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Get Rich Quick. Possible Applications to Life and Laboratory. Disclaimer . There is probably no worse person to advise you on financial decisions, so I won’t. Advice is NOT the point of this lecture. Backing up my claim to financial incompetence. 1971 – Soda jerk $1.17/hr

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get rich quick

Get Rich Quick

Possible Applications to

Life and Laboratory


There is probably no worse person to advise you on financial decisions, so I won’t.

Advice is NOT the point of this lecture.

backing up my claim to financial incompetence
Backing up my claim to financial incompetence

1971 – Soda jerk $1.17/hr

1974 – Forklift driver & bean walker $1.73/hr

1976 – married art history major

1981 – Postdoc ($15K) instead of IBM ($30K)

1983 – LSU ($24K)

1983 – Sell house in tech boom state, buy lesser house in oil bust state for more money.

1990’s – private schools

2000’s – LU, ATHM, BLDP


Jack Davies

Sailors: Gale, Aklonis, Jelinski

Wanda Walczak

Wayne Mattice

Randy Cush


Baby boomers

End of industrial age


Rapid advancements in technology of finance and entrepreneurship

Educational changes



  • Cradle-to-grave with the same company
  • Industrial rotations
  • Hired because you had learned how to learn
  • Letters of recommendation sought earnestly
  • Social Security secure
  • Stock market rises eventually
  • “Our loyalty was to customers, employees and stockholders, in that order.”

1990’s and maybe 2000’s

  • Rightsizing and a golden parachute
  • Sink or swim
  • Hired because you can contribute fast
  • Produce or be gone
  • Social Security questionable
  • Stock market may be down indefinitely
  • “Our loyalty is to stockholders, period.”

*Vincent Corbo, Hercules…a close paraphrase, not direct quote.

ulterior motive
Ulterior Motive

One can draw strong parallels between professional opportunity and the things Get Rich Quick people advise.

Some are true, some not. Either way, GRQ schemes are a fun read that can stimulate thought.

can you get rich by working for someone else
Can you get rich by working for someone else?

Define rich!


$100,000/year is not rich (Chemistry, 20 years)

$175,000/year is not rich (Engineering or MatSci, 20 years)

$500,000/year is getting close (Chancellor)

$1,200,000/year is rich (Football coach)


$90,000/year is not rich (start with postdoc)

$250,000/year is not rich (corporate scientist)

$5,000,000/year is rich (CEO)

we still have not defined rich
We still have not defined rich

A rich person does not need to work another day, secure that adequate assets for his or her desired lifestyle are in place.

  • Would that be a good thing?
  • What non-work could you pursue full-time?
  • Maybe they are essentially the same as “work”
  • If so, would it be even more fun without worry about money?
do traditional virtues still work
Do traditional virtues still work?

Thrift—deeply ingrained into our culture

“The Thrifty Housewife”

“A Scout is….

….trustworthy loyal helpfulfriendlycourteouskindobedientcheerfulthriftybravecleanreverent.”

Download from STSC website: InvestmentProfile.XLS

Investing this way at 5% yields $200,000

after a 30-year career. Big deal, but this is hardly an aggressive savings plan…and your employer (when & if you have one) will tuck away more $$$ for you through a retirement plan.

Bottom line: Yes! If you start saving early, you can retire rich at age 55 – 60. This risk-free path is available to academics, industrial scientists who never lose their job or divorce, and national lab scientists. Cool, eh?

so why do people need or think they need grq
So, why do people need, or think they need, GRQ?

Bad planning, worse execution.

College for kids—tuition up 100% in some states this year alone.

Living longer—sure, the house will be paid off, but it only consumes about 12% of takehome anyway. We’d miss not spending the other 88%!

Maybe you won’t live longer: pressure to do stuff before you cannot.

maybe one reason for grq is that people who have eschewed school have done very very well lately
Maybe one reason for GRQ is that people who have eschewed school have done very, very well lately.

Got into Harvard

Will tell you he hopes to complete his education

Why he’s richer than you:

So, why? "There are probably more smart people per square foot right here than anywhere else in the world, but Bill is just smarter."

–Mike Maples, executive VP at Microsoft

Apparently, still clips coupons to save $0.50 on Dove Bars! And drives his own Mercedes!


Dell, Turner, Edison, Ford – all recognized changes in technology.

  • None were truly masters of it….more like owners of it.
  • All took risks, but not of the life-threatening variety that soldiers daily do.
  • Many people are choosing this lifestyle, especially males.
  • Many will succeed at some level.
  • This is NOT surprising: 100 years ago, only ~12% of Americans finished high school.
  • That generation contributed enormously to America’s development.
  • If these “school of hard knocks” graduates do succeed, do we expect them to fund education with tax dollars when their academic past was crabby old math teachers who only delayed their success?
  • In most revolutions, academic elite are among the first to face elimination.

Educational Attainment, 1910-1998(taken from who in turn cites Statistical Abstract 1999, Table 1426)

people two case studies what will people do for money

Wayne Mattice

Left LSU and Baton Rouge for….Akron!

Randy Cush

Poker with shrewd Europeans and polishing the boss’ car did not work. Earns a tad more with his PhD than his wife does without one. What next?

People: two case studies: what will people do for money?

It is possible to separate

research from work:

--- Jim Robinson.

Research: one of several hobbies you do for fun.

Work: what you do for money.

rich dad poor dad robert kiyosaki

CashFlow Game

“If You Want to be

Rich and Happy

Don’t Go To School”

Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki

When a NY Times best-selling author writes books with titles like this, it is time to pay attention. Apparently, the book was written well before Kiyosaki was rich or a best-selling author.

A little more than the traditional

“buy property with no money down” approach.

His main message: take responsibility for your own finances.

Definitions of assets, put, hold, etc. that are useful.

kyosaki in a nutshell
Kyosaki in a nutshell

Lessons taught to him by his “rich dad” while his “poor dad” languished as an academic administrator/professor.

He kept great notes for a 9-year-old!

Alternative viewpoints is putting it mildly.

Assets, Cash Flow, Leverage & Optimism

A good exposure to the philosophy of money-centered people. Sociopath?

for scathing reviews of kiyosake and others see http www johntreed com
For scathing reviews of Kiyosake and others, see:

“Contempt for traditional education and the educatedThe book is almost entirely contemptuous of formal education and those who have graduated from universities. He wrote another book called If you want to be rich and happy, don't go to school? On page 64, he delights in the fact that “educated people” now “came at [rich dad’s] beck and call, and cringed when he did not approve of them.” This is a bit sick. ….. Kiyosaki takes the prize for the real-estate guru with the most tangled psyche.”

Maybe a little bit harsh—graduates of the school of hard knocks are often a little contemptuous of the well-educated. Example: Richard Nixon

more from http www johntreed com
More from

(Kiyosaki) says, “...the main reason people struggle financially is because they have spent years in school but have learned nothing about money.”

I disagree. The main reason people struggle financially is bad decisions about getting an education, bad luck, too much spending, too little savings and investing, too much reliance on organizations for their livelihood, and not enough reliance on themselves.

Here, Kyosaki’s reviewer incorrectly insists on an either-or position. People ARE undereducated financially AND this is why they do the things he identifies, leading to “bad luck”.

more from http www johntreed com1
More from
  • Kiyosaki says that our schools focus on “preparing today’s youth to get good jobs by developing scholastic skills.” He thinks that’s a bad thing. It’s probably the right thing. Only a small percentage of people are suited to entrepreneurship. Even future entrepreneurs usually need to begin as employees to get their starting capital and to learn while they work.
  • I would be among the first to agree that traditional formal education is lacking in many ways. I attended Catholic and public schools, graduated from college and got an M.B.A. But I also attended the School of Hard Knocks for thirty-one years, and that’s not such a hot educational experience either. As someone said, in the School of Hard Knocks they give the test first, then the lesson. That is a slow, costly, painful way to learn. Unfortunately, it’s the only “school” that teaches many things you need to know. Obviously, the best way to prepare for life is a combination of formal traditional education, reading, seminars, experience, and asking more experienced people for advice.

Elements of truth, but spoken like the West Point grad & Harvard graduate he is!

As Kiyosaki points out, most people were “entrepreneurs” just 100 years ago, if you count farming.

He does not point out that most were glad to be shut of it for Ford’s factories & $5/day.

academic platform to wealth
Academic Platform to Wealth

Academic life is possibly the perfect platform for carefully exercising financial creativity.

Job for life

Hobby for life


Summers to pursue “other interests”

Extremely ironic: if “poor dad” ever existed at all, he may have been ideally suited to be a rich man.

know thyself
Know thyself

Many of the people I have seen become discontented with their financial situation are very altruistic.

Still, there are all kinds of wealth.


Think about money sooner rather than later.

Believe people when they tell you getting older costs money: kids, health, long retirements all cost.

Separate education from earning.

Enjoy both.


“Rich Dad, Poor Dad”

“Retire Young, Retire Rich”

both by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A.