Not all rich people are famous, and not all famous people are rich. But there’s a good enough correlation between the two to hypothesize that they might be related. There’s a lot of financial advice out there on the internet, but most of it isn’t actually written by people who have a lot of money. In fact, it’s usually stuff that’s been regurgitated from top magazines and finance websites without much thought or insight.
Getting your financial advice from people who are poor is a little bit like getting diet advice from an obese person. It isn’t necessarily wrong. But why would you listen, when there are dozens of slim, healthy nutritionists ready and willing to give you advice.
Here’s what some famous people had to say about managing your personal finances.
Henry Ford was a visionary in many ways. Not only did he start a car company that has survived for more than a hundred years, but he also wanted to spread the wealth around, paying his workers nearly double the going rate in the 1920s.
Ford had some advice for younger people. He said that old men were always imploring the younger generation to save their money for retirement. But Ford said that that was a total waste of time. He didn’t save a nickel until he was forty years old. It’s much better he said, to invest in oneself.
James Burgh was a major political figure. He was certainly somebody who could understand why people might want to go to a personal injury lawyer. His advice was to prepare for change while you’re rich and hope for it while you’re poor. His advice was never to give up and do things that would allow you to smooth your income in good and bad times.
John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller was the richest man to have ever lived. Converted into today’s money, it’s estimated that he would have a fortune of more than $150 billion, or about twice as much as Warren Buffet. He once said that the power to make money was a gift bestowed by God. He said that having been given this gift, it was his duty to use it and to make as much money as he possibly could so that he could then use it to improve the lives of his fellow man.
Mark Cuban is a modern billionaire. His advice to people is to be smart shoppers. Many people plow their money into indexed funds and savings accounts. But he says that you can make far greater returns on your own personal spending. If you know that a business is going to be a success because you’re intimately involved in the industry, invest in it. Don’t bother buying stock options from people you don’t know who themselves don’t know how well they will perform.
Trump offers three pieces of advice. Stick with what you know, listen to your gut and understand that some of your best investments are those you don’t make.