Fantasy-Based Financial Planning – Part Two

This is part two of yesterday’s “Seriously?” moment is brought to you by MarketWatch via Yahoo! Finance, in an article entitled “10 Secrets to Being a Millionaire and Enjoying It” by Paul B. FarrellYou can read part one here.  I continue my criticism of the article, with my comments beneath, in blue.

3. Accentuate the positive

Most of us have read books like Napoleon Hill’s classic, ‘Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.’ That message hit home in ‘Fast Company’ by a Special Forces instructor, a veteran of 26 years: “If you have a guy with all the survival training in the world who has a negative attitude and a guy who doesn’t have a clue but has a positive attitude, I guarantee you that the guy with a positive attitude is coming out of the woods alive. Simple as that.” As a Marine veteran, I know he’s on the money.”

Firstly, if I get stuck in a survival situation, and I have a choice in the matter, I’ll take the grumpy knowledgeable guy and you can have Mr. Happy-go-lucky-ignoramus.  I’ll give the highly trained sad-sack a pep talk and we’ll get out of the woods alive, and probably in good condition.  You can take the doofus and traipse through the poison ivy with a smile on your face while feeling good about yourself.  Remember, it takes a huge amount of time and work to know things, but you can change an attitude in an instant.

4. Quit doing what you hate

Many people live in quiet desperation, waiting for retirement, doing something they hate. Marcus Buckingham put it very simply in his winning book, ‘The One Thing You Need to Know”: “Figure out what you don’t like doing, then stop doing it.'”

Immediately?  What if doing what I hate is what pays for my apartment and keeps food on the table?  I have responsibilities to my work and my family – should I just quit?

How about I find a good way to transition away from work I hate in a responsible, low-risk manner?  Would that be OK with you?

5. Do what you love

You’ve heard all the pep talks: Follow your bliss; do what you love, money will follow. But most of all, never forget Stanley’s bottom line: ‘If you are creative enough to select the ideal vocation, you can win, win big-time. The really brilliant millionaires are those who selected a vocation that they love.'”

You know what I love?  I love frolicking in the sunshine with my dog and then taking a dip in the pool.  I could do that every day.  How do you suggest I turn that into a million dollars?  Doing what you love isn’t enough – you have to be able to successfully monetize what you love.  For some reason, no one seems interested in giving me a million dollars for paying around.

Wait a second, I get it.  The whole article is just a bunch of pseudo-self help pap disguised as advice.  Some of the suggestions are plain ridiculous, and I can see some of them being downright harmful.  I also don’t see how any of this helps someone accumulate a million dollars in net worth.  Sure, having a good attitude feels nice, but it won’t make you a millionaire.  Having a million-dollar net worth makes you a millionaire.

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