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Discussion in 'General Investing Discussion' started by dane445, 20th Apr, 2009.

  1. dane445

    dane445 Member

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    hi,
    i am a 16 yr old boy, and read quite a few books on financial topics, i am thinking about leaving school and getting a full time job as i see school as quite tedious and pointless in my goal to becoming a millionare, just hoping to get some advice and opinions thanks guys.
     
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Well-Known Member

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    I know you are going to get a lot of people telling quitting school is a terrible idea, but I'm going to try to be honest and say "it isn't necessarily a terrible idea" but it all depends...

    Firstly and most importantly you should never quit learning! If you want to be successful in anything in life, or a millionaire, you are going to need to be an active student in life, and as far as I can tell there is a hell of a lot to know and at 24 I'm barely scratching the surface of the important things to know in life, and I consider myself quite and active learner.

    However, how you plan to go about making your millions also matters a lot when deciding which life path to chose. Like if you plan to run your own businesses to make your millions then stereotypical school education might not be HUGELY beneficial, however you could always opt to study subjects closer to your life goals, as in you could opt to take subjects like economics, business studies, legal studies, maths, etc etc that are all VERY relevant to running successful businesses and making money.

    Picking up strong understandings in fields such as economics, law, business, etc can be quite hard initially outside learning institutions, as these institutions are often very good at providing good overviews that show all the areas of a field that you didn't know that you didn't even know as well as providing a good foundation for further learning outside of the institutions. Achieving these sorts of outcomes without a learning institution guiding you or a VERY worldly and dedicated mentor would be very tough to do on your own.

    If you plan to make your fortune by getting a job and earning a good living, then building some equity for investments to then make your fortune that way, then I suggest staying at school. The unfortunate reality is that in life employers want people that have in the past proven they can do the hard yards and put their head down and bum up and get the task done. Society for the most part use school and university certificates to signal to employers that you are certain sort of person with a certain sort of skills and qualities. As such these individuals tend to get paid significantly more than individuals without such qualifications, and when it comes to building equity for investments, saving is the name of the game, and it is much easier to save when your wage is significantly higher than the costs of when basic living. By this I mean it doesn't matter if you start working a few years earlier if the job you get pays so poorly that you can barely afford to save any money anyway. You'd be better off studying more and getting a better job which allows you a much greater rate of saving.

    I know I personally look back at school and by far the best thing I got out of it was a good circle of friends. Having these quality relationships are really what helps propel you forward in life. I'm sure you have heard the saying, "it's not what you know it is who you know that counts" well I think for most developing the list of "who you know" is largely done at school. I can honestly say at 24 that I would happily trade $250,000 to know all the guys that I know from school - those relationships I have with them has been valuable in the past and will be invaluable as I move forward.

    Also so many people love to have conversations with themselves that go along the lines of, "if only I had X, then I could do Y, and then I'd be Z" of course this in the vast majority of cases is just rubbish we tell ourselves to justify what we do. So in your case you may be telling yourself that "when I get more time because I quit school then I'll be able to start working on making my millions, and then I'd make my millions faster and would be able to be whoever I wanted to be."

    If this is the sort of conversation that is going on in your head right now to justify quitting school I'd say stay at school and refocus your energy on being successful in school first as well as being successful outside of school. When you have proven that you can work hard and work smart when it comes to your studies (ie get A's in everything), in addition to pursuing money making knowledge and ventures outside of school then you can start raising the question of "if school is really the best use of your time". Otherwise there is very likely chance that you will quit school and achieve very little in your time off.

    This of course is just my opinion, but I think it's fairly valid given my sister (who is quite smart I might add) quit school in grade 11, with great intentions, but ultimately did nothing with the year off and ended up going back a year later. The best thing she got out of her year off was her probably learning that quitting school was a bad idea. She is now 4 years of uni through two degrees, and enjoying it too.

    Anyway I hope this has given you some food for thought... let me know if there is anything else you want me to touch on.
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Great post Chris C.

    dane445 - I understand where you are coming from, and I know that school can seem like a complete waste of time.

    However, there are some key truths you need to consider before making a decision.

    Becoming successful financially relies on skill and a lot of hard work.

    Unless you already have a successful business (I know a few people who were already in business by your age), now is not the time to be quitting school.

    There are basically two methods for building significant amounts of wealth (I'm ignoring lotteries, inheritance and marrying money) ... business or investment.

    The differences between business and investment can be quite subtle, but my view is that business is an active strategy using significant amounts of sweat equity (ie hard work) to build up an asset (income generating and/or capital gains realised at sale). Investment on the other hand is largely passive (in that it is not your day job - if it is your day job you are actually in business), and relies on time and skill to build up an asset (again, income generating and/or capital gains realised at sale).

    Most people who run a business, do so as their day-job. Most people who hold investments, have another day-job which they use to help fund their investments. You can use the proceeds from your business to also hold investments, and as an investor, you may actually own a business you don't actively run in a day-to-day capacity ... so the lines can get blurred somewhat.

    You don't need to have any particular qualification to be successful at running a business - but as Chris said, there are a lot of skills which are very useful, and learning them while at school and/or university can be a good way of preparing yourself.

    You need to understand that just because you have a brilliant idea, doesn't mean you will be successful in business ... more than 80% of new businesses fail within the first few years, and entrepreneurs typically start multiple businesses before they are eventually successful. It can take a long time, and if you don't have money behind you it can be very difficult to live while trying to build a successful business.

    If your business is capital intensive such that you require financing to get it off the ground, forget it unless you have a lot of money behind you, or can find someone willing (and silly enough) to lend it to you. In order to borrow money from the bank you'll need A) assets the bank can mortgage as security, B) track record, or C) very deep pockets to pay the ridiculously high interest rates they'll charge for unsecured borrowings.

    Alternatively, passive (as in not-your-day-job) investment requires significant amounts of capital to get anywhere.

    Unless you have a wealthy benefactor who can start you off, then you are going to need to gather that equity the hard way - by working for it. While you don't have to be highly paid to be a successful investor, it can be much easier getting finance and borrowing large sums of money if you earn a good salary (by which I mean $100K plus).

    You aren't generally going to earn that kind of money without specific qualifications (doctors, lawyers, some types of IT work, etc), and you won't get these types of jobs without staying at school and going to uni.

    That being said, if you have a particular skill for sales and pick the right industry to work in, you can earn very good commissions without formal qualifications - some sales people I know earn huge commissions ($500K+), but they have worked very hard to get where they are - it's not something you just walk into.

    At the end of the day, I see school and university as a means for giving you more choices about how you can be successful. It's not critical that you stay at school, but if you don't, then certain options will be closed to you.

    You haven't mentioned how you intend to make your millions - if you have some specific plans in mind, perhaps we can give you some pointers as to paths you might take to get there.

    Do you have any particular skills you could leverage now? What is your timeframe for reaching these goals? What are you going to do once you have achieved them?
     
  4. transit

    transit Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to leave school at a young age, I would try and get an apprenticeship that would lead to a job working in the oil & gas industry. I have friends who work 5 weeks on, 5 weeks off and they are making very good money (in excess of US$150k per annum). They then use this cashflow to leverage themselves into investments. A lot of them are based in SE Asia and spend their 5 weeks off either looking for investments or partying hard in Thailand.
     
  5. dane445

    dane445 Member

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    hi,
    yes i am planning to make my millions in importing or sales,
    any ideas how i can get started in sales? without qualifications, i am already importing small time, but know lots of people that are amking huge mooney on the importing scene and want to drop out to raise capital for that.
    ideas thanks
     
  6. Young Gun

    Young Gun Guest

    talk to a bikie they're good at imports and make stacks of cash.....
     
  7. transit

    transit Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you 'need' qualifications to work in sales. The best paying sales job would probably be a REA but i think you want to sell products? If so, you could get a job at Myer or Harvey Norman selling bedding or furniture.

    Importing is easy. Any monkey can fill a 40 foot container with stuff from China and ship it over here for US$2000. The trick is getting rid of it at this end -- you have 3 options: internet store (ebay, your own website etc), rent a retail outlet (high overheads, same like buying a job) or wholesale (dealing with existing contracts etc). Everyone is searching for that elusive item that you can sell for a multiple of 6 times.
     
  8. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dane,

    Also Business to Business sales make a ridiculous amount of salary. I've seen a few people earning $300k pa which is quite a healthy salary! Obviously like Sim said they work hard for it.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  9. dane445

    dane445 Member

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    yeah i know, hence wnting to work in sales so i become good and can get rid of the item i import, i am also looking into starting a building company down the track, ie: just organise people and sub contract out all the work
     
  10. dane445

    dane445 Member

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    hi whats business to business sales?
    thanks
     
  11. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dane,

    B2B is selling goods or services to other businesses rather than consumers (you and me). Eg, selling laptops to businesses, selling mobile plans to businesses, selling fleet verhicles to businesses, etc.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yup, the people I was referring earning the big dollars to were IT sales people selling software, hardware and services to large financial institutions and government departments.

    We used to think we were pretty hot earning $150K+ as IT specialists (pre-sales technical support) ... until we found out what the sales people were earning based on the work that WE did.

    Not sure how well these guys are doing more recently - their base salary was pretty low, it was all commissions - no sale, no new Porsche.
     
  13. dane445

    dane445 Member

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    hi thanks, any idea how i can get into that, B2B sales, ?
     
  14. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Hi Dane and welcome to the forum :)

    Great posts by both Chris and Sim- lots of food for thought there that I hope you've been able to digest.

    My thoughts on schooling... obviously biased coming from an ex-teacher and passionate learner :D Learning isn't just about school, though my schooling years were formative and quite important in shaping the person that I am today. I come from a large family, two of whom didn't complete Yr 12 but chose to leave in Yr 10 instead: both of whom are now very successful in their chosen fields, and actually earn much more than the three of us who elected to complete Yr 12 and obtain degrees instead! However, this isn't to say that things may have been different if they'd gone onto higher education instead. After all, they were fortunate enough to locate a career early enough that they both love and are extremely talented at, some 20 odd yrs later.

    There's been plenty of people who didn't finish school and have proven themselves successful. Eg: Paul Keating our ex-PM, for one. Then again, we can always support our argument with a no. of statistics and examples, can't we? For every early school leaver who achieved great things in life, there's another who went on to further education and greater things as well.

    I believe it comes down to maturity- on a number of levels. Not every 16yr old has the capacity or drive to leave the safety net of school at such an age and truly experience life in the working world successfully. Then again, not all 18 yrs olds do either. Some of us really benefit from that extra institutionalized learning (both Yrs 11-12 and higher education) whilst others fall through the cracks and end up in mediocre employment, regretting their decisions later in life not to learn at least one higher skill.

    Drive and ambition will get you so far, but I do believe that having some skills behind you, whether or not they be tertiary or otherwise, can only benefit you in the long term. Sure, we all want to get out there and succeed but, at 16yrs, you're so young and still have so much further to go. I wish you every success in whatever path you end up taking. It's an exciting time-planning a career! I wish I could do it all over again myself...
     
  15. nitro-nige

    nitro-nige Well-Known Member

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    still gotta learn

    In my opinion all the very successful people in this world never stopped learned. Be it through high school/uni or the school of hard knocks.
    If you're going to forgo 'formal' education at least have a plan and preferably a mentor or partner.
    Nothing is impossible if you're prepared to work hard enough.
     
  16. Hoodedmonkey

    Hoodedmonkey New Member

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    Hi Dane!

    Wow there's been some great replies here and I really enjoyed reading through Chris's at the start there, he hit some very valid points.

    Dane I'm 19 at the moment and was going through your exact dilemma only 2 years ago when I was in year 12 and I went on to finish school, not with my heart fully in it as I wanted to leave and raise capital as you do, but I'm still very glad I did finish. I'm not sure what year you are in but if you are a few years off of finishing and you are having these thoughts you may just not be able to keep yourself focused enough to make school worthwhile so it could be beneficial to drop out and find a good paying job, however in saying that I don't know of many huge paying jobs that hire many under 18.

    However, I am a strong believer in not having to go to school or onto further education (tertiary or otherwise) if you want to get into being a businessman and entrepreneur and I have raised this with a number of business contacts and both my business partners who have gone to Uni and they agree.
    In saying this though you do want people around you who can teach you basic things like staying organized and motivated to keep you heading in the right direction of your goals.

    I personally work in sales and absolutely love it!

    This is my first full time job and it's actually working for Telstra. Whilst a lot of you who are reading this will be groaning and saying "Boo Telstra" (Lol) I have found it to be the best medium to learn the craft of sales and also giving me the chance to work harder for more money. (Could be good for you to learn the best way to offload some of your imports)

    Whilst the income isn't necessarily massive it's easy to get into without having qualifications and you can learn how to sell and also structure yourself around goals before getting into Business to Business which is much harder and would need some experience.

    While I work my day job I am constantly looking out for other ventures but am currently happy to stick to the two I am doing now for extra streams of income and both are to do with websites and Internet Marketing.

    Either way I hope this post has helped, and I really do wish you the best in what you get into. If you're in Adelaide or even if you're not it could be beneficial to join a Facebook Group called The Startup Club Adelaide who organize face to face meets with like minded people like on this forum and you could very well find a business partner or mentor there and I think they are looking at expanding inter state anyway.

    Peace

    Isaac