How A Windfall May Change Perception (And Why It Doesn’t Matter)

Back in January I briefly thought about investing a few thousand dollars in Dogecoin as a flyer, just to see what would happen. Worst case scenario I lose $5,000, no big deal in the grand scheme of my long term financial life. I save roughly 40% of my income per year, although $5,000 is a lot of money, it’s an amount I can afford to lose. Ultimately I did not invest any money in Dogecoin. Had I put $5,000 in Dogecoin at 1 cent per coin, the value would have peaked at around $360,000 in early May and still be worth over $200,000 today. Had I made this move it would have put me “over the top” on some of my financial goals and allowed me to greatly reduce work hours, if not retire completely.

How It Would Be Viewed:

For the better part of 2 decades I’ve lived well below my means, saved a large percent of my income, and steadily invested. This is how wealth for 99% of people is built. Had an event such as a Memecoin run up provided me a windfall of a third of a million dollars the general narrative to my wealth building would have been “That guy who got lucky on a Meme coin”. People would see my success as only being that microcosm event, an event that they can’t repeat, that they can’t take action to make happen, an event that was essentially pure luck, an event that defied all reality in occurring.

My main purpose isn’t to be a millionaire. My main purpose is to help other people transition from laborers to capitalists and to build wealth and free up their time in a way they never believed possible. If my story gets boiled down to a crapshoot that turned out well I fear my credibility would be damaged. People would dismiss my positions as being lucky because I hit it big on Dogecoin, while fully dismissing any other part of my wealth building story. These people would then tune out to my message and go back to thinking they don’t have control over their money.

Why It Doesn’t Matter:

If you ask enough questions, it really doesn’t matter. Would it have been lucky for me to gain over a third of a million dollars across 4 months in a cryptocurrency? Absolutely. But what is luck? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I had $5,000 available. Not just $5,000 available, but $5,000 available that I could put 100% risk on. If all I had was $5,000 in cash I couldn’t afford to put 100% risk on any of it. I had to build a substantial net worth to be comfortable knowing that the most likely scenario was the value going to zero. I also had a self directed Roth IRA set up with checkbook control. This is a pain in the butt to set up, but is a way that I could own cryptocurrency and other assets (such as land and real estate) in a Roth IRA. This would have exempted me from any Capital gains taxes on selling. I’m willing to bet 99.99% of the people who bought and sold Dogecoin did not do so inside of a Roth IRA and will be paying substantial taxes on those gains.

That’s the preparation part. What about opportunity? I read about financial stuff every single day of my life. I was aware of Dogecoin back when it was under a cent and I saw the potential for it to become a Meme sensation. Preparation and opportunity met, but I did not execute.

I have 8 years of documentation on this website sharing every step of my financial journey, including lookbacks going back to 2003. It’s obvious that there is a very solid foundation built for my long term success and wealth building

It Doesn’t Matter What People Think:

The real reason it would have been OK for me to hit this payday is that it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s not my job to convince people that I built my wealth slowly. It’s not my job to convince people that I saved over a third of my income even when I was only making $60K a year with 4 kids. Most people don’t care about my backstory and those who would see me making a large profit off of Dogecoin as a way to discredit my advice would most likely also discredit my advice because I bought a house in 2006 when real estate was cheaper, or because I have a good job (now), or because both my parents worked, or because I’m white, or because of a thousand other miniscule reasons. Haters are gonna hate.

I’ve also learned (or am in the process of fully learning) that its a waste of time to sell someone who isn’t interested.  I need to accept that not everyone want’s to build wealth and there is a sizable portion of this country that will also whine, moan, and complain that life isn’t fair and refuse to take action to improve their lives.  My mission can’t be to convert these people; that mission would be akin to beating my head against a brick wall.  My goal needs to be to sell people who agree with the WHY and are in the spirit to move forward with their lives. I can add substantial value through what I talk about, but only to those who want to receive it.

Ability To Manage Wealth:

I have an extraordinarily above average ability to manage wealth.  An extra $300,000 in my hands will grow into several million and would greatly change my family tree.  It would lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars put into directed and high return charitable giving locally.  It doesn’t matter the source.  Money in my hands is money in good hands. If I am a good steward of money and other resources, then regardless of the source I should be happy to receive it and not ashamed, even if I did get it through “luck”.

I’m also by the way, not sitting here whining that I missed out on Dogecoin.  Would that extra $300K been great? You betcha, but there will be more opportunities on the road and I’m excited that I will be in a position to take advantage of them, as well as make some of my own.

What about you?  Have you hit a “lucky” streak and significantly increased your net worth?  How did those close to you react to it?

John C. started Action Economics in 2013 as a way to gain more knowledge on personal financial planning and to share that knowledge with others. Action Economics focuses on paying off the house, reducing taxes, and building wealth. John uses the free tool Personal Capital to track his net worth and posts quarterly updates on his finances. Check out the Action Economics archives section for all past posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *