Rules of Money and Life.. From a Fictional Society
To Boldly go where no man has gone before..
I don’t consider myself much of a nerd. Never got into video games too deep, and I didn’t ever find comic books as too enticing. Honestly I don’t believe I’ve seen the full set of original Star Wars movies, and I’ve maybe seen one original Star Trek episode.
One could argue I am a bit of a nerd for finance, though.
Recently I came across a list of rules regarding business. The ironic part, is that they are based on a society of ultra-capitalist aliens from the fictional TV series, Star-Trek. The list is called the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. Ferengi is the name of a race of aliens or whatever they are on the show.
I had to look up some of the terms describing people and things from Star Trek, but the majority of the principles really rang true in business, sales and wealth creation. Some of the rules are humorous, and others are downright cutthroat. If you’ve ever wondered what goes through the mind of those in power or driven by success and money, this is a pretty clear insight.
Now, this still hasn’t driven me to take up watching Star Trek but I would like to share and discuss a handful of the rules I found interesting, and relating to personal finance.
#8 Keep count of your change.
Close to the top, a personal favorite, and ever so important to building wealth. Get some knowledge on the concepts of finance, and understand where your money is going and what it is doing. The climb to the top of the mountain blind, is a treacherous one.
#13 Anything worth doing, is worth doing for money
An ode to the ‘Side Hustle’ generation. If you are good at something, there is a good chance someone is willing to pay for it. Remember though, when you begin doing something for money, the intrinsic drive can begin to fade. Tread carefully.
#16 A deal is a deal… until a better one comes along
One of the reasons I am drawn to a lifestyle of minimalism is that it keeps me light and flexible. Another reason why at this point in life, I prefer renting over home ownership. I am able to jump should opportunity arise. Also, investing can be more lucrative than real estate.
The true meaning of this rule, is that situations can change and don’t feel bad about jumping ship to elevate yourself, or if the environment in your life is no longer serving you. Any ambitious person would do the same. This refers to jobs and relationships, specifically. It ain’t personal, baby!
#22 Wise men can hear profit in the wind
Once you begin to mold a mind and eye for business and opportunity, it is almost hilarious the potential that you run into everyday. I like to think I have an eye for such a thing, though I can’t pinpoint how I got to develop it. A post for another day!
#47 Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own
The climb to the top is a ruthless one. I don’t believe there’s many people who didn’t sin a bit, to win. Keep in mind when dealing with someone more successful than yourself is that they may have had to make harder decisions than you before. And they know how to get what they want.
#54 Never buy anything you can’t sell
This can be loosely translated as a suggestion to acquire assets and avoid liabilities. That extends beyond just monetary things. Think relationships, habit, etc
#56 Pursue profit; women come later
Fuck bitches, get money. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase. It really translates to work on yourself and progress for yourself. Don’t do it for someone else or to win some lover. The former reasons are deeper and will stick with you regardless of the loves that come and go in your life. When you become the person you were meant to be, the right people will show up.
Attraction dies, character endures.
#86 A wife is a luxury, a smart accountant is a necessity
This one just made me laugh. I won’t articulate further; if you don’t get it, you ain’t got it.
#94 Beware of small expenses: a small leak will kill a ship
Aside from people lacking educating on money and finances, I think small – almost subconscious – expenses keep people from growing a fortune. Whether its the $5 dollar daily coffees, not thinking twice about the piece of clothing you walk buy in the mall, small items that you use once and then hide in your house for years, buying lunch every day instead of learning how to seal a ziplock container, it all adds up.
I hate the argument ‘you’ve got to enjoy yourself’ Enjoy your coffee and burgers you fuck, I’ll enjoy my tropical vacation or retiring years ahead of you.
#106 There is no honor in poverty
Pretty self explanatory. Money is definitely not the root of all evil. Yeah it can change people, but shitty rich people would probably be shitty poor people too. If you avoiding accumulating wealth because you are worried about turning into a dick, you already are one.
#123 A friend is only a friend until you sell him something. Then he is a customer
A cautionary tale is what this message is. Doing business with people always changes the dynamic of the relationship. Whether you’re selling them something or going into business together. Always be aware things can go sour, and often to a point of no return. I’ve experienced this first hand and witnessed it more than a handful of times in all regards of the situation.
#144 There’s nothing wrong with charity… as long as it winds up in your pocket
They say giving is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself, and they aren’t wrong. A secret of the rich is that there is nothing wrong with benefitting from giving. There’s a reason so many successful individuals get into philanthropy.
Sorry if that breaks your fragile little interpretation of the world.
#145 Always ask for the costs first
This refers to the upfront cost of whatever you are considering purchasing, and also the costs of operation or soft costs. Always consider the total costs.
A few examples:
- The cost of a pre owned BMW and a pre owned Honda aren’t that far apart. But when you start looking at cost of repair, insurance, and other such soft costs or cost of ownership.. And you begin to see the two running off on tangents
- Over new years I was weighing options of traveling to Vietnam or a Japanese island, Okinawa. The Okinawa flight was about a hundred and a half dollars more than the Vietnamese flight. In the end I decided I would save Vietnam for a whole SE Asia excursion. But cost did play a role.
In the end I ended up spending more over the trip because the cost of living is much, much higher in Japan than Vietnam.
#151 Sometimes, what you get for free costs entirely too much
You often get what you pay for. Enough said.
For some reason I’m inclined to add this quote:
If it’s fast and cheap, it won’t be good
It it’s good and cheap, it won’t be fast
If it’s fast and good, it won’t be cheap
#156 Even in the worst of times someone turns a profit
Often the profits are largest during the bad times. Stock market down? Perfect, stock on sale. Housing bubble burst? Cheap houses. There is always opportunity, you just need to shape an eye to notice it.
#185 If you want to ruin yourself there are three known ways: Gambling is the fastest, women are the sweetest, and banks are the most reliable way
Gambling is speculative, and that is emotional and generally not based on fact or reason. Lust is emotional and reactive. And banks give interest rates not even close to inflation
#189 Borrow on a handshake; lend in writing
If you don’t understand this, let’s negotiate. I’ll give you a hint, think insurance.
#195 Wounds heal, but debt is forever
There are times in life when you need to learn lessons the hard way, but remember that some consequences don’t go away. Avoid strippers and debt like the plague.
# Pride comes before a loss
Pride, and ego.. These two things can get in the way of progress. Sometimes it pays to take a short term loss for a long term win.
Don’t be so emotional, snowflake.
#238 The truth will cost
They say ignorance is bliss. They aren’t wrong.
Whether it’s getting the right answer, or hearing the cold hard reality of the fact.. Whether it’s your wallet or your peace of mind.. It’s gonna cost you. Cut your loss, pay the bill and move onwards and upwards.
#254 Anyone who can’t tell a fake doesn’t deserve the real thing
Anytime I was in sales, there were times where I either took someone, or witnessed someone getting took. Overpaying, getting a shitty deal. I tried to avoiding a one sided win when I could, but sometimes people just make it too easy.
You need to remember that you, and solely you are responsible for yourself. If you let yourself be taken advantage of, you will be.
Another crude tasting truth about the world.
#275 Latinum [money] can’t buy happiness, but you can sure have a blast renting it
I recently wrote about having a ‘Why’ to push you through the tough times on the road to success. I mention that money shouldn’t be your #1 driving factor to succeed.
Money isn’t enough if you want to really grow and change. You need something more.
In fact, there’s many studies that link money to a much lower creator of happiness than you’d think – over a certain amount, I think it’s something like $70,000/year
But at the same time, I just finished watching the ‘Sun Daze – Florida Georgia Line’ music video..
..and you can’t argue that real wealth isn’t a blast.
Live long & Prosper ..That’s a Star Trek line.
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