Money: How to Get it and Keep It (<< original article link) is an article by Doug Casey of Casey Research. See below for an audio version read by yours truly. Overall this article is excellent and worth the read/listen. It’s short and doesn’t go into the methods of making money or the theory behind money itself – instead it focuses on mindset. And as we understand, Mindset is key. It drives what we learn and what we do.
Summary & Commentary
Firstly, Casey goes into his classic Four Steps for what to do to gain and keep wealth: Liquidate, Consolidate, Create and Speculate. The first three of these should make intrinsic sense.
Liquidate: You need to sell the stuff you don’t use and can always buy or rent again later for cheaper. While he doesn’t go into why you can buy/rent stuff later for cheaper, I think liquidating is a worthy goal even when we aren’t in a recession/depression. Get rid of stuff you don’t need; take the money and run.
Consolidate: This is an important step; Casey discusses taking stock of what you have. Not juts monetarily but mentally as well. “Even successful rock stars tend to reinvent themselves every few years. You don’t want to get stale. ”
Create: This is his longest of these four sections. He offers some humorous but sensible advice and discusses Africa as a place to “get somewhere”. “The point of money is to allow you freedom, not make you crazy with getting more.”
Speculate: The need for this final section is a sad one. In today’s world we can’t hide our money under the mattress, if we do you will lose it all to inflation. So the only way to attempt to keep your money is to speculate. I must offer key advice though, you can’t go straight to speculate and skip the first 3 steps. If you do you will most likely find your cash is gone sooner than you’d like. The important pre-step to Speculation is Consolidation. Take stock of who you are and what you know.
The final section he discusses is titled “What to Do If You’re Already Wealthy?” Good question. He discusses the the morality of having money, your purpose of having money, on not giving to Charity, and how to dispose of your estate. The first two points are the most important in my opinion.
The Morality of Money: He discusses how rich people have a higher chance of being high quality people. “Rich people may lack some virtues, but they definitely have at least a few that made them rich. Poor people, on the other hand, will certainly lack some virtues, and they’ll definitely have some vices that kept them poor.” Tough talking point, but good and worth considering and thinking about. If you aren’t very wealthy, what vices do you have that prevent it so? I don’t have a lot, but I think my vices aren’t ones that prevent me from getting wealth. I have other issues which I won’t bore you with at this time.
Purpose of Having Money: What’s your purpose for having money? Excellent question, one which he doesn’t answer. That’s something to reflect upon for yourself. For myself, one of my purposes for trying to increase my wealth is to get off the “golden treadmill” as Casey refers to it. To be able to spend more time with my kids while they are young; as well as to do more of that which I enjoy.
Don’t Give to Charity: I understand his point here though due to the Biblical points of charity I will disagree. I agree that much of money given to charity is wasted. So don’t give to those charities. Any large charity wastes most of it’s money on the bureaucracy; and wasting wealth is horrible and probably a sin in many cases. Instead, be ready to help those around you, whether financially or otherwise. Give to small charities that do make a difference and don’t just absorb the cash and make it disappear while only giving 10% to those whom you are trying to help. In the end however, this won’t sway you either way. If you are inclined to give, don’t let this deter you away from the excellent points Casey is making. If you don’t give, then keep on not giving, but make sure you remember that by serving the more people you will attain more money.
How to Dispose of your Estate: Casey discusses the inevitable death. He does mention the Singularity, which I won’t comment on here. Personally, due to a strong Christian belief I’m not sure how I feel about the Singularity. By that I mean whether it can happen or not before Christ returns. Can we fundamentally change our human nature before Christ returns? Immortality was taken away from us because of our sin; surely he won’t allow us to get it back while still in our sinful state? Basically, I see it as if the Singularity is that close, what is going to happen? Nuclear apocalypse or Christ’s return? Anyways, that’s a side note.
Overall, Doug Casey doesn’t discuss anything new that one hasn’t heard from him before. He talks about this stuff all the time, but I highlighted this particular article because it brings in a few key points that I think are worth reading and worth discussing. What did you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article or on my comments from above.