In recent Sundays, we’ve been featuring essays from our CEO, Brian Hunt. They focus on the wealth-building power of elite dividend stocks. Brian’s essays have quickly become one of our most popular series here at InvestorPlace, as they contain timeless investment wisdom that you can begin implementing today.
Today, we continue with the series — but this essay is different … and may surprise you.
You see, stock recommendations — even elite dividend stocks — are far less impactful on your overall financial situation than what Brian shares with readers today.
If you want to get rich through stocks, that’s one thing — and here at InvestorPlace, it’s our goal to help you accomplish that. But if you want vast, multi-generational, dynastic wealth … well, that requires more than just investing alone.
What is it?
Jump into today’s essay to find out.
Oh, and if you’ve missed Brian’s prior essays on dividends, or want to read ahead, you can always visit our InvestorPlace Education Center to access all these classic essays.
The Lesson of the Great Pyramid
How to harness the most powerful wealth-building force on earth
By Brian Hunt InvestorPlace CEO
Here at InvestorPlace, we like to think that our products and services are more about a unique state of mind and a unique way of life as opposed to collections of stock recommendations.
You might find that idea intriguing, since InvestorPlace features many world-class investment analysts who recommend stocks.
To clarify, stock recommendations can be a wonderful wealth-building tool. But let’s not miss the bigger picture. Our allegiance is to helping our readers and subscribers create a financial life that serves them. To do this, we need to be clear and direct about what really matters when it comes to building wealth.
And the truth?
Stock recommendations are far less impactful on your overall financial situation than what I’m about to share with you. That’s not to say stocks aren’t important — they can be. But they’re further down the list when it comes to helping you design a life of financial independence.
So, in this essay, we’ll focus on a massive “needle changing” factor that can make all the difference in your financial life. The way of the investor looking to build a financial empire — and the beginning of your path to true wealth — is rooted one critical idea:
If you want to be rich, spend your time acquiring assets. If you want to be poor, spend your time acquiring liabilities.
We believe the best and easiest way to understand this idea is through the lesson of the Great Pyramid.
When it was completed in 2504 BC, everything about Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza was stunning.
Built as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu, the pyramid was 480 feet tall, the equivalent of a 44-story skyscraper. This made it the tallest structure on Earth, a title it held for 3,800 years.
At the base, each side of the pyramid was 756 feet long, more than two football fields in length. Its more than two million limestone blocks weigh over six million tons. This made it also the heaviest structure on the planet, a title it holds today.
The pyramid’s smooth, polished sides gleamed like a jewel in the sun … and could be seen from miles away. To ancient visitors, it was a supernatural vision. People wept in its presence. Humans had never built anything so large and striking.
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the pyramid took 20 years to build and required the labor of 100,000 men (later estimates peg it around 25,000). Contrary to early claims, the pyramid wasn’t built by slaves. It was built by skilled laborers who were compensated for their work.
These people had a wide variety of skills. Engineers, architects, surveyors, stone masons, and artists all contributed to the structure. Keeping them all clothed, fed, and housed required another army of workers.
Directing the efforts of tens of thousands of people to cut, shape, transport, lift, and place with precision all those massive blocks was greatest coordination of human effort the world had ever seen. It left behind the only surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World.
When you consider that a manmade structure is lucky to survive just 450 years in our world of constant change, you have to acknowledge building something that lasts 4,500 years is really quite an achievement.
If you can appreciate the manpower that went into building the Great Pyramid, you’re well on your way to understanding one of the great secrets of life … an incredible force, that when harnessed, can make virtually all your dreams come true.
People who harness this force gain an incredible advantage over others. They sprint in the race to success while those around them crawl. They become kings among men.
In fact, if you held a gun to our heads and made us pick one idea that separates the poor from the rich and the sorry from the successful, this is the idea we’d pick. It is the hidden engine that creates lives abundant in wealth and personal power.
Best of all, anyone can use this force. It’s mostly the rich that use this force, but they do not have a monopoly on it.
Despite the power of this force, it’s not taught in school … and most parents never even think about it.
Back to the Great Pyramid …
Remember, it took the effort of tens of thousands of people to build the thing. The world’s greatest engineers and builders spent a good part of their lives making it a reality.
Now … imagine if just one person tried to build the Great Pyramid.
It’s a ludicrous idea, we know. The project would be over before it starts.
Yet … thinking about this ludicrous idea could change your life.
In less than 10 minutes, it could help you acquire one of the greatest advantages anyone can have in life.
You see, every year, hundreds of millions of people around the world try to improve their lot in life through the effort of just one person, themselves.
The office worker has only his efforts behind a keyboard working for him. The plumber has only his efforts with the pipes working for him. The lawyer has only his efforts with documents and juries working for him.
No matter the career, most everyone you meet in life has the measly effort of just one human being directed towards making his or her financial dreams a reality.
Is there a better way to achieve financial freedom and get what you want? What if you could direct 100 times more effort toward the achievement of your goals?
What if you could get thousands of people working on your financial pyramid … instead of just one person?
There is a better way to get what you want in life … and yes, you can massively increase the amount of effort that is put to work every day towards your financial goals.
In fact, it’s possible to get dozens … hundreds — even thousands — of people working towards the goal of making you rich and financially free. Hundreds of thousands of people have done it throughout the years. Those people have ruled the world … and continue to do so.
You might as well join them … by becoming a business owner.
You see, not many business owners and entrepreneurs talk openly about it, but owning a business essentially comes down to harnessing the efforts of others and directing them towards the happy goal of you being rich.
No MBA course and no college professor will describe business ownership in such blunt and politically incorrect terms, but the underlying reason that owning a business is the ultimate path to wealth is because it’s a “neat trick” played on others. It gets other people sweating and toiling to make you rich. In return for agreeing to build your business and make you wealthy, the employees get steady paychecks and the freedom to not have to think all that hard or take big risks.
This agreement isn’t discussed in job interviews, job ads, resumes, or HR materials, but it’s the foundation of the business owner/employee relationship.
An offer from business owner to job candidate never goes like, “I’d like to offer you the chance to work very hard at making me rich,” but that’s really what it boils down to.
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, was good at building software. But he became a billionaire because he convinced people to create and sell software for him. His employees got steady paychecks and security. Gates got billions.
The founder of Ford Motor, Henry Ford become one of the world’s richest men not by building cars with his own hands … but by convincing other people to build cars for him. His employees got steady paychecks and security. Ford got more money than he knew what to do with.
And the legendary Steve Jobs? Sure … he was brilliant and creative. But he leveraged his skills more than 10,000-fold by convincing people to make and sell phones for his company. Apples employees received steady paychecks. Steve received truckloads of money.
These very wealthy guys didn’t try to build the Great Pyramid on their own. They convinced others to do it for them.
This mindset is the world’s greatest wealth secret.
The stories of Gates, Ford, and Jobs are exceptional of course. Not every business owner becomes a billionaire. They don’t need to. Convincing just a half dozen people to direct their efforts towards making you rich can build a great small business that generates millions of dollars in profit for you.
For the record, I’m not saying being an employee is a bad thing. Far from it. Being an employee early in your career allows you to learn valuable skills while getting paid. It allows you to make mistakes and learn on someone else’s dime. Some employees, like pro athletes and bankers, can become fabulously wealthy without owning a thing.
Also, there’s no guaranteeing that being a business owner will make you happy. Being a business owner can be a miserable experience. Many employees are far happier than many business owners.
But if you really want to be financially free and have lots of control over your life, you can’t settle for the effort of just one person. You need hundreds … even thousands of people working on your goal for you.
We state again: If you want to be wealthy and financially free, don’t direct the measly efforts of just one person (you) towards building the Great Pyramid. Own one or more businesses and get dozens … hundreds … even thousands of people stacking blocks for you.
At this point, I encourage you to stop reading for a moment. Go back and read the previous three pages. It will only take a few minutes.
I’d like for you to re-read the previous three pages because it’s the single most important lesson on wealth you’ll ever learn. This could be one those “A Ha!” moments that changes your life for the better. I don’t want you to miss it.
Also, you might be like me and learn best through repetition. If that’s the case, please read the section three or four times. I’m not exaggerating when I say it could change your life forever.
After you read it again, think on the idea for a while. It’s simple, but extremely powerful. You can struggle your whole life with the efforts of just one person working towards your financial goals … and stack a small pile of small stones. Or, you can direct the efforts of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people towards your financial goals … and build pyramids.
The effort of one vs. the effort of thousands. It’s simple math.
The rich do the math and act accordingly.
The poor and middle class never think about it.
It’s the simple difference between always having more than you know what to do with and always struggling to get by.
If you don’t read another word of our materials and just start convincing other people to make you rich by working in a profitable business that you own (wholly or partially), you’ll be way better off than the person who spends thousands of hours reading books and books about wealth and investing.
The five minutes you spend learning the lesson of the Great Pyramid are an extreme shortcut to success.