Money Talks #1: 37 Year-Old Millionaire Discusses How He Turned His Finances Around

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Money Talks

is our millionaire interview series whereby we feature anonymous millionaires to learn more about how people make money and accumulate wealth. If you would like to be featured, please email [email protected]

Money Talks #1

1. How old are you? And how long have you been a millionaire?

I am 37 years old. I have been a millionaire for about two years.

2. What is your current net worth?

My net worth is around $1.6 million.

3. How did you make your first million?

Well, it wasn’t the easiest path. My 20s were basically a waste thanks to a lot of unnecessary spending, partying and just thinking I had all the time in the world to catch up. But hopefully reading about someone who came into their 30s with basically nothing inspires anyone reading this. It is never to late to get your finances and career in order. And now that mine are, I think my second, third and fourth million will come a lot quicker thanks to passive income and dividends.

To better answer your question, the first million was made through stacking profits of my very small 3-person e-Commerce business. I always thought I needed an exit to achieve wealth, but a small business that generates a fair bit of cash and has very high profit margins with little risk is the way to go.

4. What do you do for a living? Is it something you wanted to do?

I own and operate a mid-sized internet-based e-commerce business. It’s not necessarily something I always wanted to do, but I always to wake up every day not dreading what I do for a living. When this opportunity came along I saw it as a way to do that.

5. What is your typical work week like (i.e., hours / week, days / week, time management)?

I am still in wealth accumulation mode — trying to make up for all the money management mistakes I made in my 20s — so my work week is pretty full. From Monday to Friday I generally work from 8am-5pm and then 8-10:30pm at night.

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6. Do you keep a detailed monthly budget? Why or why not?

Generally, the only time I keep a detailed budget in my personal life is when there is a project to tackle at our house since those can get out of hand with contractors and all that. I have always been a saver by nature so I would never allow my family’s spending to get out of control. I could have definitely used a budget in my 20s. Or a better personal finance education. 

Rather than tracking every penny, I track our net worth on monthly basis and as long as we are still hitting our investment goals — and we automate those payments to our investment accounts — I don’t think we need to keep a detailed budget.

7. What would you tell your grandchildren today if you were going to try and influence or shape their lives?

I don’t have grandchildren, but what I hope to teach my children at a young age is the value of a financial education and the importance of time and compound interest. And I’ll do that by setting up an investment account for each of them. High schools and universities do a terrible job at preparing young people for the real world from a financial sense. If I knew then what I know now, I’d already be set for life.

8. What characteristics or traits do you believe successful people have in common?

I think successful people, entrepreneurs or otherwise, need to have an amazing amount of follow through. An idea is worthless without the willingness to take that idea and execute on it.

9. What are some of your financial goals right now?

Continuing to grow my investment portfolio is a major priority. I would ideally like to have enough yearly passive investment and dividend income to live off of within the next five years. It is a lofty goal, but financial independence is my main money goal over the short term.

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Another goal, which is more like a chore, is to get my wife to buy into the idea of geographical arbitrage. We currently live in a very expensive state with high property taxes. With the ability for both of us to be location independent with our jobs, it seems financially foolish to continue living here.

10. What is the stupidest thing you spend your money on?

I’ll take the bait here, and I know I’m going to offend the F.I.R.E. (Financial. Independence Retire. Early.) community, but my biggest money “mistake” has to be my car lease. I understand why owning a reasonably priced car and driving it to its grave is a better financial decision, but that doesn’t mean I have to do it.

11. What would you like to be remembered for, ultimately?

In life, a loving father, husband, friend, etc. In business, someone who treated people the way they deserve to be treated.

12. What do you do daily that gives you the success you are looking for?

Take time to focus on family, fitness, personal relationships and interests that don’t involve generating income. That is the most important thing to me. To realize that without all of the things that have nothing to do with my business or investments I would just be a guy who has some money and not much else.

13. What are the top 3 investments (stocks, ETFs, real estate, etc) that you are currently most excited about?

Tough question! For the most part, I try to keep 85% of my investments in ETFs (VTI and VHYAX) so hopefully this isn’t too boring for your audience.

1. QYLD – I recently invested in this, it is a Nasdaq 100 covered call ETF and it has a 12% annual dividend. Dividends stocks aren’t as exciting as growth stocks but 12% gets me going!

2. KMPH – Kempharm is a pre revenue biotech with two FDA approvals, excellent distribution partners and a pipeline that includes what could be the first ever FDA approved SUD drug. This one is a long hold, but I think it could be a 10x return in the matter of 12-24 months.

3. PENN & TSLA – I don’t see either of these companies slowing down in the near future. I believe both can be 2x their current share price within the next 12 months. If there are two people I wouldn’t bet against, it is Elon and Portnoy.

Stay tuned for more millionaire interviews! And, again, ff you would like to be featured, please email [email protected] 

Author
C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.