Shortcuts to wealth aren’t a modern invention. Take the Ponzi scheme, for instance, which has been around for over a century. A lot of people are skeptical about the traditional approaches to wealth, like getting a well-paying job, running a small business, or investing in index funds.
They often see these methods as too slow, offering financial freedom only much later in life, like in their sixties. I get where they’re coming from. The desire to have it all right now is a common feeling. With that in mind, here are some proven, legitimate ways to get rich quickly that have actually worked.
1. Investing in Land
I know quite a few people who’ve invested in land more than once, often with insider information about upcoming infrastructure projects like highways, railways, or airports. This kind of knowledge usually comes from connections within the real estate or local government sectors.
It allows them to foresee how these developments will enhance the land’s value. Their approach goes beyond mere luck; it’s about being well-informed and strategic. They dedicate time to understanding local development plans and zoning laws, and their network of contacts becomes invaluable in identifying these potential land investment opportunities.
2. Investing in IPOs
Investing in IPOs, like Amazon’s in 1997, shows the potential for significant returns. If you had invested $1,000 in Amazon then, by 2020, you’d have over $50,000. Today, that investment would be worth around $1,946,689.06, given the stock splits in June 1998 (2:1), January 1999 (3:1), September 1999 (2:1), and June 2022 (20:1), turning 18.55 shares into 13,334.4.
With Amazon shares at $145.99 on November 20, 2023, that initial investment has multiplied many times over. While this seems like and easy way to get rich quick, it is not. If it were, everyone would be doing it.
3. Working in a Startup Before its IPO
In Facebook’s early days, until late 2005, some entry-level employees in basic office or site support roles received between 1,000 to 5,000 shares. Thanks to various stock splits over the years, these shares increased to 80,000-400,000 by the time of Facebook’s IPO.
At Facebook’s IPO price of $38 in 2012, those shares were valued between $3,040,000 and $15,200,000 before taxes, assuming the employees held onto their shares until the IPO. This scenario led to the creation of 600 millionaires at Facebook’s IPO. The New York Times even reported that there were “thousands of millionaires” thanks to the company’s stock.
4. The Lottery
Ok, this is an obvious one. The lottery is probably the most known get-rich-quick scheme out there. While it’s a legitimate operation often run by governments, I would call it more of a poverty tax than a real pathway to wealth. The chances of winning big are incredibly low, making being struck by lightning more likely than hitting the jackpot.
While the lottery is the most known get-rich-quick scheme, marriage is probably the most popular. As for how easy it is to get rich this way, I haven’t tried, so I can’t say.
6. Early Adopter
In recent years, we’ve witnessed the rise of Bitcoin millionaires. The reality is that while some made money from this, most did not. To me, it seems that cryptocurrency, NFTs, and similar trends work on a ‘greater fool’ theory.
Those who were the earliest investors made substantial profits, with each following wave of investors generally seeing less return. The second wave of investors made less, the third even less, and so on.
7. Event Management
You might find this surprising, but it comes from personal experience. Around 20 years ago, I dabbled in event management as a side hustle. We decided to organize a New Year’s Eve event. Our initial investment was just $1,000 for a deposit on the hall, and we covered the rest with ticket sales.
By January 1st, after all expenses, we had made $42,000. It required three months of intense work on our part, and while the financial reward was significant, the stress level was something else. The responsibility of managing a large crowd, something you can’t fully control, was nearly overwhelming.
8. Having the Right Product in Stock at the Right Time
Chances are, you know someone who had a stock of masks right when COVID-19 hit, just like I do. I’m not suggesting they had insider information; it was more a stroke of luck.
On the flip side, I also knew people who anticipated the demand spike during events like the solar eclipse. But they overestimated the market and ended up with thousands of unsold glasses sitting in Amazon’s warehouse.
Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time with the right product can lead to a windfall, but it can also go the other way if the market demand isn’t as high as expected.
Check out: How to Invest $100k to Make $1 Million
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