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What is more important: saving money or earning it?

I often write on Quora.com, where I am the most viewed writer on financial matters, with over 609.1 million views in recent years.

In the answers below I focused on the following topics and issues:

  • What is more important: saving money or earning it?
  • How rich do you want to be?
  • What are the pros and cons of living abroad?
  • Why is reading books the key to success in business?

If you want me to answer any questions on Quora or YouTube, or you are looking to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.

Some of the links and videos referred to might only be available on the original answer

What is more important: saving money or earning it?

Some people here might remember this man:

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He is former Manchester United star Wes Brown.

He allegedly earned 50,000GBP a week at his peak.

That was about $75,000-$100,000 a week at the time.

According to this article he is now broke.

The reasons cited in the article are:

  • He was trying to keep up with people who were earning two or even four times what he was earning.
  • The money dried up in retirement
  • He invested in bad property deals that went wrong. With an illiquid asset such as property, it can be dangerous to buy from a developer in certain circumstances

There are many like him.

You see it in big cities like London, Dubai and Singapore as well.

People go for the higher packages, but often come home with less money than they started, due to lifestyle and keeping up with the Jones’.

I once saw a statistic that the average British person comes back from Dubai with less money than they start with.

In comparison, almost anybody I know who lived in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s or 2000s came home with much more money than they started.

The lack of distractions helped!

So, investing and managing money becomes more important than merely earning it once you have reached a certain level.

Below a certain level, earning more is key.

How rich do you want to be?

Few people sit on their death bed wanting more money.

Almost everybody wants more time and health.

Therefore, money is just a tool.

It makes sense, logically, to want enough to be able to say no.

More money, at least if it means a diversified portfolio which is connected to wealth rather than income, means:

  • More choices and options
  • Fewer risks assuming you have diversified it globally
  • The ability to buy more time as a business owner
  • Having the ability to focus on health more

Everybody is different.

For the majority, it makes sense to want enough private wealth to not have to rely on other people, such as an employer, as much.

This quote says it all:

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What are the pros and cons of living abroad?

It depends if you are moving for financial or non financial reasons, and how long you move for.

If you are moving for a short period of time when you are young, there are seldom many negatives.

Few people regret studying abroad for a year, doing an internship or a gap year.

When it comes to longer-term assignments, financial considerations are important for most people.

The major positives associated with moving abroad are

  • If you work for a multi-national, there are sometimes bigger packages abroad, especially in frontier markets due to hardship allowances. For instance, if you are an oil & gas engineer working in Canada or Norway, you are likely to be paid more if you move to Nigeria or Myanmar on a two-year contract.
  • For business owners, the world markets are always a bigger opportunity than just only focusing on the local market. Whilst it is true that you can target people online successfully, a stint overseas will teach you about other cultures, give you fresh ideas and so on.
  • New languages and skills will help you if you move back to your home country
  • If you are high-net-worth you can save a lot on taxes if you move to certain countries, and do the right planning

The main negatives are

  • In your home country you get back ended benefits. In low-tax countries overseas, you get front ended benefits. What do I mean by that? In your home country, you might feel you are being weighed down by the taxes. However, you get back some of that money when you get old or are sick as per the graph below:
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  • In comparison, if you have more money from lower taxes, you get front ended benefits. This can be great, but only if you are self-disciplined enough to save and invest more. However, plenty of people in low taxes countries like the UAE and Singapore don’t do that, as many studies have shown
  • Career wise, you will be behind your peer back home, if you don’t use your time overseas wisely.

Why is reading books the key to success in business?

Consider this.

What would most businesses do if they saw their workers reading a physical book, or a Kindle?

If it wasn’t related to something specific such a change in tax law if you are an accountant, and is more general business knowledge, they might not like it.

In reality, that means that outlearning people is more likely to be a sustained competitive advantage than outworking them.

Working really hard in the traditional sense of the word is very important , in fact essential, before you establish yourself.

Once you establish yourself, out learning other and taking more sensible risks can be two ways you can retain an advantage.

Most people don’t like to continually learn.

Yet many top businesspeople, such as Mark Cuban and Warren Buffett, spend a lot of time reading every day.

This quote from Book Marketing Best Sellers says it all:

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The key is that reading can sometimes give you actionable ideas which you can implement.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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