The Dangers of Trying to Get Rich Quick:

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Be honest.  Did your heart skip a beat when you read the title? Did you think I was finally going to unlock the secret box of instantaneous wealth?

I’ve been spending some time answering personal finance questions at Yahoo Answers.  Seems like there are a bunch of people who want to get rich quick.  Truthfully, this generation is given more and more opportunities to get rich quick.  And this is exactly the problem.  A desire to get rich quick takes normally hardworking individuals and makes them feel like they are missing something.  We become disillusioned by traditional forms of work and earning.

So how do you get rich quick?  By working hard.  Working slow.  Working right.  If God chooses to open an unanticipated opportunity, then consider it a blessing.  But there are numerous dangers associated with setting a goal to get rich quick. Photo by yomanimus

What’s wrong with wanting to get rich quick?

  1. You are more susceptible to scams and fraudulent offers. In the book Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich
    Jason Zweig says, “when possibility is in the room, probability goes out the window.”  We become fools of the ‘what-if’ syndrome.  What if it was true?  What if it did work?  So we put all our financial resources into one basket and put it all at risk just because we might get rich quick.
  2. Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Proverbs 13:11 NIV)

  3. People who get rich quick are often ill-prepared to handle the wealth. The Bible speaks about it in this way,
  4. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10 NIV)

    Wealth building is not simply about increasing the amount of money you have in the bank.  Wealth building teaches lessons along the way.  You learn mistakes you will not repeat again. Fortunately, in the little by little approach those life lessons cost less.  Someone who gets rich quickly is more likely to make a fatal error that puts the entire gain at risk.

  5. People who get rich quick are often disappointed with the results. Wealth that is given or easily earned is not as rewarding as wealth that is legitimately earned.  Those seeking to get rich quick have come to believe the solution is always more.  Instead the solution is recognizing you have enough.  Patrick Mead says, “Want what you have and like what you’ve got.”
  6. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV)

Final Bible Thought:

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28 NIV)

Comments

  1. says

    Very nice post.. and I love the bible quote. I think it’s important to get out of the “get rich quick” mentally in order to actually get rich. Get rich slowly works better for most.

  2. Steve @ MyParentsRetirement says

    Thanks for the post. I found while searching for Proverbs 13:11 while I was writing an article on building passive income for my parents to retire with. Good article you have written and it helped keep me focused on what the Bible has to say about get rich quick schemes.

  3. Mike says

    I mostly agree with the post, but I think you’ve created a false dichotomy. You said:

    “Wealth that is given or easily earned is not as rewarding as wealth that is legitimately earned.”

    This at least implies (if it doesn’t state outright) that wealth given or easily earned is illegitimate. While I fully embrace a biblical doctrine that shuns unethical, immoral or greedy pursuits, quick acquisition of wealth doesn’t always indicate sinful behavior.

    Proverbs is full of warnings about the deceitfulness of wealth and commandments not to trust in money instead of righteousness.

    Proverbs is also full of statements that highlight the blessings of riches properly acquired and properly used.

    Let’s just make sure to support what the Bible actually says.

    • says

      Mike,
      I think there are two ways to get wealth. The one is a ‘quick’ way and the other is slow and steady. I think those who earn is quickly are often ill prepared to manage that wealth. Of course, there are exceptions, but this is generally true.

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