I Feel Lucky; Gambling as a Road to Wealth
EXCITING NEWS: I was selected to deliver a national training in San Francisco this November entitled: Personal Finance Solutions for Busy Mental Health Professionals. This 3 hour workshop includes material from my upcoming eBook about Investing. Stay tuned to get first crack at the NEW EBOOK; and it’s FREE to my readers.
This article is the 4th in a series relating poor money behaviors with stress. The topics are inspired by an article entitled Emotions, Money, & Financial Stress by Nancy Losinno, published at the US Department of Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory website.
Why not read the whole series?
Part 1: GO SHOPPING to solve your problems?
Part 2: Overcome a Passion for Procrastination (in dealing with financial matters)
Part 3: Money & Relationships-Make it Work!
“Here’s something to think about: How come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?” Jay Leno
Is this an indictment on psychics or the lottery? I’m not certain, but either way winning the lottery is highly unlikely.
MAIN TOPIC: Can you Believe this Guy?
Last week a well dressed business man pulled up a chair, laid down his laptop, and proceeded to the counter to pick up his coffee. As he walked into the shop, I marveled once again at the number of virtual office workers who congregate at the coffee shop.
Wow, was I surprised when the man laid out his “work.” He had about 10 lottery tickets which he began scraping with a small tool. This time I forced myself to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!
Here’s what went through my mind:
“Oh my G-d. Doesn’t this guy know that he is flushing his money down the toilet? Didn’t anyone tell him the odds of winning anything significant is at least 1 in a million? He should take the amount he regularly wastes on the lottery and put it in a broad based index mutual fund like the Vanguard Total World Stock Index! ……… I really want to talk to him, but I know it is none of my business.”
This is one of my biggest financial pet peeves; trying to WIN YOUR WAY TO WEALTH. Unfortunately, this stranger is not the only one I know with this mindset. Several family members share this distorted money-making attitude. It’s the demonstration of trying to GET RICH QUICK. It is very very unlikely! The lottery ticket buyers are frequently those individuals who carry large credit card balances, and collect the latest gadgets (even when they can’t afford them).
These individuals are missing a key SUCCESS STRATEGY: the ability to DELAY GRATIFICATION.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Get Rid of Toxic Thinking
Any sort of gambling will not lead to wealth; not lotteries, black jack, roulette, poker etc. The odds are IN FAVOR OF THE HOUSE.
If you even consider gambling or playing the lottery in the hopes of “STRIKING IT RICH,” ADJUST YOUR THINKING NOW.
As Losinno said, “The reality is that most of us will have to work until we get to retire, and only a tiny percentage of people ever win lotteries. It’s far better to use your wits to plan soundly towards making your retirement dream comfortable. You’ll probably come out ahead anyway, by being a tortoise rather than the hare, since most Lotto winners have lost their winnings within the first five years.”
Old thinking: Buy lottery tickets to get rich!
New thinking: There is no such thing as a free ticket to wealth. I have to plan, save, and invest in order to gain wealth. It’s not easy, but if I take it step-by-step, it’s possible. Delaying Gratification leads to financial success.
Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.
- Go to the human resources (HR) office at work to set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck into a savings account. If it’s taken out immediately, you will not miss the cash.
- While you are at the HR office inquire about a savings plan &/or 401(K). Don’t get scared if you don’t understand the program, ask the human resources staff to help you. It’s their job!
- Pick up my RSS feed (the big orange striped button on the top right) and read BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance regularly to learn how to achieve wealth.
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