Although I was tracking my net worth closely, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment my total net worth would have crossed into seven figures and someone might consider me a millionaire. It was something I wasn’t thinking about for a variety of reasons, but because I was an entrepreneur, I was the owner of a business that was increasing in value. It was difficult to assign a specific value to that business, but because I ended up selling that business — this website — the buyer and I both had to agree on a value.
Sometime before then, I also crossed the point of having a balance sheet that included investable (non-business) assets of a million dollars. One of the reasons I stopped publicly tracking my finances as I wasn’t interested in drawing attention to the fact. I tracked my finances to hold myself accountable for making better decisions with my money on a day-to-day basis; as my business grew, most daily decisions had little impact on my financial well-being.
So I stopped. And I don’t talk about my net worth. Instead, I let Consumerism Commentary readers track theirs, like I did for many years, through Naked With Cash. But there are a lot of people who like talking about what it means to be a millionaire. For most people who have reached that abritray round-number milestone with their investable net worth, life hasn’t changed too much from when their net worth was lower.
Jaime Tardy founded Eventual Millionaire to talk to as many millionaires as possible, with the goal of gaining some insight about entrepreneurship that could help people see that kind of success. But does it make sense to look at that millionaire milestone as the target? Most people in my age group (I’m 38 years old as of last week — happy birthday to me) would probably need several million dollars invested if they wish to be financially independent today or would need as much twenty years from now for a healthy retirement living a middle class life.
In this podcast, I discuss this issue with Jaime, and we determine what we might be able to learn from millionaire entrepreneurs. Her new book, The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup, is now available.
Continue reading this article to listen to the audio or to find a link to download the audio for later. You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
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I’m a reluctant entrepreneur, but I’ve learned to be less self-conscious about the fact that this is the designation society has given to me as someone who started his own business. While many people after, but also before, the recession have started side businesses to improve their financial security, for me, a hobby turned into a profitable and enjoyable way to spend my time.
But entrepreneur was always a dirty word to me, even after I came to the realization that I was, in fact, an entrepreneur. The word hustle is now associated with side businesses, but a hustle is a con, a scam. These words have always had the connotation of being less than forthright in business, using deceptive practices to get a customer or mark to part with his or her hard-earned money.
Entrepreneurship has a rich history in the United States, considering this is a country of immigrants, and every batch of latest immigrants has a hard time finding acceptance in traditional jobs, and language and cultural barriers often keep communities looking within for business.
Self-employment as a result of side businesses is a growing trend, but not necessarily due to immigration. This is the focus of Kimberly Palmer’s new book, The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life. Kimberly is the money editor and Alpha Consumer blogger for U.S. News & World Report, and I’ve had the great pleasure of working and speaking with her over the past few years. She joined me recently to discuss the theme of her latest book.
Continue reading this article to listen to the audio or to find a link to download the audio for later. You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. Visit Kimberly’s website at ByKimberlyPalmer.com.
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I haven’t been running the Consumerism Commentary Podcast on a regular basis. Instead of a weekly podcast, my intention is to share occasional interviews to discuss topics that go beyond product updates and general personal finance information.
Jeff Rose is a successful financial blogger, founder of Good Financial Cents. His new book, Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future, is available today at all major book retailers today.
I wanted to speak with Jeff about this book because it, like my other favorite books about personal finance, is more than just another annual update to the same basic financial non-fiction literature we tend to see from the more popular authors with television shows or seminars to promote. Jeff gives personal finance an interesting spin stemming very deeply from his own experiences inside and outside of the military.
You don’t need to have military experience to take helpful information away from Soldier of Finance. I am very much a civilian and enjoyed reading the stories Jeff shares in the book and seeing how they relate to training in financial skills ranging from beginning to advanced. With this podcast, my intent was to allow Jeff to share his military experiences throughout our discussion as we looked at some of the metaphors from his new book. Continue reading this article to listen to the audio or to find a link to download the audio for later. You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
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The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is no longer on a regular schedule, but I plan to produce new episodes throughout the year as the opportunities arise.
Today’s guest on the podcast is Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry. Helaine is a New York-based journalist, contributing to Forbes, and notably wrote and edited the “Money Makeover” feature for the Los Angeles Times.
You can find Pound Foolish, available in book form as well as for the Kindle, where ever books are sold. The book takes a critical eye at the media-driven personal finance industry, from self-help gurus like Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, David Bach, and Dave Ramsey, to commission-based salespeople and lesser-known money coaches who host free-lunch seminars with the intent of selling low-quality products.
In addition to the state of personal finance today, in the podcast, we talk about how personal finance journalism has changed since its emergence during the Great Depression.
[00:00] Introduction from Luke Landes
– [00:30] Interview with Helaine Olen
– [00:42] Roots of personal finance journalism, Sylvia Porter
– [04:00] Changes in personal finance since the Great Depression
– [05:50] Complexity of personal finance products
– [06:52] Marketing driving personal financial advice, Suze Orman
– [11:28] Robert Kiyosaki, wealth guru
– [14:33] Corporate sponsorship of financial literacy programs
– [15:50] Does financial literacy even work?
– [17:50] Modeling financial behavior for children
– [19:30] Solutions other than financial literacy
– [21:25] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and regulators
– [22:07] What can individuals do to eliminate “gotcha products?”
Here are all episodes of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. You can also subscribe using iTunes or RSS.
Episode 169 credits:
Produced and hosted by Luke Landes
Guest: Helaine Olen
Edited and mixed by Jay Frosting
Music by Mindcube