Thursday, August 15, 2002

Unearned income

It all boils down to a four-letter word called risk: find the inclination to court it, and you'll be on your way to riches.
Gautam Chikermane
WHY IS it that the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer? What is it that prevents wealth from percolating down to the man of merit from the man of money? Why are the Bill Gates or Warren Buffetts, who have created immense wealth for themselves on their own steam, so few? In this age of knowledge, why is it that the knowledgeable person is found working for organisations either run or funded by the rich–why isn’t he wealthy? What is it that keeps money in the hands of the rich?
The answer: unearned income.
I owe this insight to a friend, who claims that the only way people become truly wealthy is when they don’t earn the money. What he is really saying is that people become rich only when they start making their money–rather than themselves–sweat for what they earn. Almost as if they had created an obedient, intelligent robot. When I examined this closely, I found myself nodding in agreement. This is a valuable lesson for us middle-class people, for whom the whole philosophy and process of wealth creation is relatively new, and one which has only recently got moral sanction. For decades we’ve lived in the belief that we have to earn our daily bread–daily.
Opinion in Outlook Money

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