This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Alex Garner Financial Tips

Most weeks I usually talk about a very specific financial topic and usually tell a hypothetical story from something I have seen during my time as a Financial Advisor. This time, I am going to talk about a broad outlook and discuss something from a macro level. Hopefully, this will provide you a different perspective on the relationships between time, money, and stuff. Let’s jump into it. 

Time, money, and stuff may just seem like 3 random things, but in reality, they are the three components that make up the way you interact with the world around you. Most of us spend our time acquiring money so we can buy stuff.  Why do we spend our time at jobs, usually Monday through Friday, 40+ hours a week?… For a paycheck. We need money so we can buy stuff. Stuff like housing, food, transportation, childcare… the list goes on and on. So why did I bring this up? Why is it important to understand this system and this equation between time, money, and stuff? 

Because you need to learn how to flip the equation. 

The standard and basic middle-class progression through the steps starting with time, then money, followed by stuff. The big key to jumping up in the class structure is flipping the equation to stuff, money, time. The richest people in the world utilize their stuff to make them money to buy their time. The stuff they own can also be described as their investments. Some examples of these people’s stuff could be a business, property, intellectual property, talent, or an investment portfolio. All of these things, this stuff, makes people money. Jeff Bezos is pretty relevant these days. Let’s use him as an example.  He owns this little online bookstore, Amazon.com, and that business made him billions of dollars that he used to buy himself time, that for some reason he decided to spend in space. 

So at this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “Okay Alex, well I don’t have that kind of stuff so why are you making me feel like crap by telling me this?” My first-world privileged simpleminded response would normally be something like, “ You can build the stuff!”. But, the truth is you probably can’t. You probably don’t have the next great new business idea and you also might not have the drive to grind the required 80 hours a week. However, you do still have a few other options on what you can do to still flip the equation. 

There are lots of everyday millionaires in this country and they all have different beautiful stories on how they got there. But, all of them at some point flipped the equation. That doesn’t mean they built an international corporate enterprise. Some took a passion of theirs and turned it into a side hustle that grew into a sustainable small business. Some saved their money over the years and eventually had enough to buy a franchise or some investment properties. But the majority of millionaires I know, accomplished it in the last 5 years of their working careers. They did it by investing over the long run. They created an investment portfolio or a retirement account that now sustains their lifestyle. The small amount of interest that they pull out each year replaced their income from working. They flipped the equation. Their stuff (investment accounts) makes them money, so they can buy their time, usually (traveling, relaxing, or spending time with the people they love.) I guess going to space will eventually be an option on how you could spend your time.  Flip the equation.

Alex Garner is a licensed Financial Advisor, but do not take the information in this article as financial advice. Examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. The rates of return do not represent any actual investment and cannot be guaranteed.
Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. 

Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Garner Wealth Management LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated.
The information in this article is not financial advice.

Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not assure profit or protect against loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk. Depending on the types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk. Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including loss of principal.
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By Alex Garner

Alex Garner is the founder of Garner Wealth Management and is a 4th generation Floridian. Alex was born and raised in Bradenton with deep family ties in the community. His main priorities as a financial advisor are to help families and young professionals begin with a solid financial foundation.