Scrooge McDuck, the uncle of the well-loved Donald Duck, had many lessons to teach about money management. No, you probably do not want your troubled great-nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Lewey, to play in your piles of money. Instead, use the lessons Scrooge McDuck taught about saving and scrutinizing investment choices.
Learn to study and use the laws of supply and demand to build wealth
Remember the storyline when the Scrooge’s money bin exploded and rained down on the citizens of Duckburg? The citizens suddenly became wealthy and stopped working in their frantic attempts to amass more unearned wealth. Mr. McDuck took his nephews to a poor farm on the outside of town. The nephews could not understand his calm demeanor over the loss of the money in the money bin.
Scrooge understood the basic principles of supply and demand. While the citizens of Duckburg all quit doing their jobs, he was calmly sowing seeds for a harvest. Sure enough, about the time the crops were ready, the citizens were out of food. Owning the only supply of something necessary for survival, he could name his price and quickly regained all his lost wealth.
The great names in investing have all preached this lesson to those willing to listen. The vision to see where demand will spike in the future is the key to buying in early and watching your investment grown exponentially. When you wait to see how it goes for others before you invest, you miss the greatest opportunities to buy in cheap and sell at the pinnacle.
Pay careful attention to the world around you and determine what things are likely to soon be in demand. When you invest in those things, especially at just the right time, you stand to gain significant returns on your investment. Identify the areas where the supply and demand cycle seems off-kilter and look for opportunities to invest wisely.
Scrooge McDuck understood the global economy
Technology and travel have come a long way since Scrooge McDuck made his fortune in Duckburg, yet even then, Scrooge was continually receiving updates about his investments around the world. Now, what happens half-way around the world can impact our markets almost immediately, and some of the best investment opportunities are in emerging economies.
Learn about global investing, and how truly interconnected, we are now. As with Scrooge, you never want to put all of your eggs in one basket, but do expand your portfolio to take advantage of global opportunities. Global investments also protect economic downturns affecting the U.S. economy.
Diversify investments and income streams
McDuck seemed to have his finger in every pie around, and that isn’t bad advice. When you rely solely on one stream of income, like your job, you are in a precarious position, the second something goes wrong. No matter how secure your job, things like the current global pandemic have taught us that there is no such thing as absolute job security. Keep learning new skills, networking, and even consider tapping into the gig economy to diversify your income. People who have amassed great wealth did not do so by doing one thing, even if they did that one thing exceptionally well.
Large corporations also know the importance of diversification. They may start with one product, but quickly expand to include a line of products. The best among them move on to having multiple, unrelated product lines.
The same is true of investing. No matter how promising a particular stock or even sector seems right now, things can change quickly. When you have your investment portfolio spread among many different sectors, an upset in one might even spark a surge in another, offsetting any loss of wealth.
Buy quality items that hold their value
When we think of wealth, we often think of expensive clothes and nice cars, but the truth is that those things deplete wealth instead of building or maintaining it. Wherever you are on your financial journey, buy assets that help grow your wealth instead of squandering it. If you have to replace your inexpensive furniture every few years, you will retain more wealth if you waited until you could afford furniture that cost three times as much but would last ten times longer.
Art collections, real estate, furniture, and rare collectibles are all things that will hold their value or even appreciate with time. One word of caution, though. Buy things you also enjoy, and that provides you pleasure. What is the point in working hard to build wealth if you are not enjoying the things it brings you?