I was once told that the lottery was a tax on stupidity. Unfortunately, it has taken me 26 years to discover it’s probably true.
The source of that statement was an associate of mine who happened to be a self-made millionaire.
I always figured that since he lost more money hanging his pants up at night than I’d spend in a good week, he couldn’t appreciate the opportunity to make a quick (and large) buck.
The year was 1981 and I was involved in a group lottery with 48 other co-workers.
Every week, a wannabe millionaire named Bob would make his rounds to collect our money. I spent many Sunday nights deciding on where I’d celebrate the big win and what colour my new Porsche would be.
Sure enough, as the weeks went by, people started to lose interest and our numbers dwindled. For some reason, seeing their hard-earned coffee money walk out the door every Friday without any return wasn’t sitting well with the majority.
Here we are in 2007 and we’re still going at it.
Forty-six of the original 48 members have either retired or moved on (and yes, unfortunately some are not walking this earth anymore.)
I am the only original investor that still works for the company. The other holdout changed companies a few years ago but couldn’t bear to quit the lottery for fear of our numbers finally coming in. We also added a couple of new members so officially we now sit at four.
Years ago that same person who preached about the lottery stupidity tax recommended a book called “The Wealthy Barber.”
“Read it and live by it,” was his advice.
In a nutshell, this book talks about the value of compound interest over time. Regular monthly installments, at a young age invested wisely, can add up to the very real possibility of early retirement.
I did read the book and tried the theory for a very brief period.
To this day, I’m sorry I didn’t continue with it. Mind you, Visa and a few oil companies did appreciate me redirecting the deposits their way.
If I had invested my lottery payments into some sort of guaranteed investment, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. Buy the book and read it. I’m 99.9999% sure you’ll be way ahead at the end of the day. Here’s an idea, with the interest buy a lottery ticket – just kidding!
– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck West and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.
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