Here is an argument against going to college that nobody is willing to talk about… except me.
After high-school, you have three choices,
You can go to college
You can join the military
You can move away from home and get a job…
… OR, there is a 4th Option
We were all were told the same thing when we were in high-school. Go to college and get a degree, because people with a college degree earn one million dollars more over their lifetime than people who don’t have a college degree. The implication is that a college degree will give you more earning power over your lifetime. Well, I have a different viewpoint about a college education. Maybe you won’t admit it to yourself, but your gut instinct also tells you that a college degree is not all that it’s cracked up to be is it? Colleges were once revered as institutions of higher education, but now they are more like giant cattle pens, which huge numbers of students are herded like cattle, being led into slaughter houses, where they are financially raped and indoctrinated into living on a treadmill and enslaved with student loan debt so they have to keep running ever faster and faster, chasing that elusive thing called success, but never able to catch it because they are just running in circles.
Here are some of the questions that your sub-conscious is asking you, if you will admit it to yourself:
If a college education is supposed to make somebody so much more successful, why are so many college graduates financial failures?
Why are there so many college graduates losing their houses?
Why are there so many college graduates unemployed, or can’t find a job in their field?
Why are so many college graduates unable to retire comfortably after working 40 years?
Why does a college education today cost you 4-5 times as much for the same education that it cost your parents… after adjusting for inflation?
Why are so many college graduates scraping to get by, even decades after graduating?
Before I start teaching you the real truth about going to college, let me first tell you a little bit about myself, hopefully to give a little credibility to what I have to say.
I graduated high-school with a 3.96 GPA, and I never missed a single day of high-school. I was awarded a Curator’s Scholarship to the University of Missouri, but choose instead to go to Southwest Missouri State, which was much closer to my home, where I entered as a sophomore, after passing all the CLEP tests except for english, which I took one english class my first semester to satisfy that requirement. So I was the typical talented, hard working, disciplined and ambitious student, just like you were, or are.
After a couple of semesters in college I started working as a marketing rep for a nationwide company. Business was very slow for the first couple of months, but then it literally exploded, and after less than one year of working with that marketing company, I had established enough business that I could retire and continue to earn substantial residual income. In todays dollars, I was earning approximately $150,000 per-year in residual income, without having to work. One month after retiring I made the decision to drop out of college. I had completed 63 credit hours before I dropped out, and had a 4.0 GPA, and it was one month before my 21st birthday. Multi-tasking was a word that had not been invented at that time, but if it had I would have been one of the very first multi-taskers. I celebrated my 21st birthday and retirement at the same party.
My gut instincts had told me that going to college was not going to make me successful, which was the total opposite of what conventional wisdom dictated. I didn’t exactly understand why I felt that way, but my instincts were very strong, and I trusted them, and quit college. Today, I understand what my instincts then were telling me back then, and hopefully I can explain them to you in a way that you can understand them too.
First though, I must tell you that I am not against education. On the contrary, I believe that you can never learn enough, and the day you stop learning is the day that you die. Reading is my biggest hobby, and from the time I started high-school until my twenty-fifth birthday I read an average of one book a day. I am not technically a speed reader, but I do read around a thousand words a minute or so, and I would read for several hours a day, every day, usually finishing a book before going to sleep. After I turned twenty-five, or so, my reading slowed down to about one book a week or so. My best guess, as to how many books that I have read in my life, is around five thousand, give or take, and out of all those books, you could probably count one one hand the ones that were fiction. So I firmly believe in education, but not necessarily sitting in a classroom, paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of waiting on the slowest person in the class. Today a lot of my reading is online, which to me is like being in the biggest library in the world, where I can learn anything that I want, as fast as I want, for free. And now we have electronic books like Kindle, where we can actually download almost any book and read it on a portable device, anywhere, anytime.
Things have certainly changed since your parents generation went to college. Back then, to get access to most advanced knowledge in any field, you had to go to college. Today anybody can access almost any information online, for free. When your parents generation went to college, they were able to work a summer job, and sometimes a part-time job after classes during school months, and could pay for college as they went, without having to borrow any money. That same education today, earning the very same college degree, costs by some estimates, 4-5 times as much in todays dollars, adjusted for inflation, as it cost your parents generation. It is virtually impossible for a college student today to earn a college degree without going into tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and sometimes well over a hundred thousand dollars in debt. Today you can learn almost everything online for free, but the pressure to go to college is so pervasive that almost nobody questions it, except for me.
One thing that I learned in my early teens was to question everything, and I do mean everything. I don’t mean that I would question things in order to be rude or arrogant, but as a way to learn, to understand why things work, and why things are what they are. A couple of my high-school teachers knew how to tame my smartass tendencies, by assigning me to do research papers on topics that were completely different, and much more difficult, from what all the other students were assigned, with topics that challenged my very core beliefs about life. By the time I started college I no longer assumed anything was true, I questioned everything, and started listening to my gut instincts, and what I saw with my own eyes, instead of just accepting what others would believe without question. Now, I am going to get you to question your very own core beliefs, about the value of a college education, and about your own financial success. You should accept nothing that I say just because I say it. Think for yourself about what I say, and see how your perspective changes once you begin to question things as I do. Your instincts will tell you what is true, listen to them.
Everybody knows that college graduates earn, on average, one million dollars more over their working lives than people who do not have a college degree. It’s an unquestioned fact that nobody can deny, right? Well, I not only question it, I call it one of the biggest lies ever told. How can I make such a claim that is totally opposite what everybody knows as fact? Because the lie is not what you have been told, it is what you have not been told, it is a lie of omission. And a lie by omission is still a lie. I am going to tell you the rest of the story about going to college and getting that coveted degree, the part that no college or university will ever tell you. Your parents will never tell you either, because they have also believed for their entire lives, that they, and you, will be much more financially successful in life with a college degree. Millions of Americans have done what was supposedly best, and went to college like they were told, just like you, and got that coveted college diploma. And those same millions of Americans are now wondering why they can’t ever seem to become as financially successful as they thought that they would be.
If you are currently going to college now, or have graduated from college in the last several years, you will be mad as hell by the time you finish reading this, and you’ll probably become sick to your stomach too. If every high-school student, and their parents, read this, colleges across country would be going out of business, because enrollment would drop so drastically. Let me give you an alternative view of the entire, go to college and get your education, so you can get a good job routine. When you are told that a college graduate earns a million dollars more over their working life than somebody who didn’t graduate from college you need to ask, “Compared to what?” Making the statement that a college degree will earn you more money over your working life than you would make without a degree, is like saying that a hamburger is better than a Ford Mustang. It’s pretty obvious that hamburger and a Ford Mustang are two completely different things isn’t it? Could it be that maybe there is more to the idea of a college degree earning you more money than you and everybody else thinks about?
When I see with my own eyes, people who say that college will make you successful, I see people, most of whom, are in debt and on a financial treadmill themselves. They owe for their home, their cars and yes even their own college education. How can this be? If college makes a person successful, why are most of the people with college educations such miserable failures financially? How can someone who has to work for forty years possibly teach you how to be able to retire early? How can somebody who is broke and in debt teach you how to become wealthy? If they knew how to build wealth and retire early wouldn’t they have done it themselves? My guess is that most people who went to college don’t have the slightest clue on how to become financially successful, because if they knew how they would be themselves.
When you are told that you will be more successful if you get a college degree, that argument is based on comparing college graduates to those who never went to college. Sounds logical doesn’t it? But what if there was another part to that equation. Consider this, who actually goes to college in the first place? Is it a randomly selected group of people from your high-school class? No, of course not, that’s totally ridiculous isn’t it? It’s the most talented and most ambitious who go to college isn’t it? The students who work harder, do their homework and pay attention in class isn’t it? What about the people who don’t go to college, they are for the most part, the students who did not excel in high-school aren’t they? They are the ones who didn’t attend class as regularly, who didn’t do their homework, didn’t study as hard for tests, and who didn’t pay attention in class as much aren’t they?
Why did you go to college? The reason that you are going to college is to become more financially successful isn’t it? Because you are more ambitious and more talented, you are going to give yourself an advantage in life aren’t you? So let’s level the playing field, on the question of whether going to college will make you more money than people who do not go to college. What if the people who went to college, had instead, never gone to college? How successful would they have become? The most talented and most ambitious, what would their financial destiny be without a college degree? The most ambitious and most talented will always rise to the top, just like they did in high-school. I say that these top achievers in society, if they do not go to college, will become the entrepreneurs and the managers of our society. Whatever field they choose to enter, whatever job they have, they will advance to become the top of their field, the top of their company, and they will earn much more money than other people. Let’s now change the entire college question. The most talented and most ambitious people will always earn more money, whether they go to college or not. Going to college and getting a piece of paper is not, in of itself, the reason that some people are more financially successful than other people. So let’s stop comparing the most talented and ambitious people to the less talented and less ambitious people.
Look around your world very carefully. Who are the people, that you are familiar with in your town, who are the most financially successful? It’s the people who have their own businesses isn’t it? Having their own business does not mean that they did not go to college, but a lot of the most successful people, either did not go to college at all, or never finished and got a degree, just like me. That piece of paper, a diploma, is not the reason somebody is more financially successful. I don’t believe that it is wrong to go to college, and I totally believe in continuing to learn through out our life, but a college degree is not what will make you successful, it’s just an indicator that you are one of the most talented and ambitious people. What will ultimately make you financially successful is not a piece of paper, but you yourself.
Who am I to say such heresy? Am I a college grad? No. But I did become financially independent three times by the time I was 46, from three totally different occupations. Not going to college did not hold me back, in fact, I think that dropping out of college was a big benefit. Getting a college degree, or more than one, does not mean that you will be financially successful, it only means that you spent years of your life and lots of money to get a degree, a piece of paper, and nothing more. There is nothing wrong with getting a degree. But a degree is nothing but an indicator that you are smart, hardworking and disciplined in the first place.
Have you ever considered what your live would be like if you had invested four years of your life differently instead of going to college,? What could you achieve if you, talented, ambitious and disciplined that you are, focused those same four years into something other than going to college.
Let’s consider the case of Judy and Jody. They are identical twins, equally talented, equally ambitious and equally disciplined. They both just graduated from high-school, both of them with 4.0 GPA’s and perfect attendance records. Judy has decided to go to college and Jody decided to get a job. Let’s say for an example that Jody gets a job a McDonalds. After four years Judy will have a degree and will start looking for her first real job. Where do you suppose that Jody will be in four years? Now remember that Jody is just as ambitious and disciplined as her twin sister. What do you suppose that Jody will be doing at McDonalds, a smart, ambitious, disciplined and hard working that she is. Do you supposed that she will be still flipping burgers? No way, in four years Jody will probably be managing the McDonalds. Who do you think will be making more money after four years, Judy with a college degree and her first job, or Jody, a manager of a McDonalds franchise? What about after 10 years? Judy will have been out of college for six years and will be earning more money than her initial salary. But what about Jody? What do you suppose she will be doing in 10 years? Maybe managing several McDonald franchises for a businessman/investor? Or maybe she will own a McDonalds franchise, or several McDonalds, of her own. Who do you think will be making more money then? What about for the rest of their careers, who will be more successful? Right again, Jody would. Now we are really comparing apples to apples, instead of comparing Judy to somebody who is less ambitious, less hard working, less disciplined and less talented. The most ambitious, talented and hard workers will always rise to the top, no matter what career they choose. Where do you suppose Judy and Jody will be financially, when it is time for them to retire? Look around at people who are working in your field, and see how they have lived throughout their careers, and then at retirement age. Do you think that they will be more financially successful than someone who owns a McDonalds franchise, or multiple McDonalds franchises? Do you still believe that a college degree is what will make you financially successful?
Think about yourself. You are very smart, and during high-school you never missed a class, always paid attention in class, and did your homework every night. That is why you were in the top of your class. Others in your class did not pay attention in class as much, they were absent or tardy lots of times, and they were not very disciplined. Let’s call them Louie the Loser (no offense meant if your name is Louie). The Louie’s in you class won’t be going to college, they will be getting a job anywhere they can, driving a truck, working at Walmart, McDonalds, etc. Let’s say, for an example, that college does not exist, so getting a college degree is not a career option for you. What will you do? Get a job maybe? Let’s say both you and Louie (the class loser) both get jobs at Walmart stocking shelves. Both of you make the same starting salary. But where will you and Louie be in five years. Louie will be lucky if he still has a job, and if he hasn’t been fired he will still be stocking shelves. But what about you, what will you be doing? Store manage maybe? Regional manager? What about 10 years down the road? 20 years down the road? Maybe Vice-president of Walmart? You will always rise to the top because you are more talented, work harder, are more disciplined and are more ambitious. What about if you and Louie had become truck drivers? We know where Louie will be don’t we? He’ll still be where he started, driving a truck. But what will you be doing in 10 years, in 20 years? Maybe a regional manager for a big trucking company? Or maybe own your own trucking business?
It is you that makes you successful, not a piece of paper. You will succeed at whatever you do, not because you get a piece of paper from a college, but because you are more ambitious, more disciplined and work harder than other people. If you work in sales you will be the top salesperson in your business. If you get a job in a factory you will rise to management. If you get a job in any business, you will learn about that business, and then go into business for yourself.
Now do you see how the argument, that people with a college degree will make a million dollars more over their careers than those people without a college degree, is flawed, at best. If you are smart, ambitious, disciplined and hardworking, college is not a path to financial success like most people believe, it is really just a huge impediment to your success. From a strictly financial standpoint, there is only one thing more stupid than going to college, and that is borrowing money to go to college. Are you mad yet? Well, we have only barely touched on the delusion of getting a college degree? Read on, and you’ll get sick to your stomach.
So how can I say that college won’t make you financially successful? Because everybody seems to be forgetting one minor point (actually it’s not a minor point at all, but it sounds more mysterious if I say it’s a minor point). To get that college degree took four years of your time and tens of thousands of dollars. And nobody ever takes into account what those years of time and many thousands of dollars would be worth, if they were invested, instead of going to college. That seemingly minor point is about to become a huge mountain of reality.
I am going to use $10,000 per-year as an average cost of going to college when you add up tuition and books. What you actually spend could vary, but $10,000 is pretty common and is an easy number to work with. If you invested that $10,000 per-year instead of going to college, after four years it will grow to approximately $50,000. After those four years, you would either have a degree, or you would have $50,000. If you leave that $50,000 invested until you are 65, it will grow into over $32 Million, at 15% rate of return. Would that college degree earn you an extra $32 Million over your working years, from the time you are twenty-two until you are sixty-five? If you averaged 21.5% return over the years, what Warren Buffet earned for his investors over several decades, that same $50,000 will grow to $590 Million. Would your college degree earn you an extra $590 Million over your lifetime? I don’t think so.
That college degree that you assumed was going to cost you about $50,000, is actually a multi-million dollar expense instead, because it cost you not only the $50,000 but also cost you what that money could have earned you over your lifetime had you invested it, instead of spending it on college. If you do get a college degree, how much will you earn over your career? If you make $60,000 year for 40 years you would have earned a total of $2.4 Million over your working life of 25-65. If you earned $100,000 a year for 40 years you would have earned $4 Million in your working life. If you earn $250,000 a year for 40 years you would earn $10 Million over your lifetime. If you earn $800,000 every year for forty years, you would finally earn as much as if you would have just invested that $50,000 college cost at 15% rate of return. I guess if you do make over $800,000 per-year, for forty years, you might be able to make an argument that a college education is a smart financial decision, except that you would have had to work for forty plus years to earn, what you money would have earned over those same years, without you having to work. That assumes of course that you only spent $50,000 on your college education. But even if you did make that argument you would still be wrong. You would be wrong because you are not taking into account, that you not only spent $50,000 on your college degree, you also spent four years of your life.
When you make a decision to go to college, what you are really doing is making a commitment to yourself, to invest not just $50,000, but also four years of your life, all so you can have a better financial future. You are willing to give up everything, so you can have more money later in life. You life as cheap as possible, drive an old car and make do with very little, all because it will be worth it, after you get past those four years, and have your degree.
So, to make a valid comparison, let’s assume that you will work hard for four years, and live on almost nothing, because you are investing those four years of your life, just like you would have if you went to college. So you get yourself a job, whatever you can get that will pay you as much as possible, and save almost every penny you earn. After all, you are investing four years of your life to have a more successful life aren’t you, just like going to college would be, right? Let’s assume that for four years, beginning when you are 18, you earn $30,000 per-year. You live at home, and invest every penny you earn, after taxes of course. Exactly like you might be living if you were going to college, and still living at home, but instead of getting a diploma after four years, you will get an account statement from your stock broker.
For our example, assume that you earn $25,000 after taxes for each of those four years, and invest it all into stocks averaging 15% rate of return. After four years you will have around $125,000. After four years you stop investing, and just let that $125,000 grow, until you reach 65. When you turn sixty-five it will have grown to approximately $88 Million with a 15% rate of return. At 21.5% average rate of return, what you would have earned if you had invested with Warren Buffet, you would have approximately $1.5 Billion. That’s with a B, a capital B.
To have a truly valid comparison, you would have to take into account not only the $50,000 that you would have to pay for a college education, you would also have to take into account the four years of income that you gave up to get that degree. If you add up the lost wealth you would lose by spending the $50,000 on college instead of investing it, and the wealth you would have lost by not investing your earnings from those four years, you would have a total of $32 Million plus $88 Million, or $120 Million total, of lost wealth that a college education will cost you over your working life, assuming a 15% average rate of return. With average 21.5% return on your investments over your career, the real cost of a four year college degree is more than $2 Billion in lost wealth over your lifetime. Ouch!! Are you ready for a barf bag yet?
Ok, now it is time to make a real comparison of how much you will earn over your career with a college degree compared to what YOU could make without a college degree. Assuming that it is true that you will earn $1 Million more over your working years with that degree, and then subtract how much those four years spent going to college, and that $50,000 spent on tuition and books would have become, say $120 Million, had you done what I suggest instead. Going to college actually caused you to lose $119 Million. Assuming of course that you did not let Mr. Buffet handle your investments, in which case that college degree would have earned you a minus $2 Billion. Hey, but it’s only money.
Don’t take my word for all of this. Figure out how much that you could earn working for four years. Figure a full-time job during the day, to match the time you would spend in classes, and then a part-time job in the evenings, to match the time that you would be studying at night, to make a really valid comparison of the actual amount of time that you would spend at college. Figure out how much that you could earn after taxes for those four years. Assume that you still live at home, so you have no rent or food expense. Next, start calling stock brokers, and ask them how much money you would have at 65, if you invested when you are 21, whatever amount of money that you would have saved in those four years. Every broker will have a different answer, because they will all estimate using different rates of return, and they are all just guesses, but they will all give you figures that will make you really think hard about how valuable college really is, or isn’t.
Your college diploma is not totally worthless. You could use it to line the bottom of a bird cage. If you had invested those four years of your life, and the $50,000 that college cost, and averaged 15% rate of return, you could be using hundred dollar bills to cover the bottom of that solid gold bird cage. Can you imagine how much status your parrot would then have, if his cage was lined with one-hundred dollar bills? Your bird would be the hippest bird in the neighborhood. Now that’s status. Even your cat would be impressed.
In this example, we were only talking about four year college degrees. Everybody knows that engineers, accountants, teachers, etc, do not make the huge incomes like doctors and lawyers, who have to spend many more years of education than a basic four year degree. But have you ever considered how many more years, and how many more thousands of dollars, those doctors and lawyers have invested in their careers over a basic four year college degree?
If you want to become a doctor you typically go to college first, as we have talked about in this chapter. After you have gone to regular college, then you go to medical school. Medical school is usually another four years and currently costs about $50,000 per-year. That means that doctors will have another four years and approximately $200,000 invested in medical school after they finished college. If you are a doctor, you might want to prescribe yourself a very potent painkiller before you read any further.
If that $200,000 that is spent to go to medical school was instead invested into a mutual fund and averaged 15% over the long term, it would grow into approximately $90 Million by the time you reach sixty-five years old. Or, if you had someone like Warren Buffett manage your money and you averaged 21.5% over the long term, you would have a little over $1.5 Billion.
How many doctors retire with $90 Million? How about $1.5 Billion? According to Modernmedicine.com, which is an online resource for physicians, the median net-worth of doctors who are sixty years old is approximately $1.5 Million. Of the $1.5 Million, approximately $400,000 is home equity, leaving about $1 Million in assets to live on in retirement. The median net-worth of all households in the U.S. headed by someone sixty years of age is approximately $250,000. So a doctor is way ahead of the average when it comes to net-worth, but still only has a very small fraction of what he would have if he had invested the money instead of going to medical school.
And we did not even consider the value of an extra four years of a someone’s time that is spent in medical school instead of earning money that could have been invested. Do you really need any more convincing? Do you still believe that going to college will make you financially successful?
Do you doubt these figures? Prove me wrong, pull out your calculator and use your own figures. What do you come up with? Now what do you feel about being told that people with a college degree will earn $1 Million more over their lives than people without a college degree. What about the money that you spent on that college education, what if you had invested that money instead? What about those four years of time you invested in that college degree? What if you had invested those same four years into a retirement account? Where would you be at 22? Where would you be throughout your working years? Where would you be at 65? Are you getting sick to your stomach yet? Here is my definition of a college degree.
College Degree: (the most expensive piece of paper in the world.)
Those four years when we graduate from high school and transition into adults are the real golden years in our lives. Those are the years that we could create more gold than at any time in our entire lives. Those are the years when we are no longer teenagers, but not quite self-supporting adults either.
When we leave high school we are not ready to be totally on our own just yet. We have no job, no career yet and no money to get started with. How we go from teenager to fully functioning adults varies among different people. Some of us choose to spend the next four years after high-school going to college, where we hope to get a piece of paper that will give us a special privileged pass into the world of adulthood, and somehow, which we don’t quite understand, we will become very successful and makes lots of money and become wealthy. With that piece of paper, we won’t have to start at the bottom like people who aren’t smart enough to get a college education. We will start at a much larger income and be more successful than other less privileged people. Oh yea baby, that’s what a college degree will mean.
Some of us sign up for military service, where we will spend 3-4 years or maybe more, learning a skill, and getting to see the world at the same time. After military service is over, we have enough experience to begin our adult lives. Others of us choose to go to a trade school. Others choose to get a starter job and start a slow job-hopping process, hoping to gradually get better and better jobs.
What we all have in common, no matter what our specific path into adulthood turns out to be, is that we usually spend a few years investing in our future. Whether it’s college, the military or a few years of job-hopping, most of us end up spending several years getting geared up before we can start being really successful. And during those few years, we don’t have much income, either because we are going to college, or because we are not yet qualified for jobs that pay good. So we spend those years living inexpensively, living in a dorm at college, or we get free housing in the military, we live at home with our parents for a few more years until we get on our financial feet, or maybe we rent a cheap apartment with a room-mate.
We are indoctrinated to spend four years after we graduate from high school, investing in our futures, living on almost no money, all for the purpose of having a chance at better financial life in the future. For most people, those four years are the only time in their entire lives that they are disciplined about planning for the future. For four years, we do without a lot of material things, we work on bettering ourselves, learning new skills, learning how to be responsible for your own destiny. After those few short years are over, most of us never again are willing to invest in our futures, and it shows. By forty, most people have less than they did when they graduated high school. When we left high school, most of us didn’t have any net-worth yet, we were broke. But at age forty, most of us are not only broke, we are also deeply in debt. If we sold everything we owned it would not pay off all of the money that we have borrowed. We’ve actually gone backwards from the nothing we started our adult lives with. That’s not quite what I call financial independence.
From the ages of 18-22 everybody has three things going for them. First of all, at age 18, you have forty-seven years left before you reach sixty-five, a typical retirement age. What that means is that every dollar that somebody invests at age 18 has many more years to grow than for somebody who is older. This one fact overpowers everything else. No matter how much money a person will earn later in life, nothing compares to having forty-seven years to let your money grow. $1,000 invested at 15% for forty-seven years grows to $1,103,570 by age sixty-five. Read that again, every thousand dollars invested at age eighteen will become $1 Million when you are retirement age. Nothing you ever do in your life will compare to that, with one exception. If you were to average 21.5% return on your investments, over those forty-seven years, just like all of the people who invested with Warren Buffett, every $1,000 would become $22.4 Million.
The second advantage that people have when they are eighteen, is that they have virtually zero cost of living compared to later in adult life. Whether they going to college and living in a dorm or shared apartment, or they get free housing, clothing, food and medical care in the military, or are sharing a cheap apartment with a friend or are still living at home, their cost of living is as low as it will ever be again. So at this one point in their lives, people could easily find money to invest, if only they understood money and how powerful their money could be.
The third advantage that someone at age eighteen has that older people do not have, is that they have been indoctrinated into believing that they must do without for four years, while they invest in their futures, putting aside all consumption until they have first invested in themselves. We are all taught, as part of our culture, that when you get out of high school, you should either go to college, join the military or go to a trade school. With that indoctrination comes with it the discipline to use those four golden years to invest in our own futures, doing without virtually everything, so we be much more successful in our adult lives.
That discipline to invest four years of our lives in order to become successful, the low cost of living we are willing to accept in those four golden years, and having forty or fifty years for our money to grow before we reach retirement all combine to make it possible for anybody to become wealthy in this great country. If only we all knew what this book teaches when we turned eighteen.
The golden years are truly those four years starting when we turn eighteen. I wish that I had this book to read when I was a senior in high school. That is why I am writing this book, so everybody will have the chance to see what their futures could truly be, if only they had the knowledge.
To summarize, when you graduate from high-school you have three basic choices:
You can go to college.
You can join the military.
You can move into your own apartment, get a job, buy a car and become an instant adult, with all the obligations and expenses of adulthood.
Or you can choose a 4th option.
What is the 4th Option? Instead of going to college for four years, you go to work like I showed you in the earlier example. It doesn’t matter what job you have, you are not going to be spending the rest of your life there. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it for a few years. All you want is the job that pays you most. Instead of going to college classes during the day, you will be working and earning money. And since you won’t have any homework to do in the evenings, you either work as much overtime as you can get, or get a second part-time job. You invest your time, just like if you were going to college, but instead of a degree, you will have an investment account. If you went to college you wouldn’t have any extra money to spend, so to make things equal, spend nothing and invest every penny that you can earn. It’s only for four years, and if millions of college students can invest four years for a piece of paper, that today many people feel is no longer relevant, so can you. Continue living at home, so you don’t have any rent or food costs. Show your parents this article and they will know, as will you, that this will be the most financially successful thing that you could do with your life. When your high-school classmates are graduating from college, you will already have more money than most people will have when they are retirement age. If you never save another penny, and just let that nest egg grow, you will have tens of millions of dollars, maybe much more, by the time you reach 65. And well before you reach 65, you can start withdrawing money from your investments to live on, and your investments will continue growing on forever.
That is the 4th Option. After you finish this article, compare the 4th Option to going to college, and getting any degree that you can think of. Your financial success in life will be many times larger with the 4th Option than it would be with any college degree. Pull out your calculator, prove me wrong. You can’t, because I am living proof that what I say is right. Want proof that I am telling you the truth? Call any financial advisor or stockbroker and ask them this, “I’m going to inherit $125,000 when I turn 21. If I invest it with you, how much money will I have when I am 65?” Then call another financial advisor, and another, and another. Every financial advisor will give you slightly different numbers, because they all make estimates using slightly different rates of return, but every one will give you huge numbers. Keep calling until it finally starts to soak in, and you finally realize that college is the biggest financial scam in history, and you realize that you can become wealthy, with the 4th Option.
If you invest four years of your time and effort on the 4th Option instead of college, you could become financially independent by the time your peers receive their college degree.