Although a 40-hour workweek is seen as quite standard for many Americans, most people would rather be making more money while working fewer hours. Retiring early with plenty of cash to spare is a common financial goal and some people seem to have discovered the secret to building up their savings account without spending decades working a salaried job with a major time commitment.
Here are a few people who have cracked the code to making profits outside of the standard salary system.
After working in finance for 13 years, Sam Dogen wrote that he retired at 34 years old and he now lives entirely off of his passive income
In a 2018 article he wrote for CNBC, Sam Dogen said that at the beginning of his career he was working 70 or more hours per week, but he “escaped full-time work for good” 13 years later at the age of 34. He wrote that one of his steps to success is that he’s been saving and investing ever since he got his first job.
According to the CNBC article, he began putting away at least 50% of his income after taxes as soon as he got his first post-college job at an investment bank. He wrote that he used those funds to buy rental properties, stocks, bonds, and CDs (savings certificates with a fixed maturity date and interest rate) in order to build passive income streams. “Start your passive income journey as soon as possible because it takes a long time to build something significant,” he wrote.
In 2009, Dogen started a personal finance site called the Financial Samurai where he educates others about maximizing their income and productivity. And as his blog and profits from his investments and rental properties grew, Dogen wrote that he found himself making enough money to retire at age 34.
According to his CNBC article, Dogen and his wife don’t have day jobs and they live entirely off of passive income. According to his blog, in 2017 he made about $211,000 in passive income alone. He also wrote that he and his family continue to save money by driving a car worth less than 1/10th of their gross income, never buying new clothes, and taking advantage of free activities in the city during weekdays.
He later wrote that he only works about 25 hours a week on his blog as of 2018.
Timothy Kim said he immigrated to the US with just $500 and by the age of 31 he had become a self-made millionaire
When he was a teenager, Timothy Kim and his parents immigrated to the US from Hungary. At the time, the Korean-born author said he had only $500 in his pocket. According to CNBC, he made his first successful investment in the stock market at age 19 and by the age of 31, Kim was a self-made millionaire.
In 2018, Kim told CNBC that he attributes his success to listening to the advice of highly successful people. He said a former college professor who had become wealthy after making successful investments in the stock market told Kim and his fellow classmates to invest and so he did.
Kim said even though he was only making minimum wage at the time, he invested $1,000 into the stock market. And as he began to make profits, he continued to invest. “Every time I had extra money, I kept throwing it in [the stock market],” he told CNBC.
In a 2017 article for Budgets Are Sexy, he wrote that he doesn’t see a point in “being the richest man in the graveyard,” and that he considers money to be a transient kind of happiness. Rather than focusing on accruing more wealth, what he really cares about is building a legacy. “I want to create an impact on the world, an impact on society, in our communities, all over the globe! I want to create businesses that employ tens of thousands of people,” he wrote. He currently runs the personal finance blog Tub of Cash.
“Efficiency is the name of the game,” Kim wrote on his blog earlier this year. “Work is uncorrelated with success … Don’t listen to the ‘hustle 24/7’ nonsense you see everywhere.” He also wrote that the amount of time you spend working is not a measure of wealth.
Entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss said he made more money working four hours per week than he did from working 80
Timothy Ferriss is an author, podcaster, and self-help guru who rose to prominence for his book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” a New York Times bestseller.
After graduating from Princeton University with a degree in East Asian Studies in 2000, Ferris started working in the sales department of a San Jose tech start-up. In an interview with ABC News, Ferriss explained how he used his spare moments at work to build an online business selling a performance-enhancing supplement called BrainQuicken. As his online business grew, Ferriss said he found himself working up to 90 hours per week.
Frustrated and exhausted after three years of what he called “overload,” Ferriss said he decided to drastically reduce his workload by outsourcing much of his daily work and only checking his email once a week. In his book, Ferriss wrote that he was able to go from making $40,000 per year and working 80 hours per week to making $40,000 per month and working four hours per week.
Today, per his Linkedin page, Ferriss is an author, an investor, and an advisor to companies like Uber and Evernote. Ferriss told ABC his secret to maximizing his income while minimizing his work hours is cutting back on checking his email and employing virtual assistants to take care of everyday tasks and responsibilities that eat up valuable time.