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The Leaning Tower of Suburbia

Our school system, created in the Agrarian Age, still believes in homes with no foundation. Dirt floors are still the rage. So kids graduate from school with virtually no financial foundation. One day, sleepless and deep in debt in suburbia, living the American Dream, they decide that the answer to their financial problems is to find a way to get rich quick. Construction on the skyscraper begins. It goes up quickly, and soon, instead of the Empire State Building, we have the Leaning Tower of Suburbia. The sleepless nights return. (Location 821)

The Leaning Tower of Suburbia is really vivid imagery, and goes to show why so few Great American Novels have been birthed from the nook of copy-paste suburbia

Intelligence is the Core of your Asset Portfolio

The point is this: Today we live in times of greater and faster change than these men did. I suspect there will be many booms and busts in the coming years that will parallel the ups and downs these men faced. I am concerned that too many people are too focused on money and not on their greatest wealth, their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer despite tough changes. If they think money will solve problems, they will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. (Location 801)
there is a crucial difference between the human condition and Russian roulette: the probability of winning at Russian roulette is unaffected by anything that the player may think or do. Within its rules, it is a game of pure chance. In contrast, the future of civilization depends entirely on what we think and do. If civilization falls, that will not be something that just happens to us: it will be the outcome of choices that people make. If civilization survives, that will be because people succeed in solving the problems of survival, and that too will not have happened by chance. (Location 3381)

Intelligence and creativity are the greatest (only(?)) asset that people can use to generate new wealth in the world.

Sieving money down from the tit of the Fed (interest gains and index fund HODLing) is just moving money from one Excel column to another while inflation continues to eat our lunch.

By solving a problem you create demand and create reach in which that problem can solve other problems in existence.

Reach The ability of some explanations to solve problems beyond those that they were created to solve. (Location 599)


More money seldom solves someone’s money problems. Intelligence solves problems. (Location 949)

Don't Think in the Month to Month Timeline

“Remember what I said before: A job is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Most people have only one problem in mind, and it’s short-term. It’s the bills at the end of the month, the Tar Baby. Money controls their lives, or should I say the fear and ignorance about money controls it. So they do as their parents did. They get up every day and go work for money, not taking the time to ask the question, ‘Is there another way?’ Their emotions now control their thinking, not their heads.” “Can you tell the difference between emotions thinking and the head thinking?” Mike asked. (Location 721)

Think as long term as possible. Monthly bills will always recur. Find ways to:

  • increase income
  • drive costs to zero, or resell items
  • automate problems in life

Wealth Gaps Kill Empires

Soon there will be such a horrifying gap between the rich and the poor that chaos will break out and another great civilization will collapse. History proves that great civilizations collapse when the gap between the haves and have-nots is too great. Sadly, America is on that same course because we haven’t learned from history. We only memorize historical dates and names, not the lesson.” (Location 692)
Anyone who studies history can see that no system of government, no economic system, no currency, and no empire lasts forever, yet almost everyone is surprised and ruined when they fail. (Location 109)


  1. Roman Empire
  2. French Revolution
  3. American Revolution
  4. The Rise of Nazism/Fall of the Weimar
During periods of severe economic distress and large wealth gaps, there are typically revolutionarily large redistributions of wealth. When done peacefully these are achieved through large tax increases on the rich and big increases in the supply of money that devalue debtors’ claims, and when done violently they are achieved by forced asset confiscations. In the US and the UK, while there were redistributions of wealth and political power, capitalism and democracy were maintained. In Germany, Japan, Italy, and Spain they were not. (Location 3036)

Wealth redistribution done proactively can extend the lifespan of a country/empire. The wider the gap, the more explosive the powder keg of "revolution".

Fear and The Joneses

“Rich people included,” said rich dad. “In fact, the reason many rich people are rich isn’t because of desire, but because of fear. They believe that money can eliminate the fear of being poor, so they amass tons of it, only to find the fear gets worse. Now they fear losing the money. I have friends who keep working even though they have plenty. I know people who have millions who are more afraid now than when they were poor. They’re terrified of losing it all. (Location 603)

It hurts more to lose than to fear to gain. 202301081650

They don’t want to lose the big houses, the cars and the high life money has bought them. They worry about what their friends would say if they lost all their money. Many are emotionally desperate and neurotic, although they look rich and have more money.” “So is a poor man happier?” I asked. “No, I don’t think so,” replied rich dad. “The avoidance of money is just as psychotic as being attached to money.” (Location 607)
“You mean the moment I picture a new baseball glove, candy and toys, that’s like a carrot to a donkey?” Mike asked. “Yes, and as you get older, your toys get more expensive—a new car, a boat, and a big house to impress your friends,” said rich dad with a smile. “Fear pushes you out the door, and desire calls to you. That’s the trap.” (Location 666)

You can't ever keep up with the Joneses after all! ^285673 Fear masked as desire to want is a fear of being excluded due to not having.

Retirement Home Money

Wealth is a person’s ability to survive so many number of days forward—or, if I stopped working today, how long could I survive? (Location 1098)

Money should age like a fine wine. The grain silo of old money is a anxiety cleanser.

When I say mind your own business, I mean to build and keep your asset column strong. Once a dollar goes into it, never let it come out. Think of it this way: Once a dollar goes into your asset column, it becomes your employee. The best thing about money is that it works 24 hours a day and can work for generations. Keep your day job, be a great hardworking employee, but keep building that asset column. As your cash flow grows, you can indulge in some luxuries. An important distinction is that rich people buy luxuries last, while the poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first. The poor and the middle class often buy luxury items like big houses, diamonds, furs, jewelry, or boats because they want to look rich. They look rich, but in reality they just get deeper in debt on credit. The old-money people, the long-term rich, build their asset column first. Then the income generated from the asset column buys their luxuries. (Location 1229)

Money is best spent in a way where it has the opportunity to replicate itself or grow like a garden. Not all activities need to be income generating activities, but there should be a strong preference for when time and money are both involved to spend on a potential future asset. Lowering expenses also lets money grow. Let's make everyone old-rich, in one lifetime!

Revenues and Expenses

So while I’m not yet rich, I am wealthy. I now have income generated from assets each month that fully cover my monthly expenses. If I want to increase my expenses, I first must increase my cash flow to maintain this level of wealth. (Location 1108)

By using percentages of income and outbound, we can avoid lifestyle creep. Lifestyle creep is what happens when costs inflate as income goes up. Increase revenue and expenses at the same, healthy rate

All entities have revenues and expenses.

All entities—people, companies, nonprofit organizations, and governments—deal with the same basic financial realities, and always have. They have money that comes in (i.e., revenue) and money that goes out (i.e., expenses) that, when netted, make up their net income. These flows are measured in numbers that appear in income statements. If an entity brings in more than it spends, it has a profit that causes its savings to go up. If it spends more than it earns, its savings go down, or it makes up the difference by borrowing or taking money from someone else. If an entity has many more assets than liabilities (i.e., a large net worth), it can spend above its income by selling assets until the money runs out, at which point it has to slash its expenses. If it doesn’t have much more in assets than it has in liabilities and its income falls beneath the amount it needs to pay out to cover the total of its operating expenses and its debt-service expenses, it will have to cut its expenses or will default or restructure its debts. (Location 1526)

Avoid macroeconomic jargon in favor of positive/negative cash flows

Keep Expenses Low

My next goal would be to have the excess cash flow from my assets reinvested into the asset column. The more money that goes into my asset column, the more my asset column grows. The more my assets grow, the more my cash flow grows. And as long as I keep my expenses less than the cash flow from these assets, I grow richer with more and more income from sources other than my physical labor. (Location 1112)

The FIRE movement is the idea that you can put away ~2mm and live off of 4% investment. When growing at a static percentage, assets will begin to eat into liabilities 202301130005