6 Financial Fantasies

by Ron Haynes

Fantasies aren’t necessarily bad, but when they begin to negatively affect your decision making process, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Going through life expecting a large windfall is really a sad way to live. It gives you a false hope and can give you an excuse to make bad financial decisions. After all, if you expect to “one day” hit it big, you can rationalize all sorts of bad decisions.

powerball Here are six typical financial fantasies:

  • I’ll win the lottery and get rich!
  • I’ll flip houses and get rich!
  • I’ll receive an inheritance and get rich!
  • I’ll pick stocks and get rich!
  • I’ll start a blog and get rich!
  • I’ll start an eBay business and get rich!

I’ll win the lottery and get rich!

My 10 year old son has started asking questions about lottery billboards, and thought it would be easy to guess the numbers, so I gave him a shot at guessing which 6 numbers I had written on a piece of paper. He tried over and over, but never got close. After many, many tries, he came to realize how difficult it would be to guess correctly. Finally, he wondered aloud why anyone would waste money on the lottery. It was a proud moment for this Dad!

You won’t win the lottery. Focus instead on learning to manage what you have by creating and living by a budget.

I’ll flip houses and get rich!

Flipping this or flipping that can possibly make you a lot of cash but first, how much real estate experience do you have and buying a personal home doesn’t count. How much design experience do you have? How much cash in reserve do you have. What happens if the house doesn’t sell for 12 to 24 months? Can you handle it?

Flipping houses isn’t easy. Focus instead on finding legitimate ways to make extra money and learning to manage what you make.

I’ll receive an inheritance and get rich!

I’ll skip the part about how distasteful I find it that some people are waiting on a relative to die so they don’t have to learn to manage their own finances. Even if your parents or grandparents have some money, there’s a great chance that their money will be used to pay for their end of life health care and final expenses. Add the fact that any inheritance will be split several ways and probably challenged in court if it isn’t divided equally and hopefully you’ll see that waiting on an inheritance to materialize is a pitiful fantasy.

Don’t count on an inheritance. Even if you do receive on, probate will probably cause it to be much smaller than you think

I’ll pick the right stocks and get rich!

Picking stocks is only for experts and unless you plan to study portfolio management and become intensely knowledgeable about a company or an industry. In How A Second Grader Beats Wall Street, author Alan Roth outlined how 95 percent of stock pickers lose money. What should you do? Read the book and invest in broad based ETFs or mutual funds with low fees.

You won’t be able to pick the next winning stock consistently. Sure you may have a success or two, but you need to match the market’s return over the long haul.

I’ll start a blog and get rich!

No you won’t. It will be a minimum of six months before you get your first check and that’s IF you’ve written about 200 articles and managed to get some strong social media support and links from a lot of other bloggers. It isn’t impossible, but it requires much more work that the average dreamer is willing to do. Blogging is hard work and requires research, a web host, the ability to write, edit, and proofread, as well as the ability to generate buzz.

Building a blog or website is a legitimate way to make extra money, but it takes a lot more work that most people think, and much more work than the sellers of books, ebooks, seminars, or “training programs” will ever admit.

I’ll start an eBay business and get rich!

Yep, you can make money on eBay, but probably not the mega millions promised by shady hucksters hawking seminars and DVDs. The fact is that eBay has made the value of many items more readily accessible and as a result, the prices of everything from baseball cards to antiques have dropped. To make money on eBay, you need to be extremely well versed in your product and know its value. The reality is, with shows like American Pickers and the proliferation of online auctions, making serious money has become much more difficult.

Selling a few personal items here and there on eBay is a great way to clean out the attic, but to make serious money by starting an eBay business is more about creating another job than about getting rich quickly and living life in your pajamas.

Photo by St_A_Sh

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 6 comments }

Suzanne

This post is so timely! As I was driving last night my 6 year old son also saw a lottery sign. You know the one with flashing lights, offering millions to winners? I explained how the lottery works and in his 6 year old mind he said, “You mean I have to use my dollars to win those dollars?” I said, “Yes.” He was not as impressed with the lottery when I explained the odds and his needing to provide “his” dollars to win. He plainly stated, “I think I’ll keep putting them in the bank.” With a sigh of relief, lesson learned!

We are all sucked in at a very young age to be wooed by get rich quick schemes. The truth as we know it are the odds are one in a million and yes we have to keep working, make smart financial decisions, and yes keep putting those dollars in the bank.

Suzanne

Ace

I loved watching those infomercials about flipping houses on TV when I was young. I would think to myself, “When I’m older I’m going to spend my money to flip houses. It seems so easy!” Oh how naïve I was.

In terms of the inheritance, who knows, maybe I have a really really REALLY rich relative I don’t know about yet =P. Okay maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath. Great list!

Ron

Thanks. There’s a lot to finding, buying, renovating, and selling a house. What always got me about those shows were the people that failed to sell the house and 6 months later were forced to live in it for insurance reasons.

Victoria

The only way to get money is to earn it with a job. It’s fun to fantasize, but only if you keep a healthy and realistic spin on it and know it’s just a fantasy and likely always will be.

Estate Yard

In regards to some of these fantasies, such as blogging for riches, picking stocks, etc.. if you are only focusing on the money you will make, you will never reach that goal. As an example, if you constantly focus on how much money your blog will make you, instead of focusing on “how can I improve it and provide quality content?”, you’ll only end up with a worthless blog that will return nothing in terms of profit. You have to focus on the path, not the finish line.

Belmont Thornton

Hey, I even think of finding a chest full of hidden treasure somewhere!! Anyways, your post is nice…

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