A very happy and prosperous new year to all the Chinese friends out there. And to all the non-Chinese, a very happy super long holiday! As I was giving out hundreds of dollars in ang pow money to friends and relatives (luckily I got two daughters to bring back some revenue and help reduce the losses…just kidding), I remembered how important the ang pow money I received over the years has helped me build up my seed money to start all my business ventures as a kid.
I used to collect about $600-$800 a year (I had lots and lots of relatives who were pretty generous) in red packet revenue and by the time I was 15, I had close to $20,000. All this would not have been possible if I did not save every last cent and put it into a fixed deposit account and allowed the money to compound. This was back in the good old 1970’s-80’s when interest rates from banks were 5%-7%!
However, I was pretty sad and shocked to see how some of the older unmarried folks happily gambled their money away. Their mindset was probably that it was bonus money that they did not have to work hard for so they did not mind losing it. Then, I heard some of my nephews bragging that they will blow their money on games and new gadgets. I guess this is why not many people become millionaires!
So, for those of you who are lucky enough to receive ang pows, remember you HAVE A CHOICE. You could choose to spend the money and feel happy for a couple of hours. or you could delay your gratification and invest that money in something that will make your wealth grow in the the future. Those two dollar bills you hold in your hand may seem small, but they are like the money seeds that could grow into huge money trees that eventually grow into millions of dollars.
So, what am I going to do with all the ang pows I am collecting for my two children? Well, knowing the power of investing and compound returns, my goal is to invest it for them so that at age 21, they will have $1 million each. They receive about $800+ per year as well. So, if I top up another $1,000, that will be $1,800 per year. By investing that $1,800 a year for the 21 years at about 25% return (easy, with the techniques I know), that would be about $1 million by the time they are 21.
Of course, the important thing is…THEY CANNOT KNOW THIS. Once kids know that there is a security net or money to be inherited, they will become super spoilt and lazy. They will have no more hunger and fire to build their wealth. So, this money will be kept top secret. By the time they are old enough, I will have to delete this BLOG entry. They will only receieve the money IF they achieve a high level of success ON THEIR OWN. I was inspired by a friend of mine who is a MULTI MULTI MILLIONAIRE. However, he has a rule (he also put it in his will), that his children must first make their own million dollars and strat their own successful biz for 5 years, BEFORE he releases a single cent to them. In other words, they must prove that they deserve the money.
Hmmm…Sound like a plan to me