Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Why aren't you rich?

Of the rich(er) people I talk with (my definition of rich being those that make 3-5 times what I make at/around same age), they don't seem any different except for being in the right place at the right time and a little bit more focused on money.

The question, do you want to be rich or richer? What is stopping you?

Who cares? Right?
Permalink Not Berlin 
January 22nd, 2006
I am not a number, I am a free man!

Now back to the gulags with you, slave.
Permalink Regular 
January 22nd, 2006
I'm not rich because:

1. I'm lazy
2. I like to goof off more than I like doing anything worth money
3. My "budget" means spending all the money I have in my pocket, then taking more out of the ATM and spending that, until there is no more in the ATM

I would like to be rich, and am attempting to rectify the above.
Permalink _ 
January 22nd, 2006
"The question, do you want to be rich or richer? What is stopping you?"

Well, sort of. The real question is, what do you want to focus on? For example, I could have stayed in NC, become a bank development consultant for between 70-125 an hour, socked it all away, and we could have quite a nice chunk of change.

Instead I decided to move out to mid-Missouri and take a pay cut to pursue a heck of an opportunity.

For me, that made more sense. The idea of having a lot of money soon and being able to just do whatever is nice, but I enjoy working, and enjoy even more learning, both class-wise and social-wise.
Permalink Cory Foy 
January 22nd, 2006
I guess I am rich. Part luck, part skill. They say the more skill you have the luckier you are.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
I want to be rich enough, though the top limit doesn't exist. I pursue wealth by doing what I love, rather than trying to take shortcuts, because shortcuts can be illegal and sometimes we are too old for "shortcuts" (the time has passed already).

Things that have made me slower at reaching my goals:
1. I wasted years in a different career path before deciding to focus on software development;
2. I didn't have access to the right tools soon enough, as I spent many years using tools that I later found lacking in some ways. Though this helped me to understand what I "miss" by not using those tools, as well as it helped me to learn what I wanted for my tools;
3. I can't count with help from other people because I'm inventing things in new ways, and most people are interested in concrete things;
4. The transition from Desktop Development to Web Development is not an easy one, not when I want to support both, even though the first HTML that I wrote was back in 1995/96.
5. Most young folks haven't helped me with supporting Desktop technologies, because they are from the Web era, and their interests never coincide with mine. So, Desktop OSS projects suck in many ways, and the commercial versions are pretty under-developed because of the Web phenomenon.

Despite all that, I think I am on the right track, and this year my business will start and in three years I hope to have accomplished some financial success, though that's only the start! :-)

Things to consider: trying to please folks is good and bad at the same time, so know where to spend your energies, but take in consideration what people want.
Permalink Lost in the jungle 
January 22nd, 2006
A few factors:

- Risk aversity. You've got to bet big to win big, but then there's also the risk of losing big. It comes down to having something to bet in the first place, and secondly believing in yourself sufficiently to make the bet. It's less of an issue if you are financially secure since you won't be risking much.

- Priorities. If you tie yourself down with family and a mortgage, you've got less resources to throw about both in terms of time and money. You'll be 'rich' in another sense of the word, but not the one that buys you a luxury sedan.

Personally I have some savings that I'm going to put on the line at one point or another. I have a high burn-rate with family, housing and car expenses so I need enough cash to completely sustain ourselves even after quitting the day job - cause that's what I have to do if I want time to work on anything seriously.
Permalink jz 
January 22nd, 2006
I have this theory that it's people with a safety net who take the big risks. Or at least, the people who act as if they have a safety net. Trump, Gates, etc.

Part of it is luck in a strict Random Walk sense - if you have hundreds of guys flipping quarters, one of them is eventually going to hit heads 50 times in a row.

Part of it is perserverance - every new business hits a tough spot where the money just isn't coming in, and you have to do some unpleasant or boring/tedious things to get it to work.

And then, of course, you have to have taken the risk in the first place in order for it to pay off.

Oh, and a lot of it is money management. A penny saved is two pennies earned.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 22nd, 2006
lack of motivation.

as a kid, i learned two things that killed any drive i could have had:

1) if i begged for something, i had a good chance of getting it.

2) if i convinced myself to not want something, i wouldn't feel so bad if i didn't get it.

as an adult, i don't work too hard for anything and i'm pretty content with the little i do have. i don't care a whole lot about wealth 'cause the only thing about wealth that interests me is security. i don't want a fancy car, real estate (condo/house), nice clothes (i'm happy with eddie bauer), expensive electronics (if it's a small tv, just sit closer). i'm not into status or power 'cause the higher you go, the further it is to fall.

i don't even know if i ever want to ever start a family 'cause that would entail leaving the nice easy shell i've built around myself.

i've been unemployed for long periods twice and i've since given up hopes of making long range financially related goals.
Permalink Kenny 
January 22nd, 2006
How do you plan to retire Kenny?
Permalink Kasey 
January 22nd, 2006
Mark, the random walk and money management are the advise I would give. I always made a lot more than I lived on and just stuck the difference into somewhat randomly picked stocks and left them there. No day trading for me. It adds up just like a 401k would, but every once in a while, you get the 1999 hysteria. If you're not easily excitable my the media, you say 'this is crazy, I'm going to cash out for a year'. That's the luck part, but it's an educated guess sort of luck. On the other hand if you are a person keeping up with the status quo, buying fancy cars and vacationing in Switzerland, you'll be so thrilled with your fabulous 1999 wealth that you'll ride it straight to the bottom, or you'll go nuts and move all your capital into pets.com stock because you have a friend of a friend who works there and it's a sure thing and now you'll have a HUNDRED million dollars and not just a paltry 8.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
I've never really made any money, and I can't stand work.

Maybe my hatred against work will probably make me a buck or two some day. For example: Why do we need banks? Couldn't we solve them away?
Permalink Peter 
January 22nd, 2006
" I guess I am rich. Part luck, part skill. They say the more skill you have the luckier you are."

So, how did you get your first wad?
Permalink sharkfish 
January 22nd, 2006
Between solving the banks problem and the work problem, I prefer solving the work problem first. :-) Banks come in second... :-)
Permalink Lost in the jungle 
January 22nd, 2006
It's just working and saving, that's all. Very non frivolous, boring lifestyle. Over the years it adds up to money in the bank.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
Ah, so Art Wilkins is OLD. :)
Permalink sharkfish 
January 22nd, 2006
>> It's just working and saving, that's all. Very non frivolous, boring lifestyle. Over the years it adds up to money in the bank. <<

>> Ah, so Art Wilkins is OLD. :) <<

Art has it right. You have to start early enough, and/or save consistently. The rest is up to the miracle of compound interest.

If you put $3000 into an investment account indexed against the S&P 500 each year when you're 14, 15, & 16, and then just leave it there; by the time you're 70, there's a very good chance you'll be worth $500,000. No additional contributions during your life -- just $9k deposited from summer jobs.

Do it for two additional years when you're 17 & 18; and you'll be worth $750,000. Not bad, eh?
Permalink example 
January 22nd, 2006
Yes I'm old - nearly 60. Been around the block a few times if not the world. Wanting to retire actually and have planned to a couple times but there was one more project.

Getting rich young, that requires more entrepreneurship. This is the low risk version and it's not 'that' rich, but I am looking forward to being less of a miser and not having to worry about income and such. I might get one of those big smacking RVs that get 3mpg and start driving around Canada.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 22nd, 2006
Cool, Art. RV'ing would have to be fun. I hope I'm able to do so at 60.

<Susie Downer>
Everyone in my family is dead by 65 or so.
</Susie Downer>
Permalink sharkfish 
January 22nd, 2006
>> Everyone in my family is dead by 65 or so. <<

Not to pry, but why?
Cholesterol? Sickle-cell? Bad luck?
Permalink example 
January 22nd, 2006
"Not to pry, but why?
Cholesterol? Sickle-cell? Bad luck?"


Heart disease. All heart attacks. Both sides of the family. Except grandmother died of brain cancer by 69 (dad's side). Her husband (my granddad) died of heart attack, so it is on both sides of the family. Not all are overweight, either. Some of the skinny women still have high blood pressure. I do have one great aunt that is around 80, but she's on oxygen.

Maybe my generation will fare better. Exercise, no smoking, no drinking. We'll see.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 22nd, 2006
Rich is so subjective of a term. I have everything I need. I have almost everything I want because I strive to control my desires. If I really want something I can get it.

I've worked for others all my career. I've saved at least ten percent of what I've made (Thanks, "Richest Man in Babylon").

Why am I not richer? Because I am very risk-adverse. I've been more interested in working than in investing. I missed all the big money making oppurtunities in the 90's. But I am content and very happy, so I would not change a thing.
Permalink XYZZY 
January 22nd, 2006
"Not to pry, but why?"

I assume its because sharkfish kills them.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 22nd, 2006
Heh. Heh-heh. They don't like me much. That's good enough reason to kill them, eh?
Permalink sharkfish 
January 22nd, 2006
I want to go RVing. I've actually looked at RVs and can somewhat intelligently discuss the various models, and why there's a Jeep attached to the back of every RV you see (you can completely disengage the transmission).

You can actually become addicted to saving & building a nest egg, and it's a much better addiction than spending.

As far as I'm concerned, the only wealth that's important to me is the one that brings me closer to my friends. Eating out occasionally, going to see movies, etc. The material posessions... not so important.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 23rd, 2006
I haven't inherited money. Yet.
I didn't marry for money.

With a career mostly in the voluntary / non-profit sector I haven't really worked focussing on money and I only started thinking in terms of career when I found myself married with children.

So - we're comfortable but not rich.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 23rd, 2006
> As far as I'm concerned, the only wealth that's important to me is the one that brings me closer to my friends. Eating out occasionally, going to see movies, etc. The material posessions... not so important.

Good point, since the reverse is actually true - the material things actually come between people. Could I invite the friends I have now over if I lived in a mansion with a private helipad? We'd be alienated out of our minds.
Permalink jz 
January 23rd, 2006
Art - Congrats and thanks for letting us know. I've heard that it's a way to get rich slowly but have never come across anyone who has really done it.
Permalink Senthilnathan N.S. 
January 23rd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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