Becoming rich overnight

Jeff Bezos: “Warren, your investment thesis is so simple … you’re the second richest guy in the world, and it’s so simple. Why doesn’t everyone just copy you? “

Warren Buffett: “Because nobody wants to get rich slow”

Apparently the chat among these two billionaires took place a few years ago, but something useful must have come from this exchange of ideas as Jeff currently ranks as number one, while Warren has not given up his position in the top five.

When people read biographies of great investors, they usually see how the talent, tenacity and genius of a handful of people becomes extraordinary epics.

The important thing is not to forget the paramount role that lady luck usually plays, and that, although we find valuable traits tied to theses characters’ virtues, we might fall prey to the survival bias as we only consider the documented stories of the overachievers.

It is likely that there are people with similar abilities who have not found the kind side of luck, and whose biographies do not belong on the list of New York Times best sellers.

My intention with this is not to discourage people who, supported by the development of habits and talent, seek to change the world. My intention is to point out that, for those of us who seek to generate wealth and make the best financial decisions, the recipe can be much easier than you expected, but you will need time and patience.

Sometimes people look for the next Amazon, the next Netflix, the fancy story where, by putting a small portion of capital it can be transformed into a significant amount, the faster the better. The reality is that these stories do happen; however, the problem is to have the talent (and luck) to identify them and even then this could pose an overexposure in your strategy that could leave you in vulnerable position.

Becoming a millionaire from one day to another is a reality, only clarifying that this “one day to another” may be a few years away. Yes, it can be discouraging, but the faster you start that day will be closer, and not linearly, that is, starting a year earlier can translate into reaching the goal two or three years earlier.

Imagine starting to contribute $300 per month, and step it up 5% each year, if we could achieve a 9.8 percent annual rate return (S&P reinvested total return for the last 50 years stands at 9.8%), at the end of year 29, from one day to the next, boom! Your net worth could have exceeded one million dollars.

Now, looking at the details, while you are constantly contributing US$300 a month, indirectly you will have the help of someone else, compound interest.

In this example, halfway through the eighth year, the value of the returns generated by the capital is greater than the $443.24 cash contribution. What’s more, by month 358, when you reach the goal, the return accrued surpassed $8,154. In this strategy you continue to cooperate while your previous contributions do so enhanced by the magic of compounding.

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