaire Next Door about how there are so many people with gaudy displays of what they think show wealth. But in reality, it's just a facade, and they could have hardly any savings, retirement or even be in debt.

With this book, I now know what the offense and defense of wealth are. Offense is what you pull in, and defense is what you spend. Too many Americans have poor defense. They just spend, spend, spend. Fortunately, I had the value of smart spending instilled in me, so my defense isn't too shabby, thank God.

I also understand the difference between PAWs, AAWs and UAWs. That's the difference between prodigious accumulators of wealth, average accumulators of wealth and under accumulators of wealth. Thank God, I'm a PAW, always saving at least 15 percent of my income and "paying myself first" before even getting to spending.

Looking back on my financial journey, I must give props to former Press-Telegram restaurant critic Al Rudis, who gave me sound financial info when I was in my 20s. Al, my man, I haven't seen you in about 20 years, but thanks for impressing on me the importance of 401Ks and Roth IRAs. Al, you da man!

For a lot of Gen Xers without Al Rudis, I bet they found themselves in a financial sea of work, work, work without a paddle. At least with Al's advice and the self-disciplined mindset promoted in The Millionaire Next Door, pretty much anybody with a solid job can get on a path toward wealth.

But as the book points out frequently, income is far different than wealth. In fact, another quote that sticks with me is the risk of entrepreneur. A lot of people assume that it's risky to be an entrepreneur, and of course, there is risk involved. But what is more risky, to be paid by 600 different people to your business or just one employer who can easily replace you?

I come from a working-class city, Cleveland, and on some level, will always have a working man's aesthetic. I've worked hard for my wages, and, hopefully, I've saved 15 percent of them. If I were a youngster, I'd consider having a start-up, but if I really wanted to do that, I suppose I would today.

1 comment:

  1. šŸ‘interesting read; no cigarettes or fancy cars……Love, Mom