Ask Money Man

Ask the expert all of your money related questions. Email your questions to and Money Man will email his reply. Questions of general interest will be posted on this web page. Your name will not be printed unless you say you want it printed. Your identity will always be protected.

Dear Money Man:
 Was looking over your Get Rich Slow web pages and noticed your question:
 "Can you get rich in just a few years? I did."
 How long is "just a few  years," in your case anyway?


I purchased a luxury home at age 26 and paid it off in 6 years. For me, "a few" = 6.


hmmm.  must be a 6-figure income involved somewhere.
Thanks for the info.


There is no 6 figure income involved. I am an engineer who has made around the average salary for my profession. With the information in my web site, this is sufficient.


Dear Money Man:

Address: Jakarta - Indonesia
Now I am still in my university, my parents was passing away and I have no
sister or brother. I pay all my daily needs by my own salary (I work as a
secretary on small company).

Now I would you to teach me how to be rich in legal, because I am religion.

who ever you are many thanks for the information, or maybe you can help me
also how to get money on my part time.


When I write about how to get rich slow, I assume that you are in the United States. In the U.S., there is so much high technology, that a great deal of wealth is created. Even Americans in low technology jobs here make high salaries. For example, the U.S. per capita income was $26,000 in 1994. In contrast, the Indonesian per capita income was $880.

You can still help your situation. At your university, you can learn the skills you need to be more valuable. This will qualify you for higher paying jobs. I discuss this in On that page, my table of salaries may not be accurate for your country, so just remember to choose a field that you like and is in demand.

Remember to work hard in your current job. I discuss this in Perhaps your boss will pay for you to take a college course that will help you at work.

Finally, if you are reading my web site, then you must already know some English. Become better with English and you will find job opportunities using this skill. Good Luck.


(Editor's note: Americans, look how lucky you are!)

Dear Money Man:
 I am 28 years old and make a fairly good living earning $50,000/yr.
 However, I have made future financial goals for myself that I wish to
 accomplish before I am 30.  The first and foremost is to get myself out
 of debt.  I pay $800/mo. in rent, car payment/insurance (both car and
 rentors'), credit card debt and about $1,000 left on a small school
 loan. I currently have a little over $3,000 that I accured in my
 company's 401K Plan.  Unfortunately, multiple hospitalizations and
 follow-up care have eaten away at my ability to save and invest.  What I
 am planning on doing is paying off 80% of my credit card debt (these
 have the higher interest rates) with the $3,000.  This will leave me
 with more money per month to save and begin an investment portfolio.
 Where would be the best place for me to start this?  I would like to be
 able to purchase a house within the next couple of years as well as have
 enough money put away for a wedding when that time comes.  Also, I am
 very, very worried that I will never qualify for a mortgage on the kind
 of house I would like.  Can you help?


It sounds like, in general, you have your priorities straight. You recognize how financially debilitating credit card debt is. Also, you seek to buy a home. Good for you!

You wish to put your savings from having lower credit card payments into lucrative investments, but the difference between a lucrative investment and a conservative one will be only a few dollars. It may be wiser to save the money in preparation for your next emergency. If you are willing to take a chance and have a low bank account, then the best investment is to pay down the nondeductible debt with the highest interest rate. Probably, this is your credit card debt or your car loan. If this saves you from paying 18% interest, this is like investing at 25% (assuming a 28% tax bracket). Also, lowering your debt will certainly help you qualify for a mortgage. Good luck.


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Copyright 1996 Alacrity Research