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7OPM—NOT OPIUM: WHERE MOST OF THE RICHEST ARE

Like telling folks what to do? Have nerves of steel? OPM may fit you fine.

This road is paved with fees from Other People’s Money (OPM)—money management, private equity, brokerage, banking, insurance, and so on. It’s easy entry. You don’t need a PhD or a brain surgeon’s brain. There are lots of crossovers here, too. OPMers frequently found big firms (Chapter 1) and generate very rich ride-alongs (Chapter 3). Some OPMers end up heroes, some in prison—there’s ample room for conflict of interest. But a good OPM richie efficiently and ethically makes his (or her) clients rich at the same time. Getting rich while making others rich—what’s more blessed than that?

OPM is the commonest road for the ultrawealthy. It isn’t how you get to be the very richest, but it’s how most of the mega-rich get there. Ninety-three of 2016’s Forbes 400 members got there on this road—the most of any category. And more modest piles of $2 million to $50 million are commonly made, often over just a few years.

BASIC OPM CAREER RULES

Folks often think they must first know technical aspects of finance or they can’t succeed here. No! It’s just as good to learn to sell first and learn finance later—maybe better. One counterintuitive rule I learned from watching others navigate this road is:

Young people learn to sell and communicate better than older people, ...

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