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  • matthewedlundmd


Dear AI,

I’m an American, so I want to make money. Fast. I’m not real good at math, so I dropped out of college, but I can sell real well. Except I need money pretty quickly right now. I had a little gambling habit, and I owe more on credit cards than I can pay back.

I’ve read about bank robbing. It seems you can make money fast, like the Bombshell bandit did, and she was in debt like me. But I’m not sure that would work long term.

As an impartial student of human behavior, do you have any ideas on how to get rich quick?

Strapped in Sacramento

Dear Strapped,

Making big money fast is the American dream, and a surprising number of people have accomplished it – Bernie Madoff and Michael Milliken come to mind. But the percentage who accomplish it quickly is very small.

You can try bank robbing, but in our surveillance society, chances are very good you’ll get caught. Prison can provide you a sort of job, shelter and board for years, but sadly your debts will remain. Outside of a few memoir and television writers, most inmates do not enjoy prison.

It’s possible to try high risk jobs like uranium mining, but most of these high risk occupations have been siphoned off to developing countries where environmental laws and lax and labor costs are much lower. However, as American environmental enforcement becomes more and more spotty, opportunities may arise.

Drug dealing is a possibility – particularly the legal kind. Until recently, selling nicotine vapes to schoolchildren appeared a fast way to riches. Many hope to do the same with marijuana, which ultimately may addict only about 9-10% or users, far less than tobacco.

However, we would recommend using your sales ability to get into finance. Take hedge funds. Using other people’s money, hedge funds still extort 2% of assets from their holders even when their assets go down – your gain guaranteed even when they lose. Better, many hedge funds still demand 20% of profits. This is indeed a sweet way to great wealth, as people like Steve Cohen have learned.

However, getting into hedge funds is not easy. Yet the issue is one of sales. You have to convince people that you will make money for them quickly through techniques that are swifter and shrewder than those of rivals. Your experiences with the gambling industry should serve you well. Think of selling hedge funds.

There’s also the possibility of getting into private equity, especially on the sell side. Private equity firms take other people’s money to buy yet other other people’s companies, load them up with debt, take magnificent management fees that put more cash in their own pocket, and then hope the economy keeps rising. The great beauty of private equity is that in a low interest rate environment, banks and shadow banks are happy to issue bonds and special loans (CLOs) to almost any business entity with a heartbeat.

So forget about bank robbing. Sales is an American ticket to great wealth. Selling finance – i.e., money, is perhaps the fastest way to getting rich quick.

Your AI

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