The Biggest Lie: 'It Takes Money to Make Money'

Steve's note: It's easy to get discouraged when it comes to building wealth. That's because a lot of people have bought into a major myth about making money. The essay below debunks the idea... Hopefully, it'll help set you on a journey to greater wealth.

"Congrats, Steve, you just made $100,000 today," the lawyer said.

I had just bought a property... cheap. The lawyer figured I could sell it for a six-figure profit right away.

A friend of mine heard about this deal and said, "Well... it takes money to make money."

I was surprised he said that, actually... To me, this little phrase is one of the biggest and most dangerous lies out there. It's a convenient excuse to not try to succeed.

It's like the old joke: "Lord, I've worked hard all my life, why couldn't you have just let me win the lottery?"

The Lord replied, "Why didn't you just buy a ticket?"

You've got to try. And it doesn't "take money to make money"...

In my last real estate deal, one of my business partners put up no money at all... Instead, he's putting in "sweat equity."

He's doing most of the work on this project, adding value to our investment. I'm sure he will come out with a six-figure profit when we sell. He could even make a couple hundred thousand dollars! Remember, he put zero money in.

So in his case, it didn't "take money to make money."

His situation is not unique in real estate... A common deal goes like this:

A young guy comes up with an idea to make money. He finds a property he can buy for $100,000, put $20,000 into, and sell for $150,000. The problem is, he has no money. So he finds an old guy with money, and they agree to split the profits 50/50. If the deal goes according to plan, they both walk away with a $15,000 profit.

He had the only two things you need: 1) an idea, and 2) the willingness to roll up his sleeves and make it happen... He did everything from finding the old guy and convincing him to invest, all the way through to selling the property.

In both examples, the young guy didn't even have any risk in the deal.

Real estate deals are an easy example. But it doesn't "take money to make money" in other areas, either...

A young friend of mine came up with a simple idea. He launched a website that focuses on – get this – forklifts! It's like a, only for heavy-duty equipment. If you need to buy or rent heavy equipment, you can locate – through his website – the pieces you need that are closest to you at the best prices.

It's not the sexiest-sounding business... But it's a great idea. It cost him next to nothing to set his website up and call equipment owners to get them onboard.

Now he earns a commission from every sale or rental. Life is good. He doesn't work for "the man" anymore and hasn't for years. And he's making more money than ever.

It doesn't take money to make money. You just need two things:

  1. A great idea.
  1. To roll up your sleeves and make it happen.

You can't underestimate either of those things. The amount of effort and commitment required will be extraordinary. But that's the way it goes. You're trying to break out of the ordinary. So an ordinary effort won't cut it. You will need to sustain an extraordinary effort.

This is hard. But it's how you make money.

It is much easier to give up. It is much easier to say, "It takes money to make money" and never try. It is much easier to complain that you'll never win the lottery, without buying a ticket. (You know what I mean.)

Don't ever catch yourself saying, "It takes money to make money."

It doesn't... It takes a great idea and the willingness to make it happen.

Now get to it! You can do it...

Good investing,


Further Reading

"A lot of people – even some smart ones – believe that trying to time the market is a fool's errand," Porter Stansberry writes. "I disagree... completely." In fact, four simple steps can help you time (and beat) the market, even when the odds are stacked against you... Learn more here.

"Wealth creates freedom," Dr. David "Doc" Eifrig says. "You can earn that freedom for yourself." And there's no better time to get started than when you're young. That's why Doc put together his favorite wealth-building strategies for recent graduates... Read more here: The 'Guide to Wealth' Every Young Investor Needs.

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Market Notes



CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP)... gene editing
Kratos Defense & Security (KTOS)... "offense" contractor
Palo Alto Networks (PANW)... cybersecurity
Oracle (ORCL)... software and hardware
Workday (WDAY)... cloud-based software
Zendesk (ZEN)... customer-service software
PayPal (PYPL)... mobile payments
Match (MTCH)... online dating
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)... tacos and burritos
Dolby Laboratories (DLB)... audio technology
Ingersoll Rand (IR)... manufacturing
Graco (GGG)... industrial supplier
Southern Copper (SCCO)... copper
Penn National Gaming (PENN)... gambling


Not many... It's a bull market, you know!