By in Wealth | 7 comments

Wealth Building; What Not to Do

With the 4th of July upon us, I was going to write another “cheap activities to celebrate the 4th” article. But do we really need another picnics, walks around the lake, or pot luck articles? Of course the same could be said for the current brouhaha about celebrated New England Patriot, Aaron Hernandez and billionaire cooking empire builder, Paula Deen’s falls from grace. Do we really need more discussion of the stupidity of public personalities?

Yes, we need to shout out the importance of keeping what you have and not losing your wealth because of stupid behaviors.

It’s important to learn about getting rich and how to build wealth. But the flip side of that coin is keeping the wealth you have.

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, I’ll encapsulate the current stupidity of Paula Deen and unlawfulness of Aaron Hernandez. Deen used the” n word” and has been dropped from TV shows, cook book publishing deals, and licence and marketing arrangements slamming her billion dollar empire to the ground. How stupid can she be? Come on, if you are racist, keep it to yourself! And in this day in age when Caucasians are quickly becoming a minority, wake up and enjoy the beautiful diversity in this country.

As anyone with a brain realizes, everyone has something to contribute regardless of race.

Paula Deen-How to lose wealth.

Paula Deen-How to lose wealth.

Aaron Hernandez allegedly killed Odin Lloyd. If you have a multi-million dollar football contract, don’t flush the money down the toilet and your life into a cell by murdering someone.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Wealth Building Lessons from Stupid Public Personalities

It’s not easy to make money. Deen had to work decades to build her brand and business empire. You don’t become a professional football player by sitting on your ass, it takes years and years of grueling practice, hard work, and dedication. Those two have access to wealth that most of us will never see, and they are throwing it away with their own hubris. And those two are not the only ones, the news is littered with rich and accomplished folks who break the law due to their own greed clamoring for more. Heck, my distant relations include a few failed business owners and and  bankruptcies caused by terrible business decisions and lack of tenacity.

Building wealth takes persistence and discipline. Losing it takes stupidity and poor decision making. Here is what to do to keep the money that you earn, save, and invest:

1. Be conservative with the majority of your wealth and protect it from excessive risk. Make sure to include Government I bonds in your portfolio along with a large cash cushion for emergencies. When speculating, do so with money you can afford to lose.

2. Think before you act or speak. So many folks jumped on the Facebook IPO because they used Facebook. How stupid is that? Understand that IPO’s are speculative. Let a new company build up several years of positive earnings and an actionable growth strategy. Most IPO’s decline from their opening price.

3. When you hit the financial skids, and everyone has a financial misstep once in awhile, contain it. Keep the loss as small as possible and don’t make the same mistake again. Back in our 30’s, El Carino and I moved from expensive Southern California to affordably priced Indiana. So enamored with what our real estate dollars would buy in Indiana, we bought a large brand new home (without a basement-a big negative in Indiana). The job in Indiana didn’t work out and we moved within two years taking a loss on our home.

We learned from that mistake and never repeated it! We bought a very affordable home the next move, stayed in it for nine years, and made a nice profit when we sold.

4. Get rid of your racist attitudes and beliefs, you are missing out on way too much of life. Open yourself up to others, regardless of race and you’ll find a richer life. You may encounter money making opportunities you would otherwise have missed. Collaborate with those who have something to contribute, not those just like you!

5. Spend time planning. Figure out what you want, how you will get it. Set your goals, follow up, and keep going when the inevitable road block hits. Correct small mistakes before they devastate your future.

Let the stupidity of others motivate you to be smart with your money and your life!

What stupid financial mistakes have you made? How did you recover?

image credit; google images_media bistro (Deen)_CNN (Hernandez)


  1. When you are a celebrity or a public figure, you have to be very careful! Your image is very important. In both cases, their habits or values were compromised by them. It is amazing how they can make so much money and not realize they need to hold themselves to a higher level.


    July 3, 2013

  2. Paula Deen admitted to using “the n-word” (seriously, are we all children, that THIS is the only politically correct way to even reference the word???) many, many years ago because, as she said, the world was different then–it was more casually racist, and she wasn’t different from others at the time, though she has changed both views and actions. I thought it was a brave and honest thing to say. But she was treated worse by the media than if she were a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson, anyone?). Heck, Tanya Harding has made a media career out of her vicious assault of Nancy Kerrington.

    But this is supposed to be worse, somehow? Seriously, now, those are our cultural standards?

    And, by the way, I’m in a mixed-race, cross-cultural marriage, with mixed-race children. There are many, many things that are worse than an ethic slur–and yes, we’ve had such things thrown at us a time or two.

    That said, Deen was foolishly naive not to realize that this was the most dangerous thing she could have said.

    As for the Hernandez…people don’t kill because they’re poor or desperate. Not really. They kill because they’re the kind of people who would kill no matter what, and this also often makes them into the kind of people who are poor and desperate. When someone who is murderous manages to find success (NOT through criminal means!), it’s surprising because it’s fairly rare that a person like that could get along well enough in any field to succeed. But it’s not so much that Aaron Hernandez’s mistake was in killing someone–it’s that he had become the kind of person who would kill. Once he became the person, the actual murder was pretty much bound to happen. Not that particular person at that particular time, but he was going to kill someone at some point. His other successes didn’t factor into it at all.

  3. @Krantc- I think they tend to feel like they cannot be touched! How wrong.
    @Jenny- I really appreciate your thoughtful, depthful, and disclosing comment. Regarding Paula Deen, sure there are worse things than using a racial slur (like murder), but she should not justify it! “Things were different then.” Really??? Look, we all have some sort of prejudice or judgementalness in us. BEing “color blind” is a myth. If you don’t you’re just lying!! But come on, Paula, you should know better. (I have experienced religious prejudice and it sucks!)
    RE Hernandez, very interesting viewpoint. You have given me something to think about Jenny.
    BTW, I’m pleased to see more mixed race families in the media and advertisements.

    Barbara Friedberg

    July 4, 2013

  4. Well that was a pretty stupid thing to do when you are a public person, either of them. We didn’t see it over here of course but wealth built on fame is always pretty fragile. The trouble is that people start to think they are invincible and that money will always arrive. Unless they are bankers, they are wrong but let’s not gloat over their downfall! Just remember the lessons.


    July 4, 2013

  5. You tell it, girl. Loved this post – informative and fired up!


    July 6, 2013

    • Hi Linda, Thanks for the support! I’m always shocked when those who ostensibly have it all manage to screw up their lives.

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 9, 2013

  6. It’s said that something like 80-90% of pro athletes go broke after their careers are done. They get all this money right away and then spend it thinking they will always be making millions. The average NFL career is something like 3 yrs at league avg salary, which is a few hundred k a year. Certainly not enough to last the rest of your life if you are spending it carelessly. As for Paula Deen, I’m actually quite surprised by her quick downfall. Aaron Hernadez jersey’s are selling for major money on ebay now after he was accused of murdering multiple people and Paulu Deen’s been burned at the stake for making racist comments many years ago. Not defending what she did, but her actions are certainly less worse than killing someone, heck they aren’t even a crime. Shame on our society for sweeping celebrities crimes under the rug and going back to idolizing them instantly. A-la Lindsey Lohan, Ray Lewis, Chad Johnson, Plaxico Burress, etc…


    July 7, 2013


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