Updated: May 10, 2019
My best client is me. I know that it sounds vain, but hear me out.
In order to do so requires a trip down memory lane. Let’s head to 2008. Not one of the best years for Americans, or the world, really... I was a junior in high school. My world changed fast and uncertainty quickly arose. Would we need to move again? Would I need to switch schools? Would I be able to travel for soccer tournaments in order to get recruited for college? Would we have to sell the car? And my dad saying that he was broke, all the time. I never knew how to respond.
To add insult to injury, throughout this time, I was only surrounded by rich kids. I attended a progressive private high school in the prestigious Marin Country, just north of San Francisco, on scholarship (which I am eternally grateful for), so essentially all of my friends weren’t just rich, but fuck you money wealthy with generational implications.
Having rich friends is actually the best.
Perks included and were not limited to: being invited on family vacations to Asia, the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Tahoe, Colorado, etc, private planes, casual weekend trips to Healdsburg, jet skis, personal chefs, indoor basketball courts, you know, the works.
Extreme wealth was so prevalent in my life, that I became immune to it. These were my friends. Who just all happen to be rich. And I just wasn’t one of them. No more, no less.
I’m not saying that my life was terrible by any stretch. I absolutely lived a privileged life in its own way, but by comparison, it was night and day. And no way to compete which left me feeling unique, which is exactly what you don’t want to feel in high school.
Given this enigma that I was living in 2008, money quickly became a finicky creature that I would never fully trust; and as such, I decided I wanted a lot of it. Billionaire style, with a B.
Fast forward to 2012. I was a sophomore in college and decided that I wanted to become an investment banker. Why? Because I knew that the term investment banker was synonymous to dollar signs, and I was a college athlete. The banks were coming out of the woodwork, like the termites that they are, to recruit us. Probably because they figured out that collegiate athletes are ruthlessly competitive and can handle adversity, both physical and mental. I wanted to make as much money as humanly possible, and this was the best first step.
Fast forward to 2013. I began my budding career as an investment banker as summer intern. The work was hard and long. Not actually that hard, but definitely long. June 15th: I received my first paycheck and it was the most satisfying thing that I had ever felt to date. There was a lot of actual money in my bank account that was all mine, that I could spend. This was beyond a foreign concept to me. And that’s exactly what it was.
Now that I actually had an income (quite a handsome one, at that), one would think that I would go out and buy some stuff like clothes or get my hair done. No. 100% wrong. Instead, I saved it. My thought process was as follows: just because I have some money now, doesn’t mean I’ll have it forever, and I probably won’t have it forever so I can’t spend it on stupid shit. I have to make this grow as much as possible so I can have more and more of this. And if I spend it, I’ll have less.
It was like making money created a burden to save it and thus birthed my new goal of saving as much as possible, not even for something in particular, just to save as much as humanly possible, just in case. I was trying to do everything to ensure I would never have to relive the recession, ever again.
This mentality of saving and investing continued for the remaining 5 years of my investment banking career. Now, of course I spent money, and on stupid things (I even threw a blow out 25th birthday party for myself in vegas), but paid off my student loans as fast as I could (to avoid any unnecessary interest), always managed to save money monthly in addition to maxing out my 401k and Roth IRA, and saved 100% of all my bonuses.
And this was the greatest gift I could have ever given myself.
You could chalk it up to being an investment banker, but in reality 1 in 5 millionaires actually keep their millions. And believe me, people and investment bankers alike find ways to spend it all. And I know a lot of people making a shit ton of money that would be fucked if their lost their jobs: the antithesis of financial independence.
Anyways, here I am now. On Maui. My favorite place in the world happy as a clam all made possible, 100% due to my earlier years of properly prioritizing my money to achieve my goals.
And you can too.
I quite literally am practicing what I preach at Saffron Money. Not in the sense that everyone needs to save all their money all the time, but rather properly making your money work for you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
And here we come full circle, I am my own best client, and I love it.