To what do you attribute your financial success?

  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Dec 05, 2013 3:50 PM GMT
    This is a relative question. For instance, you need not possess great wealth or an incredible income to be financially successful as success one measures on his own. There are many things that can contribute to one's financial success across a broad spectrum. What are they?
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Dec 05, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidEntrepreneurship and sex appeal.


    Never underestimate sex appeal. So do you think race came into play in reagrds to your sexiness? I have bumped into organizations that only promoted blond haired blue eyed men who stood at least 6'4" as well as an Asian restaurant chain that only hired Asian managers.
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    Dec 05, 2013 4:21 PM GMT
    Luck.

    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude
  • conservativej...

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    Dec 05, 2013 4:25 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland saidLuck.

    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude


    That is very often the case, but I would substitute "a well managed series of events" for luck. icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 05, 2013 4:33 PM GMT
    Honestly, hard work and perseverance. I started at the bottom of the ladder, really bottom, entry level job and worked my way up to one of the highest paid employees in the company. I don't make millions for sure, but I feel I make a good salary and have developed marketable skills. I didn't move from job to job but remained in one place for 30 years. I saved, invested, prepared for retirement very early and I think I'll be OK for retirement. I'm too young to retire yet but, given the right offer, might consider changing job now that I'm in the KMA club here! LOLicon_eek.gificon_eek.gif
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    Dec 05, 2013 4:38 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland saidLuck.
    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude

    I would like to think my skin color was not a factor but I'll never know, it was all in the hands of HR department. I didn't have any other people, except references, that gave me the edge. My application was deep 6'd, because I had been fired from my previous job,and then later retrieved by an HR recruiter (found out much later in my career). The firing had nothing to do with me or my work (long story, think of disgruntled owner's wife).

    Not sure if today's applicants would be as lucky with the competition and requirement of education. It's sort of a shame that people aren't evaluated on their own merits rather than just some piece of paper showing they attended class each day.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 05, 2013 4:47 PM GMT
    Hard work, dedication and a structured approach with my financial business. Spending money where prudent and cutting when necessary. Also living a lifestyle that is practical, reasonable and no "excesses" as far as I am concerned. Also the ability to be flexible and make changes to "the plan" if that becomes necessary.. as it did in 2009.
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    Dec 05, 2013 5:38 PM GMT
    How I made my first million:

    I bought an apple for $.25, cut it in quarters and sold each quarter for $.50, thus realizing a profit of $1.75. I did this again, and again, and again until I had amassed the sum of $39,155 dollars. It was then that my wife's father died and left us a million dollars.


    No, seriously (I've inherited nothing - yet). I've been working since I was 9 in one job or another. I did get to go to a great university, but paid back all of my tuition in installments for 5 years after graduation. Someone said being white may have helped. To the contrary, some of my fraternity brothers were talking the other day at Homecoming week parties, and we realize that with Affirmative Action, there's a good chance that those of us who are white may not even get into our own universities if we were applying today - - just to make room for someone of color. So being white, male, etc. today may actually hold you back in some cases.

    After graduation, I worked on my goals, and let nothing stand in my way of going after bigger & better jobs, buying real estate, trading one house for another, sweat equity, and just using my brain to try not to waste money. For instance, one thing I did right early on was to drive an older (paid-for) car, so I could save the down payment for my first house (you had to put 20% down in the 80's, so it took a lot of work to come up with that amount in California, without parental help - which I didn't have). So - instead of having car payments, I put all that money into an account for a house. Guys I knew who were making big car payments had nothing for a down payment (until their parents chipped in). (End of my rant!)
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Dec 05, 2013 5:40 PM GMT
    I attribute my financial success to the ability to deal with poverty.
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    Dec 05, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    Having better performance numbers than the others. Any time you are assessed by numbers rather than opinions, you have the opportunity to transcend stupid office politics.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 05, 2013 5:53 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    CFL_Oakland saidLuck.
    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude

    I would like to think my skin color was not a factor but I'll never know, it was all in the hands of HR department. I didn't have any other people, except references, that gave me the edge. My application was deep 6'd, because I had been fired from my previous job,and then later retrieved by an HR recruiter (found out much later in my career). The firing had nothing to do with me or my work (long story, think of disgruntled owner's wife).

    Not sure if today's applicants would be as lucky with the competition and requirement of education. It's sort of a shame that people aren't evaluated on their own merits rather than just some piece of paper showing they attended class each day.

    That's a cop-out. The fact is, our country has a long history of preferential testament based on race. You probably experience the advantage of light skin every time you're out in public. For instance, three white guys driving around together get to where they want to go. Three black guys driving around together get pulled over. It's those little (OK, maybe not so little) inequalities that add up and effect the quality of your life, your family's life, and even the whole community.
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    Dec 05, 2013 6:21 PM GMT
    I also feel that luck was a definite factor.

    Loving the work that I did, so it didn't seem like I was working hard because I loved it. And the work I loved doing paid well (computer programming and systems administration). That was the lucky part; accidently discovering I loved working with computers.

    Understanding the difference between needing something and wanting something.

    Saving up for things instead of using credit cards or loans.
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    Dec 05, 2013 6:42 PM GMT
    Just to come off the hot-button issues a bit, I do believe that growing up in a home with two college-educated parents improves your odds immensely. It's still possible to mess up, but many of the pitfalls are avoided.

    I have no doubt that extremely successful people work harder than me, but I also feel that many working poor do as well. That my skills are more highly valued than theirs is due to opportunities that were practically a birthright.
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    Dec 05, 2013 6:50 PM GMT
    We should all probably add that being a man makes a big difference.

    I believe that genetics makes a definite difference in our mental makeup and that women are genetically programmed to prefer being mothers and homemakers. Men are also more likely to enjoy problem solving.

    My experience has been that women in the IT field are nowhere near as self motivated as their male counterparts. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to have an innate geek orientation. (And yet many women love to complain about salary inequities.) On the other hand, I do think that women often make better managers; they're better at interpersonal stuff and team building.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:01 PM GMT
    To what extent am I financially successful? Hard to say, but I had a great education, and I invested well - at least in the last 20 years. If anyone takes advice, mine would be to have no debt (or as little debt as possible), contribute the maximum allowable amount each year to a Roth IRA (and 401K, if you have one), and save beyond that. All savings should be invested in something. One cannot start saving too young - like right after college. I only wish I had started that early.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:02 PM GMT
    (Taking notes...)
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:11 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland saidLuck.

    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude


    I don't know which of these is more wrong...

    Luck means nothing because it is realistically not permanent in the long run, unless you just hit the jackpot and that lucky day made you affluent.

    Being white? I don't even know what that would have to do with anything, unless you grew up in the 1920s-60s, but if you are 30 you were probably job-hunting in the early 2000s, so that doesn't apply to you.

    College-educated parents, well, they're better guidance, but at the end of the day you do what you want. I've seen way more unsuccessful brats with both parents as doctors than I have seen successful ones, by far.

    Male, well, that does have some truth to it because we are bigger risk takers usually, but nowadays women are showing us up, and you see that at the high-school/college level, and now even in the workforce in many industries.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:16 PM GMT
    HikerSkier saidTo what extent am I financially successful? Hard to say, but I had a great education, and I invested well - at least in the last 20 years. If anyone takes advice, mine would be to have no debt (or as little debt as possible), contribute the maximum allowable amount each year to a Roth IRA (and 401K, if you have one), and save beyond that. All savings should be invested in something. One cannot start saving too young - like right after college. I only wish I had started that early.


    I always say this just to provide counterpoint, but if you are young, don't fret about savings THAT much. As you get older you make MUCH more money, so as long as you don't buy too much dumb stuff you can catch up easily. Interest rates right now are practically zero, so even compound interest doesn't add up that much.

    There is a degree of invaluable social capital that comes with spending fairly freely. Don't pile up credit card debt, of course, but don't miss out on opportunities (travel, happy hours with other professionals, gym memberships) whose value may not be immediately apparent because you're worrying about your 401k.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland said
    HikerSkier saidTo what extent am I financially successful? Hard to say, but I had a great education, and I invested well - at least in the last 20 years. If anyone takes advice, mine would be to have no debt (or as little debt as possible), contribute the maximum allowable amount each year to a Roth IRA (and 401K, if you have one), and save beyond that. All savings should be invested in something. One cannot start saving too young - like right after college. I only wish I had started that early.


    I always say this just to provide counterpoint, but if you are young, don't fret about savings THAT much. As you get older you make MUCH more money, so as long as you don't buy too much dumb stuff you can catch up easily. Interest rates right now are practically zero, so even compound interest doesn't add up that much.

    There is a degree of invaluable social capital that comes with spending fairly freely. Don't pile up credit card debt, of course, but don't miss out on opportunities (travel, happy hours with other professionals, gym memberships) whose value may not be immediately apparent because you're worrying about your 401k.

    Really can't disagree with this - but not all interest rates are "practically zero." For example, right now, one can buy Bank of America preferred stock (one of many prefereds on the market) that pays over 6-1/2%, and it's not callable for 4 years. Better than a stick in the eye.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 05, 2013 7:25 PM GMT
    Fnole said
    CFL_Oakland saidLuck.

    being white, male, having college-educated parents, and above average aptitude


    I don't know which of these is more wrong...

    Luck means nothing because it is realistically not permanent in the long run, unless you just hit the jackpot and that lucky day made you affluent.

    Being white? I don't even know what that would have to do with anything, unless you grew up in the 1920s-60s, but if you are 30 you were probably job-hunting in the early 2000s, so that doesn't apply to you.

    College-educated parents, well, they're better guidance, but at the end of the day you do what you want. I've seen way more unsuccessful brats with both parents as doctors than I have seen successful ones, by far.

    Male, well, that does have some truth to it because we are bigger risk takers usually, but nowadays women are showing us up, and you see that at the high-school/college level, and now even in the workforce in many industries.

    Some of this may seem like great advice, but it's false hope for the masses. Fortuitous and ambitious people aside, really, when it comes down to dollars and cents, the deck is stacked. Unsuccessful rich kids are relatively rich compared to unsuccessful poor kids, and there are also measurable financial inequalities among men and women and among races.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 05, 2013 7:29 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidHow I made my first million:

    I bought an apple for $.25, cut it in quarters and sold each quarter for $.50, thus realizing a profit of $1.75. I did this again, and again, and again until I had amassed the sum of $39,155 dollars. It was then that my wife's father died and left us a million dollars.


    No, seriously (I've inherited nothing - yet). I've been working since I was 9 in one job or another. I did get to go to a great university, but paid back all of my tuition in installments for 5 years after graduation. Someone said being white may have helped. To the contrary, some of my fraternity brothers were talking the other day at Homecoming week parties, and we realize that with Affirmative Action, there's a good chance that those of us who are white may not even get into our own universities if we were applying today - - just to make room for someone of color. So being white, male, etc. today may actually hold you back in some cases.

    After graduation, I worked on my goals, and let nothing stand in my way of going after bigger & better jobs, buying real estate, trading one house for another, sweat equity, and just using my brain to try not to waste money. For instance, one thing I did right early on was to drive an older (paid-for) car, so I could save the down payment for my first house (you had to put 20% down in the 80's, so it took a lot of work to come up with that amount in California, without parental help - which I didn't have). So - instead of having car payments, I put all that money into an account for a house. Guys I knew who were making big car payments had nothing for a down payment (until their parents chipped in). (End of my rant!)

    Are your fraternity brothers a diverse mix of races with a clear perspective? Affirmative action is the law to prevent the segregation that leads to unequal education in the first place. It's commendable that you worked hard and made money on real estate, but it's a fact that there is racial discrimination in lending and housing. Your advice has a caveat, and that's that it assumes you won't face racial discrimination. And the idea that white people can't get into college because they're white is ridiculous. It just sounds like they don't want to to offer any advantages to people who have clearly been treated unequally throughout our history. If you're poor and white you can't blame successful black people. Living in a racist country means we're all playing with a loaded deck, and Affirmative action is really a few wild cards to try to make it fair, so that people on both sides of the tragic divide have a chance to win.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:31 PM GMT
    Blind luck.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    I attribute my financial success to my education on debt to income ratio. In other words, I never spend beyond my means and when I set financial goals, I make sure that I meet them.

    As for the comment mentioned on a correlation between success and skin color, I can be convinced that there is some truth to this. I used to work in the financial arena and what I've noticed is that the top executives and business leaders were all of the same race. Granted, my exposure has only been in the Southeast. Perhaps other areas of the country are different in their leadership demographics (if that makes sense).

    Regardless, I'm happy with what I'm doing now. I'm taking advantage of the tons of rewards associated with my career....rewards that I will never experience in the financial world.
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:35 PM GMT
    Definitely my cock..
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    Dec 05, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
    Live a frugal life, and not care about keeping up with Jones' so to speak.