|A major milestone this month—$20,000,000 total net worth. An eight-figure, conservatively-valued net worth with ~60% invested in safe, relatively-liquid assets that generate more than enough income for me to live on comfortably without ever touching the principal.|
When starting this journey I never thought I’d see such a day—let alone before turning 50—and I am proud of how far I’ve come. Standing on the edge of this precipice looking down, I cannot help but think about getting here. How did this happen? Did I earn it? Do I deserve it? How will I ultimately use it to improve the lives of others?
Whatever the answers, a large part of accumulating this wealth is a function of good luck—make no mistake. Most successful people underestimate the amount that luck plays into their becoming wealthy. Not me.
I’ve always said I’d rather be lucky than good, and I am. That said—while making this money is mostly due to a good bit of luck, as well as some hard work, delayed gratification, and perhaps some intellect too—there’s no doubt that keeping and growing this sum is primarily a function of good judgment and razor-sharp discipline. You know what they say about a fool and his money.
Also, I don’t think for a second that “I’ve got it all figured out." I don’t. I’m likely no different than you. I read lots of finance blogs and articles. I get briefly tempted by things like BitCoin, marijuana stocks, junk bonds, or momentum-based short-term trading ideas. I have friends introduce me to private investment deals and the latest tax shelter schemes. I also often wonder whether I should be taking more risk (mostly based upon the overstated fears that I’m not growing my assets enough or concerns about outpacing inflation). I’ve found all of these are generally wealth-destroying distractions.
So what do I do? I think a lot and I listen to different viewpoints. Then, I do my best to figure out what’s right for me. I remain a humble work in process, but generally feel (particularly in a late-stage bull market) that a conservative approach suits me best.
On that note, the biggest challenge for me right now is mental. I’m happy and grateful as ever, but I’m also somewhat restless and considering my best life on a longer horizon. Should I be trying something different? What, exactly? And how do I conquer the fear of forever walking away from a lucrative business in pursuit of the unknown when I’m not unhappy, but perhaps somewhat unfulfilled? Should I? Would that be crazy? Would I ultimately regret it? Or, will I wonder why I waited so long? How does an extra $5, $10, or even $15 million in investible assets really change things? And, whatever the number, will it finally be "enough” or will I keep moving the goal posts (as I’ve done before)? Oh, and not insignificantly, will I be alive or in good health to enjoy it? After all, every day is a gift, not a given.
I’m just beginning to tackle some of these issues, and it is "the dilemma of the 1%” (contrasted with the .01%). That is, those who have generated and accumulated enough wealth to be comfortably “rich” (as opposed to super-rich) but whose wealth-creating lifestyle, mindset, or fears prevent them from refocusing their lives in other meaningful ways.
Here’s a couple of articles that I’ve read. If anyone has any additional constructive advice or insight, please chime in.