Tim Ferriss: How to Make Money

 
 
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Truth is, I’ve never been very good with money.

There have been times in my past when I’ve taken a hundred dollar bill out of my pocket and envisioned Ben Franklin rolling his eyes as if to say: “Oh, no, Cal! What this time?”

Which is why I’m so excited to alert you to the second episode of my podcast, Big Questions, that’s out today. It’s Part II of my conversation with Tim Ferriss, and it’s all about money.

Our second talk picks up with the publication of Tim’s first book — The 4-Hour Workweek. It was the success of this book that gave Tim the bankroll to invest. And by Tim’s own accounting, he’s earned 10 times more investing over the years than his books have brought in. And those books have been monumental bestsellers.

Tim’s latest opus — Tribe of Mentors — was stacked on a counter when we met to talk at an apartment in New York. The book is filled with advice from some great minds in the financial world. And if ever I truly needed a mentor, it’s in the field of finance.

For years I’ve noticed great investment possibilities, but didn’t react because I had no financial acumen, didn’t trust my intuition and was always headed off on my next adventure.

When I was in my early twenties I moved for a short time to Miami Beach. It was not long after Fidel Castro released prisoners from Cuba’s jails and dispersed them among the more than 100,000 refugees who sailed for Florida in what became known as the Mariel boatlift. This was the timeframe made famous by Al Pacino in the movie Scarface.

I later heard about a magical beach in Brazil called Jericoacoara and set off to see it. It was as if the most beautiful sand dunes of the Sahara had been set next to the crystal waters of the Caribbean. There were no hotels on Jericoacoara at the time. It was a sleepy little fishing village. With very little money, it would’ve been possible to buy land where luxury hotels now sit. But I moved on, just before wind-surfers from all around the world flocked in . . .

Then there was The Great Recession. After Lehman Brothers and banks started to go down in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, I watched the stock for Citibank perilously fall to around $1 a share. I thought to myself: You know, Cal, if you put all your retirement savings into Citigroup, you could end up mighty comfortable when this all turns around. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy, and a lot of very wise people I knew howled at me to be cautious, so I backed away. It was sound advice at the time. But the government bailout provided support. And last I checked, Citigroup stock is at 71.

The bottom line is that the currency of my life has always revolved around the telling of stories. I didn’t even know that I could’ve used my expertise in interviewing and storytelling to get involved with start-ups until I asked Tim how he learned to invest.

If you want to look through new eyes at how to invest and handle your money, please listen to this podcast. If you know somebody who could use this help, pass this episode on.

We could actually change some lives here. Because the first step involves erasing fears, and Tim has wiped out mine. Now, it’s time to study, experiment and learn.

Ever since our conversation, I feel a new energy when I look upon a hundred dollar bill. Ben Franklin now seems to be winking at me.

Listen in, and see for yourself . . .

Kevin HekmatComment