I have a confession to make. By nature, I am not a patient person. I would love to cash in on a few get rich quick schemes and have a enough money to be financially independent RIGHT NOW. Wouldn’t it be great to know what’s going to happen in the next 10 years RIGHT NOW and have all the problem issues of my life fixed RIGHT NOW?
I have learned though the years to monitor my impatience by reflecting on my faith and what God tells me about it in the Bible. Passages like Hebrews 12:1 have been especially valuable to me. In talking about our life journey it says,
“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
But it’s still really hard to live this way in a culture that stresses immediacy. And we all succumb to the pressure for instant gratification, instant knowledge, instant wealth and instant fame.
Think you are immune? Try living a couple of days without watching cable news, using your microwave and neglecting Facebook. See how you feel.
Nowhere does our culture’s value of immediacy reflect itself more than in our desire to accumulate money quickly. Maybe that is why so many are vulnerable to get rich quick schemes.
Types of Get Rich Quick Schemes
Believe it or not, there are actually many ways you could strike it rich quickly. Almost all of them I would not recommend as they could lead to a financial meltdown or worse. But are there legitimate ways this could happen?
Here’s my take on the legitimacy of get rich quick schemes:
1. Late night information products. Any product being advertised after 12:00 midnight that promises you thousands of dollars a day for only few hours of work has to be legit right? Don’t fall for these no matter how tired you are.
2. Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is an illegal investment operation where the owner or operator of the scheme pays returns to the investors from new money received from other new investors instead of paying returns from actual investment profits. Run one of these babies and you may end up with a mug shot like the original Ponzi.
3. Steal. Uh…no.
4. Insider Trading. Insider trading is the trading of stocks or other investment securities based on obtaining information that is not available to the general public. You receive a “tip” from someone on the inside and act on that tip to make a profit. In many countries this is considered illegal as it is seen as gaining an unfair advantage. Jail time leads to anyone caught doing this. Can anyone say Martha Stewart?
Legal Scheme I (but financially destructive)
5. Gambling. The addictive powers of gambling have been well documented. Yes, you could win big, but most don’t and it ends up destroying their relationships as well. Not a get rich quick scheme I’d advise.
6. The Lottery. You statistically have a better shot at dating a supermodel, becoming a billionaire, being struck by lightning or being killed by a mountain lion than winning the lottery. Click here for a fun infographic detailing other lottery statistics.
7. Penny Stocks and Day Trading. The ultimate in fast paced and speculative trading. I’m not smart enough nor do I have the stomach for this.
Legal Scheme II (can work with the right circumstances)
8. Venture Capital. I actually know some venture capitalists who have done quite well making a living at this. One usually already needs to be wealthy though as new business startups are seeking big financial backers, not people with just $1,000 to contribute.
9. Flipping houses. Could work with the right type of housing market but it is not an easy endeavor and very risky.
10. Sue somebody. Hey…get some third degree burns by spilling some hot coffee from your favorite fast food restaurant on yourself and you could strike it rich!
Completely Legit (not get rich quick schemes, most of the time)
11. Marry a millionaire. Note to the millionaires…just make sure it’s for love, not for your money. Pre-nup anyone?
12. Get a huge inheritance. This is really tough because it means you have lost someone very special in your family. No amount or lump sum of money left in an inheritance eases the pain of not seeing that person again.
My encouragement to anyone reading this who is about to fall for a get rich quick scheme…realize that life is not a sprint. Life is an endurance race where we don’t necessarily know what’s going to happen mile to mile.
Resist the messages culture is sending that say it’s easy or that there are shortcuts to getting rich quick. Besides, getting rich quick may turn out to be a curse if you are not already disciplined in handling money.
Instead, discover what you are good at and find a niche for executing that skill. Work hard and over time the wealth will come.
And realize the only way to really get rich is to save and invest more than you spend. If you are interested in finding ways to spend less and save more, I’ve outlined 99 of them in a document you can access for free. Just enter your email in the form below and get the list that will kick-start your journey to financial freedom.
Questions: What did I miss? Any other get rich quick schemes you are aware of?
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