The other day, I was reading Loral Langemeier’s new book “The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Wealth Cycle Investing” as I was getting off the elevator at work. A coworker asked what I was reading. I told him, and mentioned that I was learning quite a bit from it. He actually snickered.
Now, snickering never feels nice, but in this case it made me really think about what caused that reaction, and to a certain degree how my financial growth is distancing me from many of my coworkers.
In fact, I used to hide my reading of books like that from coworkers and bosses. I felt like I was putting on airs or something. Like I would never be wealthy anyway, and that reading these books was akin to “get rich scheming”, that bugaboo label of poor people everywhere. That was before I really began my mental shift from wage earner to entrepreneur. From paycheck-to-paycheck to actual financial planning.
These days, I read tons about wealth and moneymaking. I listen to business audiobooks almost every day on my 90 minute commute. I don’t hide the books anymore, and I am finding a very interesting reaction.
My coworkers are almost universally dismissive. At least my peers are. This is strange to me, since these are professionals making decent corporate money. I don’t know their salaries, but I’d be shocked if some weren’t in the low six figures, and most are probably in the $75-90K range. They are definitely making enough that they could be investing and taking an interest in investment. But they don’t, or most don’t anyway.
However, those above me in the corporate food-chain are interested. Actually, I think it makes them more interested in me. For example, I like the Financial Times newspaper, and it is often sitting on my desk. I think it is interesting that the most successful salesperson in the company made a point of talking with me about how much he likes that paper too. My boss has made a point of talking with me about some of the tactics I’ve learned from such books as “The Single Best Investment: Consistently Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth” (Lowell Miller) and “Opportunity Investing: How To Profit When Stocks Advance, Stocks Decline, Inflation Runs Rampant, Prices Fall, Oil Prices Hit the Roof, … and Every Time in Between” (Gerald Appel).
I’ve read many times that you can predict how much money a person makes by observing his friends. Generally, people make within 10% of their friends. I think this is part of how that happens. Subtle social disapproval and enforcement of the norms.