“Alexa, How Can I Get Rich?”

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Many people have likely asked, “How Can I Get Rich?”, but how many of them have asked Alexa?

I did exactly that recently, and her answer blew me away.

Turns out Alexa is a personal finance whiz, and her advice was as solid as anything I’ve read over the past decade.  It was so good, I’ve decided to share it with you today, along with my comments on her advice. 

Prepare to be amazed.

Ask Alexa, How Can I Get Rich? You'll be surprised by the insights. Today, we'll share what she says... Click To Tweet


“Alexa, How Can I Get Rich?”

From time to time I like to test Alexa’s knowledge, and the question “How Can I Get Rich?” came to my mind as an interesting “Alexa experiment”.  She usually disappoints, but for this one, she was on her game.

She gave the best response to any question I’ve ever asked her.

I listened to her 1 minute, 40-second response, and asked her the same question again.  Then, I asked it a third time after hitting “record” on my phone.  I simply “had” to capture it, and there was too much to capture as she talked.

Recording Alexa?!  Yes, her response was THAT good.

Here's how Alexa answered when I asked her How Can I Get Rich? I was blown away by her response. Click To Tweet

Alexa Answers The Question:  How Can I Get Rich?

To simplify this post, I’ll cite every piece of Alexa’s answer to “How Can I Get Rich?” in sentence format, followed by my thoughts on each of her statements.  To hear the entire answer, you’ll have to ask her yourself.  With that, here we go with a chronological summary of her response:


“There is no one guaranteed way to become rich”

I like that she started with a simple disclaimer.  No “Get Rich Quick” schemes here.  Little did I know that she was only setting the stage for an in-depth summary of the keys to building wealth.  ‘Atta girl, Alexa.


“The best path to building wealth relies on a combination of expanding your earning potential, spending wisely, avoiding debt, saving money, and investing carefully.”

Ah, the three levers of wealth:  Maximize Earnings, Minimize Spending and Invest wisely.  It would seem that Alexa read Part I of my Building Blocks Series:  The Levers of Wealth.  I’m honored.


“Becoming wealthy starts by earning good money.  You can do this in many ways: going to school, getting a higher education and joining a high paying profession, working your way up in a professional trade, or launching a successful small business, among other things.”

Ah, I see what she’s doing.  After introducing the 3 Levers of Wealth, she’s going to give us a few tips on each one.  Alexa’s got this answer organized, and her tips are spot on.  I really like that she included “a professional trade” in her response, it’s a path too often overlooked in our culture.  Mike Rowe would be proud.


“Avoid debt whenever possible, especially credit card debt which carries a high-interest rate.  If you do have credit card or other high-interest rate debt, pay that down as soon as you can.”

Ok, moving on to Lever 2.  Don’t spend more than you earn (which is, by definition, what debt really is).  She’s even smart enough to know that it’s wise to pay down your high-interest rate as soon as you can.  Yep, she’s got this personal finance stuff figured out.


“As you build your income, focus on saving money by living within your means, spending your money carefully, and saving as much as you can.”

As my Dad once told me, it’s simple (though not easy) to become wealthy, just spend less than you make and do it for a long time.  Wise man, my Dad.  Glad I followed his advice.  As a lifelong teacher, he must have taught Alexa a few things along the way.  Who knew?


“Put a portion of your income into savings and investments before spending it on other things.  A 401(k), IRA or other tax-advantaged plans are also a good way to earn long term wealth, especially if your employer offers matching contributions.”

Sounds like “pay yourself first”, or “automate your savings”, both solid suggestions.  Even better, she’s aware of the benefits of tax-advantaged plans and the value of getting that “free money” from your employer. 

Wow, Alexa, I’m impressed. 


“Make the most of your investments by investing in broad-based low fee funds, like S&P 500 index funds or targeted retirement funds that invest in a broad portfolio and adjust the balance of stocks and bonds over time to maximize returns while you’re young and protect your assets as you get older.”

I’m falling in love with Alexa, we have so much in common.  Turns out she’s a mutual fund fan, just like me!  Nothing better than those broad-based low fee funds for the majority of your savings.  Not too many robots I know who are aware of the value of low fee funds!  She even mentioned rebalancing.  I think I’m in love…


“While there’s no guarantee that any path will make you wealthy, by following these steps you’ll be in the best a good position to be rich and gain financial independence.”

They must have attorneys over there at Alexa-land.  Gotta end up with a disclaimer to avoid being sued.  🙂

And…did she really say Financial Independence!  Wow, Alexa almost stepped into the FIRE community with that response.  She should have made it official and added the “Retire Early”.  Ah well, it’s the only obvious mistake in her amazing response.  I know she’s only been working for a few years now, but if she follows her own advice it won’t be long until she’s able to retire.  I wonder what HER savings rate is?

Great work, Alexa!


Conclusion

If anyone argues that understanding personal finance is difficult, just point them to Alexa.  In less than 2 minutes, she provided one of the most concise, yet comprehensive answers to the question of “How can I get rich?”  If Alexa can learn this stuff, anyone can.  

Now, it’s a matter of doing it.  I wonder what advice Alexa can give on actually implementing these lessons?  I may just have to ask her…

Your Turn: Are you impressed with Alexa’s answer to “How Can I Get Rich?”?   What’d she miss?  Is getting rich really as easy as she makes it seem?

23 comments

  1. As I posted on Turnip FIRE, Jeff Bezos now has a personal finance blog so he no-doubt has been coaching Alexa and influencing her opinions. Before you know it you’re going to hear Alexa recommend that you start a rocket company and make plans to go to Mars!

  2. Gee, Fritz, tapping Alexa to write your columns now?????

    Interesting that “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

    “it isn’t rocket surgery”.

    “it’s simple, but it isn’t easy”.

  3. Not a surprise. The rumor is that Amazon, Google and a few others are gearing up to enter the robo advisor area and then full product and services for investing.

  4. Fritz – as I was in the kitchen about to leave for work – I checked my email on my smart phone and read the title of your post and all of a sudden my Alexa started answering the question – I had forgotten I had an Alexa – kind of scared me actually!! I did listen to her response and it was spot on as you have written!! Enjoyed the post and thanks for reminding me that I have an Alexa in the corner of my kitchen !

  5. What an interesting way to pose the question Fritz!

    Loved her response and as you mentioned, absolutely spot on. Just for the heck of it, I asked Google the same question and their top response was:

    “Focus on values. I’ve known people who made some money, but I’ve never known anyone who got rich without examining their own values, priorities and beliefs. Start by writing down a list of things you value, things you believe, what you want, and what you plan to do with this incredible life you have.”

    My interpretation, as in a successful retirement, attitude and mindset also are determining factors.

  6. Wow. Alexa needs to start a blog. Interesting stuff here, Fritz. I’ve never spent the money to buy an Alexa thing, but maybe it’s worth it if she gives that kind of advice. Ha

  7. Thats hilarious!
    Advise I got as I became an adult was:
    •One house
    •One spouse &
    •One job.
    And dont get a 30 yr mortgage, get a 15 yr.
    It served me well. And did get that pension 😊
    Also paid house off in 12 years.

    PS. Still have a couple days here in the UP. It’s beautiful, the fall leaves are emerging and the cool weather is awesome. ( Coming from Fl)

  8. I’m going to tell my children and grandchildren to ask Alexa this question and recommend they follow her advice. It’s worked for me ( comfortably retired) and I hope they can take the advice from her rather than having me repeatedly give the same advice over and over. 😉

  9. Excellent ideas both from you Fritz and Alexa and I have implemented some of them on my own before discovering your blog and will implement the rest now that I find them so well organized in your presentations and the short Alexa summary.

    But here is what still preoccupies me a lot even at a portfolio equaling 55x annual expenses. Perhaps we can ask Alexa:

    How do you survive a Japan style event? No returns for last 30 years? Or worse a Weimar Republic scenario? These are not things that have happened in some backward country. I think that the tail end probability of black swan scenarios is probably thicker than many people believe. While some chicken little scenarios seem far fetched and ridiculous the total sum of the many such improbable events is not negligible. So what if the market does not simply rebound after 2,5 or even 10 years but stays at practically zero returns for thirty years, as it happened in mighty Japan? For those who remember Japan was the country poised to take over the world in the minds of 1980s Americans. Today America is the country poised to stay on top of the world in the distant future and have a stock market that in spite its boom and bust cycles is poised to deliver 7% average annual returns? Is it? Or what if it goes down the path of a modern Weimar Republic (see Modern Monetary Theory) where stock market goes down into a vortex sinking in wealth never that will never be seen again in an environment where some groups of people are lucky to literally escape alive? Again, these things have happened in fist world economies.

    Having a cash balance to avoid selling in a bear market involves recognizing — in real time! — that you are actually in a bear market vs some sort of local minimum. Isn’t that timing the market?

    Heading into becoming a European welfare state with a permanently secular subpar economic growth rate of 1-2% surrounded by a world that is growing two to three times faster while American CAPE ratios are at 32, something that would require unfettered capitalism to have any chance of being sustainable, isn’t that delusion? To what mean will that revert to?

    I guess we find out. Perhaps sooner rather than later. In my view we discover whether these truly black swans materialize sometime in this decade. And, again, when I mean truly black swans I don’t mean crash and rebound. I mean wealth that goes down and disappears forever, or for a lot longer than anyone can remain solvent, like 30 years. I don’t mean stay the course and survive the storm with shredded sails, I mean wealth that sinks to the bottom and drowns forever.

    Finally, at 55x expenses I am fairly confident that — absent the above back swans — we are in a good position. As such I manage my portfolio through the philosophy of looking at the life expectancies of my young children rather than ours. Hence I’m 90% stocks and plan to do so until death. Is that unreasonable?

  10. First, Big Tech came for the phone books. Then it came for encyclopedias. And now it’s coming for the FI bloggers. We’re rapidly becoming obsolete, my friend. Great post. Cheers.

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