Secrets to Getting Rich - II - The Daily Reckoning
The Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner
On This Day - 23 September 2014
Secrets to Getting Rich - II A  A  A

Delray Beach, Florida

We're on our way back to Baltimore.

The Dow was down yesterday, but not alarmingly.

Meanwhile, comes more evidence that the dollar is doomed. It may get a boost in the short-run from Europe's ultra low rates. But the handwriting is moving from the wall to the newspaper headlines. This, from ZeroHedge:

    "Russia FinMin Calls For Shift Away From US Treasurys Into BRIC Bonds, Settlement In Non-Dollar Currencies

    ...Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, told Rossiya TV in an interview earlier today, [that BRICs] should conduct transactions in national currencies, bypassing cross-rates with the US Dollar, adding that "we can easily make mutual settlements directly," and the mechanism should be beneficial to both sides of transactions.

    And if it wasn't clear by now, Russia pivot away from the west and toward China is pretty much complete. Medvedev also said that "our collaboration with China is of strategic importance. We have great, brilliant political contacts, we have excellent economic relations. [China] is our strategic partner, and we are interested in expanding the volume of cooperation. We are not afraid of collaborating because we are confident that this is equal, friendly and mutually beneficial collaboration in all areas."
Portugal in the 15th century. Then Spain in the 16th. Followed by the Netherlands. France. England. And finally, the US. Each empire gets its chance to throw its weight around...and its money. About a century for each.

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Now, it's America's turn. But the US Empire already lives on borrowed money...and borrowed time. The dollar. The US stock market. US bonds. The whole US capital structure is overpriced...and in danger.

Anything could happen in the near term. But in the long term...all will go down.

In the meantime, we continue our series on "How to Get Rich."

You'll recall, the first secret is that you cannot fear poverty. Otherwise, you can't take the chances you need to take if you are to accumulate substantial wealth.

You'll recall also that there are only three important decisions in life: What you do...Where you do it...and with whom you do it. Here, we continue our series with more on...

What You Do...

Imagine a man who is a great chef. He loves cooking. So he opens a restaurant and it is an immediate success. Seeing the possibilities, he takes his recipes, trains other chefs, and opens other restaurants. Pretty soon, he has restaurants all over town...and the money is rolling in.

But now he is no longer doing what he likes to do. Instead of cooking, he's running a complicated business; he's become a manager and administrator. He's figuring out tax strategies, leverage, and cost control.

"I've become a damned accountant," he says. "I hate accounting."

The real fun is getting money, not having it. Once you have it, the fun is over. This is partly because of the nature of wealth itself. In order to get it, you have to be expansive, ambitious, and optimistic. But once you have it, you have to change your personality to cope with protect it...and to administer it. Instead of an entrepreneur...and a builder of must become a custodian...and a conservator.

You can no longer be the same person you were. You have to assume that the worst will happen...because it probably will. Now you have to be cautious, careful, distrustful, cynical, and pessimistic. You're no longer expanding your wealth; now, it shrinks while you do all you can to try to stop nature from running her course. In short, you are no longer a young man full of energy and are now an old man trying to stop the clock.

And then, when you are no longer building a fortune, you have to do something else. But what? You look for things to do...ways to past the time...things that you can convince yourself are meaningful or fun. But they are usually just big time wasters - art, charities, sports, entertainments.

Often, the positions a rich person puts himself in are not only dull, they're also fraudulent. He has made a lot of money in one business, so he thinks he will be competent and successful in others. Remarkably, others think so too! So he could end up as chairman of a local hospital board or maybe the head of its investment committee. But nothing in his career prepares him for the petty politics of a charity board of directors...or the deceptive nuances of the investment world. He is not only miserable because he feels he is wasting his time; his projects also end in failure. The hospital board gets itself into a nasty internal feud...and he cuts the hospital fund - and his own fortune -- in half, mistakenly believing that he knows what he is doing.

We did not make that mistake. We have not retired. Still, we have suffered from wealth. Tune in tomorrow to find out how...

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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