A couple of months ago we went out to dinner with some friends (six couples) at HopCat in Detroit before heading to Little Caesars Arena for one of the Kid Rock concerts its opening weekend.
Halfway through dinner one of my friends (we were in the same fraternity) tells us how he went to visit one of his friends from college (who was not in our fraternity) recently. I met his friend a decade ago in Kentucky when my buddy and his wife lived there. They invited a bunch of friends down to go to the Kentucky Derby.
While talking about his visit my friend mentions how the two of them went out to breakfast one day and his friend spent $30 on a dozen donuts. Fricking donuts. Turns out these donuts were amazing. They better fucking be.
After seeing his friend spend an amount of money much higher than he would spend on donuts and then lunch he asked his friend the question most friends don’t ask each other. “How much money do you have?” He had over $1.5 million saved and invested.
He is 34. No kids. Drives a ten year old Jeep and I think he owns a home. Even though his dozen donuts cost him $30 you could say he lives frugally for the amount of money he earns.
Everyone at the table has two kids, mid 30’s, owns a home with a mortgage, has at least one nice car, and combined couple annual incomes are $90k to $250k. My guess, and from what I know, is my buddies friend is worth $700k to $1.2 million more than each of the couples.
My friend had an idea his friend had some money but not that much money. The same sentiment was felt throughout the table. Not so much for me.
When I was 25 years old I worked as a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans (My brother works there. Call him). One day my parents had family friends over and I began telling them about my job. During the conversation I told them how much money some of the people I was working with were making.
I had only been there six months at the time so I was not making much. But when I heard some people were making $20,000+ a month and had only been there two years. All I could be was shocked and motivated.
This is when my parents family friend, a man who has known me my entire life, and somebody who has been a father figure type leaned over and said “There’s a lot of money in money.”
That line has stuck with me for 12 years.
People need money. If they can’t get it themselves then they have to pay someone money to get money.
My buddies friend has been working for Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative selling insurance and their other products since he graduated from Central Michigan in 2005. The man has paid his dues and is now at a point where he is earning some insane residual income from all of the insurance policies he has sold over the years.
What does this all mean?
It doesn’t mean anything. He made the most of an opportunity and now can do whatever he wants to do. Like eating $6 worth of $30 worth of donuts and throwing out the rest.
Are we impressed with his net worth? Probably.
Are we impressed with his work ethic? Probably.
Are we impressed with the way he did it? Sort of.
And I say sort of because “There is a lot of money in money.”
It is amazing how much money is out there flying around looking for a place to land. And it is also amazing how much money people can make when it lands on them.
My buddy Dave likes to joke about all of the Vice Presidents or Senior titles thrown around the financial world. Its funny to me because I made it to Senior Mortgage Banker when I was at Quicken Loans and I didn’t do anything more when I made Senior. It was the same job, they just paid me a little more.
Would I like to be worth $1.5 million right now? Absolutely.
Am I impressed he has $1.5 million right now? Its more of a “Good for him.” The real shocker would have been if he didn’t have $1.5 million.
I would expect it after doing that sort of job for twelve years. The residual income is huge. Every time one of his past clients renews their policies he gets a residual commission. This is how you build wealth.
If you want to make money and being something like a pilot, teacher, lawyer, engineer, Dr., etc. is not in the cards for you than the financial industry might be your way to financial freedom. I can imagine most jobs where you sell money comes with an opportunity similar to the one my buddies friend took advantage of. Whats funny is I interviewed with Northwestern Mutual my senior year of college but bombed the interview. I did not grasp it at the time. Balls.
A simple request to those that work in the financial industry. If you have done well for yourself. Congrats. But please don’t walk around like your Tom Brady (there’s only 1 Tom Brady) or an Astronaut (833 total) or a SR-71 Pilot (477 pilots have flown the most badass plane in the history of ever).
You did not invent money. You are not a badass (at least your job). Nobody likes a smug, know it all rich person who sells money for a living.
I am happy for people who do well with their careers. Especially friends of mine who are making some serious money. Maybe next time my buddies friend comes into town he could pick up some $30 donuts and hook a brother up. You can bet your ass I’m not treating myself to $30 worth of donuts.