I don’t know about you, but this whole getting up early and going to work thing is getting a little old. I mean waking to an alarm, guzzling coffee and spending most of the day with people you secretly flip off under your desk is played out.
According to a 2018 article from Forbes, 53 percent of Americans are unhappy at work. 58 percent of workers say that they would trust a stranger more than they trust their own boss. What the fuck?
For many of us these statistics come as no surprise. We feel overworked and underappreciated. Our days are spent on a constant treadmill of replying to emails, giving updates and feeling pulled away from our core tasks. We are stressed out and we feel stuck.
How Can I Make It Stop?
First of all it’s important to understand how we got here. The vast majority of us go to work everyday for one reason. We need cash. Yes, we may also get free coffee and the chance to do meaningful work. But let’s face it, how many of us would continue to show up if no paycheck was being provided? Mr. C would definitely not keep showing up.
This need for cash also tends to increase over time. Every time we decide we deserve a new car or a bigger house we speed up the treadmill we are on. We take on more and more debt and run faster and faster to keep up. This is all fine and dandy as long as we can maintain our pace.
Sadly though, many of us crank up the treadmill speed to the point where we cannot keep up. Or maybe outside forces have cranked it up for us. Unforeseen medical bills, layoffs and burnout can knock us off our pace. But the treadmill keeps turning. The cash needs to keep coming in. This is the time when a money making machine would come in really handy.
How Do I Build It?
an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task
Have you ever taken the time to appreciate a windmill? Sorry, dumb question. You are much too busy trying to get more cash. I’ll give you a quick description. These marvels of human ingenuity have been around for centuries. Essentially they convert the power of the wind into mechanical energy. Windmills became popular in areas where there was limited access to the power of moving water. Before the discovery of electricity these beasts helped grind grain into flour and cut logs into lumber.
Pretty cool shit! You build it one time and get a lifetime of free power. Wouldn’t it be great if you could harness the power of growth in financial markets and turn it into cash? Spoiler alert, you can!
Powering Your Money Machine
According to Nerd Wallet the S&P 500 had an average return of 10% from 1926 to 2014. If 10% doesn’t sound like much, consider this. $1000 invested in 1926 would have grown to over $6,000,000 in 2014 at that rate of return. If you are building a money machine, that is great news. Once your machine is built, you can harness that power much like the Windmill harnesses the wind.
That’s great Mr. C, but I don’t know how to build a machine like that…
Well, you’re in luck! It’s actually already been built for you. And let me tell you, it’s huge. According to current estimates the total capitalization of U.S. companies is over 30 trillion dollars. Yes, U.S. corporations are a giant money making machine. To access this machine, you just need to invest.
Here’s The Best Part
Compound interest is the Eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.Albert Einstein
The best part about your money making machine is that once you start investing, the output can continue to increase all by itself. This is due to the power of compound interest.
How does compound interest work?
Let’s look at an extreme example. You decide to get into the loan shark business. (do not do this by the way) You give your first customer a loan of $100 and in return he agrees to pay back the $100 plus $100 in interest. The loan comes due and you now have $200. Realizing the potential, you quickly loan out the $200 with the same terms and end up with $400.
Your initial investment of $100 didn’t change, but you gained twice as much in the second transaction. So what happened? The money you earned in the first transaction is also earning money. That’s how compound interest works.
Get Rich Slowly has a great article on Compound Interest here.
Putting It All Together
Whether you are fortunate enough to enjoy your work or you are part of the 53% that does not, having the ability to passively generate more money can be life changing. A large enough chunk of money can give you freedom from a bad work or personal situation. There are even people using the money making machine to create Financial Independence and retire decades early.
The system is in place for you. You just need to take advantage of it and invest. Here’s a few ways to get started.
- If your company has a 401k plan available, talk to them about investing a percentage of your income.
- If your employer has no plan available, consider opening a Traditional or Roth IRA at a low cost brokerage like Vanguard, Schwab or Fidelity. These accounts generally require an initial investment of $1,000 or more.
- Companies like M1 finance and Betterment can be good options when you don’t have employer options or a large amount to get started with. You can typically open these accounts for free and get started on investing for $100 per month
One last suggestion. Mr. C is not an investment professional, and the ideas presented here are just my own opinion. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself, get clear on your goals and don’t invest in anything you don’t completely understand.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about investing.