Updated: August 17, 2022
To be financially secure means having enough resources to support your standard of living today and in the foreseeable future.
To be financially secure means being able to sleep well at night, with no fear and worry that you won’t have enough money to provide for yourself and your family.
If you want financial freedom, then achieving financial security is your first goal.
Which now begs the question, how do you achieve financial security?
Fortunately, I discovered a simple test to find out how financially secure a person is, and that is to ask yourself this:
How many people will it take to ruin your finances?
I learned this concept from author and entrepreneur, James Altucher, who once wrote:
“Count right now how many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life.”
I don’t like it when one person can make or break me. A boss. A publisher. A TV producer. A buyer from my company. At any one point, I’ve had to kiss ass to all of the above. I hate it. I will never do it again.
The way to avoid this is to diversify the things you are working on so no one person or customer or boss or client can make a decision that could make you rich or destroy you or fulfill your life’s dreams or crush them.
20 is the magic number
According to James Altucher, you would need to have at least 20 people to “pass”. So I tested myself, and fortunately, I learned that it will take about 35 people for me:
- 4 directors of the board, who can make a majority vote to take me out of my company
- 5 account managers of different advertising agencies, who can drop me as a supplier
- 7 managers of each of my small businesses, who can suddenly run away with the money that they handle
- 8 business partners, who can cut me out of our projects
- 11 major clients, who can leave me and take their business elsewhere
I believe it will take at least three out of these five scenarios to happen to make a major impact in my cash flow; four to bring me down to my knees; all of them to completely ruin my finances.
As you might have realized, having several businesses and multiple sources of income has allowed me to spread my risk. I can diversify my cash flow so that I am not financially dependent on one person, nor a small group of individuals.
For me, this is really how you become financially secure, and a great first step towards financial freedom.
How about you? How many people will it take to ruin your finances?
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wow, you quoted my idol. You know what, you two (Fitz and James) are the ones who inspired me to start blogging. In short, kayo ang dapat sisihin. joke lang. 🙂
On topic, it’s true. We don’t realize that there are too many gatekeepers we are relying our lives on. We must really start choosing ourselves (quoting Altucher also).
Great idea/concept of measuring financial risk, Fitz. I believe, this can be done in conjunction with the concept of diversifying one’s self worth (as suppose to just diversifying your net worth) by avoiding too much focus on one aspect of life.
I’ve been following your blog ever since I started with my PhD here in South Korea in 2011. Regards from a fellow UPD Eng’g grad. – Joey
I believe I am financially secured for now but my ultimate goal is to be financially free meaning not being ale to worry about going to work. I will give myself 6-7 years to call myself financial independence. Great blog you got there! Im still browsing your past posts! 🙂
I must say it’s a good experiment by Fitz to decide how much one is financially secured. I completely agree with the fact that diversification of cash flow is very much essential to make yourself financially secure because it’s much better not to depend on any particular individual or a company rather then diversified your money to different financial market.
Excellent post Fitz. I would add spouse to the list of who could bring you down. Maybe I have old fashioned ideas where two people became one in marriage and worked together for their entire married life until death. Sadly modern life does not always culminate that way. Choose your life partner with great diligence and care. One other point, I always lived in a manner and prepared with the idea that even mighty corporations and governments can and do fail. Look at the major air carriers and how the pension plans of so many employees blew up! Look at huge companies such as GE (General Electric). GE may survive but it is no longer the “widows and orphans” stock it once was. I live a great life here in the Philippines on half my US Social Security check. Still, I worked toward the goal of being able to live well with no SS checks each month. My depression era Grandparents instilled that into my soul, ANYTHING might fail.
[…] a good feeling to be financially secure. That is to be in a place where you’re not worried about money because you have stable […]