Becoming Part of the Super Rich Club Running the World.

Having been on Wall Street for over 30 years now, and having survived the 1987 crash, the Drexel Burnham bankruptcy, the 1990 credit crunch, the 2000 Internet crash, the real estate meltdown of 2006 and the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis, I think I have learned a thing or two about how to make money, how to survive crises and most importantly how to really thrive and become part of the exclusive Club of 1% when most went buckling.

So what specific characteristics do you need to have to be part of that Club?

Well… you really have three options:

Option 1: You need to love money. You want to say, everybody loves money. Wrong!!! “Everybody” loves spending money – house, cars, food, services, you name it. That can only get you out of the 1%. You need to be sincerely interested to the level of excitement in how money is made, how markets or real estate work, how money grows. You need to get your kick out of making money. Short of that, you won’t get there.

Option 2: You need to love power, and to like getting things done. You need to get your kick out of building your empire, out of organizing armies of people. Being psychopath can help, but only to a degree. A psychopath’s lust for human misery would eventually get on the way of effective execution.

Option 3: You need to love building things. That’s where you have the creators of Facebook & Google. That’s the most exciting and rewarding way, even if the most demanding. You’ve got to basically love how to produce & sell something of value, and invest (rather than spend or merely “save”) the resultant profits. Also, having a discipline to live below your means (spend less than your income) can only help get you there faster.

Having defined the basics, how do you now go about executing on your goal?

1. Don’t trust anyone

You cannot become the 1% if you think like the 99%.

The fewer questions people ask, the easier it is to control them. The 1% use education and media to control the 99%.

Bottom Line…

•  Don’t believe everything you hear.
•  Don’t just listen, think critically.
•  Don’t let mainstream media and education distract you.
•  Do your own homework

2. Work on your Strengths, not on your weaknesses

I like finding  and working on my strengths rather than trying to be good at something where my friends are already the champs. Basically,  try to create a niche of yourself. If you are good at identifying the need, become a Marketing guy. If you like running and are really good at it, give it your best shot. If you are good at Quant, become a Trader. If you have a photographic memory, use it to get the max juice out of it.

Many people say the contrary!

They say that we should identify our weaknesses and try to work on them. I think that this is the old school way of doing things. I don’t second that opinion, at least not in this ultrafast highly evolving world. Most of us would not be able to name any 3 things which they are really good at! If we spend our life fixing the weaknesses, we all will become alike. I argue that we instead should charter different courses and create a niche for ourselves. As far as the weaknesses go, I just want to know my weaknesses and remember them as my limitations so as not to dabble in something which is not my forte.

3. Never Stop Learning

When I was a little kid, my parents used to constantly tell me to study and that one day I will use my pen to change the world. Now that I am older, I realize that the 1% knows the importance of knowledge. If you know how to use knowledge the right way, it is the most powerful weapon.


a. Read a lot

11% of rich people read for entertainment, compared to 79% of poor
85% of rich people read two or more education, career-related, or self-improvement books per month, compared to 15% of poor
94% of rich people read news publications including newspapers and blogs, compared to 11% of poor people

Poor people read for pleasure. Rich people read for self-improvement. It doesn’t mean fictions are useless. Some of the most important books are novels. It doesn’t matter what you read, if you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t learn anything.

Don’t read just for fun. Read to acquire new knowledge. Always ask questions and ask yourself what you can learn from the book.

Don’t just collect knowledge like baseball cards and hide them somewhere in the back of your brain. Find ways to turn them into actions. After all, knowledge is useless unless you can figure out how to convert it into action.

b. Observe

Observing others is the best way to learn. Pay attention to the way people think, behave, and treat other. You can learn so much more than you think.

What you need to learn, you have to observe by yourself. All the rest is just a second hand experience.

4. Understand your relationship with money

Rich people are not rich because they spend money all the time. They are rich because they spend money wisely and that money ends up working for them.

“Don’t work for money, make money work for you,”  If you want to trade time for money, you will never have enough time.

By the same token, never let money define you. If you do, you will only be worth as much as you have.  You could spend a lot of money on something very important like education but never spend money on something you don’t really need. In short, don’t buy what you don’t need because one day you will have to sell what you need.

5. Start and keep investing

Money draws more money. Investing is something which should be like a routine activity just like brushing your teeth every morning. It should not be speculative or greed driven. Many people say that we should invest for the long term. I don’t think that is mandatory as long as you are investing after doing your own logic and research.

6. Focus on solving other people’s problem instead of yours.

Feed the masses, eat with the classes.

Benefit #1
Let’s do the math. If you are in the 1%, your problems can only represent 1% of all the problems in the world. By helping others, your chance to become successful is higher.

Benefit #2
One of the biggest lessons I have learned from managing people is….When people have their own problems, they cannot help me solve mine.

If you are going through a divorce or a loved one is dying in the hospital, do you think you can focus and help me plotting my diabolical plan to build the next big digital marketing agency? No way; only in my dreams…. So instead of yelling at people all day , I learned to ask them about their problems and offer help when possible.

Benefit #3
Making money is hard, keeping money is harder. What if tomorrow you are no longer in the 1% and all your 1% friends ignore you? You will need at least one of the 99% to help you.

Be selfish. Invest in people. If one out of a thousand people you have helped return the favor one day, it is a great deal.

7. Work smart, work hard and stop complaining

My parents taught me to always look up instead of down. If you are happy with what you have, it will be very hard to move forward. You need something to push you to work smarter and harder.

a. Work smart
Working hard is not enough. There are a lot of poor hard-working people. You need to figure out how to get the most out of the time you have.

If you cannot find ways to optimize the way you do things, you haven’t thought about it enough.

b. Work hard
Working smart is not enough. There are a lot of smart people who work smart.

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Some of the most successful people I know work crazy hours. They have more money than they can spend, but they still work a lot. They didn’t get to where they are today by sitting around and waiting for luck.

c. Stop Complaining
If you are in the top 1%, people don’t feel sorry for your high class problems. Rich people problems are as annoying as poor people problems. Problems are problems for a reason. The 1% often don’t have a privilege to complain all day long like the 99%.

Because of that, they have learned to zip their mouths and find ways to solve all their problems. That is why they stay being in the 1% category.

If you complain about life, you are losing time. Complaining doesn’t change a thing. If you don’t like something, change it. If you fail, at least you learned something. If you just complain, you will end up with nothing.

If something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, it is your fault because you did nothing to change it.

My philosophy in here is very simple: If I tried to change it and it didn’t work out, I haven’t tried hard enough.

Always blame yourself. It is the best way to make yourself a better person and it always works.

8. Surround yourself with the 1%

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
– Jim Rohn

The 1% like indeed to help people around them . If you have access to the 1%, you will have more access to higher quality opportunities to find your way to become one.

By the same token, if you keep hanging out with the 99% they will hold you back. You need to get out of the 99% bubble.

I am not saying you should cut all your connections with the 99%. They are great people, and you need them in your life. HOWEVER, in order to move forward in life you need to figure out to surround yourself with the top 1%. It will tremendously increase your chances for you to become one of them.

9. Be persistent

Things don’t always work out. It is okay.

Most successful people have failed many times before they found their success. If you want to be part of the 1%, make sure you stick around longer than the 99%.

10. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish, Stay Healthy.

The concept of Time Value of money enforces on the importance of wealth accumulated overtime through reinvesting. Hence, if you wish to be really rich, live longer!

Bottom Line:

If you are a millionaire, you are still poor compared to your multi-millionaire friends.

If you are a multi-millionaire, you are poor compared to a billionaire.

If you are a billionaire, you are still poorer than an even wealthier billionaire.

What is enough?

You are the only person who can decide your destiny. You can accept what life throws at you or you can write your own story. Legacies must be earned by the choices we make.

Now go and rock the world and keep reading this until you have memorized it once and for all.

Have a great day…


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.