“A Million Bucks By 30″- An Interview
(The rest of this week is “Guest Week”. Today, Alan Corey, author of A Million Bucks By 30, (non-affiliate link) does a Q& A with me on his book, generation debt and money and love. Enjoy)
If you ever google “Alan Corey” you would find entries for an entrepreneur, talk-show guest, comedian- here’s the thing: it’s all the same guy. Alan just added author and personal finance expert to his google search results. Alan writes about becoming a millionaire before he was 30 in his book “A Million Bucks by 30″ and shares a few tips with his reader on how he got there living in a big and expensive city. He was kind enough to take 10 minutes from his touring schedule to answer a few questions:
You write in your book about your experiences in trying to be frugal in Manhattan- one of the most expensive cities in the world. What is the one piece of advice you would give to big-city dwellers who are trying to get ahead financially?
Don’t try to out-do your neighbors. Everyone is a bit image conscious, especially in big cities. The mentality is that you have to spend big to stand out. I would take the opposite approach: save big and invest big to stand out. You don’t need a PhD in Japanese stock markets to get ahead. Saving is something anyone can do. Just make sure you get around to actually investing those savings, and over time, it’ll pay off more handsomely than that handsome man on that Geraldo Riveria show.
You mean Geraldo Riveria?
Is that his name? That’s one handsome man. Yeashh, I wish there was an emoticon that looked like him. I’d sign my checks with it. (I think I have dated myself with the Geraldo reference; if only he found Al Capone’s fortune in the vault- ed.)
When you first decided to be a millionaire by 30 did you have any idea how you were going to get there or did you wing it as long as you focused on your goal?
I knew I didn’t have the means to make a huge salary. My only “skill” was probably willing to be publicly humiliated on national television, so I figured my best shot to making the big bucks was in showbiz for me. But I still made sure I had a backup plan or seven, as the chances of a big payday in that field are slim to none. I’ve barely made any money with that skill of mine, so I’m glad I invested 61% of my measly salary at my boring ol’ day job the past 6 years to get me to where I am today: admitting I have no skills.
What do you think about the “Generation Debt” argument- that the cards are stacked against young people to be financially secure?
What? Nonsense. There are so many things online for kids to read and educate about themselves in finance now more than ever before. And it’s presented in more interesting ways, even targeting younger audiences, and sometimes makes it even a little fun. ( Geezeo.com is one for example.) So I would say it’s up to kids to take control and invest early and take advantages of compound interest at a young age, things that older people wish they knew about when they were younger. Other things kids should know about: liquor before beer and you’re in the clear, go ask out that girl you have a crush on now no matter how embarrassing it seems, and that the host of the Geraldo Show is one handsome man.
Now that you are a published author, what’s the most frequent question you get asked about personal finance and what is your answer?
Probably, “Am I doing enough?” If you have paid off all your debts, maxed out your 401k at work, and fully invest in an IRA annually, then you are doing much better than most. And if you are still saving and investing money in at least two other ways, then yes, you are a financial rockstar and I’ll let you use this emoticon that I sign my checks with: +++:$] (It’s a man wearing a large emergency fund hat who has a handlebar moustache in the shape of a dollar sign.)
It looks a little like Geraldo Rivera.
Oh my gosh, you’re right! That’s one handsome emoticon then. The thing is this emoticon can only be used by financial rockstars like myself. Banks know who have that privilege or not, so not just anybody can go and use it.
In your book you write about going on cheap dates to save money. Is being frugal and finding true love mutually exclusive?
No way! True love for me is finding someone who shares my passion for frugality. Luckily, I’ve now found that person after many many many many many many tries. (I finally applied that liquor before beer rule and it worked!).