Hope for your financial life and beyond

Legit Get Rich Quick Schemes

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?

get rich quick schemesI 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:

PonziIllegal Scheme (or shady at best)

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?

Ponzi image credit

Pyramids Scheme at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  1. And what about offshore companies and offshore bank accounts, it is legal right?

  2. what about this Anthony Morrison guy that offers a plan on the internet to make money, lots of it, email marketing – claims to have used it to become a millionaire in his 20’s.

  3. The lottery is always a touchy subject… Is such a huge money sink for many that plays off of ridiculous hopes.

  4. What are your thoughts on sweepstakes or drawings?

  5. Aunt Eekriste says

    Money, beauty, intelligence and good fortune. People that have invariably credit themselves and then judge others for lack of it.

  6. Aunt Eekriste says

    Why is it that people who have all they need and more are the ones who insist “money can’t buy happiness”, or love?

  7. Great article Brian. I actually experienced the first one with pyramid schemes before I really even knew what they were with a program called Purchase Plus. I’m just glad I never invested any money in it because I heard it got shut down shortly after that and a lot of people lost their money.

    • Sounds like you were fortunate. It’s amazing how many of these are out there. I find the tactics and psychology they use to lure people in fascinating. They are really good at what they do which is all the more reason we need to be alert when these things cross our path.

  8. Love this! I am not a patient person either. 🙂 “…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…” – that’s a great passage, so thank you for sharing it and reminding me to let go and enjoy the journey. It does make sad that so many people chase wealth for not only the wrong reasons but often the wrong ways too. A lot of time and energy wasted!

  9. The lottery is always a touchy subject… Is such a huge money sink for many that plays off of ridiculous hopes. None of us are patient, I think! Has to be learned… and way easier said than done. Great post!

    • I think your assessment is right Tony in that patience is a learned attribute more than it is inborn. I find it interesting though that it is easier to have in some parts of our life than others.

  10. Financial Black Sheep says

    Thank goodness Mr. FBS is patient, because I certainly am not. He has taught me many ways to be more patient and I taught him to hurry it up ha! I am working on being more patient though, especially with money. I want everything done now, but would never try a get rich quick scheme. As for the As-seen-on-TV stuff, you can find it for a dollar or less if you wait. They always end up at the thrift store or dollar stores 🙂

    • I agree FBS…being patient about our money is really tough. I don’t like waiting 10-20 years for my investments to grow but I know it’s the most effective way (other than maybe building your own business) to financial independence. And the risk of damaging your life is definitely lower.

  11. This one is good. I am glad you put all of these ways to get rich “quick”. The real way to get rich is to just work hard. You don’t usually end up destroying your relationship, losing all of your money, or going to jail when you just work hard for the money.

    • Agree 100% Grayson. In our society though, I think get rich quick schemes are effective because people hate the word “work” and they hate the word “hard” even more.

  12. I can so relate, I am not a patient person at all. God blessed me with a wonderful wife who seems to have unending patience. Great list btw, you forgot blogging. 😉

    • Sounds like you have a good patience-balance going in your relationship. That’s awesome! If only getting rich at blogging were that easy…

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