Exciting Comic Book Issue #1, Become a Financial Superhero!
What does it take to become a Financial Super Hero? Just like in the movies and comic books, a super hero may have a very normal identity (i.e. Clark Kent), but underneath it all could be a person with amazing powers who can build extraordinary wealth. In order to build wealth and “conquer financial freedom” you will need to develop several super powers and fight off many villains. Let’s learn from the “X-men and women” of financial powers, harness our inner Superman/Superwoman to reach peak financial strength. And do not forget about the villains, there are plenty of them lurking about trying to wreck havoc on your personal finances, trap you in a web of debt, or paralyze you with consumerism kryptonite!
I really enjoy the mythology of superheros and comic books stories. The modern mythologies help us battle our own villains and provide powerful lessons in perseverance, dealing with adversity and evolving into our higher selves. When I was dealing with dyslexia as a kid, I would turn to comic books as a way to learn and I started drawing the characters. For me, it was a great way to make sense of a complex world and be inspired to reach a higher self. Plus, it is just plain awesome fun and great artwork! I have fond memories of the early Comic Conventions when my brother and I could just show up on a Saturday and meet the artists. What can we learn from the superheros in terms of saving, investing and becoming a financial powerhouse?
ONE: X-Ray Vision (See through the illusion of wealth)
Use your X-ray vision. You are surrounded with the illusion of wealth. People are living in homes, driving cars and wearing clothes they hardly own a fraction of. They are willing to go into huge amounts of debt for an instagram perfect life! At some point the music will stop and they will be forced to pay. Or they will limp along and spend their whole lives not building one dollar in wealth or security. The kryptonite of debt will weaken them so much they will have nothing left. Next time a brand new Mercedes or BMW rolls up next to you, do not feel jealous. Use your X-ray vision to see the very possible truth, that they do not own the thing they are using. Laugh at the poor fool sitting in the car they do not own and sabotaging their wealth building potential to look cool. Yeah, there is a small chance they actually have the assets to afford such a luxury, but that would be the exception to the reality in most situations. Especially with the average auto loan in the US hovering around $27k!
TWO: Fly (Define your own vision of True Wealth)
Use your ability to fly: You can fly right now in life. Most of the best things in life are mostly free. This is harnessing the superpower of “True Wealth.” You do not need to keep up with the latest expensive fashion trend, popular place to pay $15 for a drink, or buy a shiny luxury car that keeps you locked in debt for years. You can metaphorically “fly” in life with hundreds of low cost activities. We talk about them regularly.
THREE: Lasso of Truth (Know where your money is going)
In order to build wealth you will have to face the truth. One will have to face the truth of their current debt. Their current net worth and what they need to do to slowly make changes step by step. Without knowing your budget, assets and debt, you will not be able to build a solid plan going forward. I don’t think any of these things need to be overly complicated. All I have ever done is use a simple word document to make a simple budget. Another word document for a net worth statement. These two pieces of paper, that are basically simple lists, give a person a pretty clear picture of where they are and where they may want to go with their finances. I know some people like fancy spreadsheets and other things, but do what works for you, it is all straightforward math. I think the important thing is to know the truth, so welcome that lasso next time Wonder Woman catches you in it!
FOUR: Batman’s Utility Belt (Develop tools to build wealth)
Tools make jobs possible. You can’t build a house or a website without tools. Same for Batman, he had the coolest tools, gadgets, weapons, vehicles etc. to get the job done. We will also need to use tools in order to build wealth. Speaking of Batman, he is a good example of a family that acquired massive amounts of assets over debt, but that is a side note. The point here is to use tools and gadgets to build wealth. What does this mean? It means setting up an automatic withdrawal of funds at every chance that plows money into investments. This is an example of a tool. I think of things like Acorns, Stash, Robinhood, etc. also as tools. It is another way to take small amounts at a time and have them invested in assets for one’s future use. Another tool may be setting up an extra $100/month that goes to the mortgage to pay it off early. Maximizing contributions through a 401k with a match is a powerful tool. There are also actual tools, like the tools you may purchase in order to manage and fix up a rental property or run a side business. You get the idea, acquire and use tools strategically to build large amounts of wealth and assets!
FIVE: Wolverine Mad! (Be passionate about building the life you want)
Sometimes it is ok to get mad if that energy is harnessed for good. Think about when Wolverine gets mad, he will destroy the bad guys. Get passionate about your future, your life, your families needs. It is up to you to get “mad” or call it passionate in this area. No one else will do it for someone else. Let the wolverine claws out sometimes and get serious, you have every opportunity as the next person to build your future and make it great!
Many Villains will have evil intentions to destroy your wealth creating capability. You must be vigilant in guarding yourself from them and fight them when you must. Use your psionic capabilities like Professor X to identify these enemies and destroy them.
ONE: Harley Quinn’s power of seduction (The illusions around us)
There will be many many things that shimmer and shine that one will feel they “need.” The seductive power of advertising is very powerful. It lures us in and makes us believe a certain luxury product will enhance our self worth. I am not saying never buy anything fancy that you may desire, but just be aware of what you are doing. Also, probably best to actually save up for the item instead of putting it on a credit card. Once you obtain the shiny new object, it may seem even more special to you because you really had to work for it and wait.
TWO: The Jokes on You (Be cautious about financial experts)
Many in the financial services industry will try to trick us out of our money. They will attempt to charge very high fees that destroy our wealth and assets over time. Some experts warn that if management fees on a 401k account are around 1.9% or higher, then we are losing out on a ton of money over time. These fees sound so small and innocuous, but they are not. That is money that could pay for your child’s education or fund you and your family in retirement. This could pay for your families dream vacation someday. You are going to your job every day and working for that money, so you should have the right to keep it! Don’t be fooled by the Joker.
THREE: Kryptonite Consumerism (Watch the expenses)
The constant signals to buy, buy and buy more are the kryptonite to your ability to build wealth. Most wealth is built in small chunks at a time. Very few of us get handed a few hundred thousand dollars to go invest. We have to build one small $10, $20, $50 brick at a time. If those small amounts are never available because one is buying clothes, cars, expensive meals, expensive vacations, useless crap, etc., then there is nothing left to build your future.
FOUR: Sucked into Magneto’s Pull (Resist peer pressure)
There is great social pressure and magnetism to do certain things because everyone else is doing it. You have to spend this much on a car. You have to spend a fortune on your wedding, it is such a special day. Etc. Sure it’s a special day but there are so many ways to have an amazing, memorable and romantic day without spending a fortune and going into debt. So beware the magnetic pull of social pressure. Folks around you may mean well, but again they are not going to work for you every day in an attempt to build your families future, you are, so make your own decisions that are right for you.
In conclusion, come join us on this hero’s quest to build your own financial future made of pure steel. Most of us have the opportunity to be a Man or Woman of Steel!