Maria’s Note: For this week’s guest edition, we hand the reins to colleague Teeka Tiwari. Like Nomi, Teeka started his career on Wall Street at a young age.
They both got their start in 1987 – the year of the infamous Black Monday crash. And, like Nomi, Teeka walked away from that career after 15 years – to help average folks achieve financial independence.
In this essay, Teeka shares three habits you can adopt today to grow your wealth – no matter where you’re starting. Read on…
I owe my success to America…
If you’ve heard my accent, you know it’s a mishmash of a New York City and an English accent. My friends describe it as “Brooklish” (as in Brooklyn and English).
I wasn’t born here. I grew up in Britain’s foster care system…
I lived in a cramped, unheated room on top of a garage. At night, I watched my breath coil into a frigid mist.
And the future looked as bleak as my tiny room. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve wanted to work in the stock market. I once told my school job counselor this.
His response? He told me I should focus on manual labor. “Be a telephone repairman,” he said.
I knew in my heart that my future was in the financial markets.
As a teenager trapped in the foster care system, I soon realized no one would rescue me… Which meant I had to rescue myself.
So when I turned 16, I left for America.
With just $150 in my pocket, I set a course for the financial capital of the world – New York City.
And what I found changed my life forever.
It was 1987, and New York City was full of enormous opportunity… obscene luxury… and bottomless wealth – all right beside crippling poverty.
I worked three jobs. I even offered to work for free on Wall Street until this guy named Frank gave me a shot.
I started as an assistant for big-time brokers and eventually became a big-time broker myself.
In two years, I became the youngest vice president in Shearson Lehman’s history. And after 15 years on Wall Street, I left to run my own hedge fund for a decade before retiring.
I was never happy on Wall Street.
Sure, the money was good, but something was missing. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was going through life as a taker, not a giver. And that just didn’t sit well with me.
I couldn’t enjoy my wealth because the higher I rose through the ranks, the richer I got… And the more I noticed the widening gap between the elite and regular folks.
Elite investors had access to better research, faster executions, and the most lucrative deals. I realized all I was doing was helping rich people get even richer…
I decided to make a change. I took a risk and quit my job… leaving millions of dollars on the table. I launched my own independent research firm to share my insights with regular investors.
My goal ever since has been to help everyday investors bridge the widening wealth gap. We aren’t born with the knowledge to bridge this gap. So if I can help shorten that time for you, then I believe that’s work worth doing.
Three Habits for Financial Independence
I was raised with some screwy beliefs about money. I was taught money was evil. I was told rich people are mean and underhanded.
Worst of all, I had it hammered into me – I must accept I would never be rich.
Maybe you can identify with that type of upbringing.
Here is what I want you to understand: money is devoid of consciousness. It doesn’t sit there and think, “Oh, this person is deserving. Let me flow to him,” or, “This person is undeserving. Let me not flow to him.”
Rules guide the acquisition of money. These rules will work for anyone.
Rule No. 1: Live on less than you earn.
If you consistently keep more than you spend, you’ll have a surplus of money. Simple, right?
Rule No. 2: Maximize your ability to earn from your current job.
Your single-biggest source of income is your current job. Most jobs will pay you more money as your skill rises.
So the quickest way to make more money is to improve your skills. Put yourself on a skill development track that will make you world-class at your job.
If you don’t know how to do this… no problem. Here’s what you do…
Offer to take the most successful person at your company out to lunch. You’ll ask this person about their work habits. Acknowledge their success and ask them, “What do you do that’s different from everyone else?”
Don’t interrupt them. Just listen and take notes. By the end of the lunch, you’ll have the beginning of a blueprint you can use to become world-class at your job.
If your current employer doesn’t recognize your improved performance, that’s okay… Find another that will. Be sure to negotiate for more money. And never leave a job without having another one lined up first.
Rule No. 3: Create multiple streams of income.
If you’ve nailed the first two rules, No. 3 is how you build your wealth.
This is where you invest in low-risk, income-producing stocks, real estate, or private businesses. Additionally, this is where you can incorporate a “side hustle” for extra income.
Side hustles include – but aren’t limited to – Uber driving, Postmates/Grubhub deliveries, selling crafts on Etsy… buying and selling on eBay, etc…
You just keep reinvesting all your surplus capital into low-risk, income-producing investments, and lo and behold, in about seven years, you’ll be rich.
Did you do anything wrong to get this wealth? Did you tread on anybody to create this wealth?
No, and no.
So you can see wealth creation isn’t complicated. But it isn’t easy. It’s difficult because we’re bombarded with ads to buy stuff every minute of the day.
That makes rule No. 1 – live on less than you earn – the toughest to acquire.
But without that habit, you can never create lasting wealth.
What’s My Agenda?
If I have any agenda, it’s to spread the message that ANYONE can become wealthy.
My entire mission is to take the hard-won wealth-building lessons I’ve acquired and share them with my readers so they can increase their wealth.
I derive more enjoyment from helping everyday investors change their financial lives than I ever did from helping fat cats get fatter.
There’s another reason I’m giving back…
I was never handed anything in life… except a green card that let me work in America.
America gave me the opportunity to get everything I value.
So when I see that flag swaying – and hear the national anthem playing in the background – it still brings tears to my eyes.
I can’t convey in words how I feel about this country. Love is not strong enough. America gave me opportunities, mentors, love, friendship, and the type of painful life lessons only a free-market economy can provide.
And as the holiday season kicks off, I still have faith in America. I still believe you’ll be rewarded if you work hard, save, and invest wisely.
Just like I was…
I know times are tough. But you are tougher. You can take control of your actions and start changing your life right now.
Let the Game Come to You!