Why Employees Have a Hard Time Getting Rich

I still remember when I had a discussion with an employee who works within a well-known company; he said that “having a job is an investment already, why separate them both?” I chuckled and thought to myself that this person must be a newly hired professional, probably at a young age. But upon further inquiry… this employee is actually a master’s degree holder with 10 years of work experience.

Most people will say that “If you have a job, and is educated; then you are successful” – but often employees fall on this trap that working and being conventionally educated is the only way to support the family and achieve success. However, when time comes that a job is not enough to pay for the bills, or if an employee is not able to work anymore due to age, tenure, sickness, or disability… a new problem arise in a form of poverty and financial difficulty.

This is the reason why the poor and middle class, albeit able to work for now, will eventually succumb to financial difficulty later on with their careers… if they do not invest.

Although you can be rich if you become a CEO or an executive, but what is the percentage of employees who actually hold those positions? You might spend your whole lifetime working and you might still not gain that position. So, is it better to work hard in order to get a hypothetical although prestigious position? Or is it more prudent to invest while being an employee to ensure financial security regardless of your position?

Financial literacy and investing are crucial especially for employees if they want to be financially secure; because having a job as the only primary source of income will eventually turn to be a risky decision itself. If you only have one source of income, forget about getting rich; you are not only setting yourself up for failure, but you are also risking the livelihood of your family. If you really want to support your family, achieve financial freedom, or to get rich; then you need to start investing.

There are many ways to invest and you can choose which one will satisfy your needs and risk appetite. You can invest in stocks (which is also my preferred investment), insurance, mutual funds, trust funds, bonds, or even a business. All of these are financial vehicles that will enable you to earn money while being an employee or after you have saved enough money as an employee.

You see the typical employee often use his or her money to buy luxuries rather than investments; it might not be all of them – but most do use their money for new phones, cars, gadgets, travel, or even a new home that they can’t afford rather than live in an apartment where their budget fits. Frugal living was then forgotten, in exchange for “feeling good and valuable” by living a life buying luxuries.

As Robert Kiyosaki often say… “Do not buy luxuries until you have the assets to buy them…”

Therefore, buy assets (investments that make your money grow in value) rather than liabilities. The reason why the employee often has a hard time to get rich is because he or she does not know what to invest their money with, in order to grow their assets and financial value. They think that being able to afford luxuries entitles them of “being rich” – but the truth is – they themselves have low net worth due to spending on capricious things in life. But who can blame them? It feels good to buy the things that make you look rich, while it’s harder to invest and be patient in order to get rich. As a suggestion, stop buying the things that you can’t afford or spending on things that you can live by without.

Live a frugal life and learn to invest on proper financial vehicles, and continue to grow your financial value by buying more assets than liabilities. Because time will come that a job will not be enough to sustain a your needs due to lack of financial resources or income; but when that time comes, you need to ensure that you have enough investments (not just savings) in order for ends to meet.

So, if you want to get rich as an employee – then learn to invest early and do not buy luxuries until you can afford them.  – Jay Penn.


"Jay Penn" is a Financial Literacy Mentor and Investor who is best known for his Book "Polymath's Profit". He is also an expert in the field of Maritime, Engineering, and Emergency Medical from his past careers. Experienced with Security Analysis, Crisis Prevention, Contingency Planning, and Global Maritime Distress Safety System. Currently instructs Nautical Sciences and is an avid Researcher of Business and Economics. He is also recognized as the "Top Maritime Instructor" for 3 consecutive years in the Maritime Education from 2014; raising the standard for the Maritime Industry and Training.

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