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Get rich quick investments don’t work: here’s why

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Everyone is looking for an easy dollar. When you type “get rich quick” into Google, not only does it return 1.3 billion results, but people also ask things like “How can I become a millionaire in a year?” and “How can I become a billionaire overnight?”

I have to admit I laughed out loud reading those questions. But it also taught me that there are loads of people out there thinking, wishing rather, that it’s possible to make a massive amount of money in little time for minimal effort.

The reality is, and I apologize because I know you don’t want to hear this, get rich quick investments don’t work! You aren’t going to make a million or billion dollars overnight. The wealthiest people get where they are by regularly making diligent investments over a long period. Unless you have a ton of money to invest and make the right call on the right stock at the right moment, you’re probably going to have to work for every dollar you receive, just like the rest of us.

What are examples of get rich quick investments?

Get rich quick ideas have gone through many changes throughout the years, thanks mainly to the rise of technology. Some ideas tend to fall on the fraudulent or illegal side of the fence. These are things like the phone call your grandmother received saying she’d get $100,000 in the mail if she only mails in $1,000 first. Someone might offer you information on a stock that’s about to go through the roof, also known as insider trading. Or a classic pyramid scheme where a company will pay you based on how many other people you bring in to work under you instead of how many products you sell.

But then there are the perfectly legal promises of instant wealth. These can be as basic as a company offering an affiliate marketing program that promises you can make tens of thousands of dollars a month in the first six months. Another example is paying for an online or in-person training course that will teach you to sell millions of dollars worth of a particular product in a year. Other investments may require you to buy hundreds or thousands of a certain product and try to sell them online.  

Sadly, most of the time, when the promises are large, the profits end up being quite small. I’ve outlined below a few of the many reasons that get rich quick investment you’ve been considering likely won’t pan out.

Most get rich quick investments are schemes

There’s a reason the words “get rich quick” are most often associated with “scheme.” Quite simply put, most of the ways to make money fast are not reliable and often not legitimate. Since many of these schemes have moved online, it’s even easier for scammers to create bright, shiny offers that appear legit, often with testimonials from people who have made money themselves. 

Trust, but verify.  A quick google search for reviews can let you know pretty easily if others have been scammed in the past. I’m not saying that every opportunity has no chance, but since so many result in failure, it’s best to be sure, especially if you’re asked for any upfront investment.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

I remember one of my childhood friend’s mothers telling me this when I was about 15 years old. It’s resonated with me all these years and is something I fall back on anytime I see an opportunity that seems like it might be too perfect. I have to say, it’s never served me wrong.

If individuals or companies tell you that you can make thousands of dollars each month by doing nothing, alarm bells should be ringing in your head something fierce. Facing potential investments is one of the times in life when it’s okay to be cynical. Do your best to look at the facts from an unbiased point of view, and if it ends up seeming too good, it’s quite likely that it is, and you have no choice but to walk away.

A short-term mindset for making money likely means a short-term mindset for spending

If you’re a person who fixates on making a lot of money quickly, you likely have a plan laid out in your head for how to spend it quickly too. You may want a quick $20,000 to buy the new car you’ve had your eye on or take your dream vacation. If the plan for your money is near-sighted, it won’t be long until you’re back in the same place you’ve always been.

Creating a financial plan is one of the strongest things you can do before you make any money, let alone a significant amount. When you make deliberate long-term investments, you’re planning for a future in which those investments last. 

If getting rich quick was a thing, everyone would be doing it

If there were tons of ways to get rich quickly with little effort and no up-front investment, do you think any of us would be working right now? No! We’d all be off on our private islands sipping martinis while watching the waves roll in.

There’s a reason why the vast majority of millionaires take at least a decade, if not two, to become that way. One of my favorite pieces of financial advice is, “It’s not about timing the market; it’s about time in the market.” Steady investments and a solid financial plan is virtually the only way to guarantee that you’ll become rich one day.

My goal for becoming wealthy is to do it slowly. I desire to accumulate wealth over decades, not days and encourage you to think along the same lines. There is nothing wrong with shooting for the moon and trying to make money a lot of money quickly. But make sure you’re not relying on someone else’s shady ideas to make it happen.

Contributor’s opinions are their own. Always do your own due diligence before investing.

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