By now you’ve probably realized this blog is a bit different from others in the personal finance arena. Sure, we talk plenty about taxes, investing, frugality, retirement and more, but how we go about it is different on a very subtle level.
The general media and popular bloggers of personal finance preach the same information without saying anything new. They spout “spend less than you earn”, “invest in index funds” and discourse endlessly about the 4% safe withdrawal rate from retirement accounts.
Yes, you might find often repeated advice motivational (I do), but you can go almost anywhere to hear it. Dave Ramsey is right. Get rid of debt! You do this by spending less than you earn. Baby steps help as you develop your financial skills. Then what?
However, once you get serious—I mean really serious—advice like “spend less than you earn” seems darn basic. Heck, grandpa told you that 30 years ago without referencing any blogs or media outlets. You need better information if you are going to climb to the next level.
In the early days of this blog I worked hard to find a place in the demographic. I always wanted to take the less traveled road. If everyone said you should retire early and travel the world, I pointed out the flaws in the logic. Conventional wisdom—much like the herd of lemmings racing for the cliff—is wrong!
If I was to add something to the heap of personal finance material already in existence, I would need to take drastic measures. And do it subtly!
You might notice the bloggers spouting the same gibberish get picked up by mass media outlets while your favorite blog (that had better be this one!) gets nary a mention. The reason for this is people prefer the familiar to an honest answer that could make a real difference.
Therein lies the risk to your wealth. The pantheon of bloggers telling you the same message risks you joining the herd. And as we all know, the herd gets slaughtered. (Grilling season is right around the corner.)
If it’s easy and fits in a witty soundbite (or click-bait title) it gets more attention. But this isn’t necessarily good for you financially.
I made you, readers of this blog, a promise. Last autumn I promised to change the tempo of this blog, focusing on you, the reader. Prior to that I provided good information, but always with a jaundiced eye toward what would bring in more readers. That required me to sound like everyone else.
But you can’t point out the flaws in over-simplistic information by sounding the same horn. If I was to give my readers a chance to put at minimum $1 million dollars in their pocket, I had to step up my game.
I did that before to some extent with a few notable exceptions when I sold out to the crowd. Time for consistency.
Things are different now. When was the last time a blogger dropped north of $16,000 to test outsourcing so his readers could benefit?
I’m not talking about building an addition to your home and making a blog post out of it. The blogger benefits regardless. I’m talking about dropping serious cash to explore an option with the benefit going to the reader whether it worked or not.
In the office they said I was nuts with my outsourcing idea. It turns out I was. Still, readers won! Other tax professionals (even those hiring a tax pro) received valuable information on a powerful trend affecting many industries.
That is what I mean by being different for the benefit of the readers of this blog.
Million Dollar Opportunities
So how can reading this blog add $1 million to your wallet?
You have probably read blog posts on side gigs that pay well. All those posts and articles in the popular media outlets spout pretty much the same thing. And the biggest complaint is that they don’t work as promised.
The reason they don’t work as promised is because they require a special skill (maintenance man for landlords) or have low expectations (dog walker or Uber driver). Sure, you can make money house sitting and walking the neighbors dog, but the opportunities are limited and frequently less than satisfying ways to spend a day. Doing what nobody else wants to is not a side gig; it’s as torturous as working for the man!
This blog has offered several side gig ideas over the years as well:
- Tax Preparation (What do you expect from a blog called The Wealthy Accountant?)
- Forensic Accounting
- And even a list of 12 seasonal, high-paying side gigs.
Several additional idea have been interspersed throughout the text.
The nice thing about my side gig recommendations is that they are rarely mentioned outside this blog. And you can do these all from home. Many small tax offices are run out of the owner’s home. It keeps costs low and allows you to stay small so it doesn’t overtake your life.
Forensic accounting, for example, is a wide open field. Yes, you can work for someone else, but you can also start your own business specializing without any formal education, except what you learned reading The Wealthy Accountant. Nothing is more rewarding than helping people find financial stuff they thought lost forever.
Flaws and Solutions
So how do you get your hands on the promised $1 million?
Lists of side gigs have one inherent problem—they lack details. It’s wonderful to tell someone they need a dog walking job, but then forget to provide a play-by-play to do so. My post on 12 seasonal, high-paying side gigs has the same flaw. It takes the shotgun approach and fails as all other similar attempts do.
I did a better job outlining tax preparation and forensic accounting as a side gig. I recommend reviewing those posts if you are serious about a side hustle that is fun and very profitable.
Most opportunities are more subtle. Last week I published on when it’s a bad idea to add to your retirement account. The wire to my email box melted off after I published that. I think I had more people contact me asking for help on this than read the article. (That’s not as much of an exaggeration as you might think.}
The flaw with most blog posts and popular media articles is trying to serve everyone. The solution is to serve just one person: you, the reader.
You can’t give 30 good ideas and expect people to use any! Research into retirement plans has made this clear. (Several research papers have found that the more options you give people the less action they take.)
That is why I don’t tell you each week is yet another great side hustle idea.
Take last week’s post, for example. I provided multiple examples of situations where adding to a retirement account would exacerbate future tax problems. Several solutions were provided while special note was made that facts and circumstances of the individual would prevail (we are all unique).
I know many readers understand full-well what I was talking about. Focusing on this one special situation is a massive side hustle opportunity with plenty of income potential.
I charge $350 an hour for consulting on stuff like this and I’m booked out till Christmas. You can be just as booked with a few strategically placed speaking presentations at a local Optimist Club or Eagles. The average client will save well into the six figures in taxes and net worth. You will log an average of over 5 hours per client at your regular rate.
Show Me the Money
It’s all about focus. You can’t be everything to everyone. (God knows I tried.)
Find your niche, get good at it and sell it to the world.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns a lot of different companies. But Warren does only one thing: allocating capital. He is really good at one thing and let’s others do that they specialize in.
The same applies to you. Find that one niche that tickles you and exploit it.
Don’t worry about not liking it down the road. I tried a lot of different things. That is why I have so much to share here. I’m always into something.
It’s okay to get good at something, do it for a while and then move to something else. I did it my entire life (all under the umbrella of my tax practice, my true focus) to great success.
It’s About More Than Earning Money
So far I focused on earning more. Plenty of readers have reminded me it isn’t worth cutting taxes if you are earning minimum wage. Many have lamented not having money to invest so I started with earning more money.
You can pick almost any post on this blog and turn it into a profitable side hustle. I warn you to only focus on one project at a time if you want to keep your sanity. It’s also more profitable that way
But now that you are earning more money you need to know what to do with it. I’ve discussed that a lot too.
The conventional wisdom is to drop the whole shebang into an index fund and live with the results. It’s sound advice if you can live with the decision.
Instead, I encourage readers to put most of their liquid assets into index funds and also have a small mad money account for crazy ideas.
But serious money doesn’t belong in a mad money account! That is why I recently revealed I’m dropping my mad money account. Money is too important to just throw away on crazy ideas!
When it comes to investing, emotions are the most important element. I’ve witnessed so many clients over the years in my office lose money on investments they were stellar performers. The constant buying high, only to be scared out of the investment on a temporary pullback, is cancer to a portfolio.
Last December the stock market dropped around 20%. People in the demographic that read blogs like this one were starting to panic. And there was no real pain at that point! On Facebook people were screaming they were ready to pull the plug (sell into the down market).
I was buying more. I actually bought my largest portfolio addition of the year on Christmas Eve, the market low of the pullback. I was able to buy when others panicked because I had no emotional attachment to my investments.
When it comes to investing I recommend reading the same thing again and again until it sinks in as long as what you are reading tells you to not trade based on the current direction of stock prices.
If you are good with numbers and have a small amount of business training (you read good business books) you can research potential investments outside an index fund.
I frequently share what I am buying (and every so often, selling) in a private Facebook group. If you want to join just make a request. Since I run the group you have a good chance of becoming part of our tribe. Just mention this blog post and I promise quick approval.
Here’s Your Check
None of this should be surprising. Picking up a side gig where you don’t have to run the world (just focus on a narrow service) is the perfect solution to increasing your income.
Learning to set aside emotions (something I publish about a lot when the market is down so readers don’t make a stupid mistake) takes practice. If you master that trait you will watch your net worth rise higher than Jack’s beanstalk.
And it doesn’t take long either. I’ve seen more people build a million dollar income and/or net worth in a manner of a few years more times than I can count. It happens a lot more often than people realize.
Once you learn the secret (it’s not much of a secret anymore) all that is left is controlling emotions.
Set your focus on one post here and read it several times. Then follow the links, if provided. Read outside this blog, too. I don’t know everything and my worldview isn’t absolute.
Where possible, run scenarios. (Example: If you plan on helping people optimize the right amount to invest in retirement accounts versus non-qualified accounts, run a few few tests to see how the numbers interplay with the tax code.)
Then set a game plan to acquire clients. I’d tell you how to do this, but I already have (check the link).
Now that you have more money, sock half of it into an index fund. Leave a bit to the side for what I call pleasure investing. Research companies you are familiar with (maybe you use their product or work in the same field they serve). When you find an under-priced gem, buy. (Next week I’ll show you where I find under-valued stocks.)
It’s as simple as that.
If you follow what I outlined in this post you should see no less than $1 million of income and net worth growth above what you already have. All you need to decide is how fast you want it.
More Wealth Building Resources
Credit Cards can be a powerful money management tool when used correctly. Use this link to find a listing of the best credit card offers. You can expand your search to maximize cash and travel rewards.
Personal Capital is an incredible tool to manage all your investments in one place. You can watch your net worth grow as you reach toward financial independence and beyond. Did I mention Personal Capital is free?
Side Hustle Selling tradelines yields a high return compared to time invested, as much as $1,000 per hour. The tradeline company I use is Tradeline Supply Company. Let Darren know you are from The Wealthy Accountant. Call 888-844-8910, email Darren@TradelineSupply.com or read my review.
Medi-Share is a low cost way to manage health care costs. As health insurance premiums continue to sky rocket, there is an alternative preserving the wealth of families all over America. Here is my review of Medi-Share and additional resources to bring health care under control in your household.
QuickBooks is a daily part of life in my office. Managing a business requires accurate books without wasting time. QuickBooks is an excellent tool for managing your business, rental properties, side hustle and personal finances.
A cost segregation study can reduce taxes $100,000 for income property owners. Here is my review of how cost segregation studies work and how to get one yourself.