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|Can Reading Comic Books Make You Rich?|
|Written by Dave Hilton|
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of high school students entering the Upward Bound program. Upward Bound is a federally-funded TRIO program designed to give low-income students the chance to get college credit while still in high school. It is a program with which I am very familiar, because I went through the program, too. In fact, I met my best friend because of that program. It was one of the most beneficial experiences of my life.
I was asked to speak to these kids about my professional and academic careers. I started off talking about going to college, my Radio career, my decision to go back to school to get my Master's degree and life in general. But, about half way through my discussion, I blurted out something I had not planned to talk about. I told this group of soon-to-be High School Sophomores that no matter what they decided to pursue as a career or vocation- they should always have multiple sources of income.
I explained that although Radio is my "day job", I also make money from websites (like this one), do work as a Financial Conflict Coach and Conflict Engagement Specialist and, on occasion, get hired for voiceover and voice acting projects. My point was that even if I lost my Radio job tomorrow, I would still have other potential sources of income to offset the loss.
Honestly, I don't know if most of these kids had any idea what the hell I was talking about. All I can hope is that at least one of them remembers what I said and applies it to their financial life.
Just a few days later, I came across this article on Yahoo! Finance that explained how less than 10% of the richest people in America make their money from just their salary or wages. It was a fascinating piece that showed the true power of investments, capital gains and property/business ownership over traditional jobs and even high wages.
So what can the average Geek do to improve their chances of becoming one of the wealthiest Americans? Think like certain comic book characters, of course! Yes- I believe reading comic books (as long as you pay close attention) can help make you rich!
For example, consider the business and investment diversification of some of the richest and most successful people in both the Marvel and DC Universes- Tony Stark, Oliver Queen, Norman Osborn, Wilson Fisk, Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne.
Although many of these characters inherited their company from their family, most of them managed to invest in different business ventures and projects to, albeit in a fictional world, build their wealth and expand their reach and power. Here are some examples:
Stark Industries went from being simply a manufacturer of weapons and munitions to a multinational company that also invests in aeronautics, robotics and other sciences.
Queen Industries, in its many forms, has gone from a weapons manufacturer to a company with subsidiaries that created technology and electronics like the Q-Pad and Q-Phone.
OsCorp was another company that started out as a chemical and weapons manufacturer that also dabbled in things like genetics, bio-engineering and other technologies.
Fisk, also known as Kingpin, used his legitimate businesses to fund his illegal activities. He's owned everything from a Spice business to a TV Station, a McDonalds in New York and even investing in a company that owned the Spider-Man movies rights (essentially owning the rights to the likeness of his nemesis).
LexCorp (also LuthorCorp) started out at an aeronautical engineering company, but became the largest company in the DC Universe. It has owned everything from Newspapers (including The Daily Planet), TV Stations, Satellite Companies and Banks to Food Distribution Companies, a brewery, armored car companies, robotics firms and a ton of real estate, manufacturing facilities and more.
Wayne Enterprises is another large DC Universe company. It started as a merchant house in the 19th century and, in time, the Wayne family added shipping, chemicals, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, oil, food, mining and a ton of other technologies and subsidiaries under its umbrella.
So what does all of this mean to us living in the real world? It means even comic book writers understand the best way to build wealth (and to pay for all your Superhero toys) is to have multiple sources of income and diverse investments!
It's not as though the topic of having multiple streams of income is something new here on the Debt Black Hole- I've talked about it before. But, the more I look at the parallels between comic books and real life (other than the superpowers, aliens, etc.), the more I think we can actually learn important financial lessons from those colorful pages and characters. You just have to be observant.
Do you have multiple streams of income or diverse investments? How did you choose to invest in those assets or income streams? Leave your comments and stories below!
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