Money never sleeps. It wants to be employed. It doesn’t like sitting idle and will often find a way to get you to spend it if you don’t put it to work (i.e.: invest it). Money lives to work and it does in fact die, and it dies quicker if you leave it idle. What do I mean by this? Well, if you take inflation into account you will find that in about 40 years (on average) the value of your money in cash is pretty well worthless. That is, the buying power of your money is slowly depleting (or dying) over time. If you don’t put it to work and get it multiplying itself, you’ll soon find your money minion population has dwindled to 0 (or rather your buying power is near 0). I’ve always thought of each dollar I have as peon or minion that is forever loyal, dedicated, and wanting to be put to work. Thus, I try to take care of my minion money by not frivolously sending it off to die (on wasteful consumer purchases), but rather by investing the money so that it can have many more brothers and sisters to add the to bunch, as well as replace the ranks of those that die (to inflation). Let’s talk dollars and cents. If my money is dying at a rate of 2-3% (average inflation the last few years) and I’d like to have the new birth rate on my money (or growth) to be nearly 9% pre-inflation. Then my real return target (after inflation) is close to 5%. Research such as the Trinity Study confirms that a portfolio (this is what I call a pile of money hard at work in equities and debt) can be withdrawn from at a rate of between 3-4% for infinity, never depleting the principle and always keeping up with inflation. The Trinity study draws on over 100 years of data from the S&P 500 and NASDAQ which show that if money is put to work in a diversified portfolio of stocks (equities) it will most certainly always grow over the long-term at a rate of 7-9% (pre-inflation). Moral of this post – put your money to work for you. Let the money minions work in your favour. I promise they will be some of the best employees you’ve ever had – they never take breaks, they work for free, they never call you, they drink the company cool-aid, they are 100% obedient, they never complain, and best of all they never sleep!
If you are just starting out on your financial journey, use the same rule I used to: Invest every dollar you earn straight away (pay yourself first) and only spend the dollars your dollars have earned (spend the interest only). Don’t give yourself the chance to spend the principle – ever (this is most important early on as the first 100,000 is the hardest). Even now, I will never spend a single dollar of principle that I’ve earned. That money is off the table. I will get another job or side hustle before I spend the principle I’ve worked so hard to already earn. In fact, in the beginning I recommend you buy nothing and spend nothing – live as frugally as humanly possible and delay every purchase, even if just for a few months, to build up your initial money minion supply. Only spend the money produced by your money, that is only spend the growth or interest earned. I live entirely on the interest earned from my investments and that is by definition financial freedom. However, in the beginning I remember my first $10,000 I earned – I put it straight to work in the markets so I could use those dividends and capital appreciation gains (never the principle) to buy my groceries. As I earned and saved more I used that capital to pay for my next expense item on my budget. Line by line I saved my way to financial independence by building a minion army that was behind me 100%, cheering me on and working tirelessly towards the same goal. Build your colony, unlock your financial freedom – put your money minions to work for you today!
Put your money to work. Money ages and dies. Build an army of Money Minions that will live forever. Then, live off the fruits of their labours. If put to work properly, your money minion colony, will outlive you and likely produce fruits for your generations to come.
What is your relationship with money like? How could you improve this relationship? It’s all about the mentality shift – I’d love to hear about your money mind tricks. How do you convince yourself to save and build that financial freedom portfolio? Do you have an army of money minions you have set to work. I love the money minion colony analogy – it’s neat imagery that really helps me stay focused on: paying myself first, never spending the principle, and always keeping my money properly invested & diversified.