If You Want To Get Rich, Stop Messing Around! Thumbnail

After three open houses and a couple hours of analysis, I thought I picked the top 5 rental candidates with the best financial records, but I was wrong.  All was fine until my fourth and last open house when a 28 year old single guy who graduated from CalTech came in and applied.  He is a software engineer at Google and makes $450,000 a year!  What the……

In addition to his eye-boggling income, he has $400,000 saved up after 6 years of working.  Perhaps some of that is 401K or Google stock, but whatever the case, I was blown away.  The 35 year old cardiologist who makes $300,000 has nothing on this Google guy, partly because the doc is in so much debt and also because he is so anal!  After 20 questions, you’ve got to give a person some breathing room buddy.

When I went to business school, a third of my classmates were engineers because they were the smartest people who were “stuck” making $150,000-$200,000 a year.  They saw their less smart colleagues in sales and marketing move up in the firm and make $300,000+ a year and were envious.  These guys all got 730+ on their GMATs out of 800 and 3.8+ GPAs out of 4.0.  It seemed obvious to me they had a chip on their shoulder and felt like they should be running the place.

The Googler’s applicant simply shattered my belief that engineers face a ceiling.  If you are 28 years old and making $450,000, you are absolutely crushing it.  Only in industries such as private equity, money management, and banking do 28 year olds with 6 years of experience make this kinda dough.  Even if you went to Yale Law School and joined super prestigious Wachtel Lipton, you start off at around a $200,000 base (vs. $160,000 base for the other top 20 corporate law firms) and a potential $100,000 bonus.

The war for talent is on!  So what about the rest of us?


It upsets me that the difference between the haves and have-nots is widening.  I know there are people who are unemployed and living at their parent’s house.  I know people who go into a lot of student debt only to find a job making $12 bucks an hour at Starbucks.  Yet, over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen some of the most decorated candidates around, all vying to rent my average two bedroom apartment for $3,500 a month.  Only one of the 20+ applicants will get chosen, and they are ALL highly qualified!

If you are making $250,000-$350,000 a year and cannot lock down an apartment to rent, that is absolutely ridiculous!  San Francisco must be a fairy land.  So the big question is, if these guys can’t get a place, what chance in hell does the person making $150,000, $100,000, and $50,000 a year have in living in a decent apartment in a nice neighborhood?  It’s impossible to compete because of the relative competition.  At some point, things unravel and San Francisco becomes prohibitively expensive and firms move out.  You must compete on kindness, which is something not to be underestimated.

Some questions to ask yourself:

Why only study 5 hours a day and get into a 50th ranked school when you could study 10 hours a day and get into a 10th ranked school and potentially be set for life?

Why exercise 1 hour a week and be unhappy with your body when you could exercise 5 hours a week and feel great about your body?

Why get in like every other bozo at 8am when you could come in at 7:30am, get so much more done, avoid traffic, be recognized by your hard work and get paid and promoted?

Why wait a week to respond to your e-mails when you could respond within 2 hours and impress potential partners with your efficiency?

Why not take the time to read the instructions and figure things out on your own, rather than use your bullet to annoy instead of impress?

Why think small when you can think big?

Why be an asshole when you could be a nice?

Ahhhhhhh, the mysteries of the world dumb-found me!


Good morning sunshine!  If you knew you’d be financially set if you got into Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Brown. U Penn, Cooper Union, and join a firm like Google as a software engineer, wouldn’t you work like hell to get there?  Wouldn’t you force your kids to stop slacking off?

All it takes is studying 8+ hours a day, taking practice test after practice test, and developing a unique skill and personality that will differentiate you from the rest.  Even if you messed up and didn’t go to a great school, there is still time NOW for you to be the best at what you do with extra effort.

Here’s the kick in the booty.  The guy at Google making $450,000 a year is getting pinged by the folks at Twitter who want to give him a promotion and pay him $600,000 a year with more stock options!  Why else did Google raise salaries by 10% across the board last year?  In fact, if you are the best at what you do in any field, you will get a highly disproportionate number of phone calls from people and organizations trying to woo you.

If you are in the bottom half of what you do, good luck chuck because nobody is going to want to pay you the big bucks when there are plenty more qualified people than you.  The bottom half should just be happy they have a job in an economic downturn!

The Google software engineer is just an example.  We can turn the question around and ask: If you knew you could quit your day job in three years if you started a blog, joined the Yakezie, and work hard to network and write consistent content, wouldn’t you?  Do rabbits like to jump and hump?


For some reason, I get e-mails from folks who ask what I think is the answer to financial success.  First, it’s whatever financial success means to you since many people can live happily earning $35,000 a year.  Without debt, I know I can.

Second, if you desire for a little more, then the answer is simply to get the best education possible and be so good at your job that no company can afford to not pay you gobs of money.  And if you’re an entrepreneur, simply have the most useful product out there.  If you are talented enough to know how to communicate, analyze, interact, and understand without any education, more power to you!  I’m too much of a dumb-ass to figure things out on myself.

$450,000 a year is gobs of money for a 28 year old.  And when the 28 year old turns 35, he’ll be making that much more.  Not everybody can go to CalTech with a sub 8% acceptance rate.  But the beauty of economics is that there are plenty of high quality schools that will let you in if you are the best and pay them money.  It’s the same thing with anything you do, be it the blog with the most consistent and entertaining content, the product that is most effective, and so forth.

“Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars……”?


It’s been six years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good multiple six figure income stream online now. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic, which makes much of my online earnings highly passive.

I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom in your life, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. Hosting costs less than $5 a month.

The actions you take today help create your future. You never know where the journey will take you in 2016 and beyond!